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Help shape the conversation about solving the UK’s digital skills gap

WISE is looking for more employers and individuals to take part in their ongoing survey that aims to shine a light on the technology landscape. The call for participation comes as initial results show that more women in tech roles studied physics and engineering (28%) at degree level than computer science or information technology degrees (17%); a reversal of their male counterparts’ experience where they studied 14% and 27% respectively.

Importantly, the survey also shows that tech roles are open to those without a STEM background; approximately 10% of both female and male respondents had no formal STEM education, coming from arts/humanities/geography degrees.

Kay Hussain, Chief Executive of WISE, says: “These initial results show the breadth of education and career paths that can lead to tech roles. This means employers could cast their recruitment nets wider and consider providing upskilling and reskilling opportunities to broaden the talent pool.”

Recent research from McKinsey shows that, for UK employers, reskilling would yield positive economic returns in about three-quarters of cases.

Kay adds: “Identifying the skills gap and understanding the most common routes into tech careers enable employers to better manage their recruitment and will yield considerable benefits to the UK economy. That’s why we’re calling for more people at all levels and in all roles in tech to complete our survey and join the conversation around futureproofing tomorrow’s workforce and ensuring equal opportunities for everyone so that the next generation of women can be part of our ongoing tech revolution.”

The WISE survey aims to capture and quantify the different routes into tech-based careers on age, gender, nationality and other characteristics, as well as collating a snapshot of educational qualifications that tech employees have and need, and training requirements.

Clare Bullock, Director, Technology Solutions at Jacobs, which is sponsoring the survey, adds: “Exploring the different ways we can increase the gender balance in tech is important. It’s a discussion which we all need to be part of to help shift the dial and make much needed progress. It’s such a fantastic career option for women and more importantly, their contribution can really help close the skills gap the UK faces.”

Further information about the survey, which takes just 15 minutes, can be found at: WISE Researching the Tech Landscape 2021

About the survey: results are based on responses received between 1 February to 30 April 2021. The survey is open until 31 July 2021.

About WISE Founded in 1984, WISE is a Leeds based non-profit community interest company. WISE enables and energises people in business, industry and education to increase the participation, contribution and success of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  All its revenue comes from membership fees and sponsorship. It has over 200 member organisations.

Its activities include:

  • Sharing insight and knowledge about the causes of and solutions to gender imbalance in STEM in the UK, from classroom to boardroom.
  1. Collaborating and connect WISE members (individuals and organisations) to be THE leaders, role models and champions of gender balance in science, technology and engineering
  2. Amplifying impact through inspirational events and campaigns
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