So today happens to be International Women’s Day, which has been a hot topic in our office today. Well when I say hot, I saw the Google Doodle and curiosity always gets the best of me. Firstly, I just found out that it is an official holiday in countries such as Moldova (women only!), Russia, Angola, Vietnam and Zambia! I should be at home really. In other countries women get gifts from their employers *cough*.
Why is it a topic of conversation, you might ask? Well our team is actually split equally; 50% males and 50% females and our dynamics work pretty well.
Historically, the first known International Women’s Day took place in 1909 and was organised by Clara Zetkin who was a German socialist and theorist. Back then it was actually called International WORKING Women’s Day back then (I’m so glad they changed that!). The United Nation’s theme for today is called “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step it Up for Gender Equality”.
This actually made us at Blues Point think: what are the current statistics of women in the IT and Computing industry? Looking at the past year, just under 15% of permanent placements we have made have been women. This is actually a drop from previous years, the highest being a third of all permanent placements being women.
It made me think if there has been a shift somewhere? Are women currently not on the market? Are fewer women graduating in computers or IT?
Here’s what I discovered:
- Fewer women are studying Computer Science.
56% of university students in the UK are female (Women in STEM by IET 2012-2015). According to UCAS, the number of women studying computer science degrees at UK universities has fallen compared to five years ago. 17.4% of those women are computer science undergraduates.
- Women represent 27% of the workforce.
However, only 13% (639,000) are in Stem (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). 15% of these are ICT professionals. The most popular occupations for women are lab technicians, biochemists, teachers and financial analysts.
- Women are scared of barriers.
Increasingly, women within STEM are less likely to take career breaks for any reason because of the difficulty they may feel they will face when they want to return. 70% of women are anxious to take these breaks.
As a recruiter, I firmly believe that gender does not determine a candidate’s ability or lack thereof to do a job or be successful in their career. Professionalism, character and technical skills go much further in the IT industry than gender. We fully understand people may have perceptions and might unconsciously think a certain way, but getting an understanding as to why a candidate is looking for work or what motivates them always puts you in better stead than just a CV coupled together with an interview. Personality Profiles are very telling, I did one before I joined the team and could not argue about anything it said about me. I admit sarcasm runs deep in my blood!
What I certainly know is that that our team benefits from the fact that we have a mixture of women and men, so I’m pretty much supporting the UN initiative. I think today would be the best time to appreciate the women around you and their oh so impressive multi-tasking skills that they are born with! (evidence of such pending from a report funded by Blues Point!).
Some interesting articles on women in the industry are below.
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