IWD 2024: We Asked The Experts – How Can The Tech Industry Better Support Women?

For International Women’s Day 2024, we collected industry expert predictions on how the tech industry can better support women.


International Women’s Day 2024 is a day dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women globally and a chance for us to advocate for equality – and the tech industry certainly has a long way to go.

According to research by Tech Nation, 77% of tech director roles are occupied by men, and women constitute only 26% of the overall tech workforce. These figures are even more severe when it comes to women of colour, with black and Hispanic women making up a mere 3% and Asian women 5%.

Despite the industry’s quick development and the increasing importance of tech in our lives, the representation of women within the industry continues to fall behind.

In light of this, we turned to a panel of women from diverse backgrounds and at various stages in their careers, to share their insights and recommendations on how the tech industry can more effectively support and empower women.

Let’s hear what they had to say…


Our Experts


  • Irene Klemm, Founder at Edurino
  • Tracy Prandi-Yuen, Global VP at Boku
  • Steph Hamill, Senior Entrepreneur in Residence at Oneday
  • Nicole Marguerite Gray, Marketing Strategist
  • Deborah Collier, President at Digital Skills Authority
  • Claire Ayles, Co-Founder at Eleven Hundred Agency
  • Diane Gilpin, Founder and CEO at Smart Green Shipping
  • Sneha Saigal, Co-founder & CEO at Geeks and Experts
  • Husna Grimes, VP Global Privacy at Permutive
  • Jessica Rosevear, Business Development Director at EXTE
  • Eleanor Kaye, Director at Newton Venture Programs
  • Charlotte Fuller, Founder at Technically Confident
  • Desi Zhivkova, Senior Deliverability Manager at Omnisend
  • Karoli Hindriks, CEO and Co-founder at Jobbatical
  • Emma Obanye, CEO at OneTech
  • Kim-Adele Randall, CEO at Kim-adele Ltd
  • Sophie Condie, Chief Operating Officer at Shieldpay
  • Stefanie Ricchio, CPA, Author and Professor
  • Seema Kumar, Chief People Officer at Amperity
  • Lynsey Oni, Head of People at eCommerce Provider Visualsoft
  • Sam Simpson Oldale, Product Manager at Tribepad
  • Karen Snape, Data Science Director at Jaywing
  • Sintija Petersone, Chief People Officer at DeskTime
  • Alex Smith, Co-Founder and Partner at FuturePlus
  • Mary Yip, Product Lead at Evergreen Life
  • Jenny Tsai, CEO and Founder at WeArisma
  • Katharina Richter-Weiss, Chief Operating Officer at PXP Financial
  • Ryta Zasiekina, Founder at CONCRYT
  • Nina Mack, Customer Experience and Acquisition Director at CTI Digital
  • Flavilla Fongang, Co-Founder at GTA Black Women in Tech
  • Dr. Kirsty Perrett, Lead Cyber Engineer at Thales
  • Mila Khrapchenko, Co-Founder at Ameetee
  • Rebecca Armstrong, Managing Director at Making Energy Greener
  • Julia Khandoshko, CEO at Mind Money
  • Clar Rosso, CEO at ISC2
  • Sabrina Loi, Chief Design Officer at Creditspring
  • Dr. Lisa Graham, CEO at Seeq
  • Karolina Plaskaty, Chief People Officer at Varda
  • Lara Bissio, Sustainability Specialist at NAVEX
  • Stefanie Koh, Head of Payments for APAC at TerraPay
  • Rebekah Lloyd, Founder at This Independent Life
  • Laura Tristram, Founder at Lumii
  • Admas Kanyagia, VP of Social Impact at DigitalOcean


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Irene Klemm, Founder at Edurino



“Looking at the tech scene, I see three critical aspects of empowering women in tech:

“Empowering Girls: Education and exposure are key. By introducing girls to tech at an early age and maintaining this encouragement throughout their education, we create a pipeline of confident, skilled women ready to enter the tech workforce. This empowerment is a joint effort of parents, educators and media. Girls need to see successful women in tech in advertisements, TV shows, and online content. This consistent visibility reinforces the message that tech is a welcoming and rewarding field for women.

“Creating Role Models: Representation matters. Showcasing successful women in tech leadership roles, and sharing their stories on social media and within communities, inspires both young girls and women. These success stories challenge stereotypes, proving that tech is not just a male-dominated field. By highlighting women’s achievements in tech, we boost confidence and motivation in others to pursue similar paths.

“Allowing Flexibility: The pandemic has underscored the importance of flexible work environments. For women, who often shoulder a disproportionate share of caregiving, flexibility is crucial. Workplaces that offer adaptable schedules and remote work options support women in balancing their professional and personal responsibilities.

“By focusing on these areas, we can make significant strides in supporting and empowering women in the tech industry”


 Tracy Prandi-Yuen, Global VP at Boku



“Women face pervasive underrepresentation in the workplace, particularly within the tech sector, as revealed by recent findings. Tackling this issue requires a strategic focus on three key areas for tech companies and industry bodies. First, establishing a sustainable talent pipeline is crucial. Rather than relying on short-term fixes like increased hires, companies should invest in comprehensive programs supporting the long-term growth and retention of female employees across all levels. Second, addressing microaggressions is paramount.

“Mandatory training programs that raise awareness and mitigate these subtle slights are essential to maintaining a psychologically safe workplace. Lastly, nurturing supportive workplace communities is vital for women’s success. Encouraging collaboration, offering professional development tools, and endorsing initiatives like mentorship programs and networking opportunities contribute to creating an inclusive environment. Leveraging established frameworks, such as Lean In Circles s or IAmRemarkable, enhances the impact of these efforts.”


