back to article Report: Women make up just 17% of IT workforce, paid 15% less than men

Fewer than one in five IT workers in the UK are female and those that do carve a living from the industry are paid – on average – 15 per cent less than men, a study by the BCS has found. In its latest Diversity Report, the Chartered Institute for IT looked at the make-up of IT professionals, the nature of their employment and …

  1. John 104

    OK, 17% of IT are women. How many women vs men are actual applicants to work? That would be your telling factor on whether there is hiring discrimination. Otherwise its a useless number. Maybe there are only 17% because there are not that many women candidates. You can't make someone pursue IT just because you see a perceived defect in numbers... IT isn't for everyone. It is thankless work for the most part and requires an interest in the nuts and bolts of software and hardware that most people don't have. So tired of these reports.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      A confounding factor may be the applicant's required qualifications. If you can't get the entry level jobs, then you can't get the experience to apply for the higher level jobs - there's a filter on applications as well as a result of that. There's a temporal component to the workforce availability. Point is definitely taken, though. This is a crude analysis.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Of course it's a crude analysis. These stupid figures always are and as soon as you dig down it turns out that the picture is complex and it goes a bit further than 'Evil Patriarchy Is Oppressing Womxnhood'.

        But that doesn't sell copies of the Guardian and feed the Rage of the Twitter mob, does it?

    2. Peter2 Silver badge

      When hiring the number of women applying for jobs is always a tiny fraction.

      Generally the people getting paid silly amounts are those whom:-

      1) Know a peice of software or protocol to such a degree that people will pay them whatever they want to fix a problem.

      2) Wrote a peice of software or protocol and people will pay them whatever they want to have some development done.

      3) Know so much about how a system works in an organisation that the organisation will pay them very good money to stay there because they'd have to hire 2+ other people.

      4) Are willing to put in absurd numbers of anti social hours to get a job done.

      None of the things above are inpacted by being female and with the exception of some pervy young staff who don't usually encounter women elseware I don't think there is much of a discrimination problem in IT. Generally nobody cares as long as your competent. Computers are after all incapable of discrimination.

      There is however an undeniable shortage of woman willing to work in our sector, which is likely to do with it being a pretty awful working enviroment requiring a lot of time worked out of hours which most sane people tend to want to spend with their families. Companies generally want maintenance done when people aren't using the system, which is pretty much the definition of unsocial hours.

      1. InNY

        "4) Are willing to put in absurd numbers of anti social hours to get a job done."

        "...which is likely to do with it being a pretty awful working enviroment requiring a lot of time worked out of hours which most sane people tend to want to spend with their families"

        these two points also explain why there are so few women in nursing or any of the other caring professions. /sarc

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nice ideas can't beat market forces. Female employees are often less desirable for employers. You would need for starters to make say maternity leave of zero cost and zero impact to employers (especially small businesses) for that ever to change.

    4. goldcd


      I'd also be interested to see how this breaks down internationally.

      I work for a UK company that was bought by an Israeli one, with a large Indian offshore development centre.

      My UK office is still at maybe 95% male in technical roles - but in 'the mothership' and offshore, maybe 2/3 male - still not equal, but massively different from the UK.

      If I had to guess why it's simply that IT is thought of as 'a decent job' and doesn't have the same stigma attached.

    5. JcRabbit

      These myths that try to induce you into thinking that women are *still* being discriminated in this day and age have been more than debunked already: if there are only 17% of women in IT is simply because they prefer doing other things. In very pro-women countries like Norway and Sweden were women are totally free and indeed encouraged to go for professions typically associated with men, they STILL prefer otherwise. Men and women are different, live with it.

      As for the salary discrepancies, if women were indeed much cheaper labor than men, sane companies would *only* hire women: they would save A TON of money. No, people - men and women - get paid in proportion to their competence and time given to the job. So either women are just not as competent as men (they are!) or they are simply not willing to invest as much time as men usually do because they prioritize raising their families and taking care of their children (as it should be!).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        They ASSUME discrimination

        The problem for the haters is tgat they cannot admot that men and women are intrinsicly different, like different things, are good at different things.

        So they are taught in their countless wimmins studies courses that any difference MUST be due to discrimination, and Something Must Be Done.

        Meanwhile 2/3 of medical students are women ( and 80% ! of vets ), but the feminazis are very quiet with that.

        Stop sexism, enjoy our differences, love one other.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: They ASSUME discrimination


          Are you illiterate or just too embarrassed to read your post after spouting such total shit?

          My sister was one of the first female chartered engineers in her subject field and I know plenty of other highly qualified, intelligent women who can out think most men. It is men like you who give the rest of us a bad name because you think that they are superior to women (because we're 'different') and cause these problems and as your final 'stop sexism' comment shows, are too stupid to even realise what they're saying. There is no biological reason for women to not do well at IT. I'd hazard a guess that the reason why women are over representative in health professions etc and not IT is because they don't want to work in an industry dominated by sexist cretins like you who think that women are intrinsically unable to do the job and reflect this in how they deal with women on a day to day basis.

          1. JcRabbit

            Re: They ASSUME discrimination

            @ Anonymous Coward > It is men like you who give the rest of us a bad name because you think that they are superior to women.

            See, the problem with people like you is that you like to put words that were NEVER there in the first place. You're the type of person who labels everything you don't agree with as 'hate speech'.

            All he said is that men and women are different. That is, at the very least, a biological FACT! If you try to dispute that you'll be the one being illiterate and spouting total sh*t. There are also some very valid and useful reasons WHY men and women are different - if there weren't, nature would have made us all hermaphrodites.

            Because men and women are different, each group excels in different areas, has different likes, and different motivations - they complement each other! As with everything, there are overlaps and exceptions: just because your sister loves IT does not mean MOST women love IT. Because most don't. It's not that they can't be good at it, it's just that they prefer to do other things.

            What are you going to do? FORCE them to go into IT so women fit neatly into what *your* idea of the world is or should be? Your reason for women preferring to work in health professions just proves how deluded and brain washed you are with your ideology. You sir, are the one giving men - and women!!!! - a bad name.

            Instead of repeatedly trying to fit square pegs into round holes, which is nothing short of lunacy, just accept the differences - it's actually a GOOD thing.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: They ASSUME discrimination

            When one calls out the feminazis' bullshit, the usual response is, pathetically, ad hominem attacks like yours.

            The facts support normal peoples' position - men and women are different - and not yours, so you have no other way to respond but with hate and sexist insults.

            Stop sexism, stop feminazis, celebrate our diversity.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: They ASSUME discrimination

              So @Bahboh and @JCRabbit think that because in popular opinion male and female brains are different that is justification for paying women less for the same job as a man does?

              How is that not sexist?

              Do you also think that white brains are different from black brains so people of different races should be paid less for the same job as each other?

              1. bombastic bob Silver badge

                Re: They ASSUME discrimination

                "Do you also think that white brains are different from black brains"

                Social Justice Warriors!

                Always butting in, where ever they FEEL.

                Social Justice Warriors!

                Defending every "gender" race, and creed

                (except for white men because they're EVIL!)

                yeah, I gotta do a song like that some day... make it sound a bit like "Dennis Moore"

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: They ASSUME discrimination

            @AC to Bahboh

            Actually my sister really was one of the first Chartered Engineers in her subject, she has gain the respect of her peers for her ability and her sex is seen as an added bonus. Her subject involves direct management of the time served and hard as nails Engineers required to do the fitting of her designs here she won respect as well, which she did by speaking their own language rather than playing the sex card. She showed that she was quite capable of doing their job and as well as her own, she didn't break down in tears when things didn't go the way she wanted or bitched to her boss.

            Like anyone who is intelligent and loves their subject she can out think any number of the "normal" filling people employed by companies when the job is getting done regardless of upper management efforts.

