Findings of ESRC-funded research on women and highly skilled migrants in IT

The Open University's Professor Clem Herman (Director of eSTEeM, the OU's Centre for STEM pedagogy) and Dr Gunjan Sondhi (OpenSpace Centre researcher and OU Lecturer in Geography) presented a preview of the findings of the 5th report from their ESRC-funded research on women and highly skilled migrants in the IT sector at the Institute of Coding's 2020 Conference last week, together with project partners Ashok Pamidi from the NASSCOM Foundation and Shilpa Shah from Deloitte UK.

An ‘in conversation’ session titled International perspectives on diversity and inclusion in the IT sector sought to build on the findings of a recent Open University research project ‘Gender Skilled Migration and IT’, which compared the experiences of IT professionals in the UK and India and asked what lessons may be gleaned on how to recruit and retain more women in the tech sector. In India, up to 50% of new recruits to the digital industry are women, the result of sustained and successful campaigns by companies and universities.

Apart from outlining the project’s findings, including key lessons and examples of good practice in the recruitment of women, the session explored the impact of the research, noting a steady growth in women at senior and executive levels, and also described the most recent initiative (Women Wizards Rule Tech programme), which is upskilling thousands of women already in the industry to accelerate their careers, as well as wider diversity initiatives.

The team's groundbreaking and benchmarking reports on women in tech 'Women and IT Scorecard' (2017 and 2018) from the ESRC-funded GSM-IT project , in collaboration with NASSCOM D & I and techUK are publicly available here.

A 'Bridging the Digital Divide Gap' infographic is available here.