by Gillian Arnold
Originally published: July 11, 2016
For many years forward thinking companies across the UK have been attempting to raise the numbers of women working in the IT professions. They make slow progress, and some might even say "no progress", since we know that around 20 percent of the IT workforce was female at the turn of the century and the number now languishes at about 17 percent. For those involved in the work to attract and retain women in the technical professions, the question arises: "What would the number be if we weren’t already taking action?"
When you look at it, the amount of activity to support the attraction and retention of women to the professions is astounding. It follows the lifecycle of girls and women. Many big organizations offer summer camps for girls (e.g. Apple, IBM, the bigger banks) to show them how exciting the digital world can be. Thousands of people are engaged in programs to talk to girls in schools about the technical professions as a career option.