Less than a quarter of UK tech sector employees are women. Just 5% of the average IT job applicants for roles like web development and networking are…you guessed it…women.
There’s no doubt it’s an issue the tech industry is trying to address, but that left us wondering: why is there such a huge gender gap in the tech industry?
We think 2018 is finally the year for women in tech, and here’s why:
There’s a skills shortage
There is huge opportunity now more than ever for anyone to enter the tech industry, simply because there aren’t enough skilled people applying for the available roles. There’s an abundance of jobs that go unfilled purely down to depleting skill-set.
Sure, there’s many who’ll say it’s still as tough as ever for women to enter the industry and work their way up. But whilst there’s such a huge need for a skilled workforce, why should gender stand in the way? The more who enter the industry, the easier it will be for future female tech workers to see success.
IT has the perception of being a male-dominated field and this transmits through all levels – from the female professional who’s put off from applying for that tech role, to the interviewer with pre-conceived view of the female applicant, right down to schools who don’t encourage girls to pursue tech careers.
With such a skills shortage, now’s the ideal time for the gender imbalance to be readdressed.
Women won’t be underrepresented for much longer
Why have women been underrepresented in the tech industry for so long?* We think it’s down to 4 key areas:
- Tech leaders and role models are largely male
- IT is perceived as a male-dominated field
- There is often a lack of work/life balance
- Schools and other educational institutions don’t encourage girls to pursue tech careers
Women won’t be underrepresented for much longer. Quite simply, the more women who enter the industry, the easier it will become for others to follow in their footsteps. Utilising the current skills shortage to an advantage could prove crucial in obtaining a distinct push forward for women in tech to become the next wave of role models.
Small changes are happening with some of the biggest names in technology promising to improve the future for women in the technology sector, including Apple, Google and Facebook; it’s certainly a good start.
If the leading names in technology are promising to change the job landscape for women, that’s encouragement enough to aspiring female tech professionals everywhere to launch their career.
The pay gap is smaller
You’ve heard the noise around gender pay gap (which has only been amplified recently thanks to the BBC) but you might be surprised to hear that the pay gap between the genders is actually smaller in tech than in other sectors.
Even better, leading technology brands like SalesForce are pledging equal pay for men and women who are doing the same job. If tech giants are promoting greater equality, it’s only a matter of time before the industry on the whole follows suit.
The future of IT is certainly looking female.
The UK’s the place to be
annual Tech Nation report
showed the UK to be at the forefront of Europe’s digital space. On the same note, we had investment in private equity and venture capital that was double that of the rest of Europe. That’s huge.
It’s a great time to get into tech – it continues to see vast opportunity through investment, and coupled with plugging the skills gap, increased salary and greater female representation, the UK’s the place to be!
If you’re a woman in the UK looking to get your career in tech going, you’re well positioned to get started.
Inspiring the next generation
Computing education has seen a huge revolution over the past few years. Think back to when you were in school; it’s likely your computer classes involved creating presentations with rainbow word art and working out how to make the little paperclip man disappear. Fast forward to now and our children are learning to code and program as part of the computing curriculum.
Not only will these skills prove hugely beneficial in future roles, but it also empowers the next (male and female) generation to choose a career in tech.
The future of women in IT can only go in two directions – it either stays as it is (which is a pretty bleak outlook), or more women need to enter the IT sector. The best way to make an impact? Go for that course, apply for those roles and be great in your new career.
We’re making it our mission to bridge the gap and enable more women to achieve careers in tech. Learn more about our initiative below and show your support on social with #WomenInTech #YesSheCan.
Learn more about our women in tech initiative here
* Source - http://observer.com/2017/06/women-in-tech-statistics/