Only 27 percent of skilled tech roles are filled by women.
This is according to the Tech Talent Charter (TTC), who show that this was an increase in 2021 from 25 percent in 2020.
This is just a 2 percent increase of tech roles held by women in 2021.
A study by the World Economic Forum on the gender disparity within AI and data science shows that males make up 78 percent of the workforce.
The importance of addressing gender inclusion within tech is highlighted by the CEO of TTC, Debbie Forster, who warns: “inclusion must be baked in now, or the tech sector risks cementing inequalities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.”
“Sharing valuable insights on winning D&I strategies means that companies across the sector can learn best practices and more quickly bring about change for the greater good of the sector and the wider UK population,” she adds.
Women and coding
In a recent study by Code Institute, applicants listed what they consider to be the four main barriers to women learning how to code. These included:
- Negative perception: Coding is perceived as not something women are good at
- Self-exclusion: The belief that you need to be good at maths to code
- Time commitment: The concern that a course will not fit into their busy life
- Lack of confidence: Especially around age
In response, Director of Career Services at Code Institute, Jane Gormely, says: “Coding is now more accessible than it ever has been, with high quality and flexible courses meaning that women have so many options when it comes to reskilling and finding a career in technology.”
How can we increase the number of women in tech?
Gormely highlights that it is “important to challenge the stigma of woman in tech, and encourage more women to put aside any misconceptions that they may have and learn more about the fantastic career prospects available in software development.”
Women have less industry-relevant skills (such as computer science, data preparation, general-purpose computing, mathematics and machine learning) than men, suggests research from the Turing Institute.
Subsequently, greater accessibility of coding courses would offer flexibility to reskill around existing commitments and open up new career opportunities to people of any age.
In a traditionally male dominated sector, achieving greater gender diversity should be at the forefront of D&I developments. Redefining what it means to be a woman in tech is important for prospective employees, employees and employers.
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.