            The fact that she is female has nothing to do with it, she doesn't need or want your protection she is quite capable of out thinking or out punching any fool who thinks he can take advantage of her sex.

            She didn't demand the world change to accommodate her, she beat it at it's own game and the respect she obtained was for being a real Engineer who got the job done and wow betide anyone who wants to play silly buggers.

            Your protection for the "pretty flowers" in demanding a free pass for women is demeaning to everyone involved. Women can and do win in a "Man's world" they just have to be competent and willing to do the job.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: They ASSUME discrimination

            ' I'd hazard a guess that the reason why women are over representative in health professions etc and not IT is because they don't want to work in an industry dominated by sexist cretins like you who think that women are intrinsically unable to do the job and reflect this in how they deal with women on a day to day basis.'

            And I'd equally hazard a guess that the reason men are over-represented in IT and under in health-care is because they don't want to work in an industry dominated by emotive, bitchy, gossipy, precious idiots like you who think that men are unable to think logically and consistently, or have any value and reflect this in how they deal with men on a day to day basis.

            Are you done with the ranting ad hominem generalisation bullshit now, or shall we continue?

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge

          Re: They ASSUME discrimination

          "Stop sexism, enjoy our differences, love one other."

          but, but, But, THAT does not drive emotion-based agendas nor cause rage-votes and/or riots! It makes TOO MUCH SENSE, ya know?

          </sarcasm> (in case it wasn't obvious)

          /me makes 'captain obvious' point that every time these "discrepencies" over male/female hiring practices is presented "that way", it's SEXISM, just like it's RACISM to do the SAME thing with RACE. etc.

          lies, damn lies, and statistics *indeed*.

          1. Jeremy Puddleduck

            Re: They ASSUME discrimination

            ODFO Bob.

        3. Jeremy Puddleduck

          Re: They ASSUME discrimination

          28 of you upvoted this arse? Anyone who resorts to the old feminazi trope is clearly in need of special help, not upvotes. Strewth.

        4. Bernard M. Orwell

          Re: They ASSUME discrimination

          "Meanwhile 2/3 of medical students are women ( and 80% ! of vets ), but the feminazis are very quiet with that."

          And if you'd like to see pay disparity, have a look at how much female fashion models are paid by comparison to male models.

          Outliers like this queer the stats, which is evidenced by the focus on pay disparity being centered around CEO\Boardroom jobs. I don't see anyone moaning that there aren't enough women in manual labour roles, such as civil engineering or refuse disposal.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        These myths that try to induce you into thinking that women are *still* being discriminated in this day and age have been more than debunked already:

        I think we'd like to think this but in reality women are often paid less for the same role. The company I work for (hence AC) recently sent out a communication about how they were going to improve the situation. There was nothing about better pay rises for female staff or harmonization of salaries between female and male staff. Instead they were going to make a concious effort to try and attract more young women to work in IT ('Young Women' was actually the phrase used in the email) by attracting them at trade shows..

        Admittedly the company I work for is crap and the only way to get pay rises is to join as a new employee. The average salary quoted of £780 works out at around £40K (if gross) and I have colleagues (male and female) who have been working in the same company for years who are on less than £25K a year so to earn just 15% less (i.e. £34K a year) would be beyond expectations. (I live and work in a 'cheap' part of the country).

        1. Vetis

          then you take them to court and prosecute but that never happens. The "same role" often means roles of the same value as when checkout workers (mostly women) complained of discrimination because they got paid less than warehouse (mostly men).

          Their solution wasn't to go work in the warehouse and it never is.

        2. Bernard M. Orwell

          "in reality women are often paid less for the same role."

          In the UK, at least, it is illegal to do this. If you have evidence your company is doing this, take legal action. See the link below for advice on how to do this.

          Of course, if you are, like so many propagandists are doing, gather your data on a global scale, or cherry-pick stats from other countries to fit your case, I can't help you.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I've worked in many little jobs...

      Where women outnumber men by a lot more than 17%. Now I do agree that this proves nothing. As those jobs might be worse than IT or other more privileged jobs. Just an observation I've had from the other side of the battle.

      But I agree, treating anyone poorly is dreadful. I've seen men chosen because they can move large objects and women chosen because they have a bit of makeup on. Sad really.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I've worked in many little jobs...

        Try visiting a marketing company sometime. Or an ad agency. A couple of months ago I had to hire a PR company for an event I was involved in. Visited. Open-plan office contained around 30 women under 30, and two in their 40's - 50's. They were the Principals, of course. A look at their website later on revealed that they have 1 male employee. Just the one.

        Look around media production, marketing and PR and you'll see a sea of young women. The older guys in the corner office are the MD and financial director. You'll rarely see a man or woman over 35 directly involved in production.

        Right, diversity and equality SJW's. Off you go. Let's hear it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I've worked in many little jobs...

          I might add that I'm 61. I felt as if I was visiting from another planet, and could feel I was regarded as such. Pure ageism, despite having had a creative career that eclipses most of these young darlings' wildest dreams.

          So, SJW's. Ageism. Again. let's hear it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I've worked in many little jobs...

            Why the downvote? Don't believe me? Here they are: since I visited they've lost the bloke.


            I thought this was a tech forum, not a hotbed of emotional reality-deniers.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I've worked in many little jobs...

        Just try and work where women outnumber you, it's no picnic.

        I have a friend, 6'4 and over fifty who goes home beat every night because the women are

        animals that barely carry their own burdens without cussing him out as they know he's a Man and can Take it. He's currently trying to get out of that Gov Dept, but it goes to show that people are people and people suck. I've seen too many women and minorities move up the chain when more competent men where denied. Remember, Diversity doesn't include white Males.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well said.

      I have said this many times, the problem isn't the environment (well could be that women think all guys in it a 'geeks' and don't want to work with them) . The problem is women don't want to work in IT because they are not interested. At where i work, we have had the first female applicant since i first started working there (over 10 years ago) and she was hired. The IT department is 100% male at the moment.

      The problem generally isn't the working environment, its that women are not attracted to it. It could be just this type of work isn't something most women want to do, it could also be that most women don't see it as something women do, or it could be that it starts at the education level.

      Just like with men, there are jobs that men rarely do, because it is either seen as something women generally do, or something that men generally are not interested in.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have they done the same study in China?

    I can guarantee that white and black people will be underrepresented at every level in society and I would like to know what is going to be done about it as clearly that is an even more serious problem.

    This ones for the ladies, please please do your homework when applying for roles, look at what the going rate is and demand you get it, if you've been with the same company for a few years discuss pay rises and again see if the increase in experience should translate to higher pay. If you have to quit a job for better pay then do it. If you find out a colleague is on higher pay tell your manager that you should be paid the same but justify why so there is no excuse for them not to. These are all the things I do so I get the going rate, don't get me wrong I know there is a pay gap and it is wrong but the only people that can change it are yourselves because no company is going to pay you more if it can get away with it. Those are the facts.

    1. Jeremy Puddleduck

      Ah so it's the wimmin's fault they are paid less! Of *course* it is. Yup. Understood.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "This ones for the ladies, please please do your homework when applying for roles, look at what the going rate is and demand you get it"

      My wife works in IT, I work in engineering (mostly using computers...). We both work part time, so that one of us is always around for our kids before and after school. I work 30 hours a week, she works 22.5.

      She *earns* 20% more than me, but we think *she* is the one who is underpaid for her job and may be part of the statistic which says that women are underpaid.

      Neither of us feels able to change jobs, because we think we've got "good" employers and will have trouble getting a similar part-time roll elsewhere.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Delusional liberals and their sacred cow of diversity

    When will they understand that diversity in and unto itself is not a virtue, and diversity for the sake of diversity is anathema to meritocracy?

