Africa Technology

Is IT a sexist industry that’s getting worse?


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Are women encouraged to apply themselves to a career in ICT? This is a concern of the ICT industry; not only in South Africa and across Africa; but indeed globally. Are schools girls encouraged to take on maths and science as subject choices and then further their studies in the field of ICT?

In August of 2013; the Institute of Information Technology Professionals VP and director, Moira de Roche, released a statements in which she states that US statistics show while 56% of professional jobs are held by women, only 25% of IT jobs are held by women. In addition, a mere 5% of tech start-ups are led by women and 56% of women leave the IT industry for other jobs.

Statistics indicate that fewer women are choosing IT as a career; is it a result of sexism in the industry?

Roche went on to say that local (South African) statistics are for the most part, “pretty scant”, but adds that to the best of her knowledge, women comprise 55% of the total South African workforce, but only 20% of the ICT workforce. “And it’s a stark reality that fewer and fewer girls’ schools teach IT,” she says.

A potential reason for this is the stereotype that IT is a “hard” career path; or even an “unfeminine” profession for women.

This trend of women not choosing careers in IT is potentially a catastrophic one; as women bring a different point of view and way of thinking to the table.

What are your thoughts on the IT Industry’s make up in general? Do you think there is too much of a male bias and that women need to be encouraged into the industry?

Please let us know your thoughts and feelings in the comment box below and also by taking our poll below – we really would like to hear from you!

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