Sydney, Friday 8 March, 2013: The Australian Computer Society (ACS) 2012 Women in ICT survey results show that across the Asia Pacific region male biased work cultures, a lack of promotional opportunities and workplace bullying remain constant challenges for at least half of all women who choose ICT as a career and that these issues have contributed to an annual decline in female participation in the Australian ICT workforce by up to five per cent.
ACS Women Board Director Alison Orr said that with a very visible i gender imbalance in Australian ICT, the 2012 ACS Women’s survey results were an overdue wake-up call for regional policy makers.
“Every economy in Asia from Australia to Vietnam has a national policy imperative to move into higher-value ICT service delivery away from the ‘$2 shops’ of raw commodity export and manufacture into value-add high tech services, and yet they are going backwards by pre-digital workplace and public policy decisions and cultures which limit workforce participation and productivity,” said Alison.
Consistent with previous ACSW survey responsesii, the 2012 ACS Women’s survey again showed women in the ICT sector were highly educated, primarily worked full-time and were relatively well paid but had little in the way of superannuation reserves.
“For five years the ACS Women’s survey has shown that it is not women’s skills and expertise that has throttled the digital economy, rather gender attitudes are killing the golden goose. It’s a complex policy discussion but post-GFC our region is facing enormous pressures with a hyper-agile workforce, a hyper-mobile consumer base and a hyper-cautious investment climate where productivity is made more urgent by unprecedented advances in storage, security, mobile and convergence. In short, this means that HR departments, CIO’s and policy makers need to get up to speed urgently about their human resources. Women are highly qualified and [in the ICT sector] prove to perform and advance in their profession extremely well. ” Alison said.
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The Australian Computer Society (ACS) is the professional association for Australia's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. Over 20,000 ACS members work in business, education, government and the community. The Society exists to create the environment and provide the opportunities for members and partners to succeed. The ACS strives for ICT to be recognised as a driver of innovation in our society, relevant across all sectors, and to promote the formulation of effective policies on ICT and related matters. Visit www.acs.org.au for more information.
i ACS 2012 National ICT Statistical Compendium, Page 25. In 2011 24% of Australian ICT workforce were female, an 8000 annual increase. However by 2012, this gain had been reversed, according to the ABS Labour Market Survey, with the absolute number declining to 91,400, or 19.73% of the total Australian ICT occupation workforce.
ii ACSW regional survey 2008, 2010