NEW RESEARCH REVEALS NEARLY DOUBLE NUMBER OF MEN THAN WOMEN WORKING IN DIGITAL
Digital recruitment agency, The Candidate, has launched its Women in Digital report, a detailed study of gender representation in the thriving digital industry.
By looking at 150 digital businesses across the North of England, The Candidate uncovered that there are nearly twice as many men currently working in the sector than women. The research also found there is a severe lack of females in management roles, with 156 per cent more men taking up these jobs. The situation is more severe at senior management level, with just 18 out of the 150 businesses involved in the research headed up by women.
Launching at SAScon (Manchester’s search, analytics social media conference) this week, the report looks at how women are paving their way in the traditionally male-dominated industry, the extent of the male/female divide, whether salaries are gender neutral, and the state of flexible working and benefit policies.
The Candidate found that ‘soft skill’ jobs tend to be favoured by women, with the top three roles being in marketing and social media (27%), public relations and communications (18%), and account management (14%). Whilst the more ‘technical’ roles such as search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC), were taken by men.
Brian Matthews, managing partner at The Candidate said: “We were keen to do research into a topic that could really benefit the digital sector by opening its eyes to some of the fundamental issues affecting the industry.
“We know there is a lack of professionals with digital skills, especially in the North, but we wanted to find out whether a gender gap might be a contributing factor. What we discovered in our findings, is that we could potentially be alienating women, and discouraging them from taking up a career in digital – thus missing out on a big proportion of talent.
“In our report, we have outlined ways that we can change this to encourage more women into our thriving sector, such as implementing good flexible working schemes and closing crucial gender pay gaps. We also ask for education providers to be more encouraging when it comes to apprenticeships and work experience opportunities in digital. Our research revealed this has vastly improved in the last 10 years, but we need to put an emphasis on this to bring fresh talent through the ranks.
“We hope that our report goes some way in unveiling some of the issues that might be holding back this sector that has such huge potential. And that it has an influence on new initiatives such at the Northern Powerhouse, to make sure we are feeding the industry what it really needs.”