Less than 10 per cent of A-level computing students female

Gender balance

Only 9.8 per cent of those who completed a computing course at A-level were female, furthering fears over the shortage of women in the industry.

The vast majority of people in the industry agree that fixing the gender balance is imperative.

Experts agree that the world faces a digital skills shortage and that a more even gender balance is crucial.

Bill Mitchell, director of education at the IT Chartered Institute, BCS, said: “At less than 10 per cent, the numbers of girls taking computing A-level are seriously low.”

“We know that this a problem starting at primary school and it’s something that we need to address at all levels throughout education.

“As a society, we need to make sure that our young women are leaving education with the digital skills they need to secure a worthwhile job, an apprenticeship or go on to further study.”

There are some small positives to be found in the figures, which were provided by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), as they show a 34 per cent rise in the number of female students taking the computer science rise, although this number is still only 816.

Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, who founded the charity Stemettes to persuade more girls to pursue careers in Science, Technology Engineering and Maths voiced her own thoughts on how to fix the gender imbalance.

“Girls often don’t want to be the only one in the class so they tend not to pick the subject when it is an option,” she said.

“Also, it’s often not even an option in a lot of schools so it’s an uphill battle but fortunately, a lot of computer science courses take A-level maths students, so there is a very viable route for girls into the course itself and related courses.”

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