    Riddle me this: when was the last time a feminist petitioned for more females to be construction workers, septic tank cleaners and a myriad of other hazardous, strenuous and low-paying jobs? Even though it's mostly men doing them. Surely it would be good to bridge the gender gap in these jobs that are overly represented by men?

    Seems to me they're cherry picking 'gender equality', and merely going after the high-paying, prestigious, cushy jobs. More women in politics, business, STEM, some sport etc. Isn't this hypocrisy?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Delusional liberals and their sacred cow of diversity

      Isn't this hypocrisy?


    2. goldcd

      A good point - complaints are directed at 'good jobs'

      But there are all manner of low paid jobs where women are massively over-represented (e.g. carers).

      I can't off the top of my head think of a well-paid role that women are over-represented in, though.

      Only stretch I could possibly make, would be stuff like "Director of HR" which is where one woman has clambered up to the top of a massively female dept.

      1. jrd

        Re: A good point - complaints are directed at 'good jobs'

        > I can't off the top of my head think of a well-paid role that women are over-represented in, though.

        Veterinarians in the US are 81% female and have a Median pay of $87,590/year.

      2. TheTick

        Re: A good point - complaints are directed at 'good jobs'

        "I can't off the top of my head think of a well-paid role that women are over-represented in, though."

        Diversity officers.

        (AKA Inquisitors/Witchhunters)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A good point - complaints are directed at 'good jobs'

          Well, Apple has recently sacked a 'diversity officer'. A black woman too, no less.

          Her mistake? Publicly expressing 'thoughtcrime' regarding diversity.

          The cult of diversity suffers no blasphemers.

      3. JLV

        Re: A good point - complaints are directed at 'good jobs'

        accounting, at least in Canada, has lots of women.

        it's probably a mix of some discrimination and some lack of interest and/or qualified women.

        personally, I find the pay discrepancy more objectionable than the worries about staff proportions. that's quite the slippery slope and >10% is a big gap to breezily explain away.

      4. Bernard M. Orwell

        Re: A good point - complaints are directed at 'good jobs'

        "I can't off the top of my head think of a well-paid role that women are over-represented in, though."

        Medicine, especially specialist nursing.

        Fashion, especially as a model. (Outliers might include pornography)

        Teaching, especially at university levels. (see recent news about certain Uni directors)

        Senior Civil Servants in devolved governments. (over 65%, nationally speaking, are female).

    3. disgruntled yank

      Re: Delusional liberals and their sacred cow of diversity

      Don't know about septic tank cleaners, but there has been litigation about access to construction work, mining, and a number of other tough jobs in the US. These jobs are not well paid compared to law or much of IT, but as blue collar jobs go they pay well, and some women want them. Some women who have wanted them in the past have had to go to court to get hired, and often enough put up with a bad time at the work site.

      Having said that, I don't know the hand-wringing over IT is particularly worth it.

      But "Sacred Cow of Diversity" would be fine name for a band.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Delusional liberals and their sacred cow of diversity

        "But 'Sacred Cow of Diversity' would be fine name for a band."

        wow - and I got some song lyrics going already... maybe we should collab on this one!

        'Social Justice Warrior' by 'Sacred Cow of Diversity' - so much potential!

    4. Teiwaz

      Re: Delusional liberals and their sacred cow of diversity

      Seems to me they're cherry picking 'gender equality', and merely going after the high-paying, prestigious, cushy jobs.

      Why IT if that is the case?

      I've not found IT particularly cushy, prestigious or high paying...

      Regarded as a slightly glorified semi-skilled clerk, in my experience, populated mostly by the socially stilted, worst type of geeky, even if they aren't on-call all night, sit playing games or mererly puttering on a computer almost 24/7, only ever get passionate about how much they hate company X/Y/Z.

      I'm not surprised there's not many women want to be bothered with it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Delusional liberals and their sacred cow of diversity

        "I've not found IT particularly cushy, prestigious or high paying..."

        You are doing it wrong then. An in demand skillset / experience can easily pay £500+ a day.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Delusional liberals and their sacred cow of diversity

        I would assume IT is antisocial, as in lone work. The other jobs, while antisocial hours, are group work.

        This might be a driving factor on a lot of things. Discrimination is still a thing, and no problem discussing how to stop it. But it's a problem to paint everyone with the same brush.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Delusional liberals and their sacred cow of diversity

        Dude, you need to expand your knowledge of IM/IT.

        I don't know many people in my group making less than $85K a Year.

        Contract work can range from $500 to $1000 a day and yes, It can be long term (+8 Years per contract) Vehicle. You might no longer be the Kids with patch cords in you belt loops, you are now

        a Network head, RDIMS Architect or well seasoned administrator.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A non report

    The report is rather meaningless for several reasons.

    a) it is all in percentages with no indication of real numbers.

    b) it does not even look at the numbers of women and disabled actually training for work in IT.

    c) there is no mention of the non standard hours that go to make up much of the life of work in the IT industry and how many women and disabled that puts off.

    I could go on but why bother since the report is there to push an agenda not improve the industry.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A non report

      All I needed to see was the subhed:

      "UK industry body calls for top-down change on diversity"

      The key words "top down" are what matter. This article is meant to (hopefully) induce punitive actions by government against all companies that don't cave in to the feminist's demands. That cannot be achieved in this case except by use of (and only use of) raw percentages, because those figures hide all the inconvenient details.

  5. Stephen MyHandle

    You have to teach yourself to program

    It's not something that can just be handed to you on a platter. No one is stopping anyone either .. so off with any drama please.

    1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: You have to teach yourself to program

      But this isn't about women in programming, it's about women in IT.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You have to teach yourself to program

        @ J.G.Harston "But this isn't about women in programming, it's about women in IT." so you are saying that everyone in IT should get the same wage irrespective of sex or abilities?

        Try implementing that and see what happens, mumpty

        The pay for people that actually work for a living is based upon the minimum amount to recruit staff that have skills that their market is willing to pay for. If there are few people with those skills then the companies compete for the workers and hence the wages/perks increase in value. They don't just choose one group of employees and decide for no reason at all to pay them more, they do it to retain the staff that the company is reliant upon to exist.

        The companies will recruit the minimum possible number of employees and for those that have worked in the field know, they will attempt to pad their money making employees with cheaper workers to make them look more capable and to meet their minority quota.

        Because of all this "minorities too" pressure by self serving politicians, most companies will try hard to recruit people to meet their quota of these special groups who are thus given an unfair advantage in recruitment i.e. bias but it is "okay" bias because the politicians say so and use studies of this type as evidence.

        So the actual situation is that women for example have a better chance at getting a job in IT than an equally skill man, that there remains less women than men in the field is not down to the field it is down to how few women apply who have the skill level required for the job even though they have an advantage over their male counterparts.

        Since the environment is as above then it is not surprising that when there are no women applying who have the skills that make money they will recruit women of less skill. You demand that the Companies still have to employ them thus preventing male applicants for the less skill jobs from getting a foot in.

        Thus the finding of the report make sense, the women employed have less skills than their male counterparts because the bar is lowered for women, it doesn't say that many of those women got their jobs just because they were female nor does it say anything about the men who applied for those jobs but were rejected even though they had the same or better skills than the women who did.

        Now I am all for getting rid of bias in recruitment but that would unfortunately mean that those people who are currently favored would have to work just as hard as everyone else to get a job.

        I personally would much prefer to be interviewed for a job by the person doing it rather than some HR clown who doesn't have a clue what they or I are talking about when I attempt to show I know my onions. Sadly because of all this interference companies have to employ more dead weight such as HR just to keep compliant and it is a good place to move the staff they had to take on that were so useless as to be a hindrance. They might still be getting in the way but at least it isn't the customer having to deal with some clown who doesn't understand the business the company is in.

