Women in ITEC Courses and Careers

Millar J, Jagger N | Report WIT 1 | Department for Education and Skills | Oct 2001

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This report represents the first systematic review and analysis of the participation of women in Information Technology, Electronics and Communications (ITEC)-related courses and careers internationally.

It was undertaken on behalf of the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Women's Unit in the Cabinet Office. The project focused on six countries: the UK, the US, Canada, Ireland, Taiwan and Spain. It drew on an evidence base of empirical data, literature and insights from interviews with key informants in the selected countries.

The aims of this project were to

  1. provide a comprehensive analysis of the position of women in ITEC-related courses, that were expected to lead to a career in ITEC, within the ITEC sector or ITEC jobs more widely
  2. compare and contrast patterns in the participation of women in the UK with those in other countries
  3. identify lessons for education and employment policy and practice that could be learned from experiences abroad and which might improve the situation for women in the UK.

The research provided copious evidence that in all countries there was a disparity between the participation and position of men and women in ITEC-related courses and careers. It was, therefore, not just a UK problem.

Further it showed that the gender gap was much wider than it should be given the relative proportions of men and women in the graduate population and in the workforce as a whole.

The research was published by the Women and Equality Unit, Department for Communities and Local Government, or Department for Trade and Industry.