The UK IT industry is suffering from a significant gender imbalance, according to new figures from security firm Tessian.
Auditing 608,000 IT-related positions in the UK, the company found only 103,360 were held by women. It also discovered only 17 percent of IT directors and 7 percent of IT engineers are female.
Among IT technicians, the gender gap is slightly less extreme, with almost a third of roles held by women.
According to the report, the source of the problem can be traced back to education, with far fewer women studying STEM subjects. For example, only a fifth of computer science graduates in the UK are female, compared to almost two thirds of graduates in non-science subject areas.
Tessian also claims women are less likely to pursue IT-related positions due to a lack of clear development paths and female role models in the industry.
The firm believes that closing the IT gender gap could net the UK economy an additional $15.5 billion.
“Moving forward we must begin to see closer collaboration between our education institutions and industry, allowing businesses to nurture, offer opportunity and educate female candidates, regardless of whether they are still in school, recently graduated, or even just looking to progress their careers,” said Tim Sadler, CEO at Tessian.
“As we know, the UK is afflicted with a digital skills gap which has been growing steadily and impacting business operations since the early 2000s – what better way of plugging this gap by engaging with female candidates, encouraging more innovation and generating as yet untapped excitement for IT in future generations?” he added