        I am more than happy for all bias to be removed but instead the majority have to suffer your bias against them and the employers lost profitability such that it is no wonder that this country is going to the dogs. There are people starving on the streets who would love a job but hey its okay right? they are not in any minority so they don't matter. Screw you and your bias

  6. vir

    Getting to the "% of women in the general population = % of women in the IT workforce" is an excellent goal, but any study that doesn't at least mention the percentage of women graduating with STEM degrees is really ignoring half of the problem. How many women are out there with STEM degrees who decided to work in another field or not at all? Probably not many, but if all of them were employed, would we even be close to reflecting the gender makeup of society at large? My guess is no. Companies, however well-intentioned, can't force kids to get a STEM degree, so putting the onus solely on them to get to representational parity is putting the cart before the horse.

    Not to say that tech businesses/business culture are completely blameless, I'm sure many young women see dumpster fires like Uber and figures like the 15% pay disparity (the study didn't mention if it was controlled for experience, etc, but there are other well-researched studies out there saying similar things) and decide to go down a different path.

    1. Jeremy Puddleduck

      So perhaps you can see why some of the pretty nasty sexist opinions expressed on this page may, in some way, contribute to why society tells women they shouldn't be studying STEM roles and then gender parity looks so impossible. Perhaps there may be a link?

  7. Pete 2 Silver badge

    one for you, one for me

    > It found that 17 per cent of the IT crowd were female

    and only 20% of teachers are men.

    We hear a great deal about the lack of women in IT, yet very little about the proportion of men in other professions. If people are going to start crusades about gender equality in work, it would help their cause appear impartial if they addressed the general issue rather than specific cases.

    1. goldcd

      Agreed - most jobs are gender imbalanced.

      But the well paying jobs, do tend to be gender-balanced towards men.

      I'd bet money that "The IT Crowd" earns more than "The Teaching Crowd"

      1. TheTick

        Re: Agreed - most jobs are gender imbalanced.

        "But the well paying jobs, do tend to be gender-balanced towards men."

        Clearly men, on average, are simply of more value to those employers.

        The reasons for that can be debated to infinity but it's irrelevant. There are many jobs where hiring someone who isn't up to the job just to hit a quota is simply unacceptable, where lives or billions of pound are at stake for example.

      2. DainB Bronze badge

        Re: Agreed - most jobs are gender imbalanced.

        Try compare it per hour worked and don't forget all unpaid overtimes IT Crowd has do be happy about and all school holiday periods Teaching Crowd has to suffer through. You will be surprised.

        1. Not also known as SC

          Re: Agreed - most jobs are gender imbalanced.

          "Try compare it per hour worked and don't forget all unpaid overtimes IT Crowd has do be happy about and all school holiday periods Teaching Crowd has to suffer through. You will be surprised."

          TL;DR; I gave up teaching and I don't miss the holidays at all. Teachers actually need their (unpaid) holiday.

          I take it you're trying to be clever here and suggest that teachers' long holidays make up for the low pay? In the UK at least, and I speak as a former teacher, teachers are paid for so many hours a year and their salary is then split in twelve. Although teachers receive a payslip each month, they may not have actually been paid for that month, but are being paid arrears for the work in previous months. In other words teachers are not paid for their long holidays. Regarding hours, Imagine a teacher teaches twenty hours a week to eight different classes of thirty students (Each class about two and a half sessions per week) and needs to mark each student's book once a week. That is two hundred and forty books. Spending an insufficient ten minutes per book means this marking will take forty hours a week. Even spending just five minutes per book will result in an additional twenty hours a week of unpaid overtime. Then you have lesson planning, meetings (outside the core hours) and other duties teachers need to do. The amount of work teacher's have to do outside the classroom is incredible. For eight years I spent every long holiday ill for the first two weeks trying to recover from the previous term, spent s few weeks planning, and then the last couple of weeks getting stressed because I was worried that I'd missed something over the holiday. The best thing I ever did was give up teaching. I gave up thirteen weeks holiday a year for four weeks instead and have never looked back (and ten years to get back up to my previous pay level). Slag off teachers all you like (many deserve it) but don't throw the holidays in their faces because that is the one thing we actually need teachers to have otherwise they'll burn out and who'll babysit your children during the day then?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Agreed - most jobs are gender imbalanced.

        "But the well paying jobs, do tend to be gender-balanced towards men."

        Perhaps the men negotiated a better deal? perhaps your stupid equality idea has given too many women the mistaken idea that they don't have to do anything to get the best wages.

        Companies do not just say "oh you are a bloke we will pay you more", they will pay you the minimum they can get away with and what you accept to take the job is you wage.

        Sadly in this field the best people do not always get the wages they deserve, they tend to get what they accepted and once they are in their wages increase by the same percentage as everyone else.

        If you want more money then you typically have to give them notice if you want to renegotiate.

        As to males getting more then you need to factor in how many highly paid male employees have successfully sued for sexual discrimination against their female counterparts. If your sex becomes known as being a liability for litigation because the courts favor women as well then expect it to count against you. This whole situation actually works against those female employees who deserve their jobs and they are getting screwed over by "me too crowd " who want what others have without having to do the work required

    2. Mr Han

      Re: one for you, one for me

      As long as we have a 'Minister for Women and Equalities' this will never happen.

    3. Jeremy Puddleduck

      Re: one for you, one for me

      Women have to fix all the problems in life? I didn't realise. As someone has already said on this article, it's our fault we get paid less so perhaps it's men's fault they don't get many teaching jobs?

      If you pay attention to what feminists want it is equality for all, and there are several schemes to recruit men into teaching (particularly primary schools) since society loses out by having such a discrepancy. There have been schemes to promote men into widwifery as well. And what have *you* done to encourage men into other roles, or are you just hanging back to wait for the women to sort out your roles as well?

      Every time there is an article like this on El Reg you just know it is going to attract some of the more unpleasant sexist posters. There is absolutely no reason to drop to the level of the average Daily Mail article with terminology like feminazis and SJWs, unless you want to signal your own blatent sexism to others. Why not try and be open minded about the causes of some of these problems? Yes, the numbers of women working in IT is small, and yes it is because less women apply, and yes it's because less women study relevant qualifications. No, what can we all do to change that? It's not spout the same old tripe about forcing women to do work they don't like, that we're all "different". It's about addressing why society has this bias in the first place, for both men and women. Why shouldn't we all get to do what we want when it comes to work and not be told as children only one gender does a certain type of role.

      Some time the idiots that post on these articles leave me in despair.

      1. uncredited

        Re: one for you, one for me

        "it's our fault we get paid less so perhaps it's men's fault they don't get many teaching jobs?"

        You've completely missed that this is exactly the point! Men choose not to go for teaching jobs and therefore they don't get teaching jobs, women choose not to go for IT jobs and therefore don't get IT jobs.

  8. alain williams Silver badge

    Men who are nurses

    Page 12 of the report shows that only 12% of nurses are men. Should we not be agitating to increase the number of men who choose that as a career ?

    When we have got that fixed:

    * we also want more men to be primary carer of kids following divorce;

    * the courts to give men more lenient sentences as they do women (like for like crimes);

    * women to be prosecuted for domestic abuse in the same way as are men

    I could go on ...

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Men who are nurses

      “Page 12 of the report shows that only 12% of nurses are men. Should we not be agitating to increase the number of men who choose that as a career?”

      Yes, we should.

      Men are about 9 times more likely to be unemployed and homeless than women. If the supposedly “female” jobs were open to them, perhaps that wouldn’t be such a problem.

      1. Jeremy Puddleduck

        Re: Men who are nurses

        The jobs are open to men, so why aren't they taking them? You're not...really...suggesting they are turned down from these mainly female jobs are you? That is just paranoia,

    2. Youvegottobe Joking

      Re: Men who are nurses

      I'm waiting for someone to say we should encourage IT guys to become nurses and vice versa....

