Record numbers of women in IT - but black women still under-represented, new research finds
More women than ever are working in IT roles across the UK (326,000 in total) and now make up a record 20% share of the specialist IT workforce – according to new analysis from BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.
The proportion of women in specialist computing roles increased to its highest ever level this summer, rising to 20% from 17% at the same point in 2019, the professional body for IT found.
Over the past year there has also been a small increase in the percentage of black women working in IT positions, from 0.3% in 2019 to 0.7% in 20201, according to BCS’ study based on Office for National Statistics (ONS) employment data.
However, black women are still heavily under-represented in IT and, by comparison, across other occupations their level of representation is 2.5 times higher.
As a whole, there were 31,000 black people working in IT positions across the UK in the second quarter of the year – 1.9% of the total IT specialist workforce.
Julia Adamson, Director for Education at BCS, said:
“The UK economy needs a diverse IT industry to turbocharge its recovery and these figures are an important milestone for women in tech.
“The sector is certainly doing better at attracting the range of skilled professionals it needs, supported by long term increases in women taking the subject at A level and applying for Computer Science degrees.
“But there is still some way to go towards true equality in our field; Black women make up less than one percent of IT specialists. Professionals from a range of ethnic backgrounds tell us that diversity can still feel like a box-ticking exercise and that managers need to do more to understand the experiences of the people they lead. Continuing to close the diversity gap is key to an IT industry that is professional, highly skilled and ethical.”
1 – Four quarter averages taken from the ONS Labour Force Survey till June of each year
Latest News from
Tight guidelines needed to make sure new Online Safety law is a success, says professional body for IT13/05/2021 15:43:00
The government needs to be clear about what makes online material harmful, if new laws are to be effective, says BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.
BCS celebrates 50 years of Distinguished Fellows award with call for diversity in nominations13/05/2021 09:20:00
The professional body for the IT Industry is marking the 50th anniversary of its Distinguished Fellowship award, whose previous recipients include Sophie Wilson, who helped design the BBC Micro-computer.
Queen’s Speech: Adult skills boost a step in the right direction says BCS12/05/2021 12:05:00
Government plans, outlined in yesterday's Queen's Speech, to introduce a Lifetime Skills Guarantee, is a significant step in the right direction to address the digital skills gap, says the professional body for the IT industries.
NHS app is the right choice for UK travellers to prove their COVID status, say IT professionals03/05/2021 09:20:00
Adapting the NHS app to allow UK travellers abroad to prove their COVID status is the right decision by government, IT industry experts say. The app currently used to book GP appointments and access medical records can be effectively upgraded because it is open source and supported by NHS staff, according to BCS The Chartered Institute for IT.
Social media must verify users’ ID to end online abuse - IT industry poll29/04/2021 13:05:00
Social media should require users to verify their identities, to combat anonymous racism, homophobia and other abuse targeted at minorities and vulnerable groups, according to a poll of the IT industry.
New EU AI regulations demand a ‘fully professionalised tech industry’ - Institute for IT21/04/2021 16:15:00
Tough new EU rules on using AI in high risk situations will require organisations to meet unprecedented standards of ethics and transparency, the IT industry’s professional body has warned.
Zoom star Jackie Weaver and Institute for IT call for online council meetings in England to be made legal15/04/2021 12:10:00
Britain’s best known local council figure, Jackie Weaver and the professional body for IT have together called on the Government to make online council meetings legal, post-lockdown.
Increased need for algorithms to be ethical by design in the workplace, says BCS25/03/2021 14:10:00
BCS has responded to a report by the TUC that raises concerns about the lack of legal safeguards to protect staff from unfair treatment due to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace.