UK companies promote girl power in boost for female IT experts

More than half of UK companies have increased the number of female IT professionals they have employed over the past five years, a new study has shown.

Research by IT recruiter Robert Half Technology suggests that 52 per cent of UK companies have increased the number of women in their IT staff, which is a boost driven by mentoring programmes (cited by 34 per cent), greater enrolment in technology education (28 per cent) and government initiatives (17 per cent).

The example shown by high profile women IT leaders is also encouraging more women to follow a career in IT. According to 14 per cent of UK CIOs, the showcasing of successful female IT leaders is the most effective initiative in developing new senior female technology professionals.

Around one-in-seven of the UK’s top 100 CIOs are currently women, according to the 2014 edition of the CIO 100 report2. The top three were named as Christina Scott, CIO of the Financial Times; Catherine Doran, Royal Mail Group; and Carolyn Brown, Durham University.

The growth of female IT professionals is higher in larger companies (67 per cent) than in medium (52 per cent) and small (38 per cent) companies, suggesting that there are more opportunities for women in firms with larger in-house IT teams.

Private companies (59 per cent) and publicly listed (55 per cent) firms are more likely to have seen an increase than public sector organisations (42 per cent).

Charlie Grubb, Associate Director at Robert Half Technology said it’s interesting to see that mentoring is the number one driver for this growth.

“Having a role model who can advise on jobs, challenging situations and day-to-day decisions can help aspiring female leaders to take the next step in their careers.”