      What, no-one?

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Men who are nurses

      "women to be prosecuted for domestic abuse in the same way as are men"

      heh, throwing things, kicking you, yelling/screaming/nagging - if MEN did all that, it would be "go straight to jail".

      I think men just deal with all that by being strong/stoic because they're men. We just don't need other people butting noses in to OUR problems, right? Man up and DEAL with it!

      Whereas, of course, wife-beating SHOULD be punishable by law. Maybe it's a self-imposed discrimination?

      ponder, ponder, ponder...

      1. Bernard M. Orwell

        Re: Men who are nurses

        " if MEN did all that, it would be "go straight to jail".

        Ah, Bob. It's not often that I agree with you but, yes. Women don't get usually get sent to prison, especially for domestic abuse against men/children, which accounts for around 40% of all such crimes, by the way, and even if they do, sentences are usually massively reduced. Recently, in a disturbing twist, a campaign has sprung up suggesting that no women should ever be sent to prison, either because "They suffer worse than men in prison, emotionally speaking" or "They only committed a crime because of the situation they find themselves on, usually because of pressure from men".

        I suspect there are some readers who doubt either of these things as true.... they won't read these sources either...


    4. Jeremy Puddleduck

      Re: Men who are nurses

      And there are campaigns to address the balance, so your point is? Just because you are ignorant of something it doesn't mean it is not happening. And gives you no reason to write sexist nonsense on this site.

  9. Dieter Haussmann

    94% of workplace deaths are of men.

    1. Mr Han

      That's blatant sexism! We need to encourage more women to die at work.

      1. Banksy

        The male suicide rate in the UK is about double that of women too. I believe the majority of homeless people are also male.

  10. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Great Leap Forward?

    Obviously there is something wrong. Software engineers should learn to become nursery assistants and farmers, street sweepers and nurses can become developers… After all, it worked so well in China.

    Anecdotally, recently ran a sprint where 10% of the people attending were women, which I found pretty good. They came because they're interested in software development and they want to be chosen for their skills, but their role as women is also imporent to them. Most of my female friends would rather do the ironing than learn to program! Maybe we should be using Pinterest instead of Meetup to get interest.

  11. Halcin

    Complete Rubbish

    Person A earning x% more than person B proves nothing.

    Hours Worked * Hourly Rate = Salary.

    That is not misogyny, that is not opinion, that is basic arithmetic.

  12. Stevie


    So ... we need to be paying them 83% less ... ? That can't be right. Hang on ... insumscribensee carry the four and round ...

    83% of the workforce is paid 100% wage.

    So 1% of the workforce would earn 100/83=1.204 anna bit

    17% x 1.204 anna bit = 20% ish.

    So we should be paying them 1/5th of the men's salary.

    I can't see that going over well with the fairer programming sex. Indeed, the manager tasked with informing them is likely to receive a number of punches to the throat and kicks to the Lower Hurtybits.

    Not it!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My experience is that there are only a vanishingly small percentage of women...

    ..have the staying power required to the gain excellence that makes staying in the field rewarding.

    Additionally I would say that there is an negative effect from the geek stigma associated with the subject.

    I have worked with a good number of women in computing and when compared with men they typically didn't have the same enthusiasm/interest for the subject itself.

    In my opinion the vast majority of the women I met were professionally on a par with the males who just came for the money.

    I can understand the author here shaking their head in wonder given that anyone who will remain competent in the field has to have a love for the subject. Perhaps they would be better asking their female friends why they do not love computing before suggesting it is some sort of male conspiracy.

    My experience has been that competent female Engineers ended up being treated as asexual by their peers i.e. without sexual context. Perhaps this and the "uncool" stigma are reasons enough to keep all the women who want male attention for being female away from the most technical jobs in this field.

  14. frobnicate

    Given that women are paid 15% less than men,

    why isn't everybody hiring women? A large corporation would overthrow your typical government for something like reducing its payroll by 15%.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Given that women are paid 15% less than men,

      Keep uour stinking, obvious facts out of this !

  15. Nolveys

    A Matter Of Advertising

    They could easily attract young women to IT by explaining all of the advantages there are:

    * The excitement of working in a ludicrously understaffed department.

    * The thrill of working on mission critical infrastructure without having done any proper testing because of time and budget constraints.

    * Gaining the mental discipline required to work 48 hours straight without extra pay or consideration.

    * The accomplishment experienced while one attempts to train a team of untrainable people somewhere in India to take over your job.

    * The pride of being responsible for every problem with every item that uses electricity.

    * The esteem gained from watching people in sales take credit for every useful service you provide.

    * The satisfaction of working with people who make far more than you and who don't seem to actually do anything.

    * The challenge of having to fulfil utterly bat shit insane and often self-contradicting requirements.

    * The pay and respect usually reserved for those working in janitorial positions.

    If young woman were only informed of what a great opportunity IT provides they would surely flock to the profession.

  16. AJames

    As an employer who hired equal numbers of male/femail programmers

    As an employer I hired about an equal number of male/female programmers for my company over 15 years, I would say that there was a slight majority of male applicants, but not as much as 2:1. I would say that their qualifications were generally about equal at the different experience levels we were hiring.

    But I also have to say that I understand why the female staff were paid less on average, and it wasn't anything to do with a gender bias. In general the male programmers were more ambitious. They saw the job as a career opportunity. They were keen for rapid advancement, willing to work hard for long hours, put in extra effort when required, and seek out opportunities to improve their skills and take on more responsibility. The female programmers were generally less ambitious. They were content to do their job, put in extra hours and extra effort only when essential, and were more likely to turn down opportunities for advancement if it involved more work or longer hours. I could speculate that they were perhaps increasingly focused on family rather than career over time. That's certainly what many studies have shown. In any case, keep in mind that this is an average of a broad spectrum, and there were many exceptions to the general rule. But I fear that those who see gender differences in employment and compensation as purely arising from gender bias are ignoring reality.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As an employer who hired equal numbers of male/femail programmers

      You might be right. Come to think of it, I might actually be a woman, despite the Y chromosomes.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As an employer who hired equal numbers of male/femail programmers

      Quite. This mentality is just like the rediculous situation where women tennis players at Wimbledon get paid the same despite playing for a shorter time and bringing in far less TV and ticket revenue than the men.

    3. Tom Paine

      Re: As an employer who hired equal numbers of male/femail programmers

      No-one here will get this, but what you're describing in fact has everything to do with gender bias.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My gf told me...

    "Modern feminism is the root of all evil". And I believe her.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh the bastards!

    "Women make up just 17% of IT workforce, paid 15% less than men"

    They are only 17% of the workforce and they get 85% of the revenue! So on average a woman gets paid four times more than a man, cunning bastards.

    Anyway, now that I have commented I'll go and read past the headline. :-)

  19. Mr Han


    An easy solution to all of this is for every applicant to identify as non-binary, gender fluid.

    Firms can revert to hiring the best person for the job and they all get to use carpeted lavatories.

    Problem solved.

    1. Banksy

      Re: Non-binary

      I'm a masculine presenting, transgender, lesbian.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Non-binary


        That's the lowest form of non-binary I know. The lowest.

        1. 404

          Re: Non-binary

          I am Groot?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The question is more "are things changing"?

    What were the equivalent numbers a decade ago, and two decades ago? If nothing has changed, then perhaps new approaches are needed. If they are, maybe we're just upset because things aren't changing fast enough.

    1. JimC

      Re: The question is more "are things changing"?

      I would say that when I started out in the IT industry in the late 80s there were a lot *more* women than there are now, at least in the networking/support areas I was in. In the early 90s there would always be several women on every external tech course I attended, but by the 2000s they started to be few and far between.

    2. Tom Paine

      Re: The question is more "are things changing"?

