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Research highlights growing divisions in UK IT industry

Published 22nd July 2015

There is no doubt that the digital industry continues to go from strength to strength. However, its progress around the world is hampered by the growing divisions in both skill shortages and gender disparity.

This issue was reaffirmed in recently released research from UK IT contracting recruitment firm The Candidate in its ‘Women in Digital’ report. Collecting the responses of 150 digital businesses across the north-west of England, the report highlighted the scope of the male-dominated work landscape and how it was impacting various roles.

Gender divide at every level of IT contracting

The Candidate discovered that men continue to dominate every level of the IT contracting market. A total of 156 per cent more men are placed in management roles, while only 18 out of the 150 businesses were led by women in senior management.

It was also found that 65 per cent of all contractors employed by the businesses were men – totaling over 4,000. 

Different roles, different genders

As part of the digital age, new roles are constantly being created. However, based on the results of the survey, there is even gender inequality here. 

Men were more likely to take on supposed technical jobs in relation to pay-per-click (PPC) and search engine optimisation (SEO), while women tended to focus on digital roles in marketing, social media, public relations and communication.

However, with this mind, The Candidate noted that they spoke to many women in digital roles who were very optimistic about the future. They said the key to growing women’s participation in digital roles is to promote equality and set up programs that help females feel comfortable leading from the top.

“If the weeks we spent collating this research has told us anything, it’s that digital is an exciting, dynamic and ever-changing industry to be in; jobs in digital are now hugely desirable and sought after,” The Candidate noted in a press release.

“We hope that our report goes some way in unveiling some of the issues that might be holding back this sector that has such huge potential.”

Australia’s IT jobs market

Gender equality is also something that Australia’s IT contracting will have to consider. According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, there is a 28 per cent wage gap between genders in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services category.

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