Computer says no: Women still face an uphill battle to prove their worth in IT

Hayley Kirton
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There are walls to break down for women in IT (Source: Getty)

Women hankering after a career in IT are still struggling to prove their worth, research out today has found.

Over half (57 per cent) of the IT directors surveyed by recruitment firm Robert Half said a major barrier to entry for women in the profession was proving their competence.

A similar proportion (54 per cent) pointed out that women faced hurdles in challenging stubborn stereotypes, while a third (30 per cent) noted earning respect was still a problem.

A mere eight per cent felt women working in IT faced no challenges.

IT directors also had little faith in the industry's gender balance improving any time soon, with slightly less than half (47 per cent) believing, while the gender split for staff level roles will equal out in the future, men will still hold most of the leadership roles.

Read more: STEM subjects hold the key to reducing the gender pay gap

A more optimistic quarter (25 per cent) believed that the number of women would be on a par with the number of men across the industry at wide in the future.

"The insights a balanced workforce can provide in terms of perception, collaboration and problem solving can be beneficial for the overall success of any initiative," said Neil Owen, director at Robert Half Technology. "The first hurdle to achieving this, as our research suggests, is getting to that stage within the technology industry may take some years.

"This will require a commitment to providing female IT professionals the support they need thrive – whether it be through networking opportunities, strong mentorship or training opportunities – we need a solution that enables the technology sector to grow the available pool of talent."

Read more: What does a gender pay gap say about your business?

Sara Newman, operations director at UK technical consultancy Amido, added: "The shortage of women in IT is alarming. That’s not to say there isn’t a challenge for skilled IT professionals overall, but the number of women is far lower than it should be."

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