Steph Hamill, Senior Entrepreneur in Residence at Oneday 



“As an advocate for neurodiversity in tech, I wholeheartedly believe that the industry’s future depends on embracing diverse minds. The data speaks for itself – research from Stanford shows companies with diverse teams are 35% more likely to outperform their peers. In a world obsessed with data, the data doesn’t lie, so why is it being ignored? Women, especially neurodivergent women, face a plethora of unique challenges. It’s not just about creating space for women; it’s about recognising our unique strengths.

“We need radical shifts, not placating hiring quotas but environments where different cognitive styles are a direct source of innovation. Let’s not ‘fit’ women into tech, let’s transform tech to benefit from the diversity women are proven to bring.”


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Nicole Marguerite Gray, Marketing Strategist



“We need more female role models at different levels in tech (not just the most senior) who are able to actively share their experiences and journeys to inform others. Encouraging more women in tech to build their personal brands – especially on LinkedIn – by sharing their insights and experiences creates so many positive opportunities.

“The current lack of open conversation about the experiences of women in tech makes it much more difficult to break into – especially as an industry that is traditionally considered more male-dominated. Having female voices in your business that are more active online and are able to actually share their own unique perspectives not only makes the space feel more accessible and inviting for more women, but can also have hugely positive effects on employer brand perception and as a result – improved recruitment timelines and a more equal gender balance throughout the hiring process.

“By actively supporting and cultivating female voices that are already in the business – and ensuring they don’t feel the need to censor themselves online – they are able to build effective personal brands and create real and lasting impact in the space.”


Deborah Collier, President at Digital Skills Authority 



“The tech industry, while making strides towards inclusivity, still faces a significant gender gap. To support women in tech, comprehensive efforts are essential. Firstly, equal opportunities must be ensured, including recruitment, retention, and breaking stereotypes. Mentorship and sponsorship programs should be implemented to foster professional growth.

“Moreover, women should have equitable access to senior and board roles, with companies establishing policies to promote diversity. Investment in female tech founders is crucial, with prioritized funding, resources, and tailored networks to support startups led by women.

“Overall, fostering an inclusive culture is key to advancing gender equality in tech. By championing equal opportunities, representation, and investment, the industry can fully leverage women’s potential in driving innovation and shaping technology’s future.”


Claire Ayles, Co-Founder at Eleven Hundred Agency




“Tech companies have come a long way over recent years; we’re seeing more flexible working practices, more women rising to the top within their organisations and a decline in ‘bro-culture’. But a much bigger challenge remains; there simply aren’t enough women wanting to work in technology in the first place. For example, only 35 percent of girls carry on with STEM subjects after GCSE, even though they outperform boys in these exams. In other words, nearly two-thirds of girls have already decided that technical subjects aren’t for them at the grand old age of 16.

“To counter this, there needs to be an industry-wide movement to show girls the true breadth of careers offered in the tech industry. Many associate working in tech with coding as that’s their experience of computer science lessons. While this is obviously a key skill, there are so many other career paths that the industry has to offer, but these aren’t well understood. In other words, the industry needs to start promoting itself to school age children as a place where there’s a role for everyone.

“I say this as a woman in tech and a mother of two teenage girls in secondary education.”


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Diane Gilpin, Founder and CEO at Smart Green Shipping



“Inequality has been a defining feature over my 30-year career in tech – from being told by a government agency-appointed mentor that I’d never be recognised as the CEO of a tech company, to frequently being the only woman in a room full of male investors and entrepreneurs. However, the inequality has arguably been starkest as a female founder.

“Female entrepreneurs pull in only a tiny fraction – less than two percent – of venture capital investment. This is a huge missed investment opportunity – businesses founded by women generate twice as much revenue as businesses founded by men, and companies with more diverse executive teams are 25% more likely to have above-average profitability. Investors are often keen to speak about ‘risk assessment’, but it seems to me that they aren’t properly evaluating their investment risks if they aren’t assessing data about the success of women entrepreneurs.

“To truly support women in tech, we need to invest in women-led businesses, as well as promoting women to executive teams.”


Sneha Saigal, Co-Founder & CEO at Geeks and Experts



“Did you know that women, particularly those from underrepresented groups, face significant challenges in gaining visibility in media coverage of entrepreneurship and innovation? Shockingly, studies reveal that only 20% of news sources quoted in such coverage are women, highlighting a glaring disparity in representation. Moreover, the lack of intersectional representation exacerbates this issue, with WOC, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people with disabilities even less likely to be featured in entrepreneurship stories.

“This bias in storytelling not only perpetuates stereotypes, but also limits opportunities for underrepresented founders. It shapes public perceptions, hindering diverse voices from being heard and perpetuating systemic barriers to entry. However, there’s hope! By increasing accountability, advocating for change, and prioritizing data-driven solutions, we can create a more inclusive media landscape. Collaborative efforts that promote diversity and inclusion in media representation are crucial for fostering a culture that celebrates the diverse experiences and contributions of all entrepreneurs to cultivate a more equitable and inclusive media ecosystem!”


Husna Grimes, VP Global Privacy at Permutive



“Addressing the gender gap and supporting women in the tech industry requires a multifaceted approach. Companies must make Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) commitments, focusing on senior and executive levels, ensuring representation that paves the way for those at earlier career stages.

“Education and collaboration is a great area to start. For talent, companies can work with specialised search firms to help diversify talent pools, especially at executive levels. For the hiring process, it’s essential to combat unconscious bias through education, provide training on inclusive interviewing, embed measurement and accountability within the business to track gender metrics and monitor fair recruitment practices.

“To bridge the gender pay gap, companies should establish equitable remuneration policies, acknowledging the unpaid efforts – such as leading or participating in employee resource groups, organising team events, and arranging gifts – of women in maintaining a positive workplace culture. Providing exciting opportunities for skill development, backed by senior leadership support, fosters professional growth. Increasing the visibility of women through speaking engagements and industry conferences, alongside a commitment to diverse panels, reinforces inclusivity.

