Women are under represented in digital technology occupations. It’s a given – a well-known, hardly news-worthy, fact.
Marie Stafford described the situation in her article for Campaign: despite being avid users of tech, women are dramatically underrepresented in the industry. In the UK, only 17% of IT specialists are women compared to a quarter of IT specialists in the US (not much better but at least a bit).
Beyond the doom and gloom, there’s much to be positive about when it comes to being a woman in technology.
The number of women in the technology industry is growing 238% faster than men.
More girls than ever are taking A-Levels and university courses in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects, rising 45% in 2015 and again in 2016. Moreover, girls are achieving higher grades (nearly 80% A*- C) compared to boys (75% A*- C).
Fantastic initiatives exist. Many taking practical measures to promote the tech sector to women, offering training and free courses, and giving support and mentorship where possible. These include CodeFirst: Girls, #TechMums, the Returners Hub, Code Academy, Girls Who Code, the Mary Keller Network, GeekGirl Meetup, Women’s World Wide Web, not to mention our friends at FemTech Global.
And in fintech specifically, Innovate Finance’s survey revealed 48% of women believe fintech is a more attractive space for female talent and 35% also said female leaders had helped them achieve their career goals.
There is every reason to celebrate female tech talent in the UK – the leaders, pioneers, and smashers of glass at every level.
But we need to do much more.
There are plenty of statistics to show how challenging the tech industry remains for women.