Boost for female technology professionals employed by UK companies

More than half of UK CIOs have increased the number of female IT professionals they employ over the last five years, according to research from Robert Half Technology

  • More than half (52%) of UK IT leaders have seen the prevalence of female technology professionals in their businesses increase over the past five years
  • Growth in women IT professionals is being driven by mentoring programmes, government initiatives and greater enrolment in technology education
  • Female IT professionals inspired by successful IT leaders

London, 11 March 2015 – More than half (52%) of UK companies have increased the number of female IT professionals they employ over the past five years, according to new research1 from specialist IT recruiter Robert Half Technology.  UK Chief Information Officers (CIOs) say the growth in employment of women in technology is being largely driven by mentoring programmes (cited by 34%), greater enrolment in technology education (28%) and government initiatives (17%).

The example shown by high profile women IT leaders is also encouraging more women to follow a career in IT.  According to 14% of UK CIOs, the showcasing of successful female IT leaders is the most effective initiative in developing new senior female technology professionals.

Around one-in-seven of the UK’s top 100 CIOs are currently women, according to the 2020 edition of the CIO 100 report2. The top three were named as Katie Nykanen, CTO of Adstream Global; Katrina Roche, Cobham EVP of IT; and Clare Patterson, CIO of Shell International Trading and Supply.

The growth of female IT professionals is higher in larger companies (67%) than in medium (52%) and small (38%) companies, suggesting that there are more opportunities for women in firms with larger in-house IT teams.  Private companies (59%) and publicly listed (55%) firms are more likely to have seen an increase than public sector organisations (42%).

Charlie Grubb, Associate Director at Robert Half Technology, commented: “It’s encouraging to see that the number of female IT professionals is growing relatively quickly, although there is still some way to go before the gender balance is addressed at the most senior level of CIO.  The range of measures that businesses and government are taking to encourage more women into a technology career would appear to be paying off, though it’s interesting to see that mentoring is the number one driver. 

“Mentoring is an effective strategy that all businesses can adopt to encourage more female employees to build confidence and take on more challenges. Having a role model who can advise on jobs, challenging situations and day-to-day decisions can help aspiring female leaders to take the next step in their careers. Furthermore, increased spending in IT coupled with expansion of TechCity and TechNorth will spell greater opportunity for tomorrow’s technology talent.”


Notes to editors

1 Research was undertaken with 100 UK CIOs by an independent third party in December 2014

2 The CIO 100 is compiled each year to reveal the most transformative CIOs in the UK business economy. CIOs that are driving business change, process improvement, enabling greater collaboration and innovating in new market opportunities join this exclusive group each year. The technology strategies of the CIOs and their achievements and ambitions towards transformation are judged in comparison to their IT sourcing strategies and vendor influence. The CIOs with the most transformative vision are also judged on their place within the business; and whether they put technology into the board level position and discussion.

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. We have once again been named to FORTUNE’s “World’s Most Admired Companies®” list and remains the top-ranked staffing firm (February 2020). Founded in 1948, the company has over 300 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, legal and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and jobseeker resources at and