Women continue to flee IT profession

The proportion of women in the IT workforce has fallen to a six-year low, with women concentrated in the lowest level jobs, new research has shown.

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The proportion of women in the IT workforce has fallen to a six-year low, with women concentrated in the lowest level jobs, new research has shown.

Women account for just 19% of the IT workforce, down from 24% in 2001 and 22% in 2005, a research note from learning and skills council E-skills UK shows. Women also earn less than their male peers in all occupational groups except software professionals.

The research reveals how women hit a glass ceiling in the IT profession. Women account for 18% of ICT managers and just 12% of IT strategy and planning professionals – but make up nearly six out of 10 database assistants and clerks at the bottom end of the IT job market.

Women make up 14% of software professionals and 21% of IT operations technicians, with the proportion rising to 25% of user support technicians. But only 2% of computer engineers are women.

The under-representation of women begins in higher education, where only 24% of places on IT related courses awarded to women, who make up 58% of all UK higher education students.

The researcher note says: “The low proportion of women following IT related degree courses is directly reflective of that in ICT professional occupations and of the percentage of females in a managerial or senior level within the IT industry.”

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