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New UK Report on the economic value
Closing the gender gap in the UK digital economy

New UK Report on the economic value

Of closing the gender gap in the UK digital economy

In connection with Girls’ Nominet Nominet in the UK commissioned the economics consultancy Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) to present a research report on ‘Closing the Gender Gap’ to create an environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women in the UK to consider careers in IT.

The study draws on a survey of 527 business decision-makers in IT teams and IT companies conducted by Opinium Research between 21 March and 2 April 2014.

The key finding of the survey and the report are:

  • Only a third of ICT A-level students and less than a tenth of Computer Studies A-Level students are female. The imbalance remains at university, with girls accounting for only 19% of students taking computer science degrees. At present, only 9% of female students taking IT degrees go on to an IT career, compared with 26% of men.
  • Women currently make up less than one-fifth of the IT workforce – there are 139,000 women employed in IT-related roles in 2013, which is 19.1% of total employment in IT-related roles. Based on current trends, the IT gender gap is set to widen slightly over the coming years.
  • The research also found that 53% agree that women find working in technology jobs less attractive than men do. Of these, 60% of believe that the IT profession is still perceived to be male-dominated, and 33% think IT is not promoted enough as a viable career option for girls in school or college
  • 76% believe they lack suitably skilled staff in IT. Of these, 58% say this negatively affects productivity levels, estimating on average that productivity levels are 33% lower as a result.
  • If the gender gap is reduced and women filled the skills shortage in IT, the net benefit for the UK economy is estimated to be £2.6 billion each year.
  • 59% agree that their IT team would benefit from having a more gender-balanced workforce, while only 7% disagree. Improved communication skills (52%), improved staff morale (48%), and bringing new ideas to the organization (46%) were the most frequently cited benefits.