Just 18% of directors of Silicon Roundabout tech companies are women
This is significantly lower than the representation of women on the boards of FTSE 100 companies, where 24% of directors are women. The government-backed target for the representation of women on FTSE100 boards is 25%.
Procorre says that although it is recognised that women are underrepresented in the sector, the figures demonstrate the scale of the issue and the huge effort that is needed to address the problem. There are less women in senior levels than across the industry as a whole: women make up 27% of the total digital workforce, down from 33% in 2002.
Procorre says that to ensure that women are better represented at top levels in this crucial, high-growth sector, new measures may need to be considered. These could include a self-imposed target for the industry, similar to the target for the FTSE100, and initiatives to dispel the misconception that start-up and high growth tech companies are hostile to female employees.
Wiktor Podgorski, contracts & HR manager at Procorre, comments, “There is undoubtedly a shortage of female graduates with the right qualifications to go into the digital industries, but the gender gap in Silicon Roundabout cannot be explained by that alone.”
“Women make up 38% of maths graduates, which could easily be a stepping stone into a career in software development. But in fact, only half of female graduates of science, technology, engineering (STEM) subjects go into STEM careers, compared with 68% of their male peers from the same courses. Technology-based industries seem to be unable to attract the female talent available, and we have to look at the reasons why.”
“Self-imposed targets seem to be working in the FTSE100 – they could also help the tech sector to raise its game.”
“For Silicon Roundabout’s concentration of high growth companies, there is also a need to reassure women that they are not hostile places to work.”
“The last recession proved that job security at larger businesses is not necessarily better than at smaller businesses. And although start-ups are definitely demanding environments they can also offer great flexibility. The lack of ingrained corporate culture and open management structures mean that women can be very demanding in setting their working patterns.”
Bucking the trend: female digital pioneers
• Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, appointed in 2012
• Joanna Shields, former head of Tech City UK, now working as minister for internet safety and security for the UK Government
• Meg Whitman, president of Hewlett Packard, a multi-national IT company
• Peng Lei, co-founder of Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce company
• Marissa Ann Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, appointed in 2012
• Sara Murray OBE, founder confused.com
• Kathryn Parsons, CEO Decoded, the coding training centre