The Future of Women in IT

Posted by Tilt Recruitment on March 11th, 2021

The Future of Women in IT

Posted by Tilt Recruitment on March 11, 2021

How much has female representation in tech grown over the last ten years? 10%? 50%? 100%?

The answer is none. Zero. Not a squeak since Matt Smith was the Doctor, One Direction was the new pop sensation, and nobody had heard of Brexit.

And while the number of women in IT has risen, rising to the top is another matter: only one tech specialist in six and one IT leader in ten is a woman.

That’s a lot of missing IT talent at a time when the sector is suffering a massive skills shortage. Increasing the number of women in tech to fill that gap would boost the UK’s economy by £2.6 billion a year. According to a new Nominet report, it would also lead to more innovative ideas, better communication skills and improved morale.

The industry is starting to take notice, with outreach organisations and major companies like Google, Apple, Intel and Facebook taking action to create a better future for women in IT.

In tech, the gender pay gap is actually smaller than in most sectors, and big companies like Intel and Salesforce have pledged equal pay for equal work. Women with under two years of experience have also been shown to be better at pay negotiations than their male colleagues.

However, the question of “equal work” is fraught. Dave Gibbs of the National STEM Learning Centre and Network points out that women in the sector tend to get sidelined into people and project management, not exactly star career paths in IT.

The remedy here is unconscious bias training to support men in seeing women’s contributions and potential. Many of the biggest IT companies are already putting this into practice.

However, the future of women in IT depends on future women. The industry must focus on inspiring girls to study computer science at school and university and then apply for jobs in IT – and on retaining them once they do.

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