10 things we learnt from the latest ‘women in technology’ survey

Some good, some rubbish

By Christobel Hastings July 27, 2015

Mortimer Spinks – in association with Computer Weekly – have just launched their 4th annual Women in Technology Survey, to investigate diversity within the tech sphere. And we’ve had a good nosy at the results.

The 2015 survey represents the views of 4,146 technology professionals and was launched at Computer Weekly’s ‘50 Most Influential Women in Tech‘ event. The event aims:

“To focus on the role of women in tech, to recognise the most influential role models and to discuss the vital part that female IT leaders play in the UK’s high-tech economy”.

So how far have we come in the fight towards gender diversity?

1. The average percentage of women in technology teams is 14%, up from 12% last year – not a huge leap, but still progress.

2. 20% of women describe themselves as mid-level and 8% as junior, compared with 12% and 3% of men.

3. Meanwhile, only 22% of women would describe themselves as a senior team member as opposed to 31% of men.

4. 56% of participants believed women find working in tech less attractive than men. For the record, we disagree.

5. Women are significantly less likely to choose a career in contracting than men (25% versus 34%), despite the increases in flexibility that it offers. Mortimer Spinks estimate that only one in 10 contractors is female.

6. The average number of jobs before beginning a career in technology is 2.2. Interestingly, for women it’s 2.5 and for men 2.0 – suggesting women have to work harder and longer to get the same jobs.

7. When asked “Do you believe businesses should take a more open approach to cross-training individuals into technology-based roles from other disciplines?”, 87% of participants said “yes”. Which is excellent – diversity of backgrounds is vital and can bring much-needed fresh perspectives to the field.

8. 36% of men and 44% of women said that they associate the word “competitive” more with men than women.

9. More than a fifth of the industry have had or heard a conversation about gender balance in technology in the last week and almost two-fifths (37%) have in the last month – a promising move towards progress. As our Editor Holly mentioned in the Guardian last week, we can’t let ourselves get tired of talking about inequality.

10. Just 16% of participants were aware of formal initiatives to promote women into technology. Either we need more initiatives or more awareness – most likely both.

If you’d like to see the full results of the survey, you can request a free copy from Mortimer Spinks here.

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