The figures don’t lie: women are overrepresented in relatively unskilled IT occupations such as data entry and less common than men in skilled and managerial IT jobs at all ages.
What’s more, the proportion of women in professional technology occupations has been dropping steadily since 1991, says Women in Technology, a lobby group.
According to the Ministry of Economic Development’s just-released statistical survey of IT in New Zealand, out of the 3000 or so IT managers in the country there are 123 aged between 15 and 24. Just under a third of these are women. The older the group gets, the greater the disparity, falling to about a fifth above 55.
While New Zealand Europeans make up the vast majority of the IT industry (85%), women of other ethnic groups are more likely to be in a skilled IT occupation. Asian men, for instance, make up 6.5% of the population working in IT occupations that aren’t just data entry, but so do 3.3% of Asian females (Europeans 3.6%:2.3%). And Maori or Pacific Island females are more likely than their male counterparts to be in skilled IT roles. Managerial refers to IT managers; systems analysts, managers and computer application engineers are considered highly skilled; all IT roles other than data entry are put in the skilled category.
The number of people working in IT occupations has increased by 70% in the past few years, but the IT industry itself has hardly grown in numbers since 1996.
The survey is here.