Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Urgent U-turn needed to inspire women to take up tech qualifications

Following a new study by King’s College London, which found the number of girls in England taking computing GCSE has fallen dramatically, Becs Roycroft, COO at mthree, said:

“There’s an urgent need to address the declining female participation in computing qualifications to prevent future growth in the diversity disparity in tech. A plummeting female uptake in computing GCSEs is a worrying sign and a trend that must be reversed for the good of the sector.

“The tech industry continues to have a perception of being male-dominated and a lack of women choosing the subject at GCSE level will only contribute to this. Teachers and STEM leaders must come together to inspire young people to pursue the topic at a young age.

“More than a quarter (27%) of Gen Z women said there was a lack of information about the tech sector within their schools and colleges. The Kings College research also highlights the perception of computer science being more difficult than the previous ICT GCSE syllabus.

“The tech industry includes a plethora of exciting career opportunities, and these must be highlighted to young people. IT is not solely coding, programming and theory, it is a creative industry which will influence every aspect of our lives in the future.

“Mthree's own research underscores the pivotal role that schools play in shaping students' career choices. More than a third of female Gen Z students (37%) attribute their career decisions to encouragement from their school or college.

“In addition, there is also a joint need for greater visibility of female role models and mentorship. By promoting positive representations of women in tech and aiding interactions between students and female tech professionals we can turn the tide on declining uptake.

“By showcasing diverse role models and emphasising the sector's vast opportunities, we can inspire more girls to pursue tech IT and computing. It is paramount we ensure there is a balanced and inclusive future.”