Ireland ranks just above Vietnam in world rankings with the fewest women working in senior jobs in IT, a survey of 82 countries for recruiter Harvey Nash and consultancy KPMG reveals.
The country ranks only 13th in the international league for the number of women in high-powered IT jobs despite the importance of the computer industry to the economy here.
The findings may explain why multinational and Irish indigenous IT firms report huge difficulties in recruiting staff, and a high level of skills shortages, as half the population appears not to be securing top jobs in the industry.
The survey — the largest of its kind of chief information officers in the world — shows that Ireland “is falling behind the global average for women in senior IT roles”.
Worse, the number of women in senior IT positions here has dropped in the rankings in the last year, according to the survey.
Ireland fares particularly badly in attracting and retaining women in jobs in science, technology, engineering and maths, while Irish women also hit the ‘glass ceiling’ in the IT industry at an early stage, according to the survey.
“Other tech hubs such as Silicon Valley, Seattle and London are vying for the best talent for around the world and Ireland is losing out,” a spokesman for Harvey Nash said.
Norway, Hong Kong, Canada, China, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Italy and the UK are the top 10 countries for the highest number of women in top IT jobs.
There is is comparatively some good news in the survey, as the country has more women in top IT jobs than France, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands.
And almost all IT chiefs in Ireland have either programmes or plans for “diversity” initiatives, which may work to improve the low levels of participation by women.
“Businesses have a long way to go in the pursuit of equal representation of gender in IT, but the response from this year’s survey is a hopeful indicator of further progress in future.
"Women are increasingly seeing IT as an attractive career option and more organisations are recruiting and developing their female professionals, and we’d expect this gap to continue to narrow over the coming years,” said Sonya Curley, managing director of Harvey Nash Ireland.
It also found a third of Irish firms faced “a major security alert” in the last two years.
More than 3,300 chief information officers and technology leaders in 82 countries were interviewed for the survey.
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