Employer characteristics

Self-employment

IT specialists from minority groups are more likely to be self-employed

IT specialists are slightly less likely than other workers to be self-employed and in 2016 approximately 13% of IT specialists were working in this manner compared with 15% of the workforce in total. The proportion of IT specialists from minority groups that were self-employed was slightly higher than that for non-minorities (14% versus 11%) and this was apparent in all ‘minority’ groups bar female workers who were also associated with the lowest incidence of self-employment (10%).

Figure 14: IT inclusion and the incidence of self-employment, 2016
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Figure 14: IT inclusion and the incidence of self-employment, 2016
Source: Analysis of ONS Quarterly Labour Force Survey by BCS

The difference in the incidence of self-employment was most pronounced when considering the age of IT specialists with 17% of IT specialists aged 50 and above working on contract compared with 12% of younger workers in such positions, again however the proportion of older workers within the workforce as a whole that were working in this manner was still higher at 22% of the total.

Employer size

IT specialists, and those from minority groups in particular, are less likely than other workers to work in MSMEs

Amongst IT specialists working as employees, just under six in ten (59%) were found to be working in MSMEs (Micro / Small / Medium sized establishments) - a figure well below that for employees as a whole in the UK (73%). IT specialists from each of the four minority groups were also found less likely to be working in smaller organisations (MSMEs) and the proportion for female IT specialists in particular was the lowest at just 51% of the total.

Figure 15: IT inclusion and incidence of working in MSMEs, 2016
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Figure 15: IT inclusion and incidence of working in MSMEs, 2016
Source: Analysis of ONS Quarterly Labour Force Survey by BCS

Industry of employment

Female IT specialists much less likely to work in IT businesses

Just under one half (47%) of IT specialists were found to be working in IT businesses in 2016 and the proportion of those from minority groups working in this type of firm was much the same at 45%. There was also little variation by the type of minority group analysed - the one exception to this finding being the relatively low percentage of female IT specialists (37%) working in IT firms compared with their male counterparts. As a result, inclusion levels for female IT specialists in the tech industry were even lower than the norm at just 14% compared with 17% across the economy as a whole).

Figure 16: Representation of IT specialists working in the tech industries, 2016
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Figure 16: Representation of IT specialists working in the tech industries, 2016
Source: Analysis of ONS Quarterly Labour Force Survey by BCS

Looking outside of the tech industries it is apparent that inclusion levels for IT specialists at least are generally worst within the Manufacturing sector where below average figures can be observed for females, non-white workers and minority workers as a whole. For IT specialists with disabilities - Agriculture / utilities firms exhibit the lowest inclusion levels (5%) whilst for those aged 50 and above it is the Distribution, hotels and restaurants where just 17% of IT specialists are of this age group.

Figure 17: IT inclusion by non-tech industry (2014-16)
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Figure 17: IT inclusion by non-tech industry (2014-16)
Source: Analysis of ONS Quarterly Labour Force Survey by BCS