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Only a quarter of digital jobs held by women, and falling

The digital and creative industries are recognised as being one of the UK's biggest success stories, employing more than 2 million people and generating £137 billion worth of business annually.

But with just 26 per cent of digital jobs being held by women, the sector is failing to attract, train and retain female talent, according to new research from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).

The numbers are falling too, with the proportion of women down from 33 per cent in 2002, far below the UK average of 47 per cent.

The research comes at an important time, when skilled staff are in high demand with a higher proportion of vacancies in digital and creative than across the economy as a whole.

Estimates suggest that 1.2 million people will be needed to fill jobs in the sector by 2022. And even now, 40 per cent of employers are reporting lost business because they have not been able to recruit the numbers they need.

More women needed in tech

The shortfall, it's thought, could be down to gender imbalance in related courses, and because more interest is shown in technology by boys from a younger age.

Karen Price, director of the Tech Partnership, a network of employers working on digital skills, said, 'The news that female entrants to the digital sector are falling is very disappointing. We want to show women and girls that there are great opportunities in the digital sector, and that the rewards are great too.'

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said, 'The UK's digital and creative industries are amongst our biggest success stories, but for them to continue to flourish we must make sure the next generation of talent is being taught, trained and nurtured.'

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