Women in IT earn an average 16 percent less than their male counterparts, a study from BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and e-skills UK, has found.

According to the 'Women in IT Scorecard' report out today, full-time, permanent female IT workers earned a median gross weekly wage of £640 a week in 2013, £120 (16 percent) less than the £760 earned by male IT workers. The pay gap has widened from the previous year, when the difference was 11 percent.

Further, the recorded level of pay for women has been "consistently" below that of men in IT for the past 10 years, ranging from a 10 percent difference in 2012 to a high of 19 percent in 2004 and 2005.

The 2013 figure for women's pay fell from a high of £660 in 2012, while in contrast, pay for men continued to rise, from £730 in 2012 to £760 last year.

The report acknowledged that the differences in pay could be due to the different employment characteristics of men and women (for example, with more women in part-time roles), and the distribution of IT staff in different job roles.

However, it said a breakdown of the IT roles shows that regardless of the type of IT job, women were paid less, between four percent less as programmers or software development staff, to 19 percent for those in IT project or programme manager positions.

The slightly more positive news is that there is just a one percent gap in pay of IT directors. Female IT directors earned £1,180 a week in 2013, £10 less than men, who earned £1,190 a week.

Female representation in the IT sector remains low, however.

According to the latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 176,000 women worked as IT specialists in the UK in 2013, 16 percent of all those working in an IT role (1,129,000). This has fallen from 17 percent (181,000) in 2012.

This figure is even lower when looking at women working in the IT sector specifically, where just 11 percent were female.

Early intervention

The Women in IT Scorecard report found that reasons for the continuing decline in women entering the IT profession could be related to motivation in education.

Just 6.5 percent of all students taking A-Level computing in 2013 were girls, despite them consistently out-performing boys in computing and ICT A-Levels. The proportion of girls taking computing has fallen each year since 2004, when the high was 12 percent.

Gillian Arnold, chair of BCSWomen, said: "While there are some good indications in the findings that suggest there is progress in some areas, for example, an increase in the number of women working in IT part-time (18 percent), it's still not enough.

"We know girls and women are good at computing and we need to translate that ability into action, and inspire them to see IT as a career option that offers them great career opportunities."