This declining participation of women in IT&T is alarming, according to Senator Kate Lundy, shadow minister for sport, youth affairs, and assisting on information technology.
“For the economic rationalists and misogynists, there are as many dry arguments for investing significant resources into ensuring more women choose IT as there are philosophical arguments of equity,” she says.
“Australia’s trade deficit in information and communication technologies is ballooning and will grow from $6 billion to $46 billion within 5 years if left unchecked. We need to support our own IT&T industry and create jobs here.”
Part of the answer is in attracting young women, wooing back older ones who’ve left and encouraging non-IT women to change careers, according to Ann Moffatt, head of Technology Solutions and founder of Females in IT&T.
“If we could get the number of women in IT&T to 30% – 90,000 – instead of the current 20%, we’d kill the skills shortage.”