Women are still struggling to get a foothold in the IT industry, according to research from PwC.
The UK came 16th for gender equality across industries and all OECD countries in the bean counters' "Women in Work" survey – with Iceland and Sweden holding on to the top two spots.
Luxembourg has made the most progress since 2000, from 23rd position to 5th, while Ireland jumped from 25th place to 14th and Poland from 19th to 8th. If all OECD countries matched Sweden's levels of female employments, GDP would be boosted by $6tn, the consultancy claimed.
For the technology sector, researchers found that 30 per cent of IT jobs are held by women, which might not sound great but is pretty much double what other surveys have found. Back in 2017, the British Computer Society found 17 per cent of IT jobs were occupied by women.
In 2018, The Reg reported a tech and telecoms pay gap between men and women of 18.6 per cent.
The PwC survey also found an 18 per cent pay gap in the tech industry, perhaps in part because women are occupying just 23 per cent of boardroom chairs in tech, media and telecoms firms.
One in five information and communication technology graduates are now female across the G7.
The company offered four suggestions to improve the situation:
- Develop the pipeline of female talent by partnering with schools and colleges to "educate and inspire" young women with the delights of a career in IT
- Attract women into the industry by offering gender-neutral job adverts and gender-balanced recruitment teams
- Foster an inclusive workplace culture with mentorship and networking to improve the situation for existing female staff as well as attract more female recruits
- Provide opportunities for development by offering training and education
Of course, PwC could be advised to take some of its own advice. The firm was one of the big four accountancy companies named in a a lengthy FT investigation last year which revealed cultures of bullying and harassment, and serial failures to support those who complained. ®