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IT still dragging its feet in gender diversity

There are still more men than women in the ICT industry - and the number of female CIOs is falling, according to recent research.

In a CIO study carried out by industry recruiters Harvey Nash, only 7 per cent of respondents holding the title were women – down from 8 per cent in 2013.

“Over the last decade the proportion of women in the IT function has remained stubbornly low, despite the efforts of concerned leaders,” claims the report.

Read more: Do we really need an International women in ICT day?

“Although nearly three-quarters of CIOs recognise the gender imbalance in their organisations, diversity programmes appear to be making little progress.

“Proactive succession planning by CIOs to develop the next generation of female IT leaders is essential if meaningful change is to be achieved,” it adds.

Women who do choose IT do succeed

Despite these discouraging figures in the study of over 3200 CIOs, it did find some more positive figures.

When compare to other areas of work such as HR, a higher proportion of women rise up to more senior positions in IT.

According to the firm, this indicates that although only a small number of women are entering the industry, those who do choose it are able to realise their “full potential.”

“If more young women can be persuaded to enter the IT profession, it looks as though both they and the industry will benefit,” the report claims.

To address the gender imbalance in tech careers, a number of initiatives have sprung up, including Network Rail’s award winning IT competition that encourages women to seek an IT career.