“The ITA Women in Tech Briefing Report: A New Call to Arms highlights that the technology industry evidently needs to be doing a lot more to balance the gender divide. There is still a significant gender deficit of 0.4 million women in this industry and this needs to be addressed, especially as the technology sector is facing an ever increasing labour shortage. This report has revealed that there is currently 0.6 million unfilled tech vacancies, with an additional one million vacancies anticipated by 2020. It is promising, however, that we are seeing some movement across the industry with many programmes being set up to get more women of all ages excited by technology and IT, such as our very own Women In Tech initiative, The Techie Girls, which we champion here at Ivanti.
A lot of the issues we have as a tech workforce are simply that there aren’t enough girls and women studying STEM subjects at university or school. By stressing diversity in STEM, schools can instantly improve the prospects of the industry. At the same time, there is also a misconception that all roles in the industry are technical and that couldn’t be further from the truth – this report highlights that senior women in tech are significantly less likely to have studied a STEM related subject at university. As in any industry, there are roles in departments like marketing and HR that are often stronger areas for women. A huge boost as well would be to have more diverse boardrooms and leaderships. The ability to look up to female decision makers makes being a woman in tech that bit easier.
Entering the IT sector as a woman can be daunting, as women hear and see that it is male dominated. However, as well as tackling this issue at an educational level, there needs to be strong female role-models and mentors at the industry level to encourage more women to enter into IT careers. Male industry experts also need to be seen to be supporting women and the diverse work place – this is important as we don’t want to create a gender barrier. Only by encouraging women into this industry can the current skills shortage be addressed.”