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Tech hiring is on the upswing... unless you're female

ONS figures show tech jobs are increasing, but the number of women in the industry has slightly decreased over the quarter

Tech hiring in the UK is on the up, at least for slightly less than half the population.

A new set of figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) found that while overall hiring has increased amongst companies in the technology sector, the number of women in such jobs decreased.

Overall, the ONS found that for the quarter ending in June some 1.73m people in the UK worked in the tech sector. That marks an increase of 85,000 jobs on the quarter.

In comparison, the October to December quarter of last year, the low point of the tech layoff push, saw some 87,000 jobs lost in the UK.

The latest jobs data can give tech companies and their employees reason to be optimistic that the tough economic run in the industry is behind us and more companies will be looking to add new positions.

In a comment to The Stack, Harvey Nash Managing Director for UK/Ireland and Central Europe Andy Heyes said that there appears to be an interest in jobs across the board, with developers, project managers, and business analyst being among the positions in highest demand.

"There is also high demand for transformational CIOs," said Heyes, whose company specialises in tech recruitment.

"For organisations struggling to find or make budget for permanent staff, contingent worker demand is rising too."

Not everyone, however, is seeing the windfall of this hiring boom. While hiring is up overall, women are seeing little benefit. The ONS data shows that some 488,000 women are working in tech, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous quarter.

This despite continued pushes by both government and private sector organisations to encourage more young women to pursue STEM careers and incentivise companies to add more women to their ranks.

Heyes says part of the problem may be down to corporate policies in the wake of the pandemic. With more companies pushing their employees to get back into the office, those workers who are raising families can find themselves in the crosshairs of management.

"The industry needs to stay committed to driving up the number of women in tech, which is already too low. This quarter’s dip shows that it’s hard to make progress stick," Heyes explained.  

"In recent months, with businesses under some financial pressure in a challenging wider economy, we have noticed an increase in employers specifying greater office presence and reducing some aspects of job flexibility."