Inclusion and IT

Overview

Levels of inclusion in IT below average for women, disabled and older workers

Comparison of the levels of inclusion amongst IT specialists and the wider UK workforce during 2016 reveals IT specialist were under-represented with respect to disabled people, older people and female workers (with ‘deficits of 4, 10 and 30 percentage points respectively). In fact, only in the case of those from ethnic minority workers was representation higher amongst IT specialists than for the workforce as a whole (5 percentage points).

Figure 3: Workforce representation by key group, 2016
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Figure 3: Workforce representation by key group, 2016
Source: Analysis of ONS Quarterly Labour Force Survey by BCS

There has been little change in the overall levels of inclusion within IT over the past

These inclusion levels for IT jobs, like those within the wider labour market have changed little in recent years, and since 2011 only in the case of older workers and ethnic minorities has there been an increase in the level of representation (3 and 2 percentage points respectively). Moreover, these changes are largely a reflection of those observed for the workforce as a whole where increases of 4 and 2 percentage points were observed over the 2011-2016 period.[1]

Figure 4: Trends in workforce representation, 2011-16
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Figure 4: Trends in workforce representation, 2011-16
Source: Analysis of ONS Quarterly Labour Force Survey by BCS

Inclusion across the UK

Gender

Just 15% of IT specialists working in Yorkshire / Humberside are female

Over the 2014-16 period[2] the proportion of IT specialists that were female varied from a low of just 15% in the Yorkshire / Humberside region to a high of 20% in Scotland and Wales. In all UK nations / regions, the level of representation for women in the IT professions was well below the norm for all workers and this gap was largest in the North East, Yorkshire / Humberside, the East of England (over 30 percentage points in each case).

Figure 5: Representation of women in IT, by nation/region (2014-16)
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Figure 5: Representation of women in IT, by nation/region (2014-16)
Source: Analysis of ONS Quarterly Labour Force Survey by BCS

Disability

Only 3% of IT specialists in Northern Ireland are disabled

Again, the levels of inclusion for disabled people in IT roles varies considerably by region - from just 3% in the case of Northern Ireland to 10% in Wales, the South East and the East Midlands and, in all regions, the level of representation for disabled people in IT jobs was again below that for the workforce as a whole.

Figure 6: Representation of disabled workers in IT, by nation/region (2014-16)
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Figure 6: Representation of disabled workers in IT, by nation/region (2014-16)
Source: Analysis of ONS Quarterly Labour Force Survey by BCS

Ethnicity

Almost a third of IT specialists in London are from minority ethnic groups

Over the 2014-16 period the proportion of IT specialists from non-white groups was higher than that for all workers in each of the 12 UK nations / regions and in London just under one third (31%) of IT specialists were of a non-white background - a stark comparison with the North East of where a figure of just 5% was observed.

Figure 7: Representation of non-white workers in IT, by nation/region (2014-16)
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Figure 7: Representation of non-white workers in IT, by nation/region (2014-16)
Source: Analysis of ONS Quarterly Labour Force Survey by BCS

Age

Older workers are poorly represented in London whether working in IT or other jobs

Though standing out for being the region with the highest levels of ethnic inclusion amongst IT specialists, London, along with Northern Ireland is also seen as the area with the lowest proportion of workers in IT positions aged 50 and above (13% in each case). Representation of older workers was also lowest in London when considering the workforce as a whole (24%) and as such the disparity between inclusion levels for older workers in IT and other occupations, though below the norm within the capital, is not as severe as in many other parts of the UK, notably: the North East and Northern Ireland where the differences in representation levels for IT and all workers were 16 and 13 percentage points respectively.

Figure 8: Representation of older workers in IT, by nation / region (2014-16)
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Figure 8: Representation of older workers in IT, by nation/region (2014-16)
Source: Analysis of ONS Quarterly Labour Force Survey by BCS

[1] For the purposes of the trend analysis presented here, disability is defined according to the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) 1995 which preceded that set out within Equality Act of 2010. This procedure has been taken due to the unavailability of Equality Act based figures within the ONS Labour Force Survey prior to 2015. The effects upon the trends shown are thought to minimal and comparison figures for representation in the IT professions for 2016 are 8% and 10% respectively under the Equality Act/DDA definitions.
[2] Years combined due to small sample