New research from business print providers instantprint has revealed the fastest growing UK industries for women, with transport support, computer programming, and head office management leading the way.

To mark International Women’s Day 2019, the study explores labour market data from the Office of National Statistics to reveal where new opportunities are opening up for women and where potential new career paths may exist.

Measured between 1998 and 2018, the top ten fastest growing industries for women are:

Driving these pioneering industries is a combination of overall industry growth and moves to balance the gender diversity gap within them. Five of the ten fastest growing industries for women were also found in the top ten industries for closing the gender diversity gap, meaning they have seen a substantial rise in the percentage of women in their total workforce across the last 20 years. These five industries are:

  1. Manufacture of fuel – employment of women as percentage of the workforce up 13.89 percentage points
  2. Transport support – up 13.39 percentage points
  3. Motoring industry – up 12.18 percentage points
  4. Land transport – up 11.73 percentage points
  5. Security and investigation – up 9.18 percentage points

The data highlights that progress is being made for women in the STEM fields, with computer programming demonstrating the second highest growth rate for women of all industries in the UK.   This is particularly encouraging, not just for women, but for the sector, which is experiencing severe talent shortages – encouraging women to consider STEM careers is not only good for diversity, but essential for business continuity.

Despite this, if the current rate of change in the gender diversity gap is maintained, it will be another 60 years before numbers of women in computer programming match those of men. Women currently make up 29.89% of the computer programming workforce, with a growth of 6.34% since 1998. To get to 50% of the workforce at the same rate will take another six decades.

Head of HR at instantprint, Vicki Russell, says about the research:

 “This data provides up-to-date insight into new career opportunities for women. We undertook the analysis to highlight to those establishing a career or starting out on the road to developing their own business where exciting opportunities exist. 

“The results highlight the changing face of women in the workplace, and also indicate where more needs to be done to balance gender in the UK’s workforce. This should prompt companies to assess their own gender diversity gaps, and consider how they can improve, while also highlighting to women where they can look to for expanding industries to work in.”