The coronavirus pandemic has increased need for IT/software professionals and many workplaces have signalled that the future is digital. As part of this trend, a new report has found that while people were in lockdown, many took the opportunity to reskill themselves professionally. This included enrolling in computer programming and software development courses, 43 percent of whom came from a non-technological background.
It was estimated that the IT industry was to grow 13 percent between 2019 and 2024, a technology talent shortage and increased demand for IT/tech talent during COVID has dampened this outlook. This means there is a shortage of people working in the sector. In particular, COVID-19 slowed the growth of the worldwide developer population by 2.4 percent instead of the predicted 4 percent.
As COVID-19 disrupted the workforce and companies had to make tough decisions when it came to staffing, women were already leaving the workforce to care for families. Following this, as schools start to reopen and women start looking to return to work, there is the possibility that their previous jobs may no longer be there. What women may find, however, is that the IT industry, a sector experiencing a surge in job openings, represents a suitable industry for people looking for flexible work.
With the influx of women expected to return to the workforce looking for jobs and the attractiveness of the IT industry, this will create challenges in terms of women reacting to a non-inclusive company culture and leaving after only a few years. Yet some areas of the IT sector appear to be more welcoming to women. As an example, software development can be a great career for women and the importance of promoting diversity and inclusion to for a community helping women in software development advance.
Finding suitable role models is often seen as one way towards encouraging more women to enter technology, and technology, given its shortfall, needs to plug its recruitment gap.