      They've changed dramatically, for the worse. Go look up time series the gender ratio in CS degrees over the last 40 years.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: The question is more "are things changing"?

      change - as observed in an egg. called "going bad" in Narnia.

  21. Anonymous Coward


    Introduce 99% of coding errors due to 'nappy brain'.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, if you see what percentage of IT tertiary students are female, does this match? How about at A level?

    IT companies here are so desperate for skilled staff, there's no way any would turn down a competent applicant solely due to gender. Maybe there are just a lower proportion of female IT workers who want to push themselves to gain the required knowledge to advance past the support desk?

    1. P. Lee

      >IT companies here are so desperate for skilled staff, there's no way any would turn down a competent applicant solely due to gender.

      It is because men hate women dontcha know? If you've ever seen a woman close to a group of male IT people, you'll see how much they all shun her. Also white supremacists who are hiring more brown people because they enjoy ordering them around like slaves. I'm not sure why the women-hating men don't hire more women so they can order them around too. Its all very confusing.

      Does anyone else see "Diversity Report" and immediately think, "Minority Report"?

      My recent favourite is shoe0nhead's contravention of Matt McGorry ("wokest bae of 2015") advice to give your gf/so "the gift of feminism" for valentine's day: "Don't - stick with the chocolates and flowers!"

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The report goes on to mention that about 20% of females in IT are underskilled for their roles. Possibly this is an indication of why they are, on average, paid less?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just throwing this out there.

    Just a few stories over is an article saying that Facebook's algorithm is avoiding showing tech jobs to women.

    1. colinb

      Re: Just throwing this out there.

      The cause of that was not human 'discrimination' but because the in the Ad marketplace more money is spent targeting woman for Ads so they outbid the Tech ads which will have lower maximum bids.

      The root cause of this, of the 5.9 trillion spend woman control 4.3 trillion of it! Unsurprisingly on a simple bid platform marketeers will put more money into the bids for (food, clothes and higher value items jewellery etc..)

      Interesting if woman see a tech Ad they click it more than men. Probably an interesting change from the usual crap Ad folk throw out.

      Not saying it shouldn't be changed but identify the correct root cause to come up with the correct solution.

      1. Tom Paine

        Re: Just throwing this out there.

        "gender bias" does not mean evil cigar puffing men consciously scheming to keep women out of the office.

        1. colinb

          Re: Just throwing this out there.

          That's stating the obvious but it's also a fact that 'Discrimination' used in this context is a loaded term that people associate with men deliberately holding back woman.

          Most people don't read past the first line.

          The fact is will a female developer/IT person 23-35 with a reasonable education be unable to find work?

          The probability of that is close to 0.

          Top down plans will do nothing to change the mix, it need to be bottom up from school years and beyond.

          What is the probability of a 50+ white male developer/IT person unable to find work? Any top down plans for that issue?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just throwing this out there.

      So if we ban gender-specific advertising then it will become easier for tech recruiters to reach women.

      Sounds win-win to me.

  25. TRT Silver badge

    Non-standard hours?

    Since when has a CIO or a PHB worked unsociable hours? And since when have they ever required actual technical experience that can only be gained through the sort of field work that one associates with unsociable hours?

  26. colinb

    Agenda set before the report was written

    As pointed out this report seems happy to compare apples to oranges.

    The 15% paid less figure does not account for working hours. In real life working hours will determine progression and renumeration. Adjusted for working hours the figure is paid 11% less.

    11% sounds bad but then the report states

    "female IT specialists of which one fifth or more are thought to be under educated/skilled in their job"


    "Whilst 17% of IT specialists hold an IT degree ... amongst female IT specialists in particular just 8% have a degree in an IT discipline"

    and a major factor

    "Female IT specialists are almost five times as likely to work part-time"

    No details given on whether figures have been adjusted for these factors.

    The push to fore woman into IT is crazy, the majority of the business landscape is ruled by accountants and lawyers. IT rarely makes it to board level, mainly under the CFO etc...

    I would never advise someone to go into IT unless they have a serous interest, you have to decide if you're happy to wade through tons of shit (ignorance, impossible deadlines, weekend working etc..) for a possible pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

    Brings to mind the Army adverts of skydiving, tank driving and larking about, conveniently forgetting to show snipers and IED's

    1. Youvegottobe Joking

      Re: Agenda set before the report was written

      I'd upvote again if I could.

      Headline shows fewer women in the line of work and its them men that did it. Bad bad men, you must fire all your male CIO's/Chairmen and replace them with women, NOW *stamp foot*

      And then you read the small print:

      20% of women in IT under educated/skilled for their job

      8% of them hold a IT related degree compared to 17% amongst the men

      5x as likely to work part-time

  27. Joerg

    There is no "women paid less than men" thing !

    There is no "women paid less than men" thing !

    What is with this nonsense being spread worldwide of poor women paid less than men ?

    It didn't happen. It doesn't happen. It is not true ! At all.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    HR is 75% women...

    So given their disproportionate influence on the hiring and pay grades within firms, why aren't they doing more to hire women into IT?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And we wonder why ...

    Choose no life. Choose sysadminning. Choose no career. Choose no family. Choose a fucking big computer, choose hard disks the size of washing machines, old cars, CD ROM writers and electrical coffee makers. Choose no sleep, high caffeine and mental insurance. Choose fixed interest car loans. Choose a rented shoebox. Choose no friends. Choose black jeans and matching combat boots. Choose a swivel chair for your office in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose NNTP and wondering why the fuck you're logged on on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting in that chair looking at mind-numbing, spirit-crushing web sites, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last on some miserable newsgroup, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up lusers Gates spawned to replace the computer-literate. Choose your future. Choose sysadmining.

  30. Robert D Bank

    They're the smart ones then

    I've worked in IT since the mid seventies and believe me it has changed beyond recognition. It used to be a really enjoyable but challenging job, even if hours were sometimes difficult. We had a good degree of autonomy and were trusted to innovate (remember being trusted?), and from my experience really good co-operation between colleagues regardless of gender or disability etc (without being coerced). You could end a day knowing you have achieved something.

    Now, apart from it being quite reasonably paid, it has become a shit job most of the time and getting rapidly worse. Apart from just having to fight to keep your job which is always in danger of being off-shored or outsourced, you have the situation now where 'doing' is outweighed at least 60/40 with having to wade through endless regulatory and other internal process crap just to try and change 1 bit in a file for example. It is soul destroying. IF you finally get past the hand-wringing by several layers of lame management and have the go ahead to 'shudder', change something, you have to do it at the time of night when you're at your lowest ebb and most likely to cock it up. Quiet often this is done under the spotlight of management constantly asking what you're doing, how long will it take etc etc to the point of distraction. If it goes wrong then your life is not your own anymore until you've explained the same thing 100 times to different people in writing, on the phone conference and to yourself in fitful sleep several hours later. And then it starts again the next day and carries on through the route cause analysis, waterboarding and re-planning and extra hyper governance nightmare on steroids to the point where you try again. Great. And it affects your home life as well. Getting calls in the middle of the night doesn't just wake you up but those next to you as well. And then the grumpiness from lack of sleep and stress just carries it on, often resulting in illness.

    And don't get me started on dealing with off-shore people. With seemingly few notable exceptions they are fucking useless, and I mean moronically stupid. The number of times every day when myself and colleagues can be seen holding heads in hands just aghast with the ridiculousness of things they come out with. For example, a simple request, 'please do the needful and copy the dataset'. That's it. Nothing else, just that. No file names. So you start on that forlorn process to prise out something meaningful to work with. You think you finally get there after several inane to's and frow's and you start working on it, and then they'll chuck in something completely left field such as 'the copy is not a copy actually'. FFS! What does that mean? Response after an hour, 'to create file that just looks like other file'. But it WILL look like the other file if I copy it! Silence for 2 hours. 'I have asked my senior, we want the new empty file and no data'. Grrr. Look at the source file, which is you've guessed it, IS empty, so same result. Head explodes. Every fucking day, several times a day, for year after fucking year until you have trained someone else to take your job, off-shore.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyway who cares what BCS say

    I considered joining BCS back in the '90s but, from memory, since a MCP with 5 years experience would be graded as being in the top third of their ability scale then it was clear that there were not looking for people of my caliber. This was during the brain dump years where the questions and answers to all the MCP tests were published online and simply learning them off by heart would guaranty a top mark. For those that couldn't even remember the right answer when it was written down for them along with the question, there were plenty of sites offering to take the test in your name.

