Nearly two thirds of women working in IT have left or are about to leave the profession, according to research by recruitment firm Hudson UK.
The chief complaint is the lack of flexible working patterns. Some 88 per cent of women said that they disliked the nine-to-five routine, and 43 per cent did not expect to be working a full time nine-to-five routine by 2010.
"Many women have tasted corporate life and have decided that there are better ways of making their mark on the world than following the traditional working model set before them," said Paul Taylor, director of IT at Hudson UK.
"It is not just the demands of family life that are encouraging women to reject working conventions in favour of their own methods.
"In order to have more control over where, when and how they work, they are setting up their own businesses, retraining or pursuing a 'portfolio' career."
More than half of the women questioned are frustrated at the lack of flexible working times, and over three quarters are angry that they are unable to work from home. Over half also feel frustrated at the lack of career prospects for women in the industry.
Employers recognise the problem, according to the survey, but are unwilling to do anything about it.
Almost 70 per cent of employers admitted that they would have staffing problems if women left the industry, but just six per cent have any specific recruitment strategy for hiring more women.
There is also a difference of perception between employers and employees over the issue. More than eight out of 10 employers believe that they provide flexible working, yet barely half of employees believe that it is an option in their company.
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