Only 28% of Australia's ICT workforce are women
Women still make up only 28% of Australia's ICT workforce, leaving an untapped pool of talent that may be critical to help address the nation’s ICT skills shortfall, according to the ACS.
The professional association for Australia’s ICT sector has published a new report that includes a series of recommendations to increase the participation of women in ICT.
According to the report, three areas must be addressed in order to achieve greater gender equality in ICT. These are female participation in the workforce, the school and education sector and the vocational and higher education sector.
Addressing the barriers will require a combination of both short- and long-term initiatives, as well as the participation of employers, educators and governments.
The report advocates for changes to Australia’s education system through initiatives aimed at improving the self-confidence of girls in their abilities in maths and science, and creating an environment that actively encourages girls to pursue digital careers.
ACS President Brenda Aynsley said Australia will need to completely rethink the way the current workforce and education sectors operate in terms of boosting female participation in the sector.
“It’s clear that, in Australia, women are significantly underrepresented in the critical ICT profession. We must urgently address the ongoing gender imbalance in the workforce. If we get it right there will be a substantial economic dividend for our nation,” she said.
The Grattan Institute estimates that if Australia were to lift its female labour participation rate by 6% it would augment national GDP by $25 billion. Increasing female participation in ICT would help achieve this goal. Women currently make up an estimated 43% of Australia’s total labour force.
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