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The prevalence of Gender Disparity in the UK Tech Industry

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According to a recent study by the Institute for fiscal studies (IFS), the issue of gender inequality is still present across a variety of industries, with men being paid on average 18% more than women in the same position; a trend which is particularly characteristic of the tech industry.

Despite the work of various initiatives such as ‘Women in tech’, coupled with increased efforts of recent UK Governments to break down these barriers, it seems likely that the problem of gender disparity will require a much stronger course of action; which is indeed something that Theresa May aims to deliver during her reign as Prime Minister.

The number of digital roles held by women in the UK currently lies at around 25% – a number which has failed to increase in comparison with previous years. The presence of women in top-tier positions is at an even lower level – just 9% – and so the lack of progress in tackling this issue is evident.

What are the underlying causes?

One of the fundamental causes of the gender gap in the tech industry is rooted within the education system. Despite 56% of all students in higher education being female, the number of females who study computer science represents just 17% of the total number in the UK. Research shows that if the same number of women studied computer science degrees, and these students entered UK businesses, the overall net benefit for the UK economy would be £103 million per year.

Furthermore, there is a clear lack of women in tech who serve as role models, meaning that the vast experience and expertise that those within the industry possess, is left underrepresented.

Is there an answer to the problem?

All of this makes a case for the fact that there needs to be greater incentive for women to enter the Tech world at the base level, whether by shining a little more light on successful female entrepreneurs in the digital industry or in fact by drawing the attention to the similarities between genders in the industry rather than the differences, which according to many may actually have an adverse effect in building even greater barriers of entry for women.

Sarah Bellis

Director – Bristol

Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarah-bellis-801b581