Women in ICT: Let’s fight the gender and skills gap
Information Communication Technology (ICT) is a sector where women aren't represented as well as they could be, with some as much as 21% less than men in similar roles. An important subject matter within many ICT companies is to inspire and empower women to take up an interest in ICT, consider this area as a career and not just to fill a gap in demand in skills or gender that ICT encounters often but to contribute to a society with equal opportunities for everyone. Having more women in ICT would not only increase awareness and allow greater participation in society, but would also help to boost the economy. Over the past 12 years, ‘Women in the Digital Age’ has reported a decrease in women moving into ICT related digital jobs. A few areas that could contribute to inspiring women to move into ICT would include tackling digital gender stereotypes and making sure the coverage around digital skills and education is up-to-date and shows just where these careers could take you in such a booming industry.
A STEM-wide gap
The gender gap is an ongoing issue in many industries but seems to be particularly prevalent within science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) industries and to be more precise ICT. As it stands, the Women in Digital Scoreboard 2021 stated that there is a gender gap of around 19% within ICT and this does not focus on above basic skill sets and for those aged over 55 meaning this percentage could be a lot higher in different cases. The growth in the ICT sector is still in its early stages and so far, we can see it continuing to be male dominated. We know the gender gap in ICT has plenty of scopes to close, but we need to be working harder to increase numbers of female workers.
Upskilling for change
Like most industries, there are skills gaps and within ICT this appears to be widening fast and something needs to be done to bridge this gap. The European Commission recorded over 756,000 unfilled jobs within the ICT sector in 2019, and in the current post pandemic climate, this figure is rapidly rising. New technologies and advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics are changing the nature of the jobs that are now open. The skills needed for these areas are completely different to the skill demand we may have had 10 years prior. The education around ICT and technology needs to be constantly updated to keep up-to-date with how quickly this industry is moving.
Although under-representation, skills and genders gaps are all negative issues on the outlook of women in ICT, this is something that can be changed and, on the way, can empower women to take up a career within a STEM industry and become successful at whatever level they might be. These shortages create amazing opportunities for technology industry parity in one of the quickest growing sectors on the market. Technology has the beauty of being gender-neutral or at least there is a requirement that technology in its fundamentals caters for all, meaning there should be no gender limitations. Companies should strive to embed gender values and quotas into their organisations that would cover not just women in ICT but all aspects of the company and managerial roles. Technology will reach parity in the future and women can come together to have an impressive impact on how quickly this can happen in this growing industry.
Play your part
If you are interested in contributing to closing the gender gap in ICT take a look at our most recent roles or call us for a chat to see how Quanta can help you to find your next role.