THE BLOG

Time to Get More Women in Tech

14/07/2014 14:47 BST | Updated 13/09/2014 10:59 BST

I can count on one hand the number of inspirational women in top technology positions. Google recently revealed that only 17% of tech roles were occupied by women, prompting the resurgence of the much needed "women in technology" discussion. The Sheryl Sandbergs and the Marissa Meyers of the world do exist, however the unfortunate thing is that they are the exception, not the rule. Technology is still enormously male dominated, and more needs to be done to encourage, inspire and, crucially, develop women's roles in the industry.

According to a study by Net Impact , nearly a third of women would take a pay cut for an "impact job", a job which could truly make a positive difference, compared to just 19% of men. This leads me to believe women are more incentivised by the value their job adds. This desire to make a difference could be a factor behind the exponential rise of female doctors over the past 30 years. In fact, the number of female doctors has increased by over 400% since 1981 , outnumbering their male counterparts for the first time. If only we could do this in technology.

The thriving fields of digital banking and online retailing are fine examples of how traditional industries are being transformed by technology. Whether a woman decides to become a doctor or a developer, she is still essentially a scientist equipped with the skills to change lives. In today's ever advancing technological world, the need for coding skills has evolved from being a desirable quality into being an essential part of everyday life. Women now have the chance to impact the world around them with a simple line of code, and organisations across the country need to step up their game by recruiting them.

It still amazes me that although we live in a technologically developed world, so few people consider it as a career. Technology impacts everything we do, yet if numbers are anything to go by, we have so far failed to get the message across that careers in tech are actually exciting. The good news for women however, is that it has never been easier for women to get into coding than it is today. This is in particular thanks to the multitude of free online courses and coding clubs available, such as Codeacademy or Codability. These are straightforward, accessible initiatives that make it simple to fit in around a busy schedule, meaning it's now easier and quicker to get into the profession. Not only this, but the jobs open to those who can code are plentiful, lucrative, and often quite flexible.

Companies across the world are constantly on the lookout for new ways to make their careers more accessible and manageable for women in general, and in particular for women who have families.

The bottom line is that however it happens, we need more women in technology. Women currently only occupy 15.1% of the UK's ICT positions , a staggeringly low number for such an evolving, important industry. Previously male dominated sectors such as law and medicine have hugely benefited from women's contributions, becoming richer and more diverse as a result. It's time technology benefited too.