When it comes to improving gender diversity, employers often find it difficult to point to equal representation at the top of the leadership ladder, despite their efforts to improve women’s opportunities when recruiting at a junior level. Unfortunately, this is largely due to the systemic barriers that are holding women back, that sadly aren’t eroding nearly fast enough.
In our last Women in Tech issue back in September, the founder focus feature saw us head to the land of the midnight sun, Norway, to speak to Anne Lise Waal, CTO and COO of Attensi, provider of gamified training solutions, about the diverse team she has built, and how women in CTO positions can influence the ethos of a tech business.
Admitting we have biases is not easy. It makes you question how much control we have over our minds and behaviours. This year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) theme encourages us to ‘Break the Bias’ to achieve gender equality, but it is difficult to know which biases are the most important ones to ‘break’ first.
International Women’s Day is designed to pay homage to the progress that has been made in the battle for gender equality, but it also highlights the existing challenges that many women still face today. This year, as well as highlighting the everyday prejudices that women face, focus is also being placed on the growing need for sustainable practices within business. Gender equality is essential, and so too is the need to protect our future environment. And from an enterprise perspective, work needs to be done to improve in both areas.
When it comes to the battle on gender equality, we can certainly see some improvement, however, there is still a lot to be done. Whilst we may be encouraging the younger generation into more STEM and subjects they weren’t considering before, we need to make sure this is reflected all the way up – and into leadership positions.
Tomorrow (Tuesday 8th March) is International Women’s Day. While more employers do now offer health and wellbeing support that is specific to women, this is often limited to a particular life stage, such as maternity. Towergate Health and Protection is encouraging businesses to provide for women across the entire lifecycle, from early adulthood to menopause, and beyond.
Making the leap from a business plan to a fully operating company with customers and employees is an exhilarating journey. There is nothing more exciting and empowering than building a business. Particularly as a woman because you have this added sense of breaking the mould or going against the statistics. With excitement, come some terrifying lows, confidence crises and loneliness. I want to make it one of my personal missions for the negatives not to scare people away.
Recent reports have shown that women in business in the UK is on the rise. Almost a third of businesses are owned by women which highlights a remarkable shift from figures in 2016 when just 17% of founders were female. There is still some way to go before the playing field is even but undoubtedly female entrepreneurs have some of the most inspiring stories out there.
I always say that numbers speak for themselves. So it’s doubtful that these numbers will surprise female founders anywhere. Pitchbook data from earlier this year showed that, despite record levels of capital invested in Europe, female founders received just 0.7% of the total funding - €400m (about $473m). The picture isn’t much more encouraging in the US; last year, female-only founded companies garnered 2.2% of the total capital invested in venture-backed startups.
The last 18 months have seen our working lives turned upside down, and after a period of uncertainty, a new era of hybrid working has emerged. Current guidance aside, the majority of companies are offering employees a blended option of at-home and in-office working and half the population would even leave their job if the option for hybrid working was removed.
With extraordinary women from across different parts of the country, a variety of backgrounds and industries, the 19th annual NatWest everywoman Awards brought these entrepreneurs together having one thing in common - being some of the UK’s most inspiring females, recognising their outstanding achievements during one of the most challenging periods for businesses in living memory.
Prior to starting Hertility Health, my co-founders and I realised that even though our careers and personal lives were very different, we all had one thing in common: we wanted reassurance about our fertility health. We found ourselves asking the same questions you might also ask yourself: "Should our career come before a family?" or "Why do we have to make a choice between the two?" And when we searched for help with these big questions, we came up empty handed.
A diverse team can have a huge impact on a business’ success. Diverse management teams can increase revenue by 19%. Racially and ethnically diverse teams are 35 percent more likely to perform better, and they’re 87% better at making decisions. Inclusive companies are 1.7x more innovative when compared to companies that aren’t diverse or inclusive.
In the summer of 2020, I made the leap and set up my social listening agency. Realising there weren’t many agencies in this space, let alone agencies headed up by women of colour, I felt there was ample opportunity to bring my unique perspective and experience to the world of data and listening. (Disclaimer: setting up your own business is not for the faint of heart.)
Here’s an interesting fact, companies founded by women bring higher returns from investment. According to a study by Boston Consulting Group, the return from each dollar invested in a 'woman-led business' is nearly twice as high, and the total revenue over a five-year period exceeds the earnings of male-run businesses by around 10%.
I would be lying if I said that raising capital as a female Founder is an easy process. Even those that make it look easy, have faced invisible barriers that aren’t present with their male counterparts. What I have learnt, however, is that having this knowledge - that I am a woman (and woman of colour) and that I am on the backfoot - simply doesn’t help me at all.
