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Where next for women in tech?

In research published last month, global management consultancy McKinsey branded the fact that women occupied fewer than a quarter all European tech roles, “a stunning statistic” at a time when technology was underpinning so much of the innovation and growth in the world.

“Addressing this shortfall is about much more than doing the right thing; it’s an economic necessity,” said McKinsey, whose analysis indicated a tech talent gap in the EU of between 1.4 million to 3.9 million people by 2027.

The research uncovered a significant drop in the percentage of girls and young women in STEM classes, both during the transition from primary and secondary education to university, and during the transition from university to the workforce.

“The problem is likely to get worse. Women’s graduation rate in STEM disciplines during higher education is declining,” concluded McKinsey. “Furthermore, the share of women in the workforce is lowest in the tech roles that are growing fastest, such as DevOps and cloud.

“This is a tough problem to solve. However, although there are no silver bullets, four interventions — redressing bias in the workforce, improving retention rates, reskilling women into tech roles, and bolstering girls in STEM classes earlier in their educational process— can have a significant impact.”