Onecom joins IT sector gender diversity campaign

Whiteley-based Onecom is joining forces with other organisations to increase the number of females taking up technology roles in the UK.

The Tech She Can Charter has been founded to tackle the factors behind the shortfall of women in technology roles.

Currently only 23% of people working in STEM jobs are female. PwC's research Women in Tech: Time to Close the Gender Gap reveals that only just over a quarter (27%) of females say they would consider a career in technology, compared to 62% of males. And only 3% of females say it is their first choice of career.

The reasons why female students aren't considering technology roles include - because no one is putting it forward as an option to them, they aren't given enough information at school about what working in technology involves, and a lack of female role models.

Without coordinated action at school age onwards to create a sustainable pipeline of diverse tech talent, the Tech She Can signatories believe the UK could lose its competitive edge on the world stage.

This could mean not being able to meet businesses' technology skills needs, losing out on inward investment and creating inherently biased algorithms.

Parysa Hosseini-Sech, Head of Human Resources at Onecom, said: "The gender imbalance in technology roles is a key issue of our time that we need to work together to address head on.

"We're already seeing the huge impact technology is having on our lives. If the sector and people in technology roles don't reflect wider society there's a real risk that the products and technology advances will be biased.

"The demand for technology skills from businesses is already reaching critical levels and is only set to increase. This is our chance to build a diverse and inclusive pipeline of technology talent, which will help position UK businesses at the forefront of innovation and investment in the future.

"By working together we can reach more females at an earlier stage of their lives. We need to work harder to raise awareness about the exciting range of technology roles out there, in a sector that has the power to change the world.

"Promoting visible and relatable role models is a huge part of this, as it's hard for girls to aspire to be something they can't see."