Workplace pressures deter nearly half of female techies from having children, new research claimed today.
A poll by online recruitment firm The IT Job Board found that 48.3 per cent of female IT professionals said their decision not to have children had been influenced by work-related issues.
Of the 31 per cent of women respondents with children, 70.4 per cent said they believed their choice to have a family had adversely affected their career.
Almost two fifths would take a lower paid role that offered childcare facilities, although only 12.2 per cent of people surveyed worked at organisations providing childcare.
Some 65 per cent of women feel there is a 'macho' culture in the IT workplace, while 69.6 per cent of men do not believe this to be the case.
Over 65 per cent of men said they do not think women are discriminated against, but 78.2 per cent of women believe they are.
Additionally some 54 per cent of women believe that being female has worked against them. The key perceived disadvantages were lack of recognition by male bosses, reduced earnings and lack of career prospects.
"Many women clearly feel that choosing a career in the IT sector restricts their freedom to have a family. In today's supposedly egalitarian society this is unacceptable," said Ray Duggins, managing director of The IT Job Board.
The number of women working in the technology sector has been falling steadily. UK IT industry trade body Intellect recently reported the proportion of female IT employees as 16 per cent, down from 27 per cent in 1997.
Despite the worrying results of the survey, there is evidence to suggest that the IT industry does offer senior opportunities for women. Some 86 per cent of men and 74 per cent of women had worked for a female boss.
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