Not enough women in Technology

Woman and man on laptop

An undeniable fact, even in 2019, the number of women working in the technology sector is vastly underrepresented.

In spite of efforts by the government and industry itself to try and help get more women into the space, says, “The number of working women in technology is significantly lower than most other UK work sectors. Just 17% of those working in technology in the UK are female.”

A sad state of affairs regarding stats around women currently in tech, this sentiment is further amplified by other numbers that show:

  • 1-in-6 tech specialists in the UK are women
  • 1-in-10 are IT leaders, and
  • 24 out of 500 leaders in companies are women

Equal opportunities in the tech sector

A driving force for success, a report by Catalyst on Fortune 500 companies found that organisations with at least three women in an executive role showed the average return on equity increased by 53%, and returns on invested capital increased by at least 66%.

Demonstrating that when women are given opportunity an organisation performs better overall, it’s a shame to think women are missing out on the chance to showcase their talent. This could be through lack of career prospects within their organisation, fear of the sector, or just general misconceptions of what the sector can provide them – and what they can provide the sector in return.

An American survey reported by Fast Company on job site Indeed canvassed 1,000 women about their experiences in the field. Astonishingly, 28.1% stated that the biggest reason for leaving the industry was a lack of career growth. They went on to say, “Many of the women also believe that men have an advantage in the field.”

But is this the case for the UK too?

Before its time, here at TVision the workforce is heavily influenced by women – with around 60% of its staff female. Headed by Pippa Odell, Managing Director and founding partner, diversity and equality have never been an issue. Pippa says,

I’m always surprised more women don’t choose a career in IT. There are such a variety of roles available! Cloud adoption gives so much flexibility around working hours and location, that technology is a great space to be in.

So with greater flexibility than some other industries in terms of work/life balance and family, is it just a case of prospects of advancement that’s holding women back, or is there something more?

Misconceptions of the tech sector

Historically a male dominated sector, the idea of being a minority as a female could well make the decision to work in technology just a bit too daunting. Especially when you consider only 7% of students taking computer science A-levels are female. And only half the girls studying IT and tech subjects at school go on to a job in the same field.

Preconceived notions of what the industry is about doesn’t do it any favours for sure, whether that’s nerdy experts or second-hand car salesman bravado within sales teams, who or what you need to be in order to succeed is intimidating.

Inaccurate ideas in most cases, the profile needs to change, and this can only be done if more women enter the industry, and more women stay.

One way of helping women feel confident enough to remain in tech, could be something like mentoring. Learning from another is a great way to broaden a career in the field, and provides assurance where needed.

Danusia Jolliffe, the Marketing Manager at TVision Technology is doing just this. Currently studying for Chartered Manager status on a leadership with the Women Leaders Association. Danusia says,

My girls only Grammar school definitely instilled in me the unwavering belief that girls can achieve anything they set their minds to; and for me, Science was the only choice for my undergraduate and post-graduate degrees. I think these two factors combined propelled me to look for and find a career in STEM, and so I am always advocating STEM careers to any girls/women that ask.

What next?

Woman looking up to a futuristic ceiling

So if we’re to inspire the next generations of Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO) and Susan Wojcicki (YouTube CEO), it could well be the responsibility of women already in the sector to alter the way they work to really drive change.

Initiatives to encourage and educate women could help build the sense of value to a team, department and business as a whole.

Circling back to the Indeed survey, Kim Williams, Indeed’s Senior Director of Design Platform, Technology and Operations says,

“As more women advance in their careers, they break down barriers and set crucial examples for others…Once you get into those management and senior leadership positions, continue to find ways to hold yourself and others accountable for creating an environment where women are included and have access to what they need to be successful.”

If you’d like to find out more about TVision Technology from a diversity point of view, or Microsoft Dynamics from a technology point of view, we’re always happy to help.