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How can the tech industry close its gender gap?

16 Apr 13:00 by Mark Baker

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Despite the Women in Tech Survey Report finding that 54 per cent of women believe there are now more women working in tech compared to five years ago, they still only make up 17 per cent of the 2.1 million people employed in the sector.

While we’ve come a long way thanks to initiatives and user groups working to make tech more inclusive, there’s still a lot of work to be done to level the playing field for women. Here, we look at some of the initiatives that have captured our attention, and the headlines… 

Sky extends its Women in Tech Scholarship

Sky’s programme to find five outstanding women with a passion in the field of science, technology and engineering has been extended into a second year. In addition to a £25,000 bursary, the Women in Tech scholars are matched with an expert mentor in their chosen field who remains on-hand to provide technical support and access to a network of business contacts.

In the last 12 months, female entrepreneurs have gone on to work with companies like Rolls-Royce and Airbnb, and one scholar, Kike Oniwinde, has been recognised in the 2019 Forbes 30 under 30 for founding the Black Young Professionals Networking app.

Applications are open until the end of April 2019 to women of any age and across any field of technology, including software development, broadcast engineering, AI and machine learning, robotics and digital.

Deloitte’s EMEA Women in Cyber focuses on security

Attempting to close the widening gender gap across cybersecurity and the wider tech sector, Deloitte’s Women in Cyber began in the UK in 2015 and has since expanded into Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It sees clients, experts, and colleagues come together to start conversations, raise awareness and help build a community that inspires female talent to pursue a cyber career.

Patricia Egger, leader of the Women in Cyber initiative, said: “Cyber is a multifaceted field that can seem obscure to those on the outside. With this initiative, we hope both women and men will be able to get a better understanding of what it means to be a cyber-professional and why it’s a great career choice.”

United Utilities carries out unconscious bias training

It was reported in March that United Utilities CIO William Hewish has been hard at work increasing the diversity of his workforce through conducting training on unconscious bias. The company also uses its data to provide clear evidence of the issue in order to make changes. Additionally, Hewish is a member of the 30% Club, which aims to improve the representation of women on boards.

Trainline partners with Code First: Girls

Trainline is hoping to tackle gender imbalance through initiatives including its partnership with the Code First: Girls social enterprise, helping teach 20,000 girls to code by 2020.

As part of London Tech Week, Trainline held an event discussing the problems surrounding the gender imbalance in the industry. CEO Clare Gilmartin said at the event that it makes good business sense to have diverse teams because customer bases are diverse: “Tech is shaping our lives now and into the future. Of course, we need women participating and co-creating these tools.”

Stay tuned to the Claremont Consulting blog for more key insights and news from our specialist sectors.