Newly released data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed a sharp decline in the number of women employed in the tech sector. This decline is occurring despite growth in the tech industry generally, indicating a need for companies to address the barriers hindering women’s participation and advancement.
Between the first and second quarters of the year, the ONS data shows there was a reduction of 3,000 women in the British tech industry’s workforce. This drop raises critical questions about the factors contributing to the underrepresentation of women in this sector, especially in the context of a thriving tech industry.
A Growing Sector, Yet a Widening Gender Gap
While the tech industry as a whole experienced a surge in employment, witnessing an increase of 85,000 workers during the same period, this growth appears to have had minimal impact on the gender imbalance issue. This emphasises the pressing need for a focused drive to promote gender diversity and inclusivity within the sector.
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Urgent Call for Action
Senna Baille, the director of community at VeUP, has articulated a resounding call for action in response to this concerning situation. She said “Tech companies should continue to focus on tackling the barriers for women entering the tech field and showcase the steps they are taking to prove their commitment and heighten the attractiveness of the field.
“A career in tech means that not every day is the same, presenting new challenges and opportunities to learn and grow. Tech companies should mirror this, and in turn cultivate an all-encompassing culture that encourages development and inclusiveness, bettering attitudes across the board.”
Persistent Funding Disparities
The struggle for gender parity in the UK tech industry is broader than employment figures alone. A recent report from the British Business Bank highlights the glaring lack of progress in funding allocation to all-female-founded startup teams over the past decade.
This revelation further emphasises the nature of the challenge, calling for systemic changes that extend beyond employment statistics.
The decline in the number of women working in the UK tech industry during the second quarter of the year serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing gender disparities within the sector. While the overall tech industry experiences growth, the underrepresentation of women continues, showcasing the need for initiatives to shatter the barriers obstructing women’s entry and advancement.
As the industry strives towards innovation and progress, the call to action is clear—foster a culture of inclusivity, showcase commitment to gender diversity, and bridge the funding gaps to ensure a thriving, equitable future for all within the UK tech landscape.