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Redefining women in technology

Diverse group of women working in tech industry

ARTICLE SUMMARY

The technology industry has made impressive progress in terms of diversity and inclusion over the past 10 years, with women carving careers at both established companies and in FEMTECH startups.

These leaders have paved the way and demonstrated to future generations that being ambitious in the IT industry is possible.

The proportion of women in the technology industry, however, is not changing fast enough. In fact, according to PwC only 5% of leadership positions in the IT sector are held by women and only 16% of females have had a career in technology suggested to them, a figure which is more than double for males. These statistics show that, despite significant improvements made in the industry, female representation still has a very long way to go.

Katharina Kröger, Marketing Manager at SEH Technology

In this article, Katharina Kröger, Marketing Manager at SEH Technology, takes a look at the value women bring to the tech industry, how organisations can encourage more female representation among their workforce, and how women can best align their skills and aspirations to succeed amidst the industry.

Katharina is a Marketing Manager at SEH Technology and has been with the company for 3 years. In this role, Katharina’s responsibilities include overseeing all of SEH Technology’s marketing activity, as well as collaborating with clients including resellers, distributors and customers. Prior to joining SEH Technology, Katharina graduated from Solent University with an undergraduate degree in marketing.

WHAT VALUE CAN WOMEN BRING TO THE IT INDUSTRY?

It has repeatedly been proven that organisations with greater diversity bring in more revenue compared to those that do not embrace it in the workforce. It is thought that increasing the number of women working in IT could generate an extra £2.6 billion a year for the UK economy.

High-gender-diversity companies deliver better returns, and have outperformed, on average, less diverse companies over the past five years. A report from McKinsey reports that high gender-diverse companies are 25% more likely to experience above-average profitability than their less diverse counterparts, further reinforcing the value and importance of diversity among the workplace. Businesses that not only hire but also manage to retain more women put themselves in a position to gain a competitive advantage, a benefit that extends to all stakeholders.

In addition to financial success, companies that create and shape gender-diverse workplaces gain access to a much wider talent pool from which to recruit, develop and grow from. Women make up half of the global population, and bring a wealth of skills, knowledge and attributes that can prove pivotal in the long term success of businesses.

Furthermore, work environments that are both diverse and inclusive gain the additional advantage of different approaches, perspectives and life experiences that organisations can utilise to embed into their products and services. A multiplicity of perspectives can help in sparking creativity and innovation, helping businesses to identify new opportunities and challenge traditional gender stereotypes simultaneously.

HOW CAN BUSINESSES ENCOURAGE MORE FEMALE REPRESENTATION?

Two of the biggest obstacles for women in technology are a lack of mentors and a limited number of female role models. An absence of support within the sector can have an impact on gender diversity as it can cause uncertainty for those who are interested in entering the industry. A recent article showcased that 64% of women in technology were inspired by a role model to pursue their career, compared to only 47% of men, highlighting the importance of role models in creating a more gender-diverse future.

If companies actively celebrate their female technology leaders, it will encourage more girls to pursue their interests and careers, therefore increasing the hiring pool diversity. It is important that young girls have strong role models of other successful women in STEM to demonstrate that they have the opportunity to succeed within this industry too. As well as this, ensuring that women are in influential positions also means that they can engage their male counterparts on the topic of gender equality.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Female representation in technology has made significant developments in recent years, however there is still a long way to go until we achieve a more active and inclusive gender-diverse sector. Women create tremendous value into the working world, helping to develop a multiplicity of perspectives, improve financial performance and foster a greater sense of company culture and belonging. Businesses can encourage greater female representation through the active celebration of women in the workplace and via the creation of female role models and mentors, helping to pave the way to a more gender-diverse and successful future.

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