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Why we need this

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The agenda for action has been highlighted in the recent report from the Lords Select Committee chaired by Baroness Sally Morgan, “Make or Break: the UKs Digital Future 2015” (February 2015) which urges the incoming government to seize the opportunity to secure the UK’s place as a global digital leader. They state that increasing the number of women working in IT could generate an extra £2.6 billion each year for the UK economy. Women make up under 30% of the ICT workforce, comprising around 20% of computer graduates and under 10% of app developers “If we can crack the issue of getting more girls into those types of careers, there could be huge business benefits… Significant efforts need to be made to increase the pool of talent”

Diversity Data published on major global Technology companies indicates that only around 1 in 4 technology and leadership roles are undertaken by women. Lightner,R & Molla, R, Wall Street Journal 30 December 2014

 

Percentage of Women and Men in Technology Jobs (world-wide) by company

  • Ebay 24%
  • Apple 20%
  • Linkedin 17%
  • Google 17%
  • Microsoft 17%
  • Facebook 15%
  • Yahoo 15%
  • Twitter 10%

Percentage of Women and Men in Leadership Roles in Technology Companies (world-wide) by company

  • Ebay 28%
  • Apple 28%
  • Linkedin 25%
  • Amazon 25%
  • Google 21%
  • Microsoft 23%
  • Facebook 23%
  • Yahoo 23%
  • Twitter 21%
  • HP 20%
  • INTEL 16%

Source: Company Data collated by Renee Lightner and Rani Molla (Wall Street Journal) 30th December 2014

Even in Silicon Valley in the US women are woefully under-represented in start-up and innovation technology companies. Research from the Silicon Valley bank in 2014 found fewer than half of organisations in innovation hubs around the world had even one women in a board or director role. Intel’s Chief Information Officer Kim Stevenson states “it’s important to have a diverse workforce, diverse teams produce better results as they understand who the end customer will be for technology. At Intel we are focused about diversity about asking what we are doing to ensure we have a pipeline and workforce and a set of leaders that are diverse by nature…we’re doing it by bringing technology to young women and creating a supply chain of diverse talent2 (CIO(UK) Magazine February 2015)

What can be done?

Belinda Parmar OBE CEO of social enterprise, Little Miss Geek says ‘if we want more women in tech, we need to sweat the small stuff’. She highlights the importance of grassroots action and says that the problem with big solutions is that they allow us to disengage on a personal level. “The sad fact is despite the issue having entered the mainstream very little has changed.   E-skills (the sector skills council for the IT industry) estimates in the UK that the number of women working in the technology sector has fallen from 17% to 16%. If we want more girls to see the technology sector as a career option we need to make small changes, try new approaches, take risks. Rather than searching for one single big solution to bringing more women into technology, we need to look for many, many small actions” Parmar,B, ‘If we want more women in tech, we need to sweat the small stuff’ The Guardian. 8 October 2014

This Project focuses on bringing women together from education and training and industry to try to identify ideas to ‘sweat the small stuff’. Coralesce is organising events  to develop an agenda for action in the FE & skills sector working with industry and linking up with the US.

Follow our progress and look at the results of our engagement with the sector through this site and the @techwomenuk twitter feed.

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