More female role models needed in Tech
09 March 2017
This week we released new research Women in Tech: Time to close the gender gap to try and understand why there is such a gender gap in technology. One of the most startling findings of the research is how few students can name a famous female working in technology. Only 22% of the students we surveyed can name a female tech role model, while 66% can name a famous man working in the sector.
And this lack of female role models is impacting on girls’ perception of tech careers and whether they are for them. That’s why I was so delighted to take part in a video celebrating the different careers of Women working in tech at PwC. The thing I find most powerful about the video is that it reinforces how tech is such a wide field. Those of us who took part all had different specialisms and backgrounds, but we all agreed that it was brilliant to be able to work in a field that was constantly evolving and defining how we live our lives today, as well as providing solutions for many of the world's problems.
It is exactly these kind of messages we need to get across to the next generation. Our research shows that one of the reasons students are being put off jobs in tech as they think they aren’t creative - this couldn’t be further from the truth. We need more people working in the sector to demonstrate the sheer range of jobs in technology out there today and how they can be creative, exciting and a powerful way to make a difference in the world. It is only by hearing from people working in the sector that we can start to shift the perceptions out there.
In the week where we celebrated International Women's Day I thought it was important to call out some of my role models for Women in Tech - as one of the participants in the survey pointed out "if you can't see it, you can't be it".
So this week I celebrate some of the women on the tech scene who inspire me and will inspire the women in tech of the future - Martha Lane Fox, Eileen Burbidge, Dr Sue Black, Alex Depledge, Sherry Coutu, Kathryn Parsons, Sarah Wood, and Joanna Shields.
The results of the survey showed that there is still a long way to go before women are equally represented in the tech field. Our research finds that only just over a quarter (27%) of females say they would consider a career in technology, compared to 62% of males. Only 3% of females say it is their first choice of career, versus 15% of males.
UK business is facing a serious shortfall in future female tech talent as too many young women are being put off pursuing technology careers. We’ve come up with a four point plan to address the gender imbalance in technology. To find out more please visit Women in Tech: Time to close the gender gap. We would also love to hear your own suggestion so please do get in touch.