Nearly one third of respondents to ‘2012 Employment’ survey by the Australian Computer Society have said they encountered some form of gender or age-based discrimination when applying for ICT positions.
The ACS survey polled 2250 ICT professionals.
In total, 46.8 per cent of female respondents claimed to have experienced some form of discrimination when applying for a job, with 37.2 per cent of these stating that it was gender-based.
The positions of ICT customer support officer and ICT business analyst were found to have the greatest proportion of female incumbents at 40.9 and 34.7 per cent, respectively. On the opposite end of the spectrum, ICT support engineer and computer network/systems engineer positions featured the lowest proportion of females at 3.7 and 2.8 per cent, respectively.
Additionally, survey results show that 85 per cent of males were employed full-time, compared to 81.6 per cent of females. Six per cent of females said they were employed on a part-time basis, compared to 1.9 per cent of males.
The imbalance spreads to salaries as well. The ‘2012 ACS Remuneration Survey’ reveals that on average across the industry, males earn 9.8 per cent more than females. Although females enter the industry with comparative or higher salaries, after three to five years, the average salary for males is five per cent higher.
According to the survey, women in ICT roles were most often employed in the insurance industry (27.3 per cent) and research and development (25 per cent).
Of all respondents aged 55 or over, 35 per cent report being subjected to age-based discrimination during the hiring process. In total, 14.2 per cent reported having been discriminated against when applying for positions based on their age.
“The nation’s $100 billion digital economy is creating huge opportunities, and by excluding whole sections of the workforce because of ignorance or prejudice, the ICT sector and society at large, risk missing out,” ACS president, Nick Tate, said.
“The ACS is actively working to overcome the challenges of inequality. For example, the ACS Women’s board are actively engaged in promoting interests of women working in the sector as well as encouraging young women and girls to consider ICT as a viable, interesting and exciting career path,” he added.
The ACS will reveal its 2012 employment survey in full at the Young ICT Professionals Conference (YITCon) in Sydney on October 8 and 9.