Just a third of successful applicants to digital fast stream roles in 2015 were women

Written by Rebecca Hill on 3 January 2017 in News
News

The latest annual report on the civil service fast stream has revealed that 34% of successful applications to the digital and technology fast stream in 2015 came from women – a slight decline from the previous year.

Female applicants to the digital and technology fast stream had a higher success rate than men - Photo credit: Fotolia

The report, published today, shows that 13 of the 328 applications made by women to the digital and technology stream in 2015 were successful.

This is a fall from 21 successful applications out of 370 – or 37.5% - in 2014, the year in which the specialist digital scheme was introduced.

However, the overall success rate for women remains higher than for men: in 2015, 4.0% of applications from women were successful, compared with 3.4% of men. The 2014 success rates were 5.7% and 4.5% for women and men, respectively.


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There were 746 applications to the digital and technology profession from men in 2015, of which 25 were successful - this also represents a slight fall in both applications and awards compared with 2014, when there were 770 applications and 35 appointments.

The news comes amid increasing calls for more to be done to encourage women into digital and technology roles in both government and industry.

The civil service is trying to make the field more appealing to women, for instance by creating women’s groups in relevant departments, and the Government Digital Service recently revealed that it pays for tampons for staff.

The move is part of wider efforts to increase diversity in the civil service, and the Cabinet Office noted in the 2015 fast stream report that the proportion of successful female applicants increased from 48.0% to 49.6% between 2014 and 2015. Overall, 51.9% of all applications for the 1,077 vacancies advertised in 2015 were from men and 48.1% from women. 

However, the report shows that the digital and technology profession is lagging behind on other areas of diversity, with a success rate of 0.9% for applicants with disabilities in 2015, when just one of the 109 applicants was recommended for appointment.

This is compared with the 6.6% success rate in 2014, when 8 of the 121 applicants with disabilities were successful, and the overall 2015 success rate across all fast stream applications, which was 4.6%.

Meanwhile, the data shows that the majority of successful applicants to the digital and technology stream in 2015 were white – 88.9% of applicants compared with 11.1% from an ethnic minority.

The diversity across the whole of the fast stream was only slightly better, with 14.6% of applicants from an ethnic minority being recommended for appointment, compared with 85.4% of white applicants.

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Arnold (not verified)

Submitted on 3 January, 2017 - 14:50
These figures need to be put in perspective as the picture portrayed may well be significantly different from the reality. For example, taking just the ethnic figures quoted at the end of the article the 88.9% of successful white applicants and 85.4% diversity across the fast stream has to be considered in light of the census data that 87.17% of the overall population in 2011 were white. Thus rather than the ethnic minorities being under-represented, they are in fact over-represented in terms of overall representation which means that proportionately more whites should be successful at the moment to redress the imbalance. Discrimination isn't nice, but please put your figures in context.

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