“Investing in formal leadership development opportunities, connecting women with mentors and sponsors, and celebrating their achievements are vital to supporting women’s progress in the tech industry. A comprehensive strategy combining leadership commitment, systemic changes, and cultural recognition is essential for achieving gender parity in tech.”


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Jessica Rosevear, Business Development Director at EXTE



“As a working mother in the tech industry, I feel fortunate to be a part of a supportive company that values adaptable work arrangements, providing the flexibility needed to balance work and family commitments effectively. To inspire inclusion and support women in our field, more companies need to incorporate flexible working options. Improved parental leave policies, adjustable hours and remote work are just some ways to encourage working mothers to return after maternity leave and continue to thrive and progress in the workplace.

“There is also a need for more tailored mentorship and training programs, across all stages. Professional development opportunities for women to promote growth, as well as programmes to introduce young girls and teenagers to tech to give them the confidence to pursue careers in the industry are vital. At EXTE, we actively support The Women in Programmatic Network, with many team members being part of it. Fostering a supportive community and providing spaces for women to share their knowledge and have important conversations is necessary to create a more inclusive and diverse future for women in our field.”


Eleanor Kaye, Director at Newton Venture Programs



“The best way to support women in tech is making sure they have access to capital. If female founders could raise VC cash more easily, we’d have more women running and scaling tech companies, exiting tech companies, and going on to invest in a new generation of female founders themselves. To make this happen, we need VCs to step up and truly change. A great place to start is with their own talent pipeline; the research shows that having more female VCs round the table leads to more female founders getting backed. So let’s get more women in VC and unlock that virtuous cycle of success.”


Charlotte Fuller, Founder at Technically Confident


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“The tech industry holds immense potential to empower already successful female entrepreneurs to extend their prowess into the tech sector. To effectively support these adept business leaders, the industry must prioritise facilitating access to funding and offering tailored guidance. Specifically geared towards women who have demonstrated their ability to drive business success in their respective industries, these initiatives aim to enable them to leverage their existing ventures into the tech realm.

“By streamlining access to funding and providing targeted guidance on navigating tech opportunities, the industry can unlock untapped potential for these accomplished entrepreneurs. Furthermore, fostering a supportive ecosystem that champions diversity and inclusion is essential. This involves tailored mentorship programs, networking initiatives, and skill-building workshops, all designed to equip women with the tools they need to confidently transition into the tech sector.

“Recognising and celebrating the achievements of these women in tech entrepreneurship is paramount. By highlighting their successes and amplifying their voices, the industry can inspire future generations and cultivate an environment where female entrepreneurs feel empowered to pursue their tech aspirations.

“In essence, by proactively addressing barriers and creating an enabling environment, the tech industry can harness the full potential of already successful female entrepreneurs, driving meaningful progress towards a more diverse, equitable, and prosperous future in both traditional and tech sectors alike.”


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Desi Zhivkova, Senior Deliverability Manager at Omnisend



“Being a woman in the tech can sometimes be very challenging. It’s not an easy task to learn to be heard and respected in a male-dominated industry like ours. However, I was fortunate to have two amazing women as leaders and mentors in the early stages of my career who helped me find my authentic voice and taught me how to confidently express my ideas.

“So for women to feel supported in the tech industry, we should not forget to give this support to each other. No one would understand the challenges women working in tech face better than other women in the same situation. They also know the best how to succeed in this career.

“Many online communities promote leadership and professional growth among women in the tech industry. They are a safe space for women to ask for help and share their experiences without any judgment.”


Karoli Hindriks, CEO and Co-Founder at Jobbatical 



“While there have been leaps in the number of women joining the industry and founding tech businesses in the past year, anyone who has spent time in tech will tell you we’re still far from gender equality. 77% of tech director roles are filled by men and stats from the UK’s Tech Nation found just 1 in 4 of the tech workforce are women. Looking at funding, 98% of European VC money went to businesses founded by men in 2023. Needless to say, critical changes are needed in almost every corner of tech – from how we invest, to how we lead, to how we hire.

“Here are three things I’d like to see happening more across our industry this year:

“Hiring for culture add, not culture fit. As humans, we are naturally drawn to people who act and look like us. When it comes to hiring, this is entirely the wrong approach. Recruitment teams and leadership need to prioritise diversity of thought, gender and background rather than building a team of clones. 

“Remote and flexible work: Not being anchored to an office creates a more flexible approach to work which has been found as a key driver of gender equality in the workplace and a driver of economic growth. We recently shut out Tallinn HQ and went fully remote and the response so far has been amazing. 

“Fund more female-led startups: Companies with diverse founding teams perform 2.5x better than those without. Yet the needle has barely moved in the past five years. We need more female VCs, Angels and male allies to ensure that great businesses aren’t being hindered by conscious and unconscious bias.”


Emma Obanye, CEO at OneTech 


So you want to be a startup founder? Do these 10 things first | Sifted


“Given that in 2023, women-led businesses secured just 3.5% of equity funding, this International Women’s Day we should reflect on the obstacles female entrepreneurs face and commit to clearing the path to accessible capital. We must demand an equitable tech ecosystem that enables women-led startups to flourish through alternative fundraising models that don’t solely rely on the traditional VC pathway. 

“To do this, governments, investors and corporate leaders must get behind initiatives that empower female founders to gain access to a wide array of funding opportunities that help them achieve their goals, whether that’s bootstrapping, crowdfunding, angel investment and grants. When women have access to the resources they need to fund their visions, it opens up a world of possibilities. This International Women’s Day, and every day, it’s more important than ever to level out the playing field for female founders.”