Playfair Capital, Tech Nation and Google for Startups are joining forces for the sixth edition of their Female Founder Office Hours initiative. This event will be the largest yet, with over 300 female founders and 120 VCs from some of the world’s leading funds, and expected to be as big as success as past years, as data from the previous five events shows that over 27% of companies that have attended have gone on to secure funding from VCs, angel investors or other sources.
As the #MeToo movement has swept over the globe, sometimes it seems to me that we live in the world of angry women and confused men. Many of us have certainly lost our capacity to be in our masculine and feminine centres - or yin and yang, or, following Jung, animus and anima - which are available to us regardless of gender. More if we can’t access or use one of them, we aren’t complete as human beings, and certainly not as leaders.
I’m a marketing leader in the tech sector and passionate about diversifying our industry. I care about living my values and keeping women paid, well and thriving. Through Possible Ground I work with people looking to enter the tech industry whether that’s through a job or a business they are running.
Women who have an inner circle of close female contacts are more likely to land executive positions with greater authority and higher pay, a 2019 study in the Harvard Business Review found, and we can assume this translates to those of us who are our own bosses; and the benefit a community of professional women surrounding us provides us with.
The ICT sector has been given a swift push at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, during 2020 the number of ICT specialists employed in the EU has increased by approximately 600,000 as compared to 2019. However, the gender gap prevailing in the ICT workforce in the EU, where only one in five ICT specialists is a woman, has retained its relevance.
Women In Digital Business (WIDB) is an alternative membership site for women who want to launch or grow a digital business. The Founder, Natalia Nicholson is a mother of three young children and wanted to provide a viable way for women with children or other responsibilities, to start and scale a profitable digital business. Members of WIDB have access to resources and the opportunity to join the Mastermind programme. The programme runs for 3 months and members receive assistance with all the technical elements involved with launching a business in the digital space.
Although the last 20 months have been difficult for everyone, in the business world it’s been particularly tough for women. Sadly, the COVID-19 crisis has set women back decades. As today is National Women in Business Day we wanted to highlight some of the problems, and the solutions that females can look to for help.
Much of my work is focused around helping women to achieve their highest vision for themselves both personally and professionally. So many women, including those conceiving, founding and running their own businesses, have a strong sense of ambition and a vision but when it comes to actioning change or ‘up levelling’ they become overwhelmed and frozen in knowing where to start.
The largest global brands in the technology industry today announce their collective commitment to champion racial equity at Black Tech Fest '21, a live festival celebrating Black culture, showcasing innovation, and creating pathways for underrepresented talent. The three-day event will take place online and in person from 19th to 21st October during UK Black History Month. Last year, over 40,000 people streamed Black Tech Fest content across Black History Month and 3,500 attendees from over 20 countries attended the festival, the biggest celebration of its kind in Europe. See here to pre-register.
LEADING independent property, construction and infrastructure consultancy Pick Everard marked this year’s International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) with the release of a special podcast, interviewing civil engineer Natalie Clemson about her journey from sandwich year placement to national director at the firm.
According to a recent survey, just 29% of the UK’s manufacturing and engineering workforce is made up of women. Now, while this highlights a step in the right direction when compared to figures from previous years, leading multi-disciplinary engineering firm, adi Group, believes more must be done to secure the industry’s workforce for tomorrow.
Innovate UK is releasing new data which reveals the proportion of women setting up businesses has not only remained stagnant at just over a quarter of the total number of new businesses for the last decade, but seen a slight dip since 2010/11 when it was at 28.7%, compared to 27.3% today. Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation Awards looks to help balance the playing field in business by providing more support to female entrepreneurs from across the UK.
Inclusive leadership is climbing the business agenda and is now the most requested management coaching topic, according to the latest feedback figures from Talking Talent, a specialist coaching consultancy. While more than a quarter (27%) of business executives have requested more coaching on being an ‘inclusive leader’ there is still significant strides to be made to tackle diversity, equity, and inclusion issues within business.
Black, Asian and mixed background tech entrepreneurs from London and Greater Manchester will join a five-day virtual trade mission starting today (7th to 11th June). The mission will see fifteen companies ‘touch-down’ in North America to meet with corporates and startups to explore new investment and export opportunities and accelerate their expansion plans in the US market.
When you are building a plane in the sky - startup speak for tricky innovation in a tough environment - things slip. In the case of fast-growing businesses, important people priorities and processes fall down the agenda. Diversity and inclusion is one of them. It can be deprioritised by default, in a race to stay afloat, pay your teams and spend time on what will get you where you need to go, quickly.
A recent study cited by a leading Fintech publication found that whilst 30% of the fintech workforce is female, only 17% of senior fintech roles are held by women and just over 5% of founders are women. These statistics are pretty shocking as Fintech is such a dynamic world of discovery and innovation.
