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Are there many women in the IT industry?

When considering a career in technology, women and girls often consider if there are many women in the IT industry already. Women are underrepresented in the Information Technology (IT) industry, both globally and in Australia. According to recent statistics, the proportion of females in the IT workforce varies widely depending on the specific job role and country, but consistently, they make up a minority of the industry.

Within the IT sector there are acknowledged challenges in workforce diversity. In recent years there has been a focus on women in tech and broadening diversity across the sector. This was highlighted in the most recent ACS Digital Pulse report:

In an industry where employers are regularly complaining about the lack of skilled workers, we have here what seems to be an easy win. As this year’s Digital Pulse shows, addressing diversity and inclusion issues in the IT industry is not just a moral imperative (although it certainly is that) – it’s a practical way of addressing skills shortages.

If we can build workplaces that support diverse workforces and flexible working conditions; if we can address common biases around age, gender, sexual orientation, neurodiversity and ethnicity; if we can ensure that the IT industry is welcoming of people of all types, then we can also do a much better job of retaining current workers as well as attracting new workers.

There is more to it, of course. The education system needs to be more supportive and capable of engaging girls, indigenous students, LGBTQI+ people and other people from diverse backgrounds into tech and STEM more broadly. We need to break down those gendered stereotypes in schools that drive women away from tech and encourage more female students to engage with technology in way that leads to life-long careers.

Source: ACS Australia’s Digital Pulse 2022

In Australia, women make up under a third (31%) of the IT workforce, according to the Digital Pulse 2022 report. However, this varies greatly depending on the type of role, being more heavily represented in project management and business analyst roles, while being underrepresented in more technical roles such as software developers and cybersecurity specialists.

What is being done to improve diversity in IT?

There are a number of initiatives aimed at improving diversity in the IT industry, both in Australia and globally. Initiatives range from targeted education and outreach, to initiatives aimed at creating a more inclusive workplace culture within the industry.

Despite efforts to improve diversity, there is a significant gender gap in the IT industry. The female population is underrepresented in leadership positions, experiencing a higher level of workplace discrimination and gender pay gaps compared to men. The IT industry, like many others, there is a long way to go in terms of achieving better diversity. Progress is being made. And there is growing recognition of the importance of diversity in the industry to drive innovation.

Networking with other Women

There are a range of specific women in technology groups which provide opportunitites to network or find a mentor. Here are some organisations in Australia that support and advocate for women in technology and IT:

  1. Girls in Tech Australia (GITA) – GITA is a non-profit organization that empowers, educates and supports women in technology. They run events, workshops and mentorship programs, and provide resources and networking opportunities to help women succeed in industry.

  2. Women in Technology (WiT) – WiT is a not-for-profit organization that aims to advance the careers of women in the technology industry. They host events, provide mentorship and networking opportunities, and offer training and development programs.

  3. Tech Girls are Superheroes – Tech Girls are Superheroes is a non-profit organization that encourages girls to pursue careers in technology and IT. They run programs and events to inspire and empower young girls to get involved in the tech industry.

  4. Women in STEMM Australia (WiSTEMM) – WiSTEMM is a network of individuals and organisations supporting advancement in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine. They provide resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities to help women succeed in these male-dominated fields.

  5. SheStart – SheStart is a start-up accelerator for women-led technology companies. They provide mentorship, training, and funding opportunities to help entrepreneurs succeed in the tech industry.

  6. Vic ICT for Women – Vic ICT for Women is a non-profit organisation that aims to support and connect women in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry in Victoria, Australia. They run events, workshops, and mentorship programs to help women succeed in the tech industry.

These are just a few of the organisations in Australia that support and advocate for women in technology and IT. By joining one of these organisations or participating in their programs and events, you can gain access to valuable resources, mentorship and networking opportunities to help them succeed in the tech industry.

The number of women in the tech sector will only grow, if we continue to support, develop and attract them into the industry. These groups do a fantastic job leading that advocacy and cultural shift.

 

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