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Job & Career

Not enough women opt to study IT

In 2016, 9,000 young women in Germany began studying IT, a 5.2% increase over the previous year. But in 2017, the positive trend reversed. Among others reasons, possible causes include unequal pay.

09 May. 2018 Isabelle Reiff/Eva Breutel
Source: Bitkom
Source: Bitkom

According to an analysis by industry association Bitkom , women are significantly underrepresented among those beginning to study IT in Germany – just 23% in 2016. The German Association for Informatics has identified another downward trend for the 2017/2018 winter semester. Microsoft investigated the phenomenon last year and concluded that German schools and parents do less to promote girls’ interest in MINT fields (math, IT, natural sciences, technology) than those in many other European countries.

Furthermore, the greatest pay gap in the IT industry can be seen in Germany: "The gender-specific pay gap in the IT industry in Germany reaches 25%," reports Emma Tracey , co-founder of job platform Honeypot. "This is the worst figure in Western Europe and is twice as high as in Belgium and France, where the pay gap between men and women is 11.8%."

And this is despite the fact that demand is continually growing. "55,000 IT jobs are left empty due to a lack of specialists. Many companies look for women employees in particular, as they recognize the advantages of mixed teams," states Bitkom training expert Natalie Barkei. In a world first, starting in January this year Iceland has made it a punishable offense to pay men and women different wages for the same work – and is looking for others to follow suit.

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