Here in Scotland, getting girls and women into tech is critical. Why? Because it is an important factor in ensuring that Scotland’s digital economy remains globally competitive.
The Scottish Government recognises digital as one of the country’s eight growth industries and the demand for skilled professionals is continuing to soar as it’s estimated that we require around 12,800 new entrants into the sector each year.
Encouraging more women to enter tech will do so much more than just increase the pool of talent available to employers. It will help lift the overall skills standard and improve development rates. Furthermore, research suggests that gender equality in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) would add over £170 million annually to the country’s economy.
A report commissioned by Skills Development Scotland called Tackling The Gender Technology Gap Together (TTGGT) recently revealed that the gender issue affects the entire pipeline of female talent from start to finish, manifesting itself in young girls from as early as primary school and continuing right through and into the workplace.
Only 20 per cent of young girls in Scotland are studying National 5 Computing Science at school, 17 per cent go on to take this subject at Higher level and 13 per cent at Advanced Higher. Only 16 per cent of young women pursue the subject at University. Things need to change.