    If you are going to have a guild then it needs to be sufficiently discerning so as to make it worth universities gaining compliance. If you do not need a Engineering degree to be recognized then an Engineer in your field is on a par with sanitation Engineers i.e. in job title only.

    A club anyone can join that provides no salary increase or improved job prospects is just a money spinner and a forum for this kind of political propaganda.

    Enough people here have posted why women do not opt for working in this field and it isn't because the male majority is somehow preventing them from applying or excelling.

  32. Howard Hanek


    ....just before AI takes away many, if not most of those jobs we should focus on gender equality. Perhaps that's WHY we should accelerate the transition.

  33. rmoore

    Saving the economy

    Saving 15% overall would do wonders for any company so why don't everyone exclusively hire women?

    That is, if this isn't just feminist "facts" (apples vs oranges) usual.

  34. Dig

    Outperforming the stats.

    Only 16% of GCSE students in computing are female and at A level that falls to 8.5% so 17% is outperforming the stats. This is surely where the failure is not at the point of employment.

    I have been involved in recruitment of several rounds of recruitment. Each time I receive about 20 CVs I have only every received 2 from female applicants. One was employed the other had previously been convicted of criminal activity in the workplace so was deemed unsuitable for the job.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Boys are behind girls at EVERY STAGE OF EDUCATION.

    Where are the feminazis whining about fixing that problem, which obviously precedes any job diversification in later life ?

    Fix the schools, then you can start whining about jobs.

    Or, better: Accept that men and women are DIFFERENT, enjoy DIFFERENT things, are good at DIFFERENT things and that that is what makes THE WORLD GO ROUND.

    Stop the sexism, stop the hate, stop the feminazis.

  36. Rich 11

    Oh fuck...

    The comments on this subject are going to end up, as always, being incredibly shit. There will be loads of 'but women have different brains to men' claims. There will be loads of 'obviously women can't program, else they'd earn more by now'. There will be plenty of 'if they could just take a joke they'd get along like the rest of us'. And all this will be padded out by variants on the 'I don't see a problem' claims.

    If you think that then you are short-sighted ignorant wankers. You have a minimal grasp of reality and little understanding of other people. Try walking in their shoes. But I don''t expect you will, so downvote me. Go on. You really want to, you mysogynistic arsebiscuits, you small-brained cretins who don't give a monkeyfuck about what happens to your daughters. If you should ever be able to get your cocks out and have any, that is.

    1. rmoore

      Re: Oh fuck...

      You've walked in their shoes?

      That doesn't sound like fun, and it is probably painful too. You know they aren't (really) made for men, right?

      If they've simply averaged men and womens pay without regard to company, job type/description, seniority, hours worked, and so on, then they've compared apples and oranges.

      The only way there wouldn't be any difference at all is when there are 50/50 employment and everyone everywhere is paid the exact same salary regardless of job type/description, hours worked, etc (as I mentioned above).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh fuck...

      @Rich 11 or perhaps you are just unthinkingly repeating the crap the self serving politicians have been shoveling, If you think that everyone is the same then you are the one with problems seeing reality.

      FACT: everyone is different, some might share common traits and thinking but still everyone is different. If you do not believe this is a fact then find a single one of your duplicates. It is easy enough to prove that you are not the same even if you select your identical twin.

      FACT: MEN are not WOMEN and even if they have surgery and hormones they cannot become the other, oh they might be able to pretend and get away with it because of the variety in each sex but on the inside they would remain mostly the same and would eventually be noticed as "not right", again I speak from actual experience rather than wishful thinking.

      Now you seem very angry that women are not given everything that men are but by the same token men are not given everything that women are. I am not saying that women get only what they deserve I am saying that to get a job in this field you need to get an education and then apply and then maintain your skills to keep it. The last two in my experience are the reason that there are fewer 50% women in this field, it might be down to perception or interest but the last two are no more biased against women than they are against men. If you can do the job and you don't get the rewards then you move to an employer who recognizes your abilities, you don't complain it is everyone else's fault unless you don't want to work in the field anymore.

      In my experience from the women I have actually asked, the majority said that this field is seen as being full of the geeky social inept and thus unattractive when other options exist i.e. they didn't want to work with the people in the field. I have actually worked with quite a few women and the competent ones were just as respected for their skills ans their male colleges, yes there were some who had a problem with gender but the majority would give a woman more leeway than a man in the same job.

      So who are these people who complain of women not getting a fair deal in our work place? I would say there are three types politicians garnering support, their unquestioning sheep and the people who fail to get prestige because they wouldn't do the work required by the job.

      My experience of the later, the ones who are unwilling to do the work required to gain the respect of their peers and instead just complain that the world is against them or have learned that if they whinge about it enough then everyone else will just give in and move them sideways rather than sacking them as they would they were male.

      Personally when you are an incompetent liability who makes everyone else's job harder and should never have got the job in the first place then I would say you should expect some hostility from your peers irrespective of sex. If you then complain of bias then not only are you a traitor to your group and dragging every other member down with you but also a liar.

      I would agree that there is some sexual bias in this field but my experience would say the majority is not against women but rather for. We will have to wait for the AI to take over this field before you hear politicians complaining of bias against men in computing but we already have plenty playing the female exclusion card.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh fuck...

      ... never mind, here comes Mr Hate-Spewing Science-Denier to save us all!

  37. Tom Paine

    Follow the money

    Men in IT have a strong incentive to make it a hostile environment for women. Keeping the supply of, say, Oracle DBAs or .NET programmers artificially low keeps wages artificially high.

    Please don't vote me down unless you can explain the error in the above statement.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Follow the money


    2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

      Re: Follow the money

      You're definitely not a .NET programmer for sure..

      The flaws in your statement are :

      1) There generally isn't a magic pot of gold for .NET programmers. Artificially high? You're definitely having a laugh. Course, if you can find a load of well paying .NET jobs I can immediately find you a dozen new people interested in moving (but not to London, they're not stupid).

      2) There is no conspiracy.

      If your comment is short hand for 'the IT jobs that require long unsociable hours are not conducive to help raise children' then that's not a hostile environment, it's just inconsiderate, in the same way that twenty plus years ago if you were a man shopping with a baby and needed to change its nappy you couldn't, because the facilities were only in female toilets.. Although I'd have to say in the places I've worked firms have been pretty accommodating for childcare and other life issues, regardless of the gender of the employee.

      FWIW I work with a number of women, and they are on average no better or worse than men. Some are highly skilled, some are average, and some are poor - but to no greater extent than men.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Follow the money

        You're definitely not a .NET programmer for sure..

        you (and the other guy) both used ".NET" and 'programmer' in the same sentence...

        (need an icon for 'nausea')

    3. colinb

      Re: Follow the money

      Nothing wrong with as a statement, it's a perfectly fine statement but it's also a supposition unsupported by facts or evidence.

      Personal over 20 years in IT i have never seen any evidence of a hostile environment specifically targeting woman. I also have not worked in every company in the UK of course.

      My current IT manager is a woman with multi-million pound budget and employs 1 female out of 14. I don't construct any motive for this imbalance apart from that is the cohort mix she had to pick from.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Follow the money

      OP makes a stronger explanation for bullying in tech than for anything gendered.

