The BCS Women in IT Scorecard is a definitive up-to-date evidence base of data and commentary on women in IT employment and education. The edition for 2016 is out now and available to download here
Below are the Forewords by Karen Price, OBE, and Gillian Arnold:
“In an era where we have a woman in Number 10, a woman in the German Chancellery, and came within a hair’s breadth of a woman in the White House, it may seem anachronistic still to be concerned about women’s progress in the workplace. Yet the figures in this report continue to paint a startling picture: in a sector where there is a real skills gap, and where there are high value, creative and purposeful jobs to be done, only 17% of specialists are women.
This is a problem, whichever way you come at it. How can we even think of filling that skills gap, and maximising our growth potential, if we are not harnessing the talents of half the population? From a business point of view, we know that organisations that reflect their
communities are more fulfilling places to work, and do better as a consequence. From a social justice point of view, we want women to be exercising their talents in well-paid and productive jobs.
So what are we to do? Some of the coverage of the gender gap in tech can seem fingerwagging – girls ‘should’ aspire to a career in tech, and it is somehow girls’ fault if they do not do so. Increasingly, though, the focus is on the organisations that recruit: why are they
failing to find a way to show girls how rewarding and interesting these careers are? How can they change and improve, to achieve better outcomes for themselves and for women? The Tech Partnership’s employer led campaign, My Tech Future, is doing its bit to show girls the bright prospects before them. Many other organisations are doing the same – there is consensus on how important this is. Making change on this scale is daunting, but we have to keep working at it. Ensuring that we have the baseline information we need, through this report, is a core part of the task."
Karen Price OBE CEO, the Tech Partnership
"Last year in my foreword to this document, I mentioned the need for optimism in relation to the numbers of women in digital roles. I know that our focus on the numbers of women taking up IT-related education, and the statistics regarding women working in technical roles,
gives a great starting point by which to challenge parents, educators and employers. I had hoped that the percentage of women working in digital and IT related roles would have grown this year but, sadly, whilst there are more women in professional roles, we have yet
to see a significant impact through the work done by the numerous organisations who are trying to make a difference.
In BCSWomen we are aware of dozens of active UK-based voluntary organisations who are undertaking programmes to engage more girls and women in our profession, and there are many more activities being run by the larger companies, yet still we see limited change. It is
clear that there are systemic and cultural issues to be addressed if we are to attract and retain greater numbers of women in technology roles.
The bright spot in the detail this year is that the number of women IT Directors working in the UK has risen by 1% this year. Let us hope that these women will be the ones to help others up the steps and drive a brighter future for technical women in the UK."
Gillian Arnold Chair, BCSWomen