Recent statistics show that women working in IT managerial positions are being paid almost 30% less than men*. To address this and the shortage of women working in IT, BCSWomen, part of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, is encouraging women to think about a career in IT by supporting a number of special events, including International Women's Day.
"The IT industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK but, at the moment, there are not enough women joining the profession," says Gillian Arnold, Chair of BCSWomen. "All of us use IT in our everyday lives but few women are responsible for the design and development. A number of the key IT employers are making steps in the right direction to recruit and retain women in IT. BCSWomen is committed to supporting these improvements and encouraging other organisations to do the same."
Women also only account for 19% of the UK IT workforce, falling behind other European countries such as Ireland and Italy**. BCSWomen believes that more needs to be done to highlight the benefits of the IT industry to other women and support those who may be returning to work after a career break.
Gillian Arnold states: "Women only make up 14.2% of the FTSE 100 boardroom***. This is a vast improvement on previous years but there is still a plethora of talented women, particularly in IT who could be working at a more senior level. Those working in the most senior IT roles require a hybrid of skills a combination of technical and softer skills to manage the demands of today's business model and the right candidates can come from a range of backgrounds."
BCSWomen is currently working with various employers in the public and private sectors to help them better understand the importance and benefits that come with a more diverse workplace.
The late Karen Sprck Jones, when interviewed in March 2007, after being awarded the BCS Lovelace Medal said: "I think it's very important to get more women into computing. My slogan is: Computing is too important to be left to men."
This year's Lovelace Colloquium taking place on 12 April, being held at Bath University. BCSWomen is also holding a number of other events across the country in support of International Women's Day (8 March 2012).
*(29.5%) 2011 National Management Salary Survey, Chartered Management Institute
**Women in IT Scorecard 2009; BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT; e-Skills; and Intellect
***Women on Boards 2011; Cranfield University