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Kim-Adele Randall, CEO at Kim-adele Ltd



“Empowering women in the tech industry is essential for driving innovation and progress. To achieve this, the industry must provide equal opportunities for employment, advancement, and leadership roles, alongside investing in education and training from an early age. Creating supportive work environments with policies promoting work-life balance and combating bias is crucial for retaining women in tech. Increasing the visibility and representation of women in leadership positions and media can inspire future generations. Building networks and communities for women in tech to connect and support each other is vital, as is encouraging investment in female-led ventures.

“Providing access to mentors and role models can guide women through their careers while addressing unconscious bias ensures fair treatment. Corporate accountability through transparent reporting and diversity metrics can drive meaningful change. Continuous advocacy for gender diversity raises awareness of its benefits. Through these efforts, the tech industry can foster a culture of inclusivity and equality, unleashing the full potential of diverse talent for innovation and shaping the future.”


Sophie Condie, Chief Operating Officer at Shieldpay



“To better support women in the tech industry, implementing structured and less formal mentorship programs is essential. Structured and less formal mentorship programs and creating a culture of knowledge sharing will give women a safe space to share and feel confident about their seat at the table. Then, women can feel empowered through connecting and sharing experiences to navigate their careers as well as their work-life balance.

“Role models are a must. Putting women in key leadership positions, including C-suite and board members, will show the women pursuing the same career, that it’s normal to excel within the sector. 

“There are fantastic networks for women looking for mentoring, coaching, and sponsorship (I absolutely urge everyone to have at least one of these at every stage of your career), such as Women in Tech, Women in Banking and Finance and more localised programmes. Lots of our partners and clients have internal programmes for Women to gain network and growth opportunities. The next challenge is finding the time to attend them in the fast-paced world we all live in! As women, we’ve got to recognise that our mission is to uplift each other and improve representation across the board”

Stefanie Ricchio CPA, Author and Professor


About Me


“I’ve spent 25 years in the tech sector, the most recent deep in the tech startup world. Today tech companies move fast.  Women, particularly mothers, are burning out at a rate higher than most can understand.  The environment is full of deadlines and often unrealistic expectations to go to market or to meet unsustainable investor demands. As a consultant I have a birdseye view of what women are not getting that keep them from truly breaking into tech and seeing the results they want for themselves.

“To start, we need to ask if the demands that we are imposing on women in our businesses are real or are we building unrealistic expectations. Inflated deadlines are crippling work life balance. Is it a sprint or is it a marathon? Next, build solid teams. Create a system that is supportive. Don’t ask a woman to do the job of 2 or more people. Give her the resources and team needed to be successful.  Lastly, don’t keep women stuck in continuous improvement cycles because you don’t want to see them advance yet.  I see this on a regular basis, women who have worked hard still being asked to prove themselves, meaning more projects and timelines, little to compensate but a promise.”


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Seema Kumar, Chief People Officer at Amperity



“In today’s dynamic tech landscape, championing women isn’t just a moral obligation; it’s a strategic necessity. Most tech companies are prioritising hiring and promoting women in leadership roles. However the progress is not where it needs to be. We must continue to employ a multifaceted strategy, from inclusive interview processes to fostering an inclusive environment that accommodates the diverse needs of women. Companies need to focus on:

      • Providing opportunities through sponsorship and professional development programs.
      • Implementing training programs to raise awareness of unconscious bias and promote inclusive behaviours among employees.
      • Setting goals and tracking progress to ensure there is advancement of women into leadership positions.

“At the heart of this journey lies an inclusive ethos valuing diverse perspectives. Equitable access to training and early promotional pathways is key to empowering women in technical roles.

“Backed by research, we understand the critical factors driving women’s retention in tech.

“Organisations must proactively cultivate supportive cultures and implement initiatives tailored to nurture women leaders.

“As leaders in innovation, it’s our responsibility to create environments where women not only thrive but also ascend to leadership roles. By embracing this mission, we not only enrich our organisations but also drive industry-wide transformation and lasting societal change.”


Lynsey Oni, Head of People at eCommerce Provider Visualsoft



“Key for us at Visualsoft is fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for women in tech, regardless of where they are in their career.

“For those with families, we offer shared Shared Parental Leave guidelines and a comprehensive maternity support programme. This includes addressing cultural attitudes towards leave, seamless handovers, tailored communication during absence, structured Keep In Touch (KIT) days, a pre-return questionnaire, and a thorough reintegration plan, emphasising our value for every employee’s career continuity. Our initiatives extend to flexible working arrangements for parents and menopause awareness, highlighting our holistic approach to support.

“We also do what we can to promote career progression, providing equal opportunities through training programmes, leadership workshops, and technical skill-building tailored for women. We promote female role models, cultivate a supportive network for women to share experiences and advice, and provide education on unconscious bias to further ensure a welcoming workplace culture. We are also running ‘She Shares’ which is an in-house Q&A session (through our life@VS forum) where women around the business talk about what they do, how they got into it and what advice they have. And of course we’re constantly working towards narrowing the gender pay gap with more equal pay opportunities.

“These efforts are part of Visualsoft’s commitment to creating a workplace where women in technology can thrive, reflecting our dedication to inclusivity and equality. Essentially a lot of this is about our culture and making it a great place for women to work. We recognise this is an ongoing journey, and keep learning and growing to make Visualsoft a leading example for women in tech.”


Sam Simpson Oldale, Product Manager at Tribepad 



“Mentor, mentor, mentor….. this is what we need to do to support other women in the technology industry at all levels. We have come so far when it comes to maternity leave, flexible working and support for women, but having women role models and mentors is essential to both encourage more women to enter the industry and thrive when they get here. It’s very difficult to aspire to anything if you’ve never seen an example of it.

