From 2018 through 2021, the industry’s female workforce increased, but in 2022, it dropped to 22.7%.
A recent examination of data from the National Statistics, commissioned by the provider of accounting services Integro Accounting, shows that women have been disproportionately affected by job losses in the UK’s tech sector.
The percentage of female employees in UK IT has increased for the first time in five years, according to new data analysis. Women made up 22.7% of total industry employees in 2021 compared to just 20.1 percent in 2022.
The proportion of female employees in the UK tech sector had effectively climbed every year from 2018 to 2021 prior to the decline. According to Integro Accounting, the percentage of female tech contractors similarly fell from 16.8% in 2021 to 12.1% in 2022.
The number of female tech workers decreased from 384,025 to 359,154 between 2021 and 2022, a drop of 6.5% in a single year. While this was happening, the number of men working in technology increased from 1,306,833 to 1,419,590 between 2021 and 2022, an 8.6% increase.
Overall, from 1,827,851 in 2021 to 1,903,671 in 2022, the number of tech workers (including employees and contractors) increased by 4.1%.
Female tech professionals were disproportionately placed on furlough under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which had a wage cap of a maximum of 80% or £2,500 per month, mirroring another tendency observed during the epidemic.
The median gender pay gap for IT professionals in the UK increased from 10.9 to 12.9% between 2020 and 2021, which means that female tech workers were paid on average 12.9% less than their male counterparts.
Why did cuts primarily affect women?
The UK tech sector has made great strides in increasing female representation in recent years; therefore, it is disappointing to see much of that progress undone during the recent round of tech layoffs. Christian Hickmott, managing director of Integro Accounting, commented on some of the reasons why 2022 was a difficult year for women in tech.
Women are more frequently found in non-technical, part-time jobs, which are frequently the first to disappear during a recession. Additionally, they are less likely to hold senior positions, which make them less likely to be laid off. Women make up less than 15% of IT directors compared to around 30% of tech support staff. The problem is to enhance female presence at top levels, as it is typically the IT director who wields the hatchet and the support functions that are most likely to be eliminated, according to Hickmott.
“During the epidemic, a lot of the computer jobs were remote, which favored women who had to balance careers and childcare duties. These distant positions were among the first to be eliminated as the economy faltered and opposition to remote working intensified.
The UK tech sector’s comparatively strong resistance to the tsunami of job losses started by US tech firms in Q3 of last year is the data’s “silver lining. Due to lax labor rules, US IT corporations went on a hiring rampage during the pandemic and have since found it much easier to lay off employees. In contrast, there isn’t a hiring and firing culture in the European tech sector.