The Institute of Coding - the body which is funded by the Government to the tune of £20 million - is launching a new campaign which aims to tackle stereotypes in the digital industry following a study which shows many youngsters are put off taking up careers in the sector by a perceived lack of diversity and inclusion.
In a study of 1,000 16- to 18-year-olds, the IoC found that more than half (56%) of respondents believe the industry needs to be more diverse and inclusive.
Meanwhile, 71% think the industry is made up of people solely identifying as heterosexual, 83% believe it is led by men, and 85% believe the majority of people working in the sector are not disabled.
Furthermore, over two thirds (70%) believe the industry is run entirely by those who are of white, British ethnicity, and over a third (34%) think there are unequal opportunities for women.
One in ten admit they are actively discouraged from pursuing digital education and jobs due to the lack of people that represent them.
IoC co-chair Jaqueline de Rojas said: "While some of these opinions echo what many people in the industry may already feel - what’s shocking is that these are the perceptions of young people who’ve yet to step foot in the industry.
"A reboot of our system starts with welcoming a fresh, more diverse cross-section of talent through the doors."
The campaign, dubbed CTRL Your Future, will first partner with DIGI-GXL, an inclusive community which looks to support women, trans and non-binary people who want to reshape the world of 3D digital fashion design.
Future collaborations also include London Gaymers, the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ gamer community, and STEMettes, a social enterprise which inspires young women to pursue digital careers.
De Rojas added: "CTRL Your Future will unveil just a few of the trailblazers across gaming, fashion and design who are already helping to reshape industry – calling on the next generation to get involved."
Events, panel workshops and short films will be rolled out over the coming months, promoting the diverse face of the industry, showing the creative opportunities that exist through emerging tech and calling for more young people to get involved.