Increasing the number of women in digital jobs is an urgent priority to ensure the diverse mix of skills the tech industry needs to benefit society and the economy – according to the latest book to be published by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.
Women in Tech – by Gillian Arnold, Hannah Dee, Clem Herman, Sharon Moore, Andrea Palmer and Shilpa Shah, a practical guide to increasing gender diversity and inclusion, acknowledges that the technology industry is not diverse and gender inclusive. The book tackles the gender imbalance in technology professions offers expertise, initiatives and true stories to support those wishing to bring greater gender diversity into the workplace. It aims to inform regarding background, theory and policy; advise on concrete actions that can be undertaken, and to be an exemplar for companies, organisations, establishments and campaigns in the form of real-world case studies.
Editor Gillian Arnold said: “There is a real skills-based need to act now in the industry and the technical professions. In the UK, the proportion of women in technology roles has remained stubbornly beneath 20% for the last twenty years. Women have also been the ones to take on the majority of the caring responsibilities during the COVID-19 lockdowns, and consequently their jobs and prospects have suffered.
She continued: “This book lays out some of the sound business reasons that organisations can use to ensure that their whole workforce, from executives through coders, tech specialists and design engineers, recognises and upholds the benefits of diversity and inclusion. It also looks at the support and encouragement available to girls and young women who want to pursue a technical career and outlines the work that is being done on this in schools, universities and colleges, and at a nationwide level.”
“It focuses on the steps required to establish projects to attract and retain women in the technology workforce, and drill down into specific activities for both areas. We look at the biases that have led careers in technology to be discounted for women and how we can counter these. And we offer sound and pragmatic ways to set up a project to increase the numbers of women in technology in workplaces and institutions.”
Kay Hussain, CEO, Women Into Science and Engineering (WISE) added: “This book is a positive step forward for gender diversity and looks forward to practically supporting the reader to improve gender balance in their organisation. With WISE Ten Steps™ we have a recommended and practical programme that is proven to be impactful. Together we all can successfully address the challenge and thereby benefit individuals, families, communities and the country.”