2 May 2014
Professions, including the IT profession, must address the gender pay gap if they are going to attract more women into roles, says BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. The call comes as part of the Institute’s month long campaign to raise the profile of women in IT.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show that the pay gap for women working in the information and communication industry is 27%*.
Gillian Arnold, Chair of BCSWomen, part of the Institute explains: “Most of the professions, and especially, the IT profession, are failing to attract women and we must address this. One of the most understated and shocking issues contributing to this lack of women is the gender pay gap that still exists despite the equality laws that have been in existence for three decades.
“If a woman in IT is earning 27% less than her male counterpart that means that a salary of £40K for a man would be less than £30K for a woman for the same work and equal skills. This over a working lifetime could equate to a third of a million pounds, not to mention the detriment to the pension. It is time that businesses complied with the law which says that we should reward equal work equally. IT isn’t the only profession with this problem.”
With women accounting for between 15-18% of the IT profession in the UK, the Institute’s month long campaign aims to encourage young girls and also women returners to consider IT as a career option. The campaign will see influential women in IT featured on the Institute’s website each day throughout May in order to demonstrate the variety of roles that are open to young women.
Some of the biggest names in IT today have signed up to support the campaign including entrepreneur Cary Marsh, CEO of Mydeo, Dame Stephanie Shirley who started her own software business in 1962 because of the dearth of opportunities for women in the profession, Professor Dame Wendy Hall Director of the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton, Maggie Philbin, CEO of TeenTech and technology journalist and author Kate Russell.
Gillian continues: “As well as addressing the gender pay gap, we need role models in the IT profession who can demonstrate what a great and varied career option it is. The women we’ve invited to take part in our campaign will tell their own stories and inspire young people and women to think ‘I could do that, or I want to do that’.”
Interviews and blogs from the women will appear daily throughout May on www.bcs.org/itwomen
*Taken from the ONS Gender Pay Gap by Industry report April 2013, released in December 2013.