Women testing the barriers in IT

Women
are breaking into the tradititonally male-dominated IT sector, with more than
three-quarters of some specialist roles expected to be taken by women by 2006.

Independent
risk management company, Vizuri, says it has seen a major increase in the
number of women involved in software testing – one of the most technical and
complicated arenas in the industry.

The
company estimates that the growth will see women filling 75 per cent of the IT
testing roles by 2006.

While
only 23 per cent of the IT workforce is female, women in the testing sector
currently make up one-third of the total. This compares to a figure of around 5
per cent only five years ago.

Vizuri
believes that women are attracted to testing because of a combination of the
career challenge, compatible skills, early responsibility and attractive
salaries. Female testers on the company’s books also cite rapid career
progression and career break opportunities, as well as the rewards available to
the IT industry as a whole.

"The
IT industry has long been dominated by males, with pages of technical
qualifications," said Paul Dixon, resourcing director at Vizuri.
"Having the relevant qualifications is still crucial in the testing
sector, but sex should never be a barrier.

"The
ability to interact with clients and customers is a crucial skill, and we find
that women are extremely successful at in this area," he said.
"Equally, testers love a challenge, so the incentive of breaking the IT
industry’s glass ceiling is a compelling one."

By Quentin Reade

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