It was back in 2017 that the Chartered Institute for IT commissioned a research study that looked at diversity in the IT profession. This lead to the production of the following report:
I strongly recommend anyone in the IT industry takes a look at this report. It is vitally important that the profession follows the work of BCS in this area, and particularly the summary/key findings, from which I’ll reproduce a few points:
- In 2016 just over one half (51%) of the population (aged 16 and above) were women, 23% were disabled, 45% were aged 50 and above and 12% were of non-white ethnicity.
- By comparison, just 17% of IT specialists were female, 8% were disabled, 21% were from older age groups and 17% were from ethnic minorities.
- Levels of inclusion in IT have improved slightly in recent years with respect to age and ethnicity though the changes mirror those within the labour market as a whole.
- Whilst inclusion levels amongst those in employment tend to be lower for these groups, unemployment rates instead are seen to be higher amongst IT specialists that are disabled, older or from ethnic minority groups.
It is a complex picture, but by prompting a conversation and socialising the findings from studies like the Diversity in IT report, we can better understand the state of the profession now and where we want to be in the future.
“Diversity is important for everyone. Only when we have diverse teams, diverse workforces, diverse experiences contributing to creating diverse products and services will we be creating products and services that are fit for all of us. Diversity brings strength.”Sue Black OBE, foreword to the BCS Diversity in IT Report (2017)
Since the 2017 report, BCS have made available further reports for 2018 and 2019, and these are available to BCS members through the MyBCS portal.