‘Geeky’ IT image puts women off

The number of women entering male-dominated professions is falling pathetically short of government guidelines, meaning more must be done to get females into the boardroom.

In particular, the IT sector is still failing to decrease the gender gap, despite there being a number of initiatives aimed at improving the number of women in this stereotypically male domain. And the main reason for this? The “geeky” male perception of IT is off putting.

That’s according to research by Technojobs, which quizzed female graduates as to why they hadn’t considered a Computer Science degree or IT in general as a career. As well as the off putting image associated with this line of work, many of those asked said the lack of female role models was also a deterrent.

Helen Bayram of Technojobs stressed that more needed to be done to inspire women to embark on IT-related careers.

“There has been a continued effort to create a balance between the genders in the boardrooms of the world’s largest companies, however, this seems to have overshadowed the importance of promoting the need for women to firstly tackle the male stereotypes that exist further down the ladder,” she said.

And while some efforts are being made to decrease the gender gap in general, we’re still a long way off. The percentage of female directors appointed to FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 boards has slipped in the last six months, for example.

Towards the end of 2012 there were 26 per cent and 29 per cent respectively, but this number falls way short of the 33 per cent target proposed by former UK government minister Lord Davies.

These numbers suggest that companies – and not only FTSE-listed or IT ones – need to cast a wider net to recruit women to head up their firm.

Blockages in the pipeline need to be removed and businesses must redouble their efforts to improve the recruitment and promotion of female employees.

As Vince Cable says, the argument for women in the boardroom is clear – they bring fresh perspectives, ideas and more. It’s not just about equality, it makes good business sense.


Posted by the Secret Businessman