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Women in tech say some were discouraged in career choice

Posted by Sophie Beyer | March 08, 2017 | Technology

Three quarters of women in tech surveyed said they did not view a career in the industry to be attractive at school.  The eighty women from the public and private sectors were surveyed by QA who found that nearly half of women were actively discouraged from starting a career in tech by people close to them.

Women need to know that they are just as suited to technology jobs as men. My ultimate wish for the industry is that it eventually becomes gender free.

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

  • 50% women in tech were actively discouraged from entering into a technology career, by people close to them.
  • 76% did not view technology as an attractive career path at school but almost 100% of them have enjoyed an exciting career in tech.  
  • 80% of women say that they think that there need to be more role models in tech.
  • Post Brexit faces a chronic digital skills shortage. Lack of gender diversity will contribute to this issue. 

Bill Walker, CTO at QA said “With the sector growing, and with women representing just 17% 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% didn’t see technology as an attractive career path at school, but almost 100% of them have enjoyed an exciting career in tech with the best aspects being; always learning more, working on tech that helps people’s lives, it’s exciting, good salary and flexible. Girls and women and their influencers need to know this; in order to advise them appropriately.”

Dame Stephanie Shirley, ‘Steve’, says “It is so much easier for women now to get into technology careers given the opportunities available to them, such as apprenticeships, traineeships, intensive training programmes offered by the industry, and many other schemes and initiatives. Women need to know that they are just as suited to technology jobs as men. My ultimate wish for the industry is that it eventually becomes gender free.”

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