“This goes beyond just having women in leadership roles – they should be actively doing what they can to bring other females along with them. We need to encourage women of all ages to start their tech careers and when they are here, be encouraging, supportive and pass on the knowledge that has got us to where we are. It’s the responsibility of any senior woman in a tech role to pay it forward, regardless of how hard their struggle to succeed was. Lets normalise women in tech, and you never know, we might not need to think about this in the future, it will just be, well, expected.”


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Karen Snape, Data Science Director at Jaywing



“The main actions that tech companies can be doing to better support women is through mentoring, inclusive hiring and building out networks and partnerships. 

“I am personally mentoring two women working in Jaywing in STEM roles as I feel it is important to support women in their career development. Women in leadership roles can offer invaluable insights and guidance to women at different stages of their career journey. 

 “Inclusive hiring is particularly important; we sometimes receive no female candidates when recruiting for data science roles and will go back to the recruiters to understand more – did any women express an interest but drop out and if so, why? Was there something in the role description that put women off and can we mitigate by rewording the job advert or clarifying elements of the role. It’s crucial that flexible working, family friendly policies and transparent salary structures are included in job adverts to attract a diverse range of candidates in the first place.  

“Tech companies can also set up partnerships with schools and universities to promote tech education and internships for women in STEM. Couple that with setting up a strong network of partnerships, be that training providers, recruiters, or running events and even being vocal on LinkedIn, then you demystify the company and that could encourage more women to apply.” 


Sintija Petersone, Chief People Officer at DeskTime



“One very simple yet crucial way the tech industry can better support women is by offering flexible and remote work options. Why? Moms need it; people who menstruate need it. 

“Of course, not all women working in tech are moms, but many of them are. Rather than frowning that their kid is sick again, offer flexibility in their work so they can continue taking care of the most crucial work tasks from home. I’m sure the tech industry is where this can be easily done. 

“Additionally, offer a paid day off monthly – and not just to women, everyone’s health and well-being can benefit from it. But people who menstruate will especially appreciate this gesture. And it’s not that much to ask from an employer if you think about it more carefully.”


Alex Smith, Co-Founder and Partner at FuturePlus



“The tech industry has made strides in promoting diversity and inclusion, but there is still much work to be done to create an environment where everyone, including women, can thrive. 

 “Female-led company incorporations in the UK are on the rise, but there is a pressing need to amplify support in crucial areas. Despite this progress, female-founded tech start-ups still face hurdles in funding. While high-growth tech companies led by women represent 16.3%, they receive only 8.96% of equity investment. The industry needs to intensify efforts towards investment equality for female entrepreneurs.

“Tech firms must also prioritise equitable opportunities, including mentorship programs and transparent career paths. Acknowledging the diverse needs of employees, the sector should champion flexible schedules, remote work options, and family-friendly policies. This accommodates female employees’ often complex work-life balance and recognises the many skills they bring to the table.

 “Education plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of the tech workforce. Investing in STEM education for girls and women is crucial to cultivating a diverse talent pool. Moreover, industry collaboration with educational institutions can bridge the gap between academia and real-world industry needs, ensuring women have the skills necessary to excel in tech roles.”


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Mary Yip, Product Lead at Evergreen Life


“Diversity fuels innovation. So, in the tech industry, where ideas are currency, inclusivity unlocks the potential of every mind. To create a landscape where women can flourish we need to:

      1. Build safe spaces: Communities where women in tech can connect are vital to share openly and offer support. Mentoring programmes, events and online forums are havens for fostering connection.
      2. Turn wishes into goals: Concrete goals drive change. Setting clear targets for promoting women to leadership, tracking progress, holding leaders accountable and celebrating wins is important. Merit, not gender, paves the way to the top – we need to make that loud and clear.
      3. Offer benefits that matter: Competitive salaries are a given, but rockstar talent needs more. Offering paid parental leave, flexible work arrangements and childcare subsidies or vouchers is likely to be a massive help in today’s cost-of-living crisis.
      4. Cultivate inclusion: An inclusive culture is no accident. It’s built brick by brick by encouraging open communication so everyone feels safe to speak up. We need to actively address microaggressions and celebrate diverse perspectives so that innovation can thrive.

This is not just about diversity; it’s about harnessing the collective brilliance of a talented pool of individuals. Tech companies supporting a diverse workforce will benefit from being more productive and profitable.”


Jenny Tsai, CEO and Founder at WeArisma



“Only 3% of capital investment raised in 2023 was by all-female founder teams according to the latest State of European Tech Report. This is an increase of just 1% since 2019, showing that although there is some improvement, the industry still has a long way to go.

“Inspire Inclusion is therefore a pertinent International Women’s Day theme for 2024, and inclusive investment must be included in this – not just for women in tech but across all industries. If more capital was directed to female entrepreneurs, we may have a very different landscape in terms of IPOs and unicorns.

“WeArisma’s team comprises over 64% women and we also work with many talented, successful female mentors and advisers. As a female-led company, inclusivity and support are ingrained into our DNA and creating an environment that allows women to thrive is fundamental to our success.”


Katharina Richter-Weiss, Chief Operating Officer at PXP Financial




“Building a career in the tech industry takes resilience, particularly as a woman, which is a quality I greatly admire in my colleagues and believe should be celebrated more by businesses. 

“After I graduated in business administration, I worked my way up through a range of management roles in the payments industry, growing my expertise in digitalisation, e-customer relationship management, online marketing and payment technologies. Today, I am the chief operating officer at PXP Financial.

“PXP is all about progression, and this is reflected in the workforce. There are many women in crucial roles, and they never have to worry about being given a fair chance. For example, I have two children and never worried that I would be treated differently for taking maternity leave or – as it sometimes happens – when your day starts with a sick kid. That is one of the most important areas where women in tech need support. Tech companies must be serious about policies and cultures which give women the confidence they can return to the career they have invested so much effort into building.”


