Black women missing from tech industry, says report

Up to 20,000 black women are “missing” from the tech industry in the UK, according to a joint report by campaigners and a representative body.

The report says the proportion of black women in IT is two-and-a-half times smaller than that of the UK workforce as a whole.

Campaigning group Coding Black Females said tech “desperately needed” more people from a range of backgrounds.

Industry bodies acknowledge that “more must be done” to support diversity.

Analysing data from the Office of National Statistics, the authors of the Coding Black Females (CBF) and BCS report found that black women made up 1.8% of the UK workforce but only 0.7% of those working in technology.

An extra 20,000 black women would need to be recruited in addition to the 12,000 already working in IT to fill the gap.

Women are also under-represented in senior leadership roles, it said. In 2021, just 17% of IT directors were female, according to the report.

The report says while ethnic-minority representation in general is higher among IT specialists than in the wider workforce, that is largely due to the high proportion of tech professionals of Indian ethnicity.

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