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A survey of 100 female computer science graduates from the UK's top 20 courses showed 39% opted for a career outside IT because companies recruiting graduates for IT roles only gave women junior positions.
The women surveyed who rejected IT chose general management, consultancy, banking or further study instead. The female graduates thought more than 90% of males from the same courses wanted to work in IT roles.
Some 51% of the women who opted for other careers said they wanted a broader role. Other reasons included limited career prospects in IT, a dislike of programming, and a belief that IT departments were "too male".