Celebrating the change women are making in the tech industry
This year, the UN is celebrating International Women’s Day under the banner "DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality", to recognise and celebrate the women who are championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education. I am certain that this is a cause that will be universally supported by all working in technology.
Today, only 26% of the general tech workforce and only 5% of leadership positions are held by women. Unbelievably, as small as this figure might seem, it still represents growth and reflects the achievements of the many women who were not discouraged by traditional perceptions of the industry.
Telehouse, was a very male dominated environment just ten years ago. At that time, only about 10% of the workforce was female, and they mainly occupied admin roles. But now we actively encourage more women to take senior positions.
Bringing about such change is not something that happens in a day. It takes a cultural shift that everyone must buy into. And it takes time. Our goal is to support women to take senior positions within teams by building their skills and reinforcing the message that these opportunities were open to them, despite industry history suggesting otherwise. True change can be slow, but we’re definitely seeing progress, and at Telehouse, apart from myself, we now have nine females on the senior leadership team.
One way of ensuring equity is to ensure effective flexible working policies are in place as well to bring more women into underrepresented roles, such as the service desk, and foster their progression through the company via programmes that will see them eventually take on leadership positions.
Looking back, I have seen many changes in the technology industry. I began my career in sales in 1995, and it was a very convoluted journey to reach a management position, not much was straightforward. Today, there are so many wonderful women who have become technology pioneers, leading multi-national companies, and their achievements have helped to define what is possible for other women to strive for and expect from their own careers.
Much of what is holding women back is perception. It sounds easy to overcome, but until the gender levels within a company reach a tipping point, this barrier can be a significant one. We can drive change in the working culture by showing the benefits of gender balance to stakeholders. Today, women around the world are taking powerful strides forward and demonstrating, to themselves and to others, that they are capable and industrious, and certainly, the technology industry is much better off for it.
techUK is marching forward to close the tech gender gap in 2023. Throughout March, coinciding with International Women’s Day (IWD 2023) on 8 March, we are exploring how we embrace equitable workplaces. The UN’s theme for IWD 2023 focuses on Digital for All or DigitALL, and we are proud to support this.
For more information, please visit our Women in Tech hub.
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