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Lack of Role Models in tech sector discourages female interest

A survey carried out by Research in Motion (RIM), the makers of the Blackberry device, found out that although a overwhelming majority of girls aged between 11 and 16 think technology is cool and talk to their friends about technology and trends, only a fraction would consider joining the tech industry.

The research, carried out amongst 1000 girls and in support of BlackBerry's Women & Technology Awards, showed that just over a quarter of teenage girls envisage tech as a career, compared to more than half of boys in the same age group, although 90 percent said that technology is "in".

Nearly three quarters of the girls think that a lack of female role models in a male-dominated technology sector is a major hindrance; woman account for less than 20 percent of IT professionals.

The RIM-backed research also found out that more than four out of ten young people consider a career in IT as boring with three out of ten saying it is geeky, stereotypes which have been reinforced by the media and by cult series such as IT Crowd.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.