Why We're Championing Women in Tech
According to data collected by the ONS in its 2018 report, there are five times as many men in the IT and Telecommunication sector than women. There are seven times as many male programmers and software developers as there are female.
Enter most software companies and you'll see this data play out in real life. In lots of software companies, the sad fact is that there may only be one woman - or none. That woman might not work in a technical role either. We're proud to be an exception to this.
These statistics should be shocking. At the simplest level, it comes down to a question of equal opportunity. Should women be given the same opportunities and empowerment as men in tech?
Even if there weren't good economic arguments in favour of more women in tech, it would still be important for us to champion inclusivity. The tech and digital sector is reported to be the fastest growing sector in our economy, with high salaries and competitive recruitment; women shouldn't be absent.
The reason for women's underrepresentation is a source of much debate; it's likely because down to a combination of factors. To tackle the low numbers of women in tech we must not only fight workplace discrimination. We must also account for societal norms that guide young girls away from tech careers.
In recent years, the UK has seen the start of initiatives driven to do just that. InnovateNow, for instance, is an after-school enrichment programme in the North West delivering 8 week courses to young girls. CodeFirst:Girls is a national programme aimed at teaching 20,000 women how to code by 2020.
We recently declared our support for PwC's #TechSheCan Charter and our commitment to taking proactive steps to 'change the ratio'. One of the changes we've brought about has been rewording and rethinking our hiring process for technical roles.
Our Senior Frontend Engineer Becca and Lead Frontend Developer Sam worked together to make sure our job advertisements are gender-neutral. They aimed to ensure that our wording is as inclusive as possible to encourage applications from a diverse range of people.
We continue to face the problem, however, of very low numbers of applications from women. Alone, this isn't something we can overcome. That's why we are keen to support education initiatves so that young girls are not taught unconscious biases.
That's why we continue to champion the inclusion of women in tech.