Gender imbalance in tech shifting - Nationwide

Gender imbalance in tech shifting - Nationwide

Women are now more likely to get a job in technology as the industry moves away from pure number crunching to a greater focus on innovation and creativity, according to new research from Nationwide Building Society.

A Nationwide Building Society poll of 1,000 people working in tech across the UK, shows that more than four in ten women have been working in their role in technology for four years or less. This compares with little more than a quarter of men, with the majority having joined more than four years ago.

Nationwide says it has seen a shift in recruitment across its own Strategic Development, Innovation & Venturing team, which explores emerging technology and future consumer demands alongside fintech partner opportunities. Around three quarters of the full-time Nationwide employees within this team are women.

The national survey shows that the growth of apps, fintech and the advent of Open Banking are much more likely to attract women to a sector, traditionally dominated by men, with younger people - and young women in particular - leaning towards creative roles compared to those which are scientific in nature.

Six in ten women and younger people in the technology sector prefer the creative side of their job, whereas men and older workers in technology prefer the traditional scientific/numerical part of their job. This implies that perceptions and new roles in technology are changing for people joining the industry today.

Around two thirds of those who think there is a gender gap in technology believe this will close in the future, as poll data shows that half of women expect to stay in tech for up to 10 years versus just over a third of men. Only 15% of women think the gender gap will stop them progressing in the sector.

Rachel Robinson, chief product owner for Nationwide Digital comments: “You don’t have to be an engineer or number cruncher to enjoy a career in digital and technology - I did a Business Studies degree - so it is clear the sector is becoming more accessible. And as our teams become more diverse, our ability to innovate and think and work more creatively improves too. It’s a virtuous circle.”

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