At the current pace of change it will take
until the economic gender gap is closed.
According to a report by The World Bank, women make up less than 40% of the total global workforce.
Of course, this number differs when you zoom in to specific countries or regions. For example, in the EU the employment rate for women of working age is 66.5 %. While the rate has improved over the years, it’s still less than men (78.1%) and women tend to be employed in lower paying jobs.
So, What About the Women in Tech Workforce?
We looked to the European Commission’s Women in Digital Scoreboard, a study to assess EU countries' performance in regards to women’s participation in the digital economy covering 13 areas including specialist skills, employment, internet usage, and internet skills.
Then, combining the WiD Scoreboard with findings from the Atomico study on The State of European Tech, we’ve compiled some interesting stats on the state of play for Women in Tech.
Out of the 13 indicators used in the WiD Scoreboard to measure participation, the study shows that there is a gender gap in all 13 with the largest gap being present in ICT specialist skills and employment.
Only 17% of ICT specialists are women.
Only 34% of STEM graduates are women.
Women in the ICT sector earn 19% less than men.
46% of women have reported that they have experienced discrimination in the European tech sector.
Just 22% of participants in tech-related Meetup events throughout the EU were women
In the Atomico report on gender composition by job title for Executive-level positions, the study found just 1 female Chief Technology Officer out of a sample of 175.
93% of the capital invested in tech companies went to all-male founding teams.
The figures in these two reports clearly show the existence of a gender gap in the tech industries and STEM fields. But why? What are the reasons behind the numbers?
Female Founder Investments
Girls Less Likely To Study STEM Subjects At School
Inequality in the workplace begins with inequality in the classroom. Research has shown that the gender stereotyping of STEM subjects such as mathematics and science has a direct link to fewer girls choosing the subjects in both high school and secondary education.
The fact that maths, physics and chemistry are perceived to be more ‘male’ subjects acts as a deterrent for some female students who would otherwise be interested. It also means that girls are less likely to be pushed forward in these areas.
A report by PWC on Women in Tech which looked at the experiences of 2,000 A-Level and university students in the UK confirmed that the view that the gender gap in technology starts at school and continues into further education and beyond.
Here are some of the key findings of the report:
- Just 16% of females in the study had been suggested a tech career compared to 33% of males.
- 83% of high school boys chose STEM subjects, compared to 64% of girls
- Only 30% of females had opted for a STEM subject at university, compared to 52% of the males.
- 27% of female students said they would consider a career in technology, compared to 61% of males.
- Only 3% of females say a career in technology is their first choice.
- Over a quarter of female students said they had been put off from a career in technology because it’s too male dominated.
According to data from European Union’s statistics agency, Eurostat, males graduating in science, mathematics, computing, engineering, manufacturing and construction, outnumber female graduates almost two to one.
Even though you have more females going into higher education, when it comes to STEM subjects, that is not the case. While the rate of females graduating in STEM subjects has been slowly increasing, which is encouraging to see, it’s not enough. According to UCAS data, just 35% of STEM students in UK higher education are women.
With the technology and digital transformation taking place, the number of programmes has increased and so has the number of male graduates meaning that little has changed when it comes to overall representation of female STEM graduates.