Young women have ‘no confidence in digital skills’, says survey

Independent market research company High Fliers and professional service company KPMG surveyed over 1,000 students and found a “worrying crisis in confidence among young women with regards to their digital skills.”

The survey found that 57% of men are confident they have tech skills needed by today’s employers, compared to 37% of young women.

Aidan Brennan, KPMG’s head of digital transformation, said: “The issue here isn’t around competency, but rather how businesses understand the underlying capability of an individual and how to unlock it. I think this research highlights the work that needs to be done to show the next generation that when it comes to a career in tech, gender isn’t part of the equation.

“Competition for jobs is tough, and we know that female job seekers can be less likely to apply for a role than their male counterparts if they don’t feel they already possess every pre-requisite the job demands. Businesses committed to building a truly diverse workforce need to adapt their recruitment processes to reflect this, and ensure they don’t fall into the trap of listening only to those who shout about their capability the loudest.”

‘Maintaining a level of equality’

According to the poll, 73% of female respondents said they have not considered a graduate job in technology.

Anna Purchas, head of people at KPMG, added: “We recruit around 1,000 graduates each year through our graduate recruitment process, Launch Pad, and we are proud to have reached a 50% gender split amongst our graduate intake.

“However, to maintain this level of equality in an increasingly digital world, it’s vital that more women have the confidence that their tech skills will be applicable for a role at a professional services firm like ours.

“Earlier this year saw the successful launch of ITs Her Future, our initiative aimed at encouraging more women to consider a career in tech. This summer we also launched Future Ready, our online tool designed to help young people who may not yet have experienced working in an office understand how the skills they do possess could be applicable in the workplace.”

Written from press release by Leah Alger