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News » Accenture pushes pay parity amid huge gender confidence gap

Accenture pushes pay parity amid huge gender confidence gap

Dr. Michelle Cullen, Managing Director and head of Inclusion & Diversity at Accenture in Ireland. Photo from Silicon Republic / Youtube.

DUBLIN, IRELAND — Accenture has released new research revealing a “confidence gap” between genders when it comes to digital skills.

This comes as the outsourcing firm celebrated its 20th anniversary of marking International Women’s Day with an event gathering over 1,300 people to discuss the role of women in tech. 

According to an Accenture survey of 500 Ireland-based men and women aged 18-24, 80% of young men believe they have the necessary digital skills to succeed in the workplace, compared to just 59% of young women. 

This 21-point gap suggests more action is needed to achieve gender parity in the tech industry.

“International Women’s Day has been hugely important in terms of building a space to talk about gender equality over many years,” Dr. Michelle Cullen, Managing Director and head of Inclusion & Diversity at Accenture in Ireland, told Silicon Republic.

She emphasized the need to not just talk, but take action to drive change.

Former European Commission Secretary General Dr. Catherine Day called for more data reporting to track if gender equality policies are working. 

“When equal pay became the law, we started paying attention,” Day said. 

“Now that gender pay parity is an issue, we’re actually measuring the gap and then deciding to do something about it, so I’m very keen on having independent data monitoring and follow-up – because what gets measured gets done.”

Despite the confidence gap, women at the event spoke positively about their tech careers. 

Karen Odegaard, Global IT Managing Director at Accenture, said, “I feel like women have figured out how they can contribute to tech… I think we need more women leaders, I think we can bring more women along, so I think that’s the next step in our journey.”

Other findings of the Accenture research include: 

  • Interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers is similar among young women (60%) and men (64%).
  • 78% of women are interested in science and technology careers, 20% are drawn to engineering and mathematics.
  • 24% of young men are interested in engineering careers, compared to just 10% of young women. 
  • 73% of women believe the information and communications technology (ICT) industry will be most heavily impacted by technological advancements in the next five years, compared to 51% of men.
  • Overall, 62% of 18-to-24-year-olds are confident they can help others develop digital skills, either now or in the future. 
  • 54% agreed their education equipped them with workplace digital skills.

Accenture remains #1 in the OA500, an objective index of the world’s top 500 outsourcing companies. This is the second year the company clinched the index’s top spot.

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