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Ryta Zasiekina, Founder at CONCRYT



“Women in tech and business generally often grapple with concerns about how they are perceived, particularly in terms of competitiveness and assertiveness. To succeed, it’s crucial for women to balance assertiveness with strategic thinking, as well as to demonstrate confidence in their abilities. Women must actively pursue opportunities and take on new challenges, recognising that skills can be developed, and experience gained along the way.

“Moreover, women should not be hesitant to compete, as healthy competition is a key driver of success in business. Emotions should be managed carefully, and decisions made based on strategic analysis and foresight.

“Importantly, women should focus on building and maintaining a strong reputation, as this is a critical asset in the business world. Being systematic, thoughtful, diplomatic, and purposeful can help women navigate challenges and build lasting relationships.

“Ultimately, women must not wait to be noticed or for opportunities to come to them. By taking initiative, pursuing new challenges, and demonstrating their capabilities, women can better position themselves for success in the tech industry and beyond.”


Nina Mack, Customer Experience and Acquisition Director at CTI Digital



“To create an environment which better supports women in tech, there are a few key things to consider:

“Flexible working: Implementing more realistic, flexible working policies. It’s great saying people can work flexibly, but if a culture doesn’t support that, the policies may as well not exist. Many parents find themselves juggling work and childcare, often resorting to breakfast and afterschool clubs, which adds additional pressure to the start and end of the day.

“Policies need to reflect the needs of working parents, and the organisation’s culture needs to support the policies.

“Transparent salaries: The persistent gender pay gap highlights the need for open discussions about salaries. By clearly disclosing salary information or bands, companies can ensure fair compensation and avoid biased promotions and salary increases. Often, women aren’t aware of the fact that others earn more for the same role because people are encouraged not to discuss salaries, but this can mean the gender pay gap can continue unchallenged.

“Sexism and gender bias training: Educating senior leaders on the nuances of sexism and gender bias so they are more aware of gendered language and perceptions will help challenge unconscious biases and the restrictions this places on female development into senior roles. According to research, women often receive more personal or vague feedback than clear information about their performance and development that would help them learn and grow.”


Flavilla Fongang. Co-Founder at GTA Black Women in Tech   


The Story of Flavilla Fongang - Black Women in Tech


“To fully support women in the tech industry we must first dispel the myths around women in tech. By working towards a more inclusive and equitable environment, we can encourage the full participation of women and promote diversity in these fields.  

“The biggest myth is the idea that women are not naturally talented in technology fields – one’s gender does not determine one’s abilities. Women have made significant contributions to technology throughout history, so the notion that these fields are better suited for men has no factual basis.  If there appears to be a skills gap, it is more likely the result of systemic barriers, prejudices, and shortage of equal opportunities. Providing women with access to education and career development can help overcome these gaps. 

“Women in tech occupy highly technical positions, not just “soft skill” or non-technical jobs. It is important to acknowledge the wide range of skills women bring to the field.  

“Furthermore, promoting gender diversity should not be about just meeting quotas; it should be about promoting innovation and building a more inclusive and dynamic workplace.”


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Dr. Kirsty Perrett, Lead Cyber Engineer at Thales



“We need to do more to find the right person for every role within the industry – irrespective of gender, race, background, or other attributes. Indeed, focusing on hiring prospective candidates with that all-important passion and genuine interest should be the key priority for organisations and hiring managers.

An integral part of this stems from inspiring young people from all walks of life to join the field and ensuring that the talent pool is diverse from all perspectives. We need to stop gender-classifying certain job roles or sectors.

I run cyber sessions for children at Thales Ebbw Vale, where we hope to raise aspirations and open potential career paths to children in the local area. In the space of one session, I’ve seen a few little girls decide that when they grow up, they want to be an engineer. It just shows that sometimes exposure is all girls need.

But unfortunately, not all girls and young children generally have adequate exposure and opportunities to learn about practical or engineering career paths in this way. The future of the cyber industry is dependent on securing a sustainable pipeline of future talent. While there is no quick win, efforts to introduce young students to the cyber industry necessitates a three-way approach from schools, government, and industry.”


Mila Khrapchenko, Co-Founder at Ameetee


Mila Khrapchenko - FiNext Conference


“It’s vital for the tech industry to actively recognise and tackle the various challenges that women encounter in the workplace. Being a female founder in the predominantly-male fintech sector, I’ve witnessed firsthand how many of the hurdles women face are rooted in internalised pressures and societal expectations.

“Balancing professional aspirations with familial responsibilities often puts women in situations where burnout and feelings of inadequacy can arise. Additionally, despite possessing strong analytical skills and attention to detail, women may find it challenging to express their viewpoints and ask questions in male-dominated environments, leading to a negative impact on their confidence.

“There are several solutions to these problems. 

“- The first one involves establishing inclusive spaces where women can collaborate and contribute without fear of judgment. Initiatives like women in tech communities and women-led venture funds play a crucial role in providing valuable support networks and fostering environments that celebrate diverse leadership styles.

“- Women mentoring women is important, as it helps women to feel safe and comfortable.

“- It is also important to see more women in leadership roles, and we should aim for gender parity in top management positions within the tech industry. As more women assume these roles and actively advocate for one another, we move closer to creating a more equitable and harmonious future in tech.”


Rebecca Armstrong, Managing Director at Making Energy Greener


Becci Armstrong, Managing Director, Making Energy Greener (1).jpeg


“As we engage in the vital debate surrounding the future of technology, it is imperative that we ensure a woman’s perspective is at the forefront. This debate goes beyond business; it touches the lives of the people we work with and has a profound impact on our children’s future. Women bring unique insights, experiences, and considerations to the table, and their voices must be heard and supported to create a future that is not only technologically advanced but also inclusive, equitable, and beneficial for all. 

