As the technology industry grows across the UK and beyond, there is a huge demand for tech jobs and a lack of talent to match. With a growing digital skills gap also at play, technology industry leaders are always on the lookout for skilled workers to bridge the gap and help their organisation innovate.
While tech companies look to keep up with the blistering pace of the industry and the labour market, the presence of women in technology roles – from entry level to board level – is still lagging behind. There is a lack of representation of women across all job and skill types, leaving much work to be done to bridge the gender gap.
Deloitte predicts that large global technology firms will reach nearly 33% overall female representation in their workforces in 2022. This is just a small, two percentage point increase from 2019, but even this small change is an indication of positive growth.
Greater representation can be achieved through improved education, and it is so important that the conversation around women in technology continues.
Technology organisations should consider how their workplaces and working models can be developed to attract and retain female talent across all roles. Beyond offering attractive work packages and nurturing an inclusive environment, laying out clear paths of progression alongside personal and professional development is key. Women should feel empowered at work to innovate and achieve, with opportunities across their career to showcase their talents.
Young women need role models to look up to. Encouraging more women to study technology can open up whole new possibilities for young people to get into the industry at entry level. With a greater influx of young women finding careers in tech, the current digital skills gap could be bridged. Offering training and vocational courses for young and mid-career women will be key to upskilling the population and addressing the growing need for more digital skills in the workplace.
While these steps need to be taken, we should be celebrating existing successes of female talent in technology. It is vital that we recognise those already in the industry and increase the visibility of female role models and leaders to encourage a culture of success and ambition for future women in tech. These role models can be a catalyst for a new generation of women aspiring for a career in the industry.
A richly diverse workforce will breed bigger and better ideas that will drive the industry’s growth and innovation. As a result, the UK can boost its reputation as a global leader for technology, attracting further talent internationally and earning more investment that can be filtered back through into diversifying the taskforce.
We should not rest at the sight of the progress made so far. Every business and organisation should be involved in elevating female voices in tech and laying the stepping stones for future voices to enter the conversation. It will be a win-win outcome for all of us.
Jodi Birkett is UK technology, media and telecommunications lead at Deloitte.
Deloitte’s annual Technology Fast 50 Awards has this year launched a new Women in Leadership category, celebrating and recognising companies led by a female CEO or with a founding team comprised of at least 50% women. The Fast 50 Awards are on 17 November 2022.