It’s old news that women, by in large, have been underrepresented in the information technology industry for decades.
Unlike in many other fields, this misrepresentation is not just for corner office, top managerial positions, but from the ground up. Positions that range from entry level to chief executive officer are taken by men. Some argue that this isn’t so much a fault of the industry, but is the effect of the decreased number of women entering science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.
Percentage of women in IT industry grows
Regardless of the reason for the imbalance, the fact that men so outnumber women in the IT sector is common knowledge. However, that may all change soon. For the first time ever, the majority of the jobs created in the IT sector this year have been filled by women, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics analyzed by Dice.com.
During the first nine months of 2013, about 39,000 jobs were created in the industries labeled “computer system designs and related services” by the federal government. According to Infoworld, of those newly created jobs, about 60 percent went to women – a drastic increase from the 34 percent for all of 2012. This is a trend that staffing and recruiting professionals have to monitor closely to ensure their staffing and recruiting software database reflects the change. Over the last decade, there have been about 534,000 jobs created in this industry and about 30.8 percent have been filled by women.
“Companies have been focusing on getting more women into technology for a long time. This year those efforts appear to be paying off – with 60 percent of new tech jobs created in 2013 filled by women, according to government statistics. To have the best tech organization, companies want to pull from the entire talent pool and we need to do more to get young girls thinking about technology careers early and often. That’s why Dice is supporting efforts like Code.org and Donors Choose to reach the next Marissa Mayer and may there be many of them,” said Shravan Goli, President of Dice.
Positive change in the tech industry
The figures about the relative increase in percentage of women hires in the technology sector have everyone talking. Some question whether this is an outlier year or if it demonstrates the changing values of the industry and the emergence of greater equality. Infoworld reports that one interesting fact for staffing and recruiting professionals to know from the data is the number of women hired in the tech industry for the first nine months of 2013 is the same as past years – it’s the number of men hired in the industry that has declined in comparison to previous years. So far researchers and industry experts don’t have any theories as to why there is a decline in men being hired, while the number of women filling new positions has stayed the same. This change is another that needs to be monitored closely with staffing and recruiting software, if your agency hopes to place the correct ratio of qualified employees.
“Is this really positive change? It’s too early to say,” said Elizabeth Ames of the Anita Borg Institute, an advocacy group for women in tech, according to the news source. “But we are seeing more awareness of the issue and seeing leaders in the technology business realize it is an imperative to bring women into tech workforces.”
Overall, as employment in this industry continues to increase as the nation recovers from the recession, staffing and recruiting professionals will see more and more clients asking for qualified candidates. Regardless of the reason, more of these hires may be women in the near future, if this trend continues. So recruiters may want to consider who is filling their staffing software and recruiting software database and see if there’s a rise in women being hired by clients.