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Increasing number of female tech professionals recruited by UK firms

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On 10 March, Real Business published an interview with Alex Dupledge, the CEO of online domestic cleaning service Hassle.com and board member of the Sharing Economy UK, who explained her own experiences as a woman in the tech sector.

Indeed, there has been a lot of shock from VCs when they find out Alex is a woman, as is fellow co-founder and chief technology officer Jules.

Following that, IT recruitment firm Robert Half Technology has conducted a study that found 52 per cent of UK companies have increased the number of female IT professionals they’ve employed in the last five years.

UK chief information officers were asked what prompted the rise and 34 per cent said the growth of women in tech is being driven by mentoring programmes, 28 per cent said higher enrolment in tech education and 17 per cent said government schemes. 

The report also claimed 14 per cent of UK CIOs believe promoting the success of female IT leaders will be key to see more senior female tech professionals come to the fore – just one in seven of the top 100 CIOs in the UK, including: Christina Scott, CIO of the Financial Times; Catherine Doran, Royal Mail Group; and Carolyn Brown, Durham University.

Read more on women in tech:

Charlie Grubb, associate director at Robert Half Technology, said: “It’s encouraging to see that the number of female IT professionals is growing relatively quickly, although there is still some way to go before the gender balance is addressed at the most senior level of CIO. 

“The range of measures that businesses and government are taking to encourage more women into a technology career would appear to be paying off, though it’s interesting to see that mentoring is the number one driver. Mentoring is an effective strategy that all businesses can adopt to encourage more female employees to build confidence and take on more challenges.

“Having a role model who can advise on jobs, challenging situations and day-to-day decisions can help aspiring female leaders to take the next step in their careers. Furthermore, increased spending in IT coupled with expansion of TechCity and TechNorth will spell greater opportunity for tomorrow’s technology talent.”

Larger companies are seeing more growth of female IT professionals with 67 per cent, compared to 52 per cent of medium businesses and 38 per cent for small companies, suggesting larger IT teams and more opportunities for women in bigger businesses.

Additionally, private companies are more likely to have an increase at 59 per cent, compared to 55 per cent for publicly listed firms and 42 per cent for public sector organisations.

Seemingly more still needs to be done to encourage women to want to move into technology, however – hairdressing leads the top ten list of young British women’s career aspirations.

Image via Shutterstock.

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