Posted on March 8, 2017 by staff

Women ‘actively discouraged’ from technology careers


Training organisation QA estimates that nearly half of women working in technology were actively discouraged from starting their career in the sector.

QA, which trains over 200,000 people in technology skills each year and has placed over 10,000 young people into tech apprenticeships at top organisations, called for action to change perceptions on International Women’s Day.

It has created a film to inspire women into technology careers following its survey of 80 women working in the sector.

Dame Stephanie Shirley, who featured in our ‘100 female tech role models’ list in December, describes her experiences in the film alongside ladies who are seeking to blaze trail for themselves in tech.

“It makes sense that over 40 per cent of women in tech roles started a career in a different field, having been discouraged by those close to them,” said QA CTO Bill Walker.

“With the sector growing – and with women representing just 17 per cent of all IT roles – unless action is taken to change the perceptions of technology, improvements in gender disparity won’t be made.

“Of the women in our sample 76 per cent didn’t see technology as an attractive career path at school, but almost 100 per cent of them have enjoyed an exciting career in tech.”

Those surveyed said that tech allowed them to learn new skills and improve people’s lives while they found working in the sector exciting, well-paid and flexible.

Walker added: “Girls and women and their influencers need to know this, in order to advise them appropriately.”

The research showed that in order to improve the ratio of women in tech, those surveyed recommended that the industry needs more role models (80 per cent), more tech careers education in schools (79 per cent), more help from industry (65 per cent) and Government (36 per cent), with others asking the TV and film industry to portray gender equality in technology.