How many women work in IT in the UK?

Anecdotal evidence doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny. So for the launch of this blog I’d hoped to get some substantiated figures concerning women’s current representation among the IT workforce. Well, better late than never! The results are now in, thanks to the UK Resource Centre for Women in SET, who have recently relaunched their online statistics provision. The table here shows the numbers of women and men represented in two key areas of the IT industry workforce in the UK in 2008.

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ICT professionals**        
 Age Female Male Total % Female
16-24 4,695* 22,792 27,487 17.1
25-34 24,097 146,961 171,058 14.1
35-44 21,433 125,657 147,090 14.6
45-54 13,281 73,155 86,436 15.4
55-64 2,571 22,995 25,566 10.1
All 66,077 391,560 457,637 14.4
IT service delivery occupations***        
 Age Female Male Total % Female
16-24 4,404 22,967 27,371 16.1
25-34 15,969 45,763 61,732 25.9
35-44 12,702 37,197 49,899 25.5
45-54 8,919 23,859 32,778 27.2
55-64 1,862 6,438 8,300 22.4
All 43,856 136,224 180,080 24.4


The figures are taken from the “SET occupations by gender and age group in the UK, 2008spreadsheet, and the original data was sourced by UKRC from the Office for National Statistics; Quarterly Labour Force Survey, January – December, 2008.

I’ve never had the experience of being the lone woman in a department during my career – in publishing I’d guess that it’s a pretty rare occurrence. But given my roles have often entailed a lot of work on website / software development (albeit from the business or content side of the fence rather than the technical side) I’ve certainly been the lone woman in a fair few meetings. And the figures seem to bear out my impressions – women are still a bit of a rarity in ICT. 

* Figures in italics added in by me, as the ONS apparently doesn’t include numbers that fall below a certain threshold, and the UKRC spreadsheet didn’t explicitly include percentages. But the maths ain’t that hard to do.

** ICT Professionals = IT strategy and planning professionals + Software professionals

*** IT Service Delivery Occupations = IT operations technicians + IT user support technicians