More women taking ICT roles in Ireland

There is a higher percentage of women working in the sector than those studying it

More women taking ICT roles in Ireland

A woman uses a computer keyboard in Germany | Image: Frank May/DPA/PA Images

New figures show Ireland is above the European Union average for women in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) roles.

Eurostat say about 1.4 million people were studying ICT across the EU in 2015. Women were largely in a minority, accounting for only 17% of all ICT students.

But across the EU, their share ranged from less than 10% in Netherlands (6%), Luxembourg (8%) and Slovenia (10%) to over 30% in Bulgaria (34%), Belgium (33%) and Greece (31%).

Ireland was just below the average, with 17.1% of female students studying ICT courses.

Women studying in ICT | Source: Eurostat

But when it comes to employment, Ireland was near the top of the queue - coming 7th out of all other EU countries.

Eurostat say 18.9% of ICT specialists in Ireland were women in 2015.

The EU average for the labour market was 16.1% - with Portugal, Austria, Italy and Greece among those falling below this threshold.

Bulgaria saw the highest female ICT workforce at 27.7%, followed by Romania, Latvia and Finland.

Women working in ICT | Source: Eurostat

The difference between women studying ICT and working in the sector here could be because of Ireland's large tech footprint - and that many of the workers here may not have been educated in Ireland.

Almost eight million people were employed in the EU as ICT specialists in 2015.

Eurostat say the profession was "predominately male", as women represented only 16% - or 1.2 million - of all ICT specialists employed in the EU.

This information is published to coincide with International Girls in ICT Day, celebrated on April 4th every year.

It is a global initiative aimed at raising awareness among women about the importance of digital skills and encouraging them to consider studies and careers in information and communication technologies.

An ICT system consists of hardware (usually a computer), software, data and the people who use them.

It commonly includes communications technology, such as the Internet.

Ireland is the second largest exporter of computer and IT services in the world, according to Enterprise Ireland.

Global firms like Intel, HP, IBM, Microsoft and Apple have long-established operations in Ireland.

They have been joined by newer companies such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon, PayPal, eBay and Twitter.

The sector accounts for more than €50bn of exports from Ireland per year.