It’s still a man’s world in the tech sector

It’s still a man’s world in the tech sector


An online survey of 300 key decision-makers and senior professionals across the UK’s IT and tech sectors showed what we probably all suspected, that an imbalance exists across both pay and female representation in the industry.

Industry professionals hazarded a guess that it would be some 12.5 years until gender balance was realised, whilst male workers suspected it would be longer. Perhaps some 14 years.

And this is despite the fact that 70% of the respondents recognised the value of a diverse workforce, agreeing that gender balance is very important or crucial within these roles, with 54% flagging it led to greater innovation, 45% appreciating the benefits that differing viewpoints can bring and 42% acknowledging that it would ensure new technologies are geared towards everyone.

Typical reasons for women being put off the industry included: a 48% perceived male-dominated culture; 40% cited a lack of opportunity for promotion or senior roles; 33% highlighted negative perceptions of the roles/work and 31% stated that the recruitment process and interview questions favouring men.

Equal pay and discrimination were also deemed to be deterrents with 55% of women respondents believing that they are on the wrong side of a gender pay gap.

On the plus side, 72% of respondents thought their company had taken steps to recruit more women into tech roles, as well as taken positive action to address the issues. 29% said that their company was changing the way they write job ads to avoid unconscious bias; 24% said they were introducing gender balance quotas or targets and 23% were putting emphasis on women in senior roles.

Dominic Harvey, Director at CWJobs, said “Equality is coming – but we cannot afford to sit back and wait until the 2030s. Emerging technologies, from artificial intelligence to augmented reality, are developing at a rapid pace and we need to move significantly faster to unlock ideas from the widest pool of candidates. We must take decisive action to attract and hire more women who can improve our nation’s capabilities and global competitiveness.

“The UK tech sector is more determined than ever to deliver world-class innovation and develop new products and services which will drive change all around the globe. Indeed, the huge demand for tech talent is reinforced by CWJobs’ own data which identified a 7% increase in tech jobs listings in 2018 as companies compete for the top talent. As an industry, we need to build greater technological expertise in current and future generations – and this must include the female half of the population.”

Sheridan Ash, director at PwC and Founder of Tech She Can, said, "It's only by taking combined action across the industry that we can hope to tackle the root cause of the gender imbalance in the technology sector. We need to work hard to create a sustainable pipeline of diverse tech talent, and it all starts by inspiring girls to consider tech roles while they are in school. It's often said that 'you can't be what you can't see' so we need to promote the brilliant women already working in a wide range of different roles across the sector, from creatives and designers, to coders and data scientists. Technology is open to all, and that's an important message we need to get across."

Thursday, 20 December 2018

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