“I want to emphasise the importance of women and our collective action towards a brighter, sustainable, and equitable future. Being a female leader goes beyond just being a traditional Managing Director. It’s about passion, leadership, and the courage to voice and challenge the norm while supporting the next generation of women and girls. 

“Women today aren’t just seeking change; they are the harbingers of it, not only striving for themselves, but those coming through and making headway. We are striving for a new age characterised by both sustainability, equality and technological advancement, shaping the future of women in the tech industry and engaging them in traditionally male dominated sectors such as ours and accelerating change.”


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Julia Khandoshko, CEO at Mind Money


Julia Khandoshko, CEO of MindMoney | Financial Planning


“Today, the financial and fintech sector still seems to be unable to overcome an age-old impediment: gender bias. Women are underrepresented in this sphere and, undoubtedly, less trusted and respected than men. According to the research, less than 30% of UK women were engaged in the fintech industry. How can we make 2024 better in terms of inclusivity and eliminate this gender gap?

“To improve the gender gap in the financial and fintech industry, women CEOs who have already achieved success in the field can curate programs that emphasise inclusive leadership skills and, thus, act as role models. The fintech company founders should pay special attention to the number of women and men in leadership positions and strike a balance between them. To accomplish this, the business environment must be comfortable, implying that no discrimination has to occur. Business leaders have to cultivate an understanding within the team that job roles are not inherently linked to any specific gender.

“To raise this awareness, training programs to address biases and stereotypes related to gender in hiring, promotions, and decision-making processes should be introduced. These trainings highlight the significance of women’s inclusion, as they contribute a range of perspectives, talents, and strategies that can improve the overall effectiveness of financial and fintech organisations. Diversity fosters innovation, which ultimately leads to increased profitability”.


Clar Rosso, CEO at ISC2




“Establishing an open dialogue with employees is vital. CEOs need to talk — and listen — to the talented women in their workforce. Learn what’s important to them, what they want to achieve, and what they see holding them back.

“Organisations that support women in defining goals and creating pathways to achieve those goals will be more successful in developing female leaders and increasing their ranks at senior levels than those organisations that do not. In addition to individualised plans, organisations should ensure inclusive, equitable systemic policies and practices around flexible work, pay equity, and hiring and advancement.

“Another tremendously effective strategy is to create opportunities for in-person networking and mentoring. Women often say that having a mentor helps them feel valued in their roles and encourages them to ask for advice and opinions on success in the industry.”


Sabrina Loi, Chief Design Officer at Creditspring 



“Whilst there has been progress, there is still so much potential to close the gender gap in the tech industry. I’ve always been a big believer in leading by example and I’m fortunate that Creditspring has provided me with the opportunity and the platform to showcase my skills, allowing me to be a role model to other women in the company and technology in general.

“It is fantastic to be able to work in a fintech that recognises, values and promotes women in tech – in fact almost 40% of our management team are women. We have been able to create a truly equal, and empowering environment in a sector that so often underserves women. Equality is not only central to Creditspring’s employees, but also to its members – providing fair and equal access to affordable credit is what Creditspring’s entire business model is built on and we deliver on it every single day.”


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Dr. Lisa Graham, CEO at Seeq



“Here are 5 things that I would advise to other women in the tech space:

      1. Mentor a colleague
      2. Listen and prioritise clarity
      3. Seek out companies that prioritise DEI
      4. Celebrate women around you
      5. Encourage collaboration not competition

“To engage more women, we need to intentionally celebrate their achievements. Women in tech or AI is not a new thing, yet our contributions have not been celebrated equally. This isn’t just a problem for women — as we continue to push to advance in the workforce, men too face challenges growing into new social and career roles.

“Encouraging women to pursue roles in the AI industry requires that we take the time to intentionally celebrate and highlight the diverse and significant contributions of women in the tech and manufacturing industries.

“Leaders in the AI industry also play a role in engaging more women by taking steps towards creating a diverse and inclusive workplace with equal opportunities for women. Doing so creates more equitable and creative workforces, while also creating space for men to embrace new social roles outside work. This shift begins with recognising and providing leadership and promotional opportunities for women already within your workplace.”


Karolina Plaskaty, Chief People Officer at Varda



“The tech industry has historically been skewed towards male dominance, but we are beginning to witness a shift towards inclusivity. However, it’s clear that huge efforts are still required to fully support and empower women. As a female leader at Varda, I’ve observed the undeniable impact of prioritising continuous learning, feedback, and education from the outset. It’s also evident that men play a crucial role in creating an equitable workplace environment.

“The involvement of male colleagues goes beyond board room access; it’s about fundamentally transforming our corporate culture from within. Men have the opportunity to act as allies through mentorship, championing gender equality, and engaging in initiatives aimed at diminishing bias and enhancing diversity.

“Moreover, the importance of early education cannot be overstated. Introducing girls to technology and encouraging leadership at a young age can significantly level the playing field, ensuring they view themselves as future leaders and innovators within the tech landscape.

“At Varda, we’ve established a dedicated group called “Vardiana’s of the Galaxy” focused on supporting, listening to, and empowering women. This initiative involves organizing events that encourage participation from the entire team, reinforcing our commitment to a collaborative and inclusive work environment. This group of courageous, smart and strong women inspires me every day.

“So ultimately, securing a seat at the table is only the beginning. It’s crucial that women’s voices are not only heard but also valued and acted upon. Through these measures, Varda is committed to fostering an environment where women are integral to shaping our collective future in technology.”


Lara Bissio, Sustainability Specialist at NAVEX


Profile photo of Lara Bissio


“To support and encourage women in the tech industry, companies must address various facets, including breaking down barriers and fostering inclusive environments. Five key areas can significantly assist women’s success: training, taking on challenges, networking, open corporate culture, and participation in activities that promote women in tech.

