Professional services firm KPMG has launched a campaign to encourage more women to pursue technology roles.

The company’s campaign, ‘IT’s her Future’, will develop initiatives such as inclusive job descriptions, targeted advertising, mentoring for junior team members and a more inclusive interview process to help encourage more women into the firm’s tech remit.

KPMG’s head of management consulting, Nigel Slater, said: “The gender gap within STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths] professions, and more specifically those that specialise in technology, is vast.

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“Last year, only 18% of ICT professionals working in the UK were female, even though women currently make up almost half of the UK workforce.”

Nigel Slater

Nigel Slater of KPMG

According to KPMG one of the best ways of encouraging more young people, and specifically girls, into the IT industry in the future is collaboration between schools, the government and employers.

The company said that more exposure to role models can help encourage girls into STEM roles because they will feel there are others in the industry who are like them.

Slater added: “There needs to be real and visible evidence that it is possible to progress as a woman to a senior management role in the business. Female millennials told us they can lack the confidence to apply for positions of responsibility, even if they feel qualified for the role.”

Giving women access to mentors, both male and female, across a company can also help to retain female talent.

Almost 30% of girls aged between 10 and 13 said they were considering an IT career, whereas just 18% of girls aged between 14 and 17 said the same.

The current IT skills gap means there are not enough trained graduates to fill IT roles, and encouraging more women into technology roles can help fill this gap.