Rosa von Krogh is Head of Insights and Innovation at the North Alliance, one of the largest companies in Scandinavia marrying design, media and e-commerce. She is speaking at the global SHE Conference, alongside guests like Hillary Clinton, Norwegian PM, Erna Solberg and Icelandic PM Katrin Jakobsdottir, from 5-19th March 2021.
UK businesses are at risk of losing employee trust through choosing to abstain from reporting their gender gap figures, following on from the EHRC’s second deadline extension. Government figures show that nearly half of 10,000 eligible employers chose not to submit their pay gap figures last year - equalling to nearly 5,000 businesses that possibly have something to hide.
Despite the global growth of women-led businesses, funding continues to be a significant challenge. Having gathered multiple data and research, Instant Offices revealed 35% of female business founders still face gender bias when raising their business capital. Female entrepreneurs also receive an average of 5% less funding than their male counterparts.
A few years ago I was sitting in a meeting, working while I waited for it to be my turn to present. The engineer sitting next to me asked me what I was doing - I said that in order to make it home in time before my children’s bath time, I had to work through every single free moment. He replied saying he preferred to not get home until after bath time.
Especially for International Women’s Day on March 8, iStock has unveiled a series of tips to help SMBs meaningfully depict diversity, encouraging them to intentionally and authentically portray women across age, race and cultural lines in their marketing and advertising campaigns for their benefit, and the benefit of women everywhere.
Nearly half of women working in cybersecurity (49%) say that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their career in a positive way, with just nine percent of female cybersecurity professionals saying that the pandemic negatively impacted their career. This is according to a new global report from human layer security company Tessian, published this International Women’s Day.
To coincide with International Women’s Day, O2 is sharing new research revealing how women have been impacted by challenges raised by Coronavirus. As insights show how employees are feeling a year on from the outbreak of the pandemic, O2 is calling on employers to ramp up their focus on wellbeing and take action to ensure women thrive in the post-pandemic workplace.
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #ChoosetoChallenge, so we’ve spoken to a host of female leaders doing just that. CEO of Clearbanc, Michele Romanow is using AI to challenge traditional VC investment. With decisions based on data and not ‘who you know’ Clearbanc has invested in 8x more women than men in the UK. CMO of Fiverr Gali Arnon, believes freelance marketplaces are helping to diminish the gender pay gap for women across the world and Anna Brailsford, CEO of Code First Girls is on a mission to get more women into coding.
Working at Startups Magazine, we come across some extremely inspiring, empowering and all-round incredible women, but it would be impossible to name them all. As we celebrate International Women's Day 2021, we wanted to highlight our 20 most influential women of 2020 from our last Women in Tech edition.
International women’s day is a double-edged tampon, on the one hand it’s a day of celebration, reflection and unity, on the other, it’s a day to bring about awareness and focus on the inequalities that still pelage our society. How’s that gender pay gap looking? Where are we with female representation in the tech industry now? Was your new smartphone designed with a women’s hand size in mind?
March 8th 2021 marks International Women’s Day, and a Yoopies survey on equality has revealed that 70% our survey respondents believe there is gender inequality in the workplace in various ways. Pay gaps, missing out on promotions and lack of access to positions of responsibility were cited amongst the most pressing issues of professional gender inequality and furthermore, we revealed that women are far more likely to have trouble balancing their home or personal life with their professional one than men.
Women throughout history continue to make their mark creating innovations and discoveries that impact our lives today. To celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, Miranda Kent, Managing Associate at intellectual property firm, Mathys & Squire, reflects on inspiring female inventors in each decade since 1910 - when the firm was first founded - to demonstrate the significant value that realising new ideas and inventions can bring.
The Digital Women’s Day, JFD in French, was started up by Delphine Remy-Boutang back in 2013, (back then just an annual meeting), but has since evolved into so much more. It is now a platform for the promotion of digital entrepreneurship for women, and JFD has brought together and celebrated a large number of women who all share the same goal - to revolutionise the world digitally both in Europe and Africa.
A recent survey by Arctic Shores, which investigated the talent acquisition landscape for the year ahead, revealed that three in four companies plan to review their diversity hiring practices for 2021. These findings are surprising, considering 81% of companies already run unconscious bias training. This would suggest diminishing confidence amongst talent leaders that unconscious bias training alone is enough to ensure fair, consistent and effective processes.
This Mum Runs is the largest mobile, on and offline running community for Mums in the world, aiming to empower millions of women to feel great about themselves just through moving more and doing it using the power of community. Here we chat to Mel Bound, Founder and CEO of This Mum Runs, as part of our International Women's Day celebrations.