Women in tech

Women in tech: Where next?

Getting the gender balance right in technology is so important but has the hot topic burnt out and if not what steps do businesses need to take?

With International Women’s Day taking place today (March 8th), the issue of gender equality in business is sure to become everyone’s favourite topic of conversation, but where’s the progress?

Many people would think that the tech industry would be one of the main driving forces, with innovation and breaking the mould such a core part of it, but sadly it’s not.

Stats from 2017 show that women are still massively underrepresented in tech and it’s a widespread problem. Just five per cent of start-ups have female owners, seven per cent of 100 venture capital firms have women partners and there’s still a massive gender pay gap across the industry.

But perhaps what is most worrying about the figures of women in tech is that an incredible 74 per cent of girls show an interest in STEM subjects or computer science. Judging by the gender imbalance statistics it’s clear that at some point females are being deterred, encouraged to go into another industry or just feel that tech isn’t for them.

And who could blame them? Women receive lower salary offers than men for the same job at the same company nearly two-thirds of the time and venture capitalists invested just $1.46 billion in women-led companies, compared to the $58.2 billion they put towards those with men at the helm.

It seems clear that tech is failing to welcome women with open arms but what can you do? Well, quite a bit actually. The entire industry needs to ensure it’s actively addressing the gender imbalance and pay gap for women who are in their companies.

Leeds is lucky enough to have a number of businesses – big and small – that are making women in tech a priority for the future like Sky’s Get into Tech scheme. It aims to provide a supportive environment for women with little or no previous technical experience to learn some of the key skills needed to get into software development. By getting more females into the talent pool, Sky is trying to help increase diversity in their company but it’s not just about getting women into roles, it’s also about changing the general perception of tech.

Next Tech Girls aims to get more females into tech roles but are also focused on making sure young girls see the industry as an option for them. By showcasing stories from the women currently in tech and educating young women through schools, the scheme looks to challenge and evolve perceptions.

Make sure to check out all the opportunities for women in tech on Herd.Careers!