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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Women leaving technology jobs

Women are leaving the IT field, according to a Computing magazine article. The number of women IT workers dropped to 16 percent, down from 19 to 21 percent in 2000. The article did not say whether this was just women in the UK or if this was all women within the information technology field. We need to assume that they are talking about women in the UK only because it states that women represent 46 percent of the overall UK workforce.

"Some 61 per cent of database assistants and 42 per cent of assemblers of electrical products are female, compared with only 20 per cent of ICT managers, and 12 per cent of IT strategy or planning professionals," according to the article. "A woman needs to be demonstrably better than her male colleagues to succeed in the industry," said Catherine Doran of chief information officer at Network Rail, in the article.

The article, published late last year, did not provide many details of its "investigation." Therefore, we don't know how many people were surveyed. The article also did not mention how many of the women had children or how long these women had worked in IT before deciding to leave the field. A lack of flexible job options and longer hours were cited as the main culprits deterring women from the more senior jobs with greater responsibilities.


  1. This starts in school - we need more female engineering and CS majors. That's why programs like the Anita Borg Scholarship are so important.

  2. It's not just engineers and CS gals.......I loved working in technology - it was so exciting and exhilarating (I'm actually a CPA and parlayed that into internal controls, data security and software development). Unfortunately, the IT industry is not, I repeat NOT, family friendly. It's the very nature of the beast and not really its fault. When servers go down, when code breaks, when deadlines loom they don't care if you have to go home and pick up your kids. I witnessed years of co-workers struggling with that dilemma and therefore, I chose to just stay home full-time rather than struggle with not being able to give my 100%. My husband co-founded a technology company so I still haven't completely escaped the downside of IT.