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According to a report from Accenture and Girls Who Code, women in the computing workforce will shrink in the next 10 years unless immediate action is taken, and there has already been a huge 37% drop of women in tech since 1995. So, why are the rates of women in the tech industry falling?
The skills shortage will begin to damage the economy. There were 500,000 new computing jobs in the US in 2015, but there were fewer than 40,000 new computer science graduates, and as a result, a call to action has been identified to triple the number of women in computing by 2025.
The report; aptly named Cracking the Gender Code, recommends what needs to be done to spark interest in tech in girls throughout their school years. Teaching girls from a young age, in both a school and a home environment, that computing is not just for boys is paramount to addressing the drop of women in tech. Girls are 18% more likely to show interest in computing if they’ve been exposed to it in their school years.
Reshma Saujani, who founded Girls Who Code in 2012 to help close the tech gender gap, says that developing curriculum with girls’ interests in mind and teaching in ways that girls prefer—such as project-based work—is needed to keep them engaged. A lack of female role models is also reinforcing girls perceptions that a future career in the tech sector is not for them and is instead best left to the boys.
Tech Nation found that men outnumber women by a ratio of three to one within the tech sector, and big computing organisations need to evoke how technology is a force for good if they want to attract more females to the sector. It is one of those most iconic and pioneering industries and last year the tech sector grew faster than the UK economy, attracting £28bn in technology investment to the country since 2011.
This brilliant infographic shows the stark reality of the gender imbalance in some of the most famous companies in the world: