Women in IT setting the record straight –

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Having been informed on more than one occasion of late that the issue of low representation for women amongst the IT professions is something somehow new/flying in the face of historical trends, over the past few days I have looked in to this to see if it is in fact true. The result, sadly I have to say, is that it is not – evidence for the halcyon days of a gender balanced IT workforce – pre PCs, pre naughties or whatever just do not appear to have existed in reality I’m afraid. Having checked the primary sources of labour market data for the UK it appears that the proportion of women working in IT roles over the past 40 years has remained virtually unchanged at just under 20% of the total – the earliest estimates (1981-2011 Census data) coming in at around 19% and the latest figures (BCS analysis of LFS data) showing the proportion in 2018 as 16%. In summary then, over the past 40 odd years, despite numerous programmes/ initiatives /funding streams being brought to play on the issue, to be blunt nothing has changed – as such, it would appear that, if real progress is to be made on improving the gender balance in IT then we need a new approach – what that might be though I just can’t say – maybe some answers in an email please!