More information about careers in technology and support from parents and role models can encourage more girls to enter the IT industry, according to research from not-for-profit CompTIA.

comptia-logoThe research called Make Tech Her Story: What Needs to Change to Inspire Girls’ Pursuit of IT Careers was based on a survey and focus groups of girls between the ages of 10 and 17.

The report found that parents play a key role in introducing technology to children and in addition 36% of boys were found to be more likely to explore how tech devices work out of curiosity compared to 30% of girls.

Of those surveyed nearly half of boys have considered a career in tech compared to only a quarter of girls. 32% of girls who have taken technology as a subject are more likely to consider it as a career, however only half of the girls who have taken such courses are confident that their skills are right for the job.

“Achieving greater gender diversity in our industry requires major changes in the ways girls interact with and learn about technology,” said Todd Thibodeaux, President and CEO, CompTIA.

“It will take a concerted, collaborative effort and long-term commitment by parents and role models, teachers and counselors and, most importantly, industry mentors, who can convey their passion about working in tech to future generations.”

When surveying girls who had not considered IT as a career, 69% said this was because they did not know the opportunities available to them. 53% said additional information about careers in the industry would encourage them to consider a job I technology.

Only 37% of all girls said they know of someone with a job in IT. This figure rose to 60% amongst girls who have considered IT as career.

Tracy Pound, Managing Director of Maximity and member of CompTIA’s Board of Directors, said: “The research really shows how important initiatives like the Make Tech Her Story campaign are in raising awareness and identifying role models for both children and parents.

“With the predicted expansion of the technology industry there are potentially hundreds of thousands of jobs to be filled in the next few years and we desperately need girls and women to step up and take some of these roles. It’s an exciting industry to be part of; there’s always something new and fascinating to investigate and make use of. Anyone who wants an interesting career should take a look at what the technology industry has to offer – it’s kept me busy and engaged for over 30 years!”

The free e-book, containing all findings is available here.