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IT companies top career wish list, but uninspiring education and mixed perceptions still barriers for girls

Nominet announces research findings, alongside support of e-skills UK’s Computer Clubs for Girls on International Girls in ICT day

25 April 2013 – Nominet UK, the not-for-profit internet organisation best known running for the .uk infrastructure, today announces the findings of its REBRAND:IT research with 2,008 13-24 year old students. Key findings of the research point to the fact that IT has a reputational issue with girls who view potential career paths as technical, male-dominated, and are left feeling uninspired by the subject at school.
Only around half as many females who have received IT training (7%) as males (13%) felt their ICT education was ‘excellent’, and again almost half of females (13%) compared to males (24%) report being ‘inspired’ to consider a career in IT by their teachers. Almost two thirds of girls (65%) report that their ICT education had no impact on their IT career aspirations at all.
Preconceptions about careers in IT are mixed: on the positive side, more females think a career in IT is exciting (17%) and cutting edge (36%) than boring (11%), but half (50%) believe that this career path would be very technical. On the whole, males had a more positive view of the attributes of a career in IT, scoring slightly but significantly higher on their perceptions as to the pay, working environment, opportunities for progression and so on of a career in IT. Interestingly whilst 40% of females felt that a career in an IT company would be ‘male dominated’, only 14% of males shared the view.
Less than a third as many female students (10%) report being interested in careers in IT compared to male students (33%), although female students do aspire to careers with well-known technology brands such as Apple, Microsoft, and Google compared to other types of business. More than three quarters (78%) of females would be interested in working for tech companies compared to just 13% choosing from a list including BA, Coca Cola, Ford & Nike.
Lesley Cowley OBE, CEO of Nominet, commented: “It’s great to see that young women are attracted to the idea of working for well-known technology companies. However, the overall image of IT careers still need something of a rebrand. A career in IT can mean much more than a technical role. For the benefit of the digital economy, those of us in the industry, education and government need to work together to help inspire and cultivate greater balance and equality in schools and in the workforce.”
Susan Vinnicombe OBE, Director of the Cranfield International Research Centre for Women Leaders commented: "This research shows that girls still lag behind boys in their interest in IT. Girls need to see some inspiring female role models leading the way."
Karen Price, CEO of e-skills UK comments: “We know that girls start to form negative perceptions of IT careers at a surprisingly young age. All the work we do is designed to show them how working in IT is exciting, challenging and rewarding and developing their IT skills could help them pursue a career in almost any field from music or journalism to business or sport. .”

Nominet announces competition to win sponsorship of e-skills UK Computer Clubs for Girls
To further support the education and develop of the female workforce in ICT, Nominet today announces its plans to sponsor 12 Computer Clubs for Girls (CC4G), run by e-skills UK. Schools across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are invited to email computerclubs@nominet.org.uk   in just 200 words why their school deserves to have a CC4G for a year. Nominet will contribute activities to online training programmes with activities including designing websites for a fan page or an imaginary business and creating viral videos as part of an exercise to envisage what will be the next internet trend to sweep the nation. Nominet will additionally donate time to facilitate some of the club sessions.
Nominet goes into the classroom
Coinciding with WITNET’s International Girls in ICT Day, Nominet is visiting Didcot Girls School in Oxfordshire. Students will hear talks and participate in a range of activities that highlight the breadth of career options in ICT.
Nominet’s Chair Baroness Rennie Fritchie adds: “Times have changed but still too many companies in technology are recruiting from half of the talent pool because this industry is perceived to be the province of men. As a nation we should be addressing this. We are pleased to be supporting e-Skills CC4G programme as well as WITNET’s Girls in ICT day, both excellent initiatives to open the eyes of young women to the practical realities of a career in IT and inspire them to the wider range of possibilities available to them.”

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Nominet
Domain names are one of the key building blocks of the internet - the essential component for every email address and website.   Millions of businesses and consumers now depend on Nominet’s services, which underpin a critical part of the internet economy.
Nominet is a private, not-for-profit business, responsible for the smooth and secure running of the .uk Internet infrastructure.  We have over 2,800 members and are committed to acting in the public interest.
Nominet has also recently been chosen by several brands and communities to launch and manage new top level domains such as .wales, .cymru and .bbc.

About the REBRAND:IT research
Nominet’s research was conducted by independent research firm Opinium, based in London. The research agency polled 2,008 students aged from 13-24 in full time education, with an even split of male and female respondents. The survey was carried out from 28th March to 8th April.

About e-Skills UK
e-skills UK is the Sector Skills Council for Business and Information Technology. It works on behalf of employers to develop the software, internet, computer gaming, IT services and business change expertise necessary to thrive in today’s global digital economy.

About Computer Clubs for Girls
Computer Clubs for Girls (CC4G) is an out-of-the-box after-school club that has been specifically designed to encourage girls to stay engaged in IT.

It helps girls develop their skills in IT through a series of carefully-graded challenges, themed around their interests – like fashion, music, sport and celebrity. Running CC4G doesn’t need any specialist IT expertise or software, it’s fully curriculum-compliant, and girls love it.

It supports girls’ learning in IT and across the curriculum, and benefits their confidence and self-esteem.

Since 2005, more than 135,000 girls in over 3,800 schools have experienced CC4G.

  • 84% of girls involved in CC4G state they are more likely to consider further education or a career in technology as a result
  • 98% of teachers who run the clubs say that members’ IT confidence levels have improved

For more information
For Nominet - please contact Patrick Yiu at Brands2Life
020 7592 1200
nominetuk@brands2life.co.uk

For e-skills – please contact Laura Cole
020 7963 8938 
Laura.cole@e-skills.com

© Nominet UK 2012-2014