Closing the Gender Gap in Technology
There is a distinct lack of women working in technology and despite national conversations about gender diversity in this booming sector, women continue to be underrepresented.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers research of over 2,000 A-Level and university students, the gender gap in technology starts at school and carries on through every stage of women’s lives. Only 27% of female students in the survey said they would consider a career in technology, compared to 61% of males, and only 3% said it was their first choice.
The research found that females aren’t considering technology careers as they aren’t given enough information on what working in the sector involves and also because no one is putting it forward as an option to them.
Only 22% of students surveyed could name a famous female working in technology. Whereas two thirds could name a famous man working in technology
A lack of female role models is also reinforcing the perception that a technology career isn’t for them. Only 22% of students surveyed could name a famous female working in technology. Whereas two thirds could name a famous man working in technology, and over a quarter of female students say they have been put off a career in technology as it’s too male dominated.
Iventis became even more aware of the gender gap in tech when we were recruiting for a new developer and we found that there are very few trained female developers. This is backed up by recent data from the FRG Consulting Java and PHP salary, which found that just over one in every 10 developers is a woman.
As a gender-inclusive company we believe it is time to close the gender gap in technology and technology organisations need to highlight how technology is a force for good if they want to attract more females to the sector.
"Young women need more role models that they can relate to and identify with. Being a ‘woman in tech’ should be nothing different, or more difficult or more stressful than being a man."
We are delighted to have recruited our first female developer to the Iventis team, Simona. Simona says society needs to publicly promote women in tech positions. “Young women need more role models that they can relate to and identify with. Being a ‘woman in tech’ should be nothing different, or more difficult or more stressful than being a man. Women should be supported and empowered to access a field that is theirs just as much as mens without fearing biased treatment,” she says.
Simona says that although she has always been an avid consumer of technology, it was not her first professional choice. “I have developed a true interest for its intricacies thanks to friends who were studying computer science and software engineering and passed on their excitement to me. Following long conversations with them I could draw parallels between the object of my study at the time (Medicine) and computer and software systems. I am passionate about complex systems and patterns, natural or artificial alike and it quickly grabbed my attention. Fast-forward a couple of years and some ‘cross-road’ events in my life and my ever-growing interest turned into a career choice which I am totally embracing.”
Simona says she considers herself “lucky” to not have faced any barriers when entering the industry. “It is really challenging to get a first job from university, however,” she says. “Most of the positions for junior developers and engineers require prior industry experience which, for obvious reasons, makes it impossible to qualify.”
Women still only make up 17% of IT specialists in the UK.
It’s clear to see that there is a long way to go to close the gender gap in technology. Britain’s technology industry is booming. Its tech firms attracted more than £6bn of venture capital funding in 2018, according to Tech Nation, more than any other European country and around 80% of tech investment in the UK is in fast-growing businesses, creating new jobs, revolutionary products and innovative services. Yet, women still only make up 17% of IT specialists in the UK and a global Stackoverflow 2021 Developer Survey of over 80,000 developers shows this is a global problem, with 92% of professional developers in the survey identifying as men. And it’s not just being a woman that is a barrier, women from different nationalities and countries face further and different challenges, such as access to education and socio-economic issues affecting the opportunities available to them.
A lack of gender diversity comes at a cost, both for individual tech companies and the entire sector. Diverse teams, including those with greater gender diversity, are on average more creative, innovative, and, ultimately, are associated with greater profitability. This strong positive correlation between higher levels of employee diversity and stronger financial performance has been demonstrated consistently across sectors and geographies, and tech is no different.
There is still a long way to go to achieve gender parity in this industry.
We are delighted to welcome Simona to our team and know her experience and outlook will be an invaluable asset as we continue to grow.
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