The digital sector is one of the most rapidly developing in the world. Digital skills are now an inherent part of working life, with more roles being created than there are people to fill them. The demand is ever-present, but the supply is falling short. The digital skills gap is at a critical point, and who better to fill them than the women of the world?
This International Women's Day we want to take some time to promote the importance of gender balance in the UK technology sector. At Corsham Institute, our work is dedicated to improving digital skills for everyone and ensuring that we can all succeed and thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Statistics currently show, however, that women account for only 17% of the UK tech workforce. Further to that, only 5% of leadership positions in this sector are held by women.
These figures aren’t acceptable in today's society, and at Corsham Institute we're working to create serious change.
How are we encouraging #balanceforbetter?
We recently announced our exciting new partnership with global recruitment agency Harvey Nash as part of their Future Skills Programme.
The Future Skills Programme looks to take full advantage of the Government's Apprenticeship Levy Scheme, training (and retraining) the next generation of data specialists and software engineers in order to fill a significant skills gap.
As part of this collaborative effort, Corsham Institute will work with employers to create opportunities for new and existing staff to upskill and develop their digital abilities through a supported 12-week training programme. This will offer a fantastic opportunity to recruit a diverse talent pool, highlighting new and exciting prospects in this rapidly developing field, and allowing us to continue with our commitment to addressing the gender imbalance in the digital technology workforce.
We've also made great strides working with DOT Project, as we complete our discovery phase to explore the primary challenges faced by women looking to enter, return, or retrain in the technology sector, and how we can work with employers to address and overcome the gender imbalance.
Let's flip the conversation.
It's time to change the way we think about the gender gap in technology.
We don't want to waste anymore time questioning why there aren't enough women in the technology sector. Instead, we want to harness the experiences of those who have found their calling in the tech workforce to inspire others.
Let's celebrate the wonderful women who are thriving in digital roles. Creating profiles of prominent women in tech will offer an insight into what makes these jobs so interesting and important, whilst also presenting key skills that are developed and utilised in this sector. It's vital that we broaden the view of what a role in the tech industry looks like. Whether in data analytics, software development, cyber security, or even user experience design, there are so many opportunities available, and we believe this is where the focus should be.
By highlighting the efforts of women in these roles and the skillsets they attribute, we hope to inspire the next generation of digital technology specialists, from all walks of life, to pursue an exciting career in the sector.
This blog was written by Junior Researcher, Natalie Blight.