Pay and prospects for women in IT are the best they have ever been, according to the 30th annual national management salary survey from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
Today's female IT managers earn an average of £47,315 a year, second only to their counterparts in the chemical industry who command almost £50,000.
The report shows that women achieved higher pay rises than men across all sectors for the eighth year running. The average increase for women this year was five per cent, while for men it was 4.7 per cent.
Petra Cook, head of policy at the CMI, described the figures as encouraging.
"For the past few years we've been playing a game of catch-up," she said.
"Today's talented females have the same opportunities for professional development as their male counterparts, and with the right skill sets women can achieve pay parity with men."
The proportion of female board directors is also on the up across all sectors. One in seven directors is now a woman, compared to just one in 10 five years ago.
Cook expects the figure to carry on increasing, describing it as the "boardroom greenhouse effect".
"The fact that there are more highly skilled women coming into the workforce today is beginning to show up in the composition of senior management teams," she explained.
"Cultural changes do not happen overnight, but in 10 years' time I believe there will be far greater parity across the board, including in FTSE 100 companies where women are still woefully under-represented in the most senior roles."
Cook added that employers also need to do more to create flexible working opportunities for employees of both sexes. "Both men and women are looking for a better work-life balance," she said.
Separately, Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt last week opened a new facility to encourage more women to take up or return to work in science, engineering and technology (SET).
The Bradford-based UK Resource Centre for Women in SET will work closely with industry and academia, and receive government funding of more than £4m over three years.
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