IT: a woman’s world?

Published on: 3 October 2019

The number of women in the IT industry is growing twice as fast as in the private sector. "A useful and necessary trend," says Christoph Maassen, founder of iStorm, part of the Select and specialized in IT recruitment.

Last year the number of women working in the technology sector climbed 3.3 percent, a three-year high. Today there are 9 percent more women who work in the industry, as compared to four years ago.

"Even if the amount of women in ICT is still largely insufficient, there is a positive trend," says Christoph Maassen, director of iStorm.

According to him, the fact that more women are opting for careers in technology has to do with the way in which the sector is developing. "ICT has evolved from a back-office service to an important component within companies that want to stay competitive," says Christoph.

"Today, we are far from the times where ICT departments were located in cellars and where communication between the ICT people and the rest of the company was almost non-existent."

More women also seem to be finding their way towards these kinds of jobs because of the fact that creativity and soft skills are becoming increasingly important aspects of IT departments.

“Roles that not only require good knowledge of ICT but also business skills, such as business or functional analysts, are in high demand,” says Christoph. “Soft skills are increasingly important for these positions. Even developers are now often required to understand the business side of the industry, which was not always the case in the past."

Still a man's world?

In terms of percentages, the IT sector is still very much a man's world, even though the share of women is steadily growing. Today, around 82 percent of IT specialists in Belgium are men. Of the 214,000 IT professionals in the country, only 39,000 are women.

Even though the sector needs more men as well as more women (IT specialists are among the most sought after profiles in the labour market), Christoph believes that more initiatives to attract women workers are needed. "Campaigns promoting women in the industry are definitely an added value," he says. "We have to get rid of the image that IT is still only a man's world."