Three-quarters of women working in IT think men are offered more opportunities in the sector, according to a report from Spring Technology.
In a survey of men and women working in the IT sector, 53% of males said they believed both genders were offered equal opportunities, but only 23% of women agreed.
Also, 37% of women said they thought they had been passed over for promotion because of their gender.
On behalf of Spring Technology, Thomas International also investigated the differing behavioural characteristics of men and women in the tech sector.
It found that men displayed high levels of the characteristics associated with dominance – being assertive, inquisitive, self-starting, direct, results-driven – while women demonstrated higher levels of the characteristics associated with being influential – persuasive, talkative, demonstrative, optimistic.
Richard Protherough, managing director of Spring Technology, said the findings demonstrated both the significant gender imbalance that exists in the IT sector and the scale of the challenge for employers seeking to address it.
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“Employers are missing out on a huge pool of potential talent and women are missing out on highly rewarding careers in technology,” he said. “Employers need to recognise that they are at risk of recruiting to type and be vigilant against it in order to encourage more women into the sector.
“A change needs to come from within and IT functions need to ‘normalise’ women at the top by promoting a culture that advocates and supports the development and progression of women who are working in the sector.
“Those companies that lead the change and harness the skills that women bring to the table, placing as much importance on these as they do the more ‘male’ skillset, will ultimately win the battle for the best talent in the market but also reap the financial benefits.”
Belinda Parmar, CEO of Lady Geek, said: “This report shows that being proactive in encouraging young women into the IT and telecoms occupations is more crucial than ever. We can’t be complacent. We need to show girls that technology is the most creative career you can have.
“We need to tell our girls that if they want to change the world, technology is best way to do it.”