More needs to be done to encourage women to pursue a career in IT, according to specialist recruitment consultancy IntaPeople. The company issued the statement after finding that the percentage of applications made by female workers has dropped by 1.7% in the last 12 months.

Comparing the first quarter of 2011 with the same period last year, IntaPeople’s research revealed that the number of women applying for IT positions fell from an already-low 18.2% to just 16.5%. The company analysed applications for 100 randomly selected IT vacancies over each period.

Phil Handley, operations director at IntaPeople, commented:
“The recent decline in female IT applicants is a great cause for concern, especially given that this is an industry where women are already massively under-represented. Diversity is a key component of any successful business, and unfortunately firms within the IT sector may not reach their full potential until this balance is redressed.

“The government is placing a strong emphasis on technology as part of its latest enterprise plans, so now is an ideal time for it to take positive steps towards ensuring that more women are involved in IT and Technology. It needs to ensure that interest in the profession is nurtured at an early age and, where possible, subsidised training is provided for both men and women interested in shaping a career in IT.”