9 May 2017 · Absolute IT

A definite gender trend has emerged from the latest Absolute IT Wellington Report.

Almost a third of IT job seekers in Wellington are contractors (32%) and from the data it is clear that women are far more disposed to contract than men.

“Reviewing the Wellington data, we found that 47% of women working in IT are contracting versus 29% of the male IT workforce. We then reviewed all the data for New Zealand and found that this is not only true for Wellington, but also for all the rest of the IT workforce across the country” says Grant Burley, Co-founder, Absolute IT.

In Auckland, 32% of women contract, versus 21% of men; in Hamilton 31% of women are contracting compared to 15% of men and in Christchurch 29% of women contract compared to 20% of men.

This raised the question, why is contracting such an attractive option for women?

There are quite a few factors at play.  Contracting can offer job seekers several perks, such as flexibility, excellent income prospects and opportunities to work in a variety of industries.

“For a lot of women who have to juggle family and work responsibilities, flexible working conditions are a non-negotiable. When you contract you can set your working hours per week that will best suit your lifestyle and family demands,” says Burley

Another attractive perk that contracting offers is the opportunity to earn a great income. “Often contractors can earn the same income, or better, working fewer hours a week than their permanent employee counterparts. Contractors get paid per hour, and if your skills are in high demand you can earn a lucrative income without working full time.”

Contracting is also a good choice for women who are returning to the workforce after taking time off to raise children or taking care of other family responsibilities.

“Women who are re-entering the workforce may find that contracting is a good way to quickly get their skills up to date, experience a new industry without full-time commitment and it offers them a fast way to grow their professional network,” says Burley.

The benefits of having a diverse workforce translates into better business overall. Research by McKinsey in 2015 found that gender diverse companies are 15% more likely to outperform their peers and achieve above-average returns.

“Offering flexible working conditions, job sharing or part-time contracting employment options can help IT employers to attract more women to their work force and in the process build better and more profitable businesses,” says Burley.

Five quick insights from the latest Wellington Report

The biggest business challenge for Wellington IT employers? To attract and retain staff

Most valuable skill sought by Wellington Employers? Communication skills

Most in-demand technical skill sought by Wellington employers? Business Analysis

90% of IT techs in Wellington have flexible working conditions, the highest in New Zealand

Although 87% rate their workplace as a good place to be, 58% of IT techs are considering to move to a new workplace in 2017

Download full Report here