Women in Technology
Nominet said there were 139,000 women employed in IT related roles in 2013, which was 19.1% of total employment in IT related rolesReuters

The UK economy could generate an extra £2.6bn a year by boosting the number of women working in IT.

According to research from domain services provider Nominet, there were 139,000 women employed in IT related roles in 2013, which was 19.1% of total this type of employment.

The economic contribution of these women to the UK economy is estimated to be £6.25bn ($10.53bn, €7.6bn) a year – significantly less than their male counterparts who are estimated to contribute £33.5bn.

The report said a scenario where the gender gap disappears and extra women fill the skills shortage in IT, they would provide an extra £6.8bn in economic output in the IT sector and an extra 124,000 workers.

Nominet explained that the net economic benefit of this scenario for the whole economy would stand at £2.6bn a year.

"We need to attract more women into the technology industry at every level and this starts with encouraging girls at school and university to study IT subjects," said Gill Crowther, Nominet's HR director.

"The [government's] new curriculum coming into force in September offers a fantastic opportunity for girls to become engaged with more technical subjects as the study of computing – and coding – becomes compulsory for all schoolchildren."

According to a separate report commissioned by Nominet, which questioned more than 500 IT decision makers, over three quarters (76%) of respondents believe they lack suitably skilled staff in IT.

The research also revealed that more than half (59%) of respondents agreed that their IT team would benefit from having a more gender-balanced workforce, while only 7% disagree.

The survey also discovered that more than half (53%) of the respondents agreed that women find working in technology jobs less attractive than men do.

Of these, 60% of believe that the IT profession is still perceived to be male-dominated, and 33% think IT is not promoted enough as a viable career option for girls in school or college.