The Australian Computer Society (ACS) today released the findings of their 2013 Employment Survey which revealed an alarming level of discrimination and a continued gender imbalance. Completed by over 5,000 respondents, the survey is one of the most nationally significant of its type.
No position surveyed showed higher than a 30% female participation rate, with the positions of ICT Business Analyst and ICT Academic having the greatest female representation at 28.9% and 26.7% respectively. Furthermore, of the 34% of respondents who indicated that they had been the subject of some discrimination, 42% were females who indicated they had experienced discrimination based on their gender. This is an alarmingly high number given that only 15% of respondents to the survey were female.
Alison Orr, Director of the ACS Women’s Board spoke out against the high levels of discrimination. “These numbers should serve as a wakeup call for employers who think they can discriminate against people on any basis, but especially on the ground of gender. It should be abundantly clear that an ICT Professional is an ICT Professional regardless of their age or whether their name is John or Jane. We, and no doubt other industry associations, would take an extraordinarily dim view of employers who persist in this archaic practice of discrimination. It simply has no place in 2013.”
CEO Alan Patterson also expressed his concern at the outcomes of the report. “That employers continue to overlook the wealth of experience that older workers can bring is staggering. The report shows that we need more experienced ICT professionals to keep working while programs are put in place to reverse the decline in ICT enrolments. Without new graduates, the shortage of skills will become critical once older workers start to leave the workforce. We need the support of employers to keep ICT professionals working, and their age shouldn’t be a factor. “
The full report will be made available in the coming days.
Thomas Shanahan, Australian Computer Society, 0449 902 130 [email protected]