Recent research has revealed that the proportion of female IT contractors has increased by 25% in the period between 2016 and 2017. In total women accounted for just 16.5% of the IT contractor workforce in 2017, an increase from 13.8% in 2016 but still a relatively lower number than we would like to see.
Despite this, it is a positive step forward in improving and encouraging gender equality throughout various sectors. In fact, the research found that due to more women choosing to contract, in addition to the fact that contracting roles tend to be better paid, this indicates that the gender pay gap will almost certainly be narrowing as a result. This is of particular relevance now, in a year in which companies are required to begin reporting on their gender pay gap annually.
Benefits of IT contracting for women
Women may arguably be choosing to join the contracting world due to the flexibility that it offers them in comparison to working within a permanent IT position. Both male and female contractors are experiencing significant benefits from contracting within the IT industry at the moment.
Skills shortages have meant that skilled IT professionals are in high demand, leading to higher income and therefore providing an extra safety net for contractors during gaps between contracts. In addition to this, businesses choosing to offer temporary contractors to individuals during the economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit, have been filling any gaps in their workforce with contractors.
Whilst this is an extremely positive step forward for the IT profession and aiding towards gender equality in the industry, there is still a great deal of work to be done in encouraging more women to choose a career in the IT sector. From our own experience with regards to the industries we work with, including construction, IT and rail, they tend to be particularly male-dominated. Our gender pay gap report published earlier this year found that only an estimated 2% of our workforce was female, we would like to see this increase significantly over the coming years.
Are you considering entering the world of contracting but would like more guidance on the best route for you? Contact our team today to find out more about the benefits you could receive.