Data professionals confident of avoiding Covid jobs cull

women in data 1As the UK braces itself for a Covid-19 job cuts bloodbath, professionals working in the data industry have revealed they intend to “keep calm and carry on”, with the four out of five workers actually feeling more secure in their roles compared to this time last year.

So says the latest Harnham Recruitment Data & Analytics Salary Guide, now in its ninth year, which shows that as businesses look to streamline existing processes and establish new ones, they are more reliant than ever on data professionals.

The study reveals there are a raft of factors driving this new found confidence, not least of which is the rise of flexible working, with the number of businesses offering such schemes increasing from 57% to 84% in 12 months.

However, this change has not been fuelled by Covid-19; it was already well-established before the pandemic struck.

Meanwhile, there has also been a closing of the gender gap in the sector, with women now making up 30% of the industry. The standout sector is marketing and insight, which has the highest percentage of female professionals in the industry, at 42%, and the closest to a gender-balanced specialism in nine years of the report.

Michelle Wong, head of marketing analytics at fashion platform Farfetch, said: “As an advocate for females pursuing a career in data and analytics, it’s amazing to see that marketing and insight has the highest percentage of females in the industry. Flexible working options have increased and I’d be interested to see how this will evolve within companies, as well as the expectations of employees over the coming year.”

Nationwide Building Society director of advanced analytics Aubrey HB added: “A team of truly talented data scientists can be a company’s most valuable asset and a key differentiator in competition. I have been encouraged by the noticeable uptick in talented women applying for data science positions recently and hope this positive trend only continues to accelerate going forward.”

Another key factor is that the industry remains extremely active, with nearly a third of employees seeking new opportunities within the market this year.

When it comes to salaries, permanent director-level roles in data architecture (£145,000), data science (£143,000), pricing analysis (£130,000) and portfolio management (£121,000) came out on top, while these roles also commanded up to £1,000 a day for contractors.

Harnham Recruitment founding partner Dave Farmer said: “While the past few years may have been heavily influenced by global politics, our results this year were understandably impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. No industry is immune from the effects brought about by this global health issue, however, recognising that the data and analytics space is responding well is promising for the future.

“It’s encouraging to see the industry is continuing to prosper despite the unprecedented nature of the given situation. Employees feel positive about job security and flexible working has been enthusiastically implemented across many companies.

“While we recognise that the industry still has a way to go before we perfect the gender and diversity balance, it is encouraging to see the number of women in the data sphere slowly increasing as the years go by, and we as an industry are committed to keeping this upward trend.”

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