The number of women working in IT has fallen dramatically over the past five years to a low of 16%, a DTI sponsored study shows.
The research, published by Intellect, shows that many of the women employed in the IT sector are in the lower skilled, lower paid areas of the industry rather than more professional and technical positions.
The decline will raise questions about the effectiveness of recent programmes by government and industry organisations to encourage more women into the profession.
“There are good initiatives, but these clearly have not been pervasive enough or resulted in the necessary improvements,” Carrie Hartnell, Intellect programme manager said.
The study benchmarks the UK against the rest of Europe, Canada, Australia and the USA, ranking it number seven for the proportion of women in technical roles.
The USA, Canada, Ireland, Hungary and the Scandinavian countries employ the greatest proportion of women.
Gill Arnold, chairwoman of Intellect’s Women in IT Forum said that the “old boy network” in IT was excluding women and ignoring their skills.
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