A report by Accenture and Girls Who Code has highlighted the fact that the gender gap in computing is "getting worse", and called for more encouragement of girls learning computing in schools.
The Cracking the Gender Code research, based on the US computing industry, surveyed over 9,000 students, workers, parents and headteachers and found that there are currently 1.2 million women working in computing in the US.
The report added that if the industry doesn't change, women could hold one in five computing jobs in 2025.
The report stated: "The gender gap in computing is getting worse, and has severe implications for the US economy. Universal access to computing in schools will not address the gender gap. Only by tailoring courses to girls' specific needs can we boost their commitment to computing."
The proportion of female students majoring in computing at college has fallen dramatically, the report said, from 37 per cent in 1984 to 18 per cent in 2016.
"The challenges we face originate in school, where too few girls are pursuing studies in computing and related subjects," the report said.
The study suggested that tailoring courses and programmes to girls specifically is "vital", adding that sustaining junior high school girls' interest in computing throughout school could see "significant potential growth in women's participation in computing".
This follows CRN's Women in the Channel project, which found some channel players supporting the notion of girl-only IT clubs to support future female leaders, whereas other voices advocated that inclusive programmes would support diversity as a whole better.
The study suggested that the growth could be as high as 3.9 million women working in computing by 2025 - a 225 per cent increase from the current level.
"Achieving progress on this scale will require a sustained effort, and action must start now," the report stated.
"It will be 2020 before actions taken today start to deliver the first real signs of change by bringing more women into computing. If we continue to delay, the gender gap in computing will keep on widening, negatively impacting the US economy and opportunities for women."
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