BLOG: 'The lack of women in IT has been an issue for many years'

Nancy Hammervik on the thousands of open positions in the IT and tech industry
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CompTIA's Nancy Hammervik talks about PCR's Top 50 Women in Tech and how the industry has thousands of open positions…

Looking at the outstanding credentials of those featured in this list of leading women in UK tech, it is clear that women who have a passion and an aptitude for technology are reaching and enjoying high levels of success.

We’ve achieved great progress in removing the perceived barriers for women in IT.

While each individual on this list has made a significant contribution in driving our industry forward through the development, delivery and deployment of technology, we also should celebrate how these women serve as role models that inspire and encourage other women to join a male-dominated industry.

The lack of women in IT has been an issue for many years and the unfortunate truth is that the numbers are declining. Only 17 per cent of those working in the UK IT industry are women.

Stereotypes that begin early like “STEM is for boys” and misunderstandings about the industry like “coding and programming is for geeks” contribute to the issue. The reality is girls love technology and there are many different job opportunities in IT.

According to a CompTIA study, 98 per cent of girls queried love using technology and 95 per cent indicate they help their family and friends solve technology issues. Yet only nine per cent say they are interested in a career in IT. When asked why not, 77 per cent said they didn’t know what it’s like to work in IT and didn’t know anyone who does.

Kudos to PCR for compiling and sharing a list that puts a spotlight on successful women in IT.

Our industry needs to attract and recruit skilled, motivated individuals to drive innovation and fill thousands of open positions. With women representing nearly half the workforce, they represent a tremendous talent pool. According to Harvey Nash, seven out of ten technology leaders believe they are missing vital skills due to the lack of women on their teams. And Catalyst shares that tech companies with women on their management teams have a 34 per cent higher return on investment.

The IT sector offers low unemployment rates, higher than average salaries and strong job satisfaction scores. We all have a responsibility to support and encourage women, from young girls to current working professionals, to seek and secure positions in IT and grow in those roles.

At CompTIA, we have an Advancing Women in IT community that has taken on the challenge of getting in front of 10,000 young women in the US and UK in one year to educate them on the opportunities in IT. These men and women are genuinely interested in making a positive contribution to change our IT workforce. There’s no complaining, just a sense of confidence and determination to use their exceptional skills and credentials to make the industry a more balanced arena for the next generation.

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