Women have made great strides in the workplace, with many women CEOs taking the world by storm, including Michele Buck of Hershey’s, Phebe Novakovic of General Dynamics, and Safra Catz of Oracle. According to PwC’s Women In Work Report the UK is slowly improving gender equality within the workplace, and is now ranked 13th in the index of 33 OECD countries, up by four places since 2000, with Wales, along with Scotland and the South West, coming top in terms of female economic empowerment.
However, whilst the laws are in place for equal pay and gender equality, in many industries, such as technology, there is a significantly lower number of women than men, with just 17% of those working in technology in the UK being female.
Here at DMSG, promoting gender equality is a priority and we are proud to have two female directors amongst the team. Victoria Wood, and Alexandra Taylor-Lopes give their experience of working within a male dominated industry.
Alexandra Taylor-Lopes: “I began my career in London as an Executive Search & Selection Consultancy focusing on the Mining industry, which is heavily dominated by men. I didn’t meet many females during this time, but those I did were women who were highly knowledgeable in their field who had found success in a male dominated environment.
Moving into the tech space it was a similar story, but the world was and is continuing to change. It is encouraging to see an upward trend and demand from clients for females within their technology teams all the way up to board level.
Now as a Director in a Digital Transformation Consultancy, it is clear with hard work, continuous learning and development, that women can have a huge influence in the tech space, and furthermore there are more female entrepreneurs appearing, from graduates through to highly experienced individuals – just look at Anne Boden, CEO of Starling Bank.”
Victoria Wood: “I began my career in the tech industry back in 2005 when the sector was very male dominated and there was a perception that anything IT related was heavily complex and only for the ‘geeks’. Women in tech were few and far between, with few initiatives that encouraged females into the sector. Nearly fifteen years on, it’s exciting to see the rise in demand for females in tech and it finally feels like we are making headway in closing the gap on gender equality and female empowerment.
One reason there is a skill shortage in the tech sector is because we’ve historically only drawn from fifty percent of the population. The key to bridging the gap and continuing to increase the number of women in tech, is to promote the opportunities and career paths available. This begins with early education and requires both academia and business to work together to make the tech industry attractive and accessible to all.”
An example of this is Amazon’s new Amplify programme, created to boost gender diversity and inclusion across its UK businesses. Offering a bursary to women students, an engineering and business leadership apprentice and public tours of their science, technology and engineering workshops. Amazon is a great example of how businesses should be working together with academia to bridge the gender gap within the technology industry.
If you’re a female techie or looking to make the transition into the technology industry, get in touch with Victoria Wood on 029 2167 9320.