Tech roles held by women increased by just 2% in 2021

Women sat around a table looking at a tablet
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The number of women in technology roles increased by just 2% year-on-year, from 25% in 2020 to 27% in 2021.

That's according to the latest findings from the Tech Talent Charter (TTC), which analysed data from 580 organisations that employ ​​a combined 196,179 tech workers in the UK – an estimated 15% of the current UK tech-skilled labour force.

Across sectors, marketing was found to have the most gender-diverse workforce, with a median of 45% tech roles being held by women and other gender minorities. Cyber security, electronics, and health sectors were among the least gender-diverse, with some surveyed health companies not employing a single woman within a technology-based role.

Company size also proved to be a factor when employing gender minorities. Similarly to previous years, micro-organisations tended to have the most women-held roles (median of 33%), with the proportion decreasing with the number of overall employees. Medium and large companies employed less than a quarter (24%) of women in tech roles on average, with the proportion rising slightly for super-large companies at 27%.

Wales (45%) and Scotland (31%) were found to be home to the most gender diverse companies, while the East of England only employed 16% of women in tech roles per average. London remained in the middle of the league, with just over a quarter (26%) of tech roles filled by women.

Despite the marginal rise of women-held tech roles year-on-year, TTC found that the companies taking part in the survey were almost twice as likely to hire ethnic minority employees than the overall UK tech force – 20% and 11%, respectively.

Commenting on the findings, TTC CEO and co-founder Debbie Forster said that the organisation was “heartened to see diversity remaining a priority for so many companies through the pandemic”.

However, she added that 2022 would be a “pivotal year as new working patterns become more normalised”.

“Inclusion must be baked in now, or the tech sector risks cementing inequalities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Sharing valuable insights on winning D&I strategies means that companies across the sector can learn best practices and more quickly bring about change for the greater good of the sector and the wider UK population,” she said.

Sabina Weston

Having only graduated from City University in 2019, Sabina has already demonstrated her abilities as a keen writer and effective journalist. Currently a content writer for Drapers, Sabina spent a number of years writing for ITPro, specialising in networking and telecommunications, as well as charting the efforts of technology companies to improve their inclusion and diversity strategies, a topic close to her heart.

Sabina has also held a number of editorial roles at Harper's Bazaar, Cube Collective, and HighClouds.