BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, is working with universities and students to highlight the need for more women in IT.

According to research conducted by the University of Sussex at the end of last year, only 22% of female computer science graduates take up an occupational role that is defined as ‘ICT work’, compared to 39% of men.

Moreover, estimates claim that women represent less than a fifth of ICT managers, 21% of computer analysts, and 14% of software professionals.

“The lack of women entering the profession is a very real threat for the industry and UK plc,” said Gillian Arnold, chair of BCSWomen.

“It’s vital that we reach out to more young women to encourage them to see what an amazing career IT offers and to build the pipeline of skills in the industry. With a diverse mix in the working population, the UK IT sector can capitalise on the promise of additional profits and innovation that diversity can bring.”

The organisation will be holding its annual BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium on April 4 at the University of Nottingham's Jubilee Campus. The event will feature talks from academia and industry, stalls from employers, a panel session on careers, and a social networking event.

“With the BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium we introduce students to successful women working in both industry and academia, encouraging the next generation of developers to consider careers or further study within computing,” said Hannah Dee, who organises the BCS Lovelace Colloquium.

“Women are consumers and users of technology, but they are not taking the opportunities to be involved in the development of new technologies or the profession.”

The event is free to all students. Further information, including how to register can be found here.