We recently celebrated the International Women’s Day. Around this time, I read many news items that talked about how women IT professionals were paid less than their male counterparts. This has resulted in women getting pushed away from the IT field.
Read this report:
The report quotes a global study of sixty-three nations which has revealed that women across all industries and age groups are being paid on average 16 per cent less than men.
This is one scenario.
On the other hand, in the US and Europe, the number of local IT professionals are shrinking. According to a report, Computer science class of 2007 smallest this decade, less and less number of youngsters are taking up technology courses. In the 2006-07 academic year, the report says, only 8,021 students graduated with computer science degrees from these schools — the lowest number of graduates this decade. Why is this so is another question. Does it have something to do with outsourcing of technology jobs? Maybe yes, but more on this in some other post.
So how would US and Europe want to attract more young people to the IT industry?
In my opinion, it might be an interesting idea to encourage women to train as IT professionals and join the IT workforce. In fact, this line of thinking is already being pursued in Europe.
According to a report (IT jobs ‘very sexy indeed’ says Commissioner Reding), the European Union’s information society commissioner Viviane Reding wants to make up the shortfall of 300,000 skilled information and communication technology personnel in Europe by encouraging more women to enter the industry.
“We have to convince young women that ICT isn’t just for geeks. IT jobs can be very sexy indeed,” Reding told journalists.
The report said that women accounted for 58 percent of all graduates in the EU in 2004, up from 55 percent in 1998. However, the proportion of female computer science graduates fell by 4 percent during the same period, Reding said.
I guess things are better in Asia. Though I don’t have any stats to quote off hand (but here’s a piece on homegrown CFOs), I see a hunger for jobs among the Asian males and females, and this is true in the field of IT as well. What do you think?