International girls in ICT day: Research finds girls are still uninspired

Nominet UK has revealed some interesting figures, revealing how girls are still feeling uninspired to enter the IT industry.


Its REBRAND:IT research of 2,008 13-24 year old students found how girls still consider a career in IT a technical and male dominated.


Of those that had received IT training only 7% of males and 13% of females felt their education was “excellent.” Only 13% of females compared to 24% of males said they were inspired by their teachers to enter the IT sector.


Almost two thirds of girls (65%) report that their ICT education had no impact on their IT career aspirations at all.


Almost two thirds of females admitted that their experience of ICT education had no impact on their IT career aspirations.


17% females think of a career in IT as exciting, 36% as cutting edge and only 11% said they consider it to be boring. However, 50% believe it would be a very technical career path to take.


40% of females said a career in IT would be male dominated, but only 14% of males agreed with this.   


The figures found that only 10% of female students said they are interested in a career in IT, whereas 33% of male students said the opposite. However, 78% of females said they do aspire to careers in well-known tech companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Google. 78% of females said they would be interested in careers at such companies when chossing from a list including BA, Coca Cola, Ford and Nike.


Commenting on the research Lesley Cowley, CEO of Nominet, said: “It’s great to see that young women are attracted to the idea of working for well-known technology companies. However, the overall image of IT careers still need something of a rebrand. A career in IT can mean much more than a technical role.


“For the benefit of the digital economy, those of us in the industry, education and government need to work together to help inspire and cultivate greater balance and equality in schools and in the workforce.”


Karen Price, CEO of e-skills UK said: “We know that girls start to form negative perceptions of IT careers at a surprisingly young age.


“All the work we do is designed to show them how working in IT is exciting, challenging and rewarding and developing their IT skills could help them pursue a career in almost any field from music or journalism to business or sport.”


To coincide with International Girls in ICT Day Nominet is visiting Didcot Girls School in Oxfordshire today. Student there have spent the day listening to talks and taking part in activities to learn about the options available to them within IT.


Nominet’s chair baroness Rennie Fritchie said: “Times have changed but still too many companies in technology are recruiting from half of the talent pool because this industry is perceived to be the province of men. As a nation we should be addressing this.


“We are pleased to be supporting e-Skills CC4G programme as well as WITNET’s Girls in ICT day, both excellent initiatives to open the eyes of young women to the practical realities of a career in IT and inspire them to the wider range of possibilities available to them.”


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