Why Australia Needs More Women in IT Roles
Gender diversity within the workforce is a recurring issue that Australia is yet to overcome despite major breakthroughs. However, gender diversity within the ICT sector still has a fair way to go with females only accounting for 28% of IT workers, as compared to the 45% across all other professional industries.
The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry is experiencing exponential growth, particularly in regards to the number of full-time roles that are continuing to open up. According to the International Data Corporation, ICT full-time employment will increase by 3.9% in 2020, continuing to grow throughout the forecasted period of 2019 – 2023. Cybersecurity is just one area within the IT sector that is in need of a greater talent pool in order to meet the nation’s growing needs. 3.5 million jobs are expected to open up by 2021 with statistics suggesting that cybercrime is set to triple over the next five years. In order for Australia to remain competitive, it is vital that there is diversity within the IT industry.
In order to reduce the gender gap within the IT sector, it is essential to determine why there is such a substantial gap to begin with. By doing so, it allows industry leaders and organisations to make appropriate changes to reduce the negative connotations associated with working in IT.
One of the main reasons behind the lack of diversity is due to the fact that the average earnings for females within the ICT workforce are 20% lower compared to their male counterparts. To explain the environment further, only 17% of females earn within the top pay bracket compared to 29% of males, despite holding the same education standards (at both Bachelor and Doctorate levels). It is important to note though that the pay discrepancies between genders is not due to women working part-time positions as the gap exists for those in full-time roles.
However, there is hope. Recent reports have found that the reason behind such pay disparities is due to the position gap between male and females. According to a report conducted by Dice, male and females have a tendency to gravitate towards different job roles and positions. Males are more likely to apply for more ‘technical’ roles whilst females opt for ‘softer’ technology roles. A shift is occurring within the ICT sector though as both government and ICT organisations are taking initiative into hiring females and shifting the previous male-dominated culture.
Benefits of having more women in IT Roles
Organisation’s Reputation & Performance
Diversity is important not only socially, but for business reasons too. According to a study conducted by McKinsey which looked into 366 public international companies, those who were more gender-diverse were 15% more likely to outperform those who weren’t. Why? Well males and females both have completely different sets of skills and talent that can be offered, so by limiting an organisation or an entire industry to be favourable towards one gender is considered as a major limitation.
Variety in Perspectives
Both genders have completely different sets of skills, opinions and perspectives to offer. By having an equal mix of genders within the IT sector, it will allow for new solutions and processes to be developed and implemented.
Increase in Creativity & Productivity
Workplace diversity assists in generating increased levels of both creativity and productivity. According to Forbes ‘research on creativity and innovation has been consistent in showing the value of exposing individuals to experiences with multiple perspectives and world views. It is the combination of these various perspectives in novel ways that result in new ideas popping up’. By having employees who originate from similar cultures or are the same sex, organisations (or in this case, an entire industry) are limiting themselves and their potential to grow.
Whether you are an employee interested in entering the ICT sector or you are an employer looking to expand your team, reach out to leading IT Recruitment Agency in Melbourne, Ai Group Talent Solutions. Being Australia’s premier digital recruitment agency, Ai Group has over 140 years’ experience in the Australian market. Contact Ai Group Talent Solutions and get started with your employment journey today.