Female contractors driving growth in IT and tech sector

New research reveals that there has been a steep rise in the number of women acting as self-employed contractors and freelancers in the UK’s IT sector.

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of female IT contractors operating in the UK rose by a quarter (25 per cent) last year, soaring from 16,568 to 20,648.

Following the publication of the research, commentators have been keen to point out that there are now “more women than ever before” joining the sector as contractors and freelancers, as flexible working and the benefits of ‘being your own boss’ continue to attract Britons to self-employment.

An analysis of the ONS’ data reveals that women now account for approximately 16.5 per cent of the UK’s entire IT contractor market, up from 13.8 per cent back in 2016.

Meanwhile, the wider IT contracting market has increased by 4.5 per cent year-on-year.

Commentators have said that the “remarkable” news should help to boost confidence across the IT sector, which has been widely reported across the media as suffering from “chronic skills shortages” of late.

“With future demand so hard to predict, many organisations are deferring hiring decisions and turning to contractors to provide additional capacity,” one of the analysis’ authors said.