UII UPDATE 206 | Q3 2023
Intelligence Update

Data centers are short-staffed boys’ clubs

Jacqueline Davis
14 Aug 2023
4 min read

Two persistent trends in data center staffing are in apparent tension. The 2023 Uptime Institute Global Data Center Survey confirmed, once again, that operations teams are struggling to attract and retain qualified staff. The severity of this shortage should justify aggressive hiring from all available labor sources — yet data centers still employ shockingly few women. The average proportion of female employees at respondents’ organizations is just 8% — lower than in many physically demanding, conventionally male-dominated industries, such as construction, mining and manufacturing.

In the survey report, Uptime details the staffing shortage that has frustrated the data center industry for more than a decade. Operator responses show that the past four years have been particularly trying for the sector. About half of the survey’s respondents reported difficulty in filling open job positions, and one in four have seen their staff hired away, with most being poached by competitors. Skills shortages affect virtually all job roles but are the most acute among operations, mechanical and electrical staff.

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