Less than 25pc of IT roles in the developed world in 2016 will be held by women, according to a forecast by Deloitte.
The stark finding shows the lasting impact of the blind side the tech industry has had towards women in the last three or four decades of the industry’s non-stop growth.
The bad news is the situation isn’t going to change anytime soon, as this figure is the same as 2015 and may even be worse, according to Richard Howard, head of technology, media and telecoms at Deloitte Ireland.
‘This is an issue that needs to be addressed both quickly and effectively’
– RICHARD HOWARD, DELOITTE
Howard said that even if real progress is made in improving gender parity in STEM at levels of the educational pipeline, it may take time for those improvements to translate into IT job parity.
“According to the Central Statistics Office less than 25pc of STEM jobs are filled by women in Ireland,” Howard said.
“This is broadly in line with this global prediction, and highlights that Ireland is not alone in its need to redress this imbalance.
“However, given the importance of not just the technology industry to Ireland’s economy, but also the requirement for strong and adequate IT skills in a wide range of industries – from financial services, to consumer business and beyond, this is an issue that needs to be addressed both quickly and effectively.”
Minority report – imbalance in tech jobs needs to be fixed
Howard said that there are challenges beyond the education pipeline, and firms will need to examine how they not just recruit, but also retain, pay and promote women.
“From having both men and women as part of the hiring process, to senior women mentoring more junior IT workers, there are actions that firms can take to address the imbalance. One further solution may be for governments to take the lead, and attempt to increase the percentage of women in IT jobs in the public sector.”
Howard’s comments come just days after a study of women in senior positions in Silicon Valley companies entitled The Elephant in the Valley revealed that not only were executives experiencing unconscious bias on a day-to-day basis, but they felt they were missing out on career opportunities because of family life, marital status and children.
Worse, some 60pc said they had experienced sexual harassment and 87pc said they experienced demeaning comments from male colleagues.
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