“Training initiatives are crucial for equipping women with technical expertise and essential soft skills necessary for career advancement. Companies can address the “broken rung” by providing resources and programmes focused on career development and effective strategies for promotion interviews.

“Challenges and involvement in high-visibility projects are essential for refining women’s skills and sustaining their engagement within the company. Facilitating networking and mentorship programmes is critical, particularly in the early stages of women’s careers, providing guidance on skills development, visibility enhancement, and project selection.

“An inclusive corporate structure is paramount, reinforcing the notion that women belong in the tech industry. This includes setting clear expectations for career paths, conducting promotion evaluations through unbiased committees, and raising awareness of unconscious bias.

“Contributing to organisations supporting women in tech not only provides valuable resources but also facilitates networking and mentorship opportunities. By investing in these initiatives, companies can create a more supportive and empowering environment for women to thrive in the competitive industry.”


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Stefanie Koh. Head of Payments for APAC at TerraPay



“Many companies have openly discussed initiatives to support women in the workplace, including the tech industry. This is encouraging and we can continue to drive the charge forward collectively but also raise awareness of what is not yet being done to ensure women thrive in tech.

“There have been examples where women have faced career obstacles due to family responsibilities and life events that can impact career progression. Implementing flexible policies is a good way to address the well-being of employees head-on but also foster a more inclusive workplace. At TerraPay, we have our very own Women Support Group, a community dedicated to supporting women’s professional development and their well-being and I am pleased to say it has 100% active female participation.

“Next, allocating more senior roles to women should not be just as a tick box but as a fair approach to promoting a more balanced and equitable industry. At TerraPay we recognise this and are actively encouraging our employees to refer women for open roles. As an extension, companies can also play a more active role, working with universities, polytechnics or other professional services to enhance curriculums and develop new programmes. This could help drive more activities towards attracting female students for STEM courses that traditionally may not have come across as a consideration for them.

“Finally, the collective efforts of the industry will be important to continue to move us forward. I believe sharing successes and lessons learnt from already well-established initiatives at different tech companies will help the industry produce effective solutions together.”


Rebekah Lloyd, Founder at This Independent Life



“There are many challenges for women in tech, but overlay being a women in tech within women’s health and it’s a whole new situation. There is an extreme lack of support, funding and resource to create technology for what is often perceived as a ‘niche’ market, despite serving over 50% of the population. As such the innovation that many other areas of tech, and health tech, thrive on is struggling, or is simply lacking all together.

“We haven’t had the same focus on research and innovation in women’s health in the past and as such we have a large data gap – e.g. women weren’t included in clinical trials until the 90’s, and only 1% of funding goes towards women’s health research. Combine this with the lack of funding for women founders and appreciating that most women’s health focused tech companies are founded by women, plus with the lack of funding and investment from both public and private bodies, it becomes near impossible. We are seeing progress and organisations like Maven Clinic and Daye making strides, but without truly understanding the problems we’re trying to solve or recognising that we’re playing catch up in this space, we will struggle to see true innovation and tech in the sector succeeding. And we must recognise the knock on effect this has to women as a whole in society.”


Laura Tristram, Founder at Lumii


Laura Tristram - Co-Founder- School Wellbeing & Development Lead - Lumii | LinkedIn


“As we mark ‘Fostering Inclusive Inspiration’ for International Women’s Day, It’s good to look at how far we have come with women making major inroads in leadership roles, but we still have some way to go. From Elizabeth Stone at Netflix through to Lakecia Gunter at Microsoft*, despite the obstacles, there’s a noticeable and positive shift in women in tech. Studies consistently highlight the immense value of gender diversity in leadership, nurturing collaborative, empathetic, and innovative organisational cultures.

“In the edtech sector, women lead initiatives to cultivate inclusive and supportive environments for teachers and their classrooms. The basis of advancing gender diversity in tech lies in creating a ‘girls can’ attitude from an early age, instilling in them the confidence to assume a tech career and then the ‘I can’; attitude and drive to move into leadership roles.

“This journey commences with creating a nurturing and safe classroom environment that fosters inclusivity and a sense of belonging. Empowering girls with essential skills such as resilience, positive self-perception, and effective coping mechanisms will cultivate the next generation of empowered and forward-thinking female leaders.

“As we mark International Women’s Day 2024, let’s commit to continuing this drive for more than one day; let’s continue to nurture inclusion in classrooms, empowering girls to become the tech leaders of tomorrow.”


Admas Kanyagia, VP of Social Impact at DigitalOcean



“Supporting female entrepreneurs is essential for unlocking women’s expertise, cultivating a culture of diversity and innovation on a global scale. Shockingly, less than a third of global leadership positions are estimated to be held by women, while in the UK, women represent approximately 45% of senior positions, dropping to 33% at Director level and 23% at Vice President level. Female entrepreneurs in particular face unequal access to capital, limited networking opportunities, and a shortage of mentors – all crucial for successfully starting and scaling businesses, meaning that only one in three UK entrepreneurs are women.

“Addressing such a big gap requires mentorship and visible support systems for younger women. Guidance from experienced female founders, who can share lessons learned, is invaluable. Creating communities of like-minded individuals builds encouragement and solidarity, particularly in the difficult early days. Shared stories and collective wisdom help female entrepreneurs feel less isolated in their struggles, with large organisations holding the key to change. For example, at DigitalOcean we launched our Inclusive Entrepreneurship Initiative, designed to help under-represented and under-estimated women entrepreneurs in Pakistan access resources to build and grow their businesses. Beyond International Women’s Day, everyday presents an opportunity to empower female entrepreneurs in the tech industry”


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