TMT Predictions – Women in IT jobs

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TMT Predictions – Women in IT jobs

Fighting bias, bro-grammer culture and gender pay gap

Gender imbalance in IT has been recognized as an issue for many years. So has the number of women in IT increased? No. From educational pipeline to recruiting and retaining: there is still a lot of work to be done. But there is definitely hope on the horizon.

The educational pipeline

According to the Deloitte TMT Predictions 2016, fewer than 25 percent of IT jobs in developed countries will be held by women at the end of this year. This figure is similar to 2015, and may even be down, in spite of all the attention to gender imbalance in IT since 2005. For starters, there are clear problems in the educational pipeline. The Deloitte figures show that only 18 percent of US university computer science graduates in 2013 were women. In Europe and The Netherlands, the situation is hardly any better. Figures by the Dutch VHTO show that only 23 percent of all tech students are women, even though the total number of women in all studies is 51 percent.


Recruiting and promoting

Gender imbalance is not limited to education. Various studies from multiple countries show that both men and women are twice as likely to hire a man for an IT job as an equally qualified woman. Also, there are strong differences in pay and promotion. In the US, women in IT make about 80 to 85 cent to the dollar men make for the same job. Also, all around the globe, women claim they have been passed over for promotion because of their gender. This is often the result of unconscious gender biases.


Retaining

When it comes to retaining, women in IT roles are 45 percent more likely than men to leave in their first year – and in the following years. Potential issues beyond pay and promotion include a hostile or sexist ‘bro-grammer’ culture, expectations around not having children and lack of childcare. In The Netherlands there is an additional issue: Dutch women often prefer part-time jobs, while it seems that most IT jobs require a full-time commitment.


Winning girls over for IT studies

So there’s still a lot of work to be done before the gender imbalance in IT jobs will disappear. Fortunately, there is hope on the horizon. For instance, in the educational pipeline, more and more initiatives are started to win girls over to tech studies. Neelie Kroes, former Vice President of the European Commission, strongly supports computer programming in Dutch elementary schools. This will help fight stereotyping that girls lack programming skills or think that programming is boring. After all, studies confirm that code written by women has higher approval rating compare to men.


Inspiring

To inspire a new generation of female tech leaders, the Inspiring 50 foundation, a pan-European platform that identifies, encourages, develops and showcases women in leadership positions within the technology sector published their 2016 list of the 50 most inspiring women in tech on International Women’s Day, March 8th. The women on this list are all role models and show that women indeed can have impressive careers in technology.


Hack labs and unconscious bias programs

At Deloitte, we try to encourage women in IT jobs through different programs. We regularly organize hack labs for girls, to introduce them to professional hacking and cybersecurity, act as Ambassador of the books promoting Technology space as “cool” for girls (like “Project Prep”), and we have just set up a Women in Steam program. Also, we have run unconscious bias programs and our member firm in the UK is now running a pilot program that deletes the name, gender and university of new hires, in order to avoid bias and become a more inclusive and diverse organization.


More than just good intentions

In fact, we see that many organizations have put diversity and inclusion on the agenda. With unconscious bias programs as well as special programs for women and young mothers. And rightfully so. Because if the figures in TMT Predictions and other studies show anything, it is that diversity deserves more than just good intentions. It needs to be embedded into a company’s talent strategy as a program and adopted as a true challenge that has to be resolved. The results of the programs should be measured continuously, and consequences must be taken if current programs do not result in desired effects. Only then gender imbalance will diminish.


TMT Predictions

‘Women in IT jobs: it is about education, but also about more than just education’ is one of the Deloitte TMT Predictions for 2016 – the major trends that will impact your business. These predictions reveal the perspectives gained from hundreds of conversations with industry leaders, and tens of thousands of consumer interviews across the globe. Other predictions include e.g. cognitive technologies, virtual reality, VoLTE and VoWiFi, photo sharing, mobile ad-blockers, mobile games, and European football.

More info on the TMT Predictions:

More information on Women in IT jobs?

Do you want to know more on women in IT? Please contact Nathalie La Verge, Helena Lisachuk or Melissa Raczak

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