Study: IT industry lacks female role models

Almost twice as many young boys considering working in technology than girls

Fewer girls are considering a career in IT because the industry doesn't have enough positive female role models.

According to a survey commissioned by Blackberry manufacturer Research in Motion, only 28 percent of girls aged 11 to 16 were considering working in technology, even though 90 percent of those surveyed described technology as 'cool'. In contrast, 52 percent of boys wanted to work in the field when they grew up.

According to Charmaine Eggberry, RIM's vice-president EMEA and creator of the Blackberry Women & Technology Awards, the problem is a lack of understanding about a career in technology.

"The technology industry and current employees of the sector need to work together to highlight the great opportunities that technology jobs can provide," she said.

The research also highlighted that 43 percent of boys and girls felt a career in technology was 'not exciting', while 30 percent described it as 'too geeky.' Pay is also seen as an important factor, with 75 percent of those surveyed saying they would be attracted to a career in technology if they felt there was a significant financial reward on offer.

Last week, an Australian study found that both young men and women are walking away from secondary school studies that could lead to careers in IT, with young women turning away faster than their male counterparts, according to the Dean of Charles Sturt University's Faculty of Education.

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Carrie-Ann Skinner

PC Advisor (UK)
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