      Around 40% of people who quit tech, male or female, do it because of bullying. That would be a much more effective way of keeping wages high.

    5. AccountingDrone

      Re: Follow the money

      If your reasoning were true, then men in IT also have a strong incentive to make it a hostile environment for other men. In fact, the same would apply to anybody in every profession.

  38. Anonymous Coward

    Diversity Report!?

    Here's your more-aptly-named Minority Report: Only 1 of every 3 precogs is female... for shame!

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I work in IT, the hands on bit

    I fix broken servers and other kit in data centers in and around London. In the company I work for there are are ~110 people like me doing this kind of work (installs/upgrades/repairs).

    Out of that number, 1 of them is female*, and she is the only part time employee doing that job.

    However, an outgoing manager who I got on well with and after a few drinks said that that single female employee was the owner of one of only two female CV's he had ever seen. Both women were automatically hired and given the highest banding pay even though neither could do many of the tasks that we have to do daily (lifting heavy parts). They did not get put on the shift rota (no nights or weekends) and when one applied for a management job after 18 months she was promoted ahead of someone who had been doing that job for a 6 months and had been with the company for 14 years (she has since left the company)

    So, in my place of work, they get paid less because they are not getting a shift uplift and dont work as long hours, however they are paid better basic pay than almost all the males employees supposedly doing the same job as them.

    *The feminazi's have no doubt run off to the the stables to line up a stepladder alongside their 49 hand horses to throw the saddles on them and didnt read the rest.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    carbon copy of engineering.

    We have the same problems in engineering. Girls consistently do better early on in maths but cultural limitations do their damnedest to ensure they rarely take up a levels or beyond. I cannot help but think the current generation of headless games consoles and tablet computing do even less for self education than the mega drive era did. Microsoft and others are in for a very rude awakening when the critical mass of skills in circulation falls to a point where it's impossible to climb the learning curve all again. I would argue we are starting to see that now with black box solutions rather than understanding being the norm.

  41. Triumphantape

    Reading through the comments

    I agree with most of what's said, to me the real problem is that reasonable people can not reply to studies like this and be heard. (sorry comments here don't really count)

    The public only ever gets one side of a story, and most of them aren't going to go digging for details.

    What would be nice is that for every speech/study/etc given by a politico, "scientist" or other "official" an everyday person could step up and poke holes and show why they are full of it.

    TLDR I want a voice.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So what’s the situation at The Register?

    How many women, how many men? For the purposes of the count, we can assume Kieren is gender fluid.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Interesting article, and I am sure there are inequities that need to be resolved, but...

    1) Are women getting paid less if they work in the same job with the same qualifications and at the same company as a man in that position? I certainly hope the answer is "no", but this article doesn't resolve that. We all know that salaries can vary widely by employer.

    2) Why are there so few women in IT in Britain? Is part of it that women do not stay in the field as long as men do?

    3) As far as hiring, are female candidates significantly more likely to leave the field earlier than men?

  44. Florida1920

    15% less pay?

    Elementary! Women should take Fridays off! More time to read El Reg and work on updating their resumes. Maybe when employers realize what they do, they'll stop basing pay on gender.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chicks can't code...

    As proven by Lottie Dexter.

  46. HughGeerection

    Yes, but women make up 99% of the Sociology Degree graduates from Universities. Maybe if more women chose a STEAM degree instead of sociology and psychology then they might make a bigger impact in IT...

  47. peter_dtm



    You don’t get the job

    You can’t apply I if you don’t do the training......

    You don’t get to do the training if you don’t do the work

    Schools continue to drive kids away from the ‘hard’ subjects (only hard because they have absolute answers and do not rely upon teachers’ feelings to make a guess the right answer). Girls seem to be more likely to NOT do STEMS. This seems to be incalculated at primary school; where the vast majority of teachers are women

    But there I go again;using white male logic; something that is inherently nasty and anti-women; deigned to deliberately disadvantage non males. Some strange concept of cause and effect. How noisome and sexist of me to bring such chauvinistic reasoning to the discussion

  48. FuzzyWuzzys


    OK, let's hire people simply to make the numbers look good. Let's hire more female/disabled/black/muslim/jewish/jedi/<minority here> people just to balance the figures. Let's "force" people to work a job they're not really suited for and then when they get fed up, feel unfullfilled and quit, we can then complain about "Why are so many women/disabled/black/white/muslim/jewish people leaving IT?! Is white oppession at the root?"

    Working in IT there's one thing you must always remember if you want to be good at it, "If you no one knows you exist then you've done your job properly.". Don't take up IT simply for the money 'cos Uncle Joe said "computers is a well paid job". I've been passionate about computers since I was 7, almost 42 years now. I've met way too many people who only work in IT for the money and pound to a penny those people are mostly bloody useless! They do their 9-5, they never read up on anything, they never "play" at home in their own time, they never practice "emergency skills and drills", you can't hold a conversation with them about the latest patches in software X that might help the company, they're not interested in the subject, they're just here for the money. If you have to work at 2am on a Sunday morning after a 14 hour shift the previous day, then you need to have a monumentally stupid amount of passion driving you else you'll get a half arsed job done. My daughter has no interest in techie subjects despite both my wife and I encouraging her, my daughter likes the sciences but she wants to be a writer or an English teacher. So we will do all we can to encourage her to be a writer if that's what she feels passionate about. Even if she spends her whole life broke at least we know she'll enjoy her life doing something she feels truly passionate about. I'd hate to think we ruined her life by making her take up a career she utterly hates and spends all her time resenting us for it.

  49. TheMole

    Equality of outcome vs equality of opportunity

    Seems to me you can only have one or the other, but not both.

    Having largely (and rightly) won the battle for equality of opportunity, the progressives have changed approach and are now battling for equality of outcome.

    Unfortunately this can only be achieved by abandoning equality of opportunity - if not enough representatives of group A are applying for posts, then to achieve equality of outcome (proportional representation), you must discriminate in favour of Group A applicants by awarding them jobs at the expense of better qualified non Group A candidates, or vice versa if too many group A candidates apply.

    Equality of outcome necessitates discrimination.

  50. Cuddles

    Seems a lot

    "Just 10 per cent of women hold IT director roles"

    I'm not sure there are even enough IT director roles for 10% of women to be holding them. I assume you meant that 10% of IT director roles are held by women, which is not the same thing.

  51. Shaha Alam

    What is it about this topic that gets so many men on the defensive?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Same thing that gets so many people on the defensive when you discuss the very real flaws in climate change models. You just know there's a crackpot waiting in the background to use it as an excuse to enforce their nutcase views on the world.

    2. Bernard M. Orwell

      "What is it about this topic that gets so many men on the defensive?"

      Dunno. Perhaps it when you're white, middle-class, male and you get blamed for all of societies ills it gets your back up a bit? Especially when you feel that you are as subject to the whims of higher classes and the better off in the same way as those who are blaming you. Especially when the evidence presented against you is at the very least ephemeral and illogical, emotive and populist, lacking in measurareble fact, but awash in powerful rhetoric. Especially when your critics practice eminent domain and put themselves beyond critique, refusing your stance with naught but their hands over their ears. Especially when any issue you may have, or opinion, or emotion is met with either derogatory laughter, outright denial or howling mobs. Especially when they seek equality, equanimity and egality... except for you. Because you are the cause of all their ills. Because they say so.

      Perhaps we should just "man up", eh?

      Few are the people who, once accused, will not shout back.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Most likely because it's repeated over and over again, how the IT (and other) work environment is so unfriendly and hostile to women, when the vast majority of work places are not. Hearing it over and over and over and over and over and over again with statistics twisted (as statistics usually are) to fit your agenda, will start to annoy some people and then they will most likely become defensive.

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