Report: Female tech workers disproportionately affected by industry layoffs

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Female tech workers in the UK have been disproportionately impacted by the recent wave of layoffs across the industry. 

Analysis from Integro Accounting found that the percentage of female tech employees in the UK sector has fallen for the first time since 2018, highlighting concerns about diversity in the space. 

The firm found that women accounted for around 20.1% of the total industry workforce in 2022, marking a decrease from 22.7% in the year prior. 

Across this period, the total number of female tech employees also fell in absolute terms from 384,025 to 359,154, equivalent to a 6.5% drop. 

Conversely, the number of male employees in the sector increased by 8.6% across the same period from 1,306,833 to 1,419,590. 

The statistics from Integro align with previous research on the issue of layoffs and female representation in the tech industry. 

Earlier this year, analysis from found that in Europe women accounted for 41.6% of job cuts despite making up just over one-third of the workforce. 

Similar analysis of the US job market also points toward disproportionate levels of redundancies for female workers. Between October 2022 and June 2023, female tech workers made up nearly half (45%) of redundancies across the industry. 

What’s driving female tech layoffs?

Christian Hickmott, managing director of Integro Accounting, said the disproportionate volume of layoffs could compound long-standing issues around diversity and lack of female representation

“The UK tech sector has made great strides in boosting female representation in recent years so it is disappointing to see much of that progress undone during the recent round of tech layoffs.”

Hickmott noted that, traditionally, female workers tend to be “more highly concentrated” in part-time or non-technical roles which are “often the first to go during a downturn”. 


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However, Donne Burrows, chief operating officer at Engine B told ITPro that, in her experience, women don’t typically hold positions that are more vulnerable to cuts. 

The issue lies in the seniority of roles, she said, with many female tech workers holding more junior positions compared to male colleagues. 

Junior roles are typically among the first to be subject to cuts during an economic downturn. With a higher proportion of male employees holding senior roles, this can create a broader adverse effect on female workers. 

“From my experience of recruiting and managing people and operations, I don’t believe that female tech workers are necessarily working in roles more vulnerable to cuts,” she said. “However, as companies look at making cost savings, they may be taking out more junior roles as these can be consolidated or automated. 

“Often these roles will employ a blend of male and female workers, but the more senior roles will tend to be filled by men so it feels like women may be more adversely impacted.”

Burrows said another key reason for disproportionate losses may be due to changing work patterns in the wake of the pandemic. With many organizations seeking to return to the office, this could have a greater impact on women in the workforce. 

“Some of the losses may be as a result of changing working patterns and more companies going back to pre-pandemic working - ie, more time in offices - and this may be adversely affecting female workers who have other commitments that remote working supports”. 

Ross Kelly
News and Analysis Editor

Ross Kelly is ITPro's News & Analysis Editor, responsible for leading the brand's news output and in-depth reporting on the latest stories from across the business technology landscape. Ross was previously a Staff Writer, during which time he developed a keen interest in cyber security, business leadership, and emerging technologies.

He graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2016 with a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and joined ITPro in 2022 after four years working in technology conference research.

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