So are there any woman in technology?

On first impressions, you may argue no. But on looking into it, well then yes there are, but just not as many as men (17% of the IT workforce  in the UK is female). There's no doubting the fact that the balance is not an even one, but is that actually the most important question?

Surely the pertinent question is are the women who want to be working in technology working in technology? Could the disparity be present because it's not as appealing to women en mass? The uptake on technical courses at all levels of education still appears to be lower from women (and hasn't increased for over three decades), so it could simply be an issue of choice, a choice based on a misperception of the opportunities and scope a career in IT can offer. There still remains the age old perceptionthat IT is an industry full of geeks. A vastly inaccurate perception.

Whilst scouring the web for evidence and arguments surrounding my question, I couldn't help but notice that there was a lack of women suggesting that there route into technology had been hard or that there just weren't the opportunities. There are many articles however, discussing how few woman there are.

I previously worked as a Graphic Designer, which, although now the balance appears to be redressing itself, at the time was predominantly male. However, this never caused me any problems, it never made it a harder career to progress in, it was just simply top heavy.

I would conclude that, yes there are fewer woman taking the IT route through education and into their careers, that's a proven fact, but I would in my opinion also conclude its because of the perception of theindustry, not because of any gender barriers, and this needs to be addressed at an education level through awareness. Children are now exposed to technology from a very young age, they simply perhaps don't appreciate the exciting world they could be part of in creating the technology which sustains our society.

Is the industry missing out because of the lack of collaboration between male and female workers? Yes, undoubtedly, which is one of many reasons that the issue should be tackled.

So my question to you is, how would you rebrand the IT industry to make it more appealing to a gender balanced workforce?

Chris Parsons