THERE HAS has been a 10 per cent increase in the number of girls taking GCSE computing, rising for the second year in a row, which follows a number of consecutive years of uptake declining as they outperform their male peers at all grade levels.
The number of girls taking computing has grown from 17,264 last year, to 19,061 this year, showing an increase of 1,797 (around 10 per cent) while they have once again outperformed boys with 30 per cent of girls achieving at least an A/7 compared to 23,1 per cent of boys and 71.4 per cent of girls achieving at least a C/4, compared to 63.1 per cent of boys.
The number of girls taking GCSE computing has been fluctuating over the past few years, dropping YoY from 17,158 in 2019 to 16,919 in 2020 and then to 16,549 in 2021, however, the current figure is now surpassing these lower levels of uptake.
The number of students taking computing has shown YoY growth over the past three years with 90,558 students taking their exam this year in comparison to 81,120 last year and 79,964 the year before, despite the number dropping slightly between 2019 and 2020 from 80,027 to 78,459.
Sheila Flavell CBE, COO of FDM Group, commented:
“The digital skills gap is an ongoing problem that is not going to disappear over night and statistics that highlight an increased number of women choosing tech-based subjects is a hugely positive sign that things can get better. There must be a collective effort to allow women to enter the technology industry, breaking down industry stereotypes, educating them from a young age about the various roles and providing them with support in the workplace regarding barriers such as childcare or returning to work.”
“Women offer a plethora of skills that the technology industry are crying out for meaning tackling diversity, equality and inclusion should be on everyone’s agendas, allowing companies to fill vacancies with females, providing much needed role models for the future generations and improving accessibility.”
Joanna Kori, Head of People at Encompass Corporation, commented:
“It is encouraging to see that female uptake of technology-based subjects is on the rise, and the hope should be that this will ultimately contribute to a more diverse workforce in the future, with the next generation ready to make their mark on the industry.
“Today, diversity and inclusion focused initiatives need to be a priority for all organisations in order to improve representation and unlock untapped potential across the board. This is especially true for women in technology, who have so much to offer but must see it to know they can be it.
“Across the technology sector, organisations must focus on attracting and retaining female employees by putting policies in place that support them in their professional growth and personal choices, empowering them to reach their goals. As technology continues to develop at a rapid pace, strong female role models will be key to fostering a truly inclusive industry that embraces a range of qualities and experiences to promote innovation.”