Diversiti: Where are the women in IT?

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Diversiti: Where are the women in IT?

Females represent only a small portion of new hires for IT positions, despite the skills shortage in the marketplace, said Diversti in its IT Hiring Influence Report for 2006.

Despite the current skills shortage in the marketplace woman represent only a small proportion of new hires for IT positions, recruiter Diversti has found.

In its 2006 IT Hiring Influence Report the company found that 56 percent of organisations surveyed said less than 30 percent of their total IT hires in the past 12 months were female. One fifth (21 percent) claimed the percentage was less than 10 percent of their total hires.

Deborah Howard, managing director, Diversiti said despite the lack of female hires, employers were losing sleep over attracting and retaining talent.

“Females represent half of our population and were grossly under-represented in the [IT] industry. It’s obvious that IT has an ongoing image problem that needs addressing,” she said.

According to Howard around 69 percent of respondents had concerns about retaining talent and 63 percent about recruiting the employees with the right skill set and 61 percent had concerns about a shortage in skilled candidates, these were the top IT staffing challenges for the next 12 months.

The report also found, competition for skilled IT resources was cited by 78 percent of respondents as the factor that will have the greatest impact on the availability of IT labour in Australia in the next 12 months.

Large organisations expect to be the most impacted by the trend to outsource
(locally or offshore) with 40 percent of respondents believing there will be a decrease in demand for certain skill sets in the next 12 months.

Skill areas most susceptible to off-shoring were the software development/programming and call centre/technical support, nominated by 78 percent and 70 percent of respondents respectively.

In addition to the two nominated areas above, large organisations perceive a greater impact by off-shoring on the quality assurance/testing skill area (47 percent), and in the database administration area (40 percent)

Australian employers remain confident that they will be able to source the majority of their IT hires from within Australia - with almost half of the respondents estimating that less than five percent of hires will be sourced from overseas in the next year.

Despite citing a shortage of skilled candidates as their primary IT challenge, Queensland remains the most optimistic with 65 percent nominating less than five percent of hires coming from overseas in the next 12 months.

The top three IT areas in which employers were currently hiring are project management/IT management (51 percent), business/systems analysis (48 percent)and software development/programming (43 percent).

Large organisations also cited a smaller need for software development/programming (36 percent) in comparison to other sized organisations. This was a likely indication that they are more advanced in their off-shoring strategies and do not need to recruit as actively in this area, Diversiti found.

The survey targeted around 3000 senior IT hiring decision makers over a two week period in March 2006.

Hiring respondents include senior decision makers in IT management (40 percent), project management (22 percent), HR (13 percent), development, procurement, sourcing, commercial and recruitment roles, across all sectors and industries.

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