techUK member Deloitte released its Technology, Media & Telecommunications Predictions for 2016 last week.
The outlook for Women in Tech was discouraging, with statistics indicating that not much progress has been made.
The report states that by the end of the year, fewer than 25% of digital jobs will be held by women. This is the same statistic as 2015, and may even see a decline by the end of the year.
Education statistics also reflect poorly on equality, with only 17.1% of computer science students being women in 2013/14 – that is much lower than the overall female participation in higher education of 56%.
The challenges also extend beyond the education pipeline, with a 2014 study in the UK stating that only one in twenty job applicants were women. Research found that ads for certain senior jobs targeted users tagged as men nearly six times as often as users labelled as women. Unconscious bias was also seen to be prevalent in the sector, with both female and male recruiters choosing male candidates over equally qualified women.
Even when recruited into the tech sector, statistics do not look favourably upon women. A UK survey states that 37% of women in IT say they have been passed over for promotion because of their gender, and women in senior roles in the tech sector are also startlingly low at 9%.
At techUK we strongly believe that having a gender balanced workforce across the IT sector strengthens the sector's ability to retain its market position as the cornerstone of industry across global markets. By widening the talent pool and bringing in the brightest and best women, the IT sector will continue to thrive and grow in both size and stature.
techUK runs a number of initiatives for women through four work streams:
- Youth in Tech: Driving change in the way young people and girls in particular perceive the tech industry
- Tech for Life: Increased number of women returning to the technology industry.
- Challenging Industry: Highlighting industry’s role and challenging industry to do more to raise the number of women in the technology industry.
- Conditions for Change: Informing top-down policy including on skilled migration, challenging numbers of women on Boards and providing the conditions to make a gender balanced workforce possible.
Members can get involved in ongoing projects with the Women in Tech programme - the more members that engage with these issues, the more progress we will make. For more information please see our Women in Tech programme pages here or get in touch with Sharon Clews and Doniya Soni.