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Beyond IWD: Driving Gender Diversity in Tech

As a woman in tech leadership for 30 years, I often found myself as the only woman in the room. However, the support of male allies beyond just one-hour talks on International Women's Day has been instrumental in my journey.

In this article I'll share some UK Tech gender diversity stats and practical tips and resources for men looking to practice allyship.

What is International Women's Day?

International Women's Day (IWD) is in March each year. In 2024 it is on Friday March 8th. The goal is to acknowledge the progress made towards achieving gender equality while calling for continued change. The United Nations 2024 theme is ‘Count Her In: Accelerating Gender Equality Through Economic Empowerment’. Despite progress, women still face many barriers to equal economic participation. This theme recognises the need for equal opportunities for women to learn, earn, and lead.

Gender equality isn't a zero-sum game

Women with equal opportunities contribute more meaningfully to their communities, families, and the workforce. Feminism is not "against men", it's about creating a level playing field where everyone can reach their full potential. This, in turn, leads to better outcomes for everyone. 

  • More Profitable - Gender-diverse teams outperform others by up to 25% in profits.

  • UK Maternity Discrimination - Every year, 54,000 women lose their jobs due to maternity discrimination, while 390,000 working mothers experience discriminatory treatment.

  • UK VC funding - From 2017 to 2023, UK venture capital funds owned by men received ten times more capital than women.

  • Tech Talent - Women comprise only 22% of Europe's tech workforce. Code First Girls and NatWest estimated that gender parity in tech could add £2.6 billion to the UK economy.

UK Tech 2024 diversity statistics

I'm a proud ambassador and Kinkajou Limited is a signatory of the UK Tech Talent Charter - a government-supported, industry-led group of 800+ organisations. It promotes diversity and inclusion efforts within its member organisations and publishes its diversity data annually.

Poster with red and white background depicting the statistics for 21% of senior tech role hodles are women.

The 2024 Diversity in Tech Report shows we have work to do.

  • The representation of women in senior tech roles is just 21%, 8 points lower than that of tech employees across all tech job disciplines. Moreover, it has dropped by 1% compared to last year.

  • 29% of tech employees identify as women or non-binary.

  • Shockingly, 1 in 3 women plan to leave their tech job.

  • Only 20% of software engineers are women, down by a third compared to tech roles overall.

  • 50% of neurodivergent women working in tech revealed their neurodivergent status to their manager, while the number is 69% for neurodivergent men.

Resources to drive gender diversity in tech

The UK Tech Talent Charter has an Open Playbook with current best practices including recruitment, retaining talent and leadership approaches. Sign up and access these free resources!

5 practical tips for male allies

I've spent 30 years in tech leadership, often as the only woman in the room. Male allyship beyond a one-hour talk on IWD supported my journey.

  1. Listen: Chat with women to understand their unique experiences of inequality. Recognise that all women are not the same. Be attuned to the unique experiences and intersectional identities (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, generation, religion) of the women you work with.

  2. Learn: Reading, workshops, conferences, training or coaching. I've added some of my favourite resources below. Maybe start a book club with one of these.

  3. Practice: Allyship is a verb, so speak up against sexist jokes, harassing behaviour, non-inclusive language and stereotypes. Notice how your female colleagues are experiencing meetings and be alert to inequities.

  4. Invest: Invest in women-owned businesses and help drive gender diversity and equity in your workplace.

  5. Advocate: Support equal pay, parental leave, and flexible work policies.

4 books covers on a white background
Recommended books could be great for a monthly book club

Work with a Kinkajou to drive your tech gender diversity goals faster. I love sharing my personal journey in tech as well as tailored leadership, career coaching and business consulting. And don't forget to join, contribute and leverage the shared wisdom of the UK Tech Talent Charter community.


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