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

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

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A study by King’s College London found that the number of girls in England taking computing GCSE has fallen dramatically. Becs Roycroft, COO at mthree stresses why an urgent U-turn is needed to inspire women to take up tech qualifications.

“There’s an urgent need to address the declining female participation in computing qualifications to prevent future growth in the diversity disparity in tech,” Roycroft says.

“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, Roycroft adds.

She believes that 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 highlighted 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,” Roycroft says.

“IT is not solely coding, programming and theory, it is a creative industry which will influence every aspect of our lives in the future.”

Roycroft also stresses the need for greater visibility of female role models and mentorship. She thinks that by promoting positive representations of women in tech and aiding interactions between students and female tech professionals, the tide of declining uptake could turn.

“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,” Roycroft adds.

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