Is the 'geeky' image scaring women away from tech jobs?

By Brittany Ballenstedt

December 11, 2012

It’s long been known that women are underrepresented in IT jobs, including those in the federal sector. And many IT professionals agree that there are too few women employed in the industry, according to a new survey.

The survey of 336 IT workers by CWJobs.co.uk found that 77 percent of IT professionals believe there should be more women employed in IT jobs, TechRepublic reports. The fields where women are least represented are engineering and security, respondents noted.

Most women choose not to pursue a career in IT because of the perception that it is a male-dominated job and because of its “geeky” image, the majority of respondents noted.

But while most tech professionals hold the sentiment that there are too few women in IT, most believe introducing hiring quotas for female IT professionals is not the answer. For example, 71 percent said they oppose introducing hiring quotas for women. Instead, most prefer inspiring more women to pursue tech careers by promoting women with successful IT careers.

While the survey focused exclusively on IT professionals in the UK, the findings hold implications for tech hiring in the United States and the federal government. A report released last year by the Merit Systems Protection Board found that women remain relatively scarce in a few federal job fields including IT and engineering. The discrepancy stems largely from the fact that men outnumber women in science and technology-related degrees conferred each year, MSPB found.

Do you believe there are too few women in federal IT? What do you believe is the best method for improving the representation of women in IT jobs?


By Brittany Ballenstedt

December 11, 2012

http://www.govexec.comhttp://www.nextgov.com/cio-briefing/wired-workplace/2012/12/geeky-image-scaring-women-away-it/60086/