It comes as no surprise that the Australian IT industry is still wading its way through a seemingly impassable skill shortage. While this is slowing progress in some sectors, there is a silver lining - the increase in women working in technology.
The IT industry has long been a domain for men with few opportunities for skilled and qualified women. However, according to recruitment firm Robert Half, changes are afoot.
As part of its Women in IT survey, Robert Half revealed insight from 900 chief technology officers and chief information officers. These representatives came from across the world, including Australia.
Division Manager of Technology at Robert Half, Bansrii Shah, explained that many women come to IT from a background in another industry. However, as the digital transition continues, the skills are easily transferable.
"The digital economy is transforming every sector, so if you couple your passion in sport, food, retail or any other area, and have the IT skills, you can now combine that with a career in technology," he said.
"Technology is no longer a male dominated sector and new opportunities, particularly in the innovative, creative digital space, are increasingly seeing women enter this market."
Positive Australian result
Close to two-thirds (65 per cent) of Australian businesses have employed more women into their technology positions since 2010. This figure was well above all other countries involved in the survey including the UK (52 per cent), Singapore (49 per cent), Switzerland (48 per cent) and France (42 per cent).
Additionally, Australia positioned significantly higher than both Germany (36 per cent) and Japan (31 per cent) which are both countries that have proud equal opportunity employment histories.
While the statistics in the Australia's Digital Pulse report released by Deloitte Australia and the Australian Computer Society (ACS) don't exactly provide the warm feelings that Robert Half's did, it does highlight the overall picture of women in IT.
According to the report, just 28 per cent of all ICT workers are women. This is compared to the professional workforce where the balance is more even (43 per cent).
Deloitte and the ACS discussed reasons why women don't move into or stay in the technology industry for as long as hoped. This included the perception of a lack of flexibility and the narrow image of progression.
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