Despite the best efforts of Government, tech industry bodies and initiatives like the Female Lead and Women in Data, females in the technology industry still earn nearly a fifth less than their male counterparts, suggesting battles for equality rage on but the war is far from won.
According to this year’s PwC Women in Work Index, women make up 23% of the boards in technology, media and communications (TMT) in the G7 countries - the highest proportion was in France, at 38%.
Overall, women make up just 30% of the tech industry, while only one in five of ICT graduates are female.
For those in any doubt about the benefits of parity, however, the report claims that the 36 countries within the OECD would witness a $6 trillion (£4..6 trillion) boost to their GDP by increasing female employment rates to match those of Sweden.
The report also outlines the challenges still faced by women in the tech sector, such as gender biases, often stemming from the lack of female role models, which could also be attributed to women not having “the same access to core, creative technical roles as men”. Instead, female tech employees were “more often clustered into execution and project management roles”.
On the other hand, women were less susceptible than men to lose their jobs due to automation. However, that is mostly attributed to the fact that women are more often employed in the sectors such as health and social care, which are less automatable than male-dominated sectors, such as transport and manufacturing.
Researchers at PwC also found that women tended to lack the necessary technical knowledge, such as STEM-related skills and numeracy, “despite no gender differences in ability for learning these skills”, suggesting that the reason behind this might be cultural.
They added that companies should “promote opportunities for women and improve female representation in tech” by promoting inclusivity in the workplace, recruiting more female employees, and helping train the next generation of women in tech.