More than half (52%) of UK businesses have increased the number of females working in IT roles over the past five years, according to research from Robert Half Technology.
The research revealed CIOs have put the growth down to mentoring programmes (34%), greater enrolment in technology education (28%) and government initiatives (17%).
In addition, 14% of CIOs said the most effective initiative in developing senior female IT professionals is through showcasing the current successful female leaders.
Larger companies reported a bigger increase in female IT workers, with 67% reporting a rise. A total of 52% of medium-sized businesses and 38% of small businesses reported growth.
More than half (59%) of private and publicly listed (55%) companies reported an increase, compared to public sector organisations (42%).
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Robert Half Technology associate director Charlie Grubb said it is encouraging to see the number of female IT professionals growing relatively quickly.
“Although there is still some way to go before the gender balance is addressed at the most senior level of CIO," he said.
“The range of measures that businesses and government are taking to encourage more women into a technology career would appear to be paying off, though it’s interesting to see that mentoring is the number one driver.”
The 2014 UK CIO 100 report revealed one in seven CIOs are currently women, with the top three listed as Financial Times CIO Christina Scott, Royal Mail Group CIO Catherine Doran and Durham University CIO Carolyn Brown.
Grubb said mentoring is an effective strategy that all businesses can adopt to encourage more female employees to build confidence and take on more challenges.
“Having a role model who can advise on jobs, challenging situations and day-to-day decisions can help aspiring female leaders to take the next step in their careers," he said.
"Furthermore, increased spending in IT coupled with expansion of Tech City and TechNorth will spell greater opportunity for tomorrow’s technology talent.”