Date lodged: 25 November 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to encourage more women to have careers in the digital sector, and what proportion of the digital workforce is female.
Answered by: Jamie Hepburn 5 December 2016
Recent figures show that women make up only 18% of those in technology roles across Scotland’s economy. The Scottish Government is working with key partners from the public sector, academia and industry to address this imbalance.
Through the ICT and Digital Technologies Skills Investment Plan (SIP), we have established a Gender Action Group to tackle the gender gap in both ICT careers and the relevant academic subjects. Based on research commissioned from Napier University, this group is developing a Gender Action Plan focusing on young women in education and those already in, or looking to return to the labour market.
There are other initiatives which can have a positive effect on the number of women in digital and other STEM roles. For example, the Digital World marketing campaign, aimed at young people and women in particular, and which raises awareness about the careers and opportunities that digital skills and qualifications can create.
Meanwhile, the Scottish Government has recently announced new funding of almost £50,000 for the Women Returners Project, building upon a successful pilot by Equate Scotland which took place earlier this year. This will help support more women with STEM qualifications to return to work the STEM sector after periods of absence from paid employment.