Women make up only 16% of IT and tech professionals, a trend that has remained the same for 10 years in a row, according to WISE, the campaign for gender balance in science and engineering.
Looking into statistics from the Office of National Statistics, WISE found the number of women in the tech sector has remained stagnant for the past decade, while other parts of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) sector have made progress in growing the number of women in core roles.
The number of women in engineering has doubled to 50,000 over the same period, women now make up almost half of people in science roles, and the number of women in management roles within STEM has risen to 14%.
“The progress made by these sectors clearly demonstrates that forward-thinking companies can create change,” said Helen Wollaston, chief executive of WISE. “The fact that women remain so under-represented in tech is incredibly disappointing. Technology roles account for 25% of core STEM roles and are among some of the most exciting careers to be a part of, and yet companies are failing to attract and retain women [in these positions].”
While many expect more women to enter the sector in 2020, there are many reasons why women currently avoid it, including misconceptions about the kinds of roles that exist in tech and a lack of visible and accessible female roles models in the sector.
There are now one million women in core Science, Technology, Engineering and Math roles, but it is not enough, according to WISE.
When it comes to core STEM roles in the UK, women currently make up around 24%, but to stay on the path to sustainable representation of women in these sectors, the number of women in STEM should be at 30%.
Women have the potential to succeed in the tech world and be leaders.