When it comes to gender equality in the Tech industry, the numbers probably won’t surprise you. Only 17% of venture-backed companies are founded by Women, and women make up just 7% of partners at 100 of the top venture capitalist firms.
Although many attempts are being made to encourage women into tech, we are still far from gender parity in the industry. What would the world look like if there were equal numbers of men and women in the sector? We asked three women in tech, from CEOs to developers, for their thoughts.
‘More female-led tech companies would change the way women are treated in society’
I’m a strong believer in a connection between a company’s internal values and the final product or service. There are many examples of Tech Companies where their internal attitudes towards women are reflected in their products.
For example, there have been multiple stories about alleged sexual harassment relating to Uber, as well as the [leaked] “Miami letter” [CEO Travis Kalanick sent staff guidelines about when it was appropriate to have sex with other employees at a company event in Miami]. It became clear why Uber had been never considered the safest service for women – because its workplace wasn’t either.
If there were more tech companies led by women, I truly believe it would change the way women are treated in society – in part as a result of the values shown in their company’s services or products.
Valerie Stark, co-founder and CEO of friendship and dating app Huggle
‘The tech industry would produce better products for women (which aren’t just covered in pink)’
With greater equality, the tech world would benefit from both work titles free of gender and diverse perspectives – it would produce better products designed and marketed to women (which are not just covered in pink). It would also mean a better world – more diverse voices would mean products and services that work for everyone.
As a woman in tech, I am already swimming upstream when it comes to respect in the field. Whether I’m on a panel with only men, writing an email, or being featured in a news spot, I don’t want to be known as “the female founder of TechSesh.co” – I just want to be the founder.
I don’t want my accomplishments to be attributed to my gender. I can manage, lead and create just as easily when leaving gender out of my job title. My work speaks for itself – as it should. Titles like “#Girlboss” actually diminish the power of women. We use this label to describe female bosses based on their gender instead of the job they are doing. You wouldn’t slap a religious or racial description onto a job title, so why is designating someone a girlboss or a mumpreneur ever okay?
If we do achieve gender parity in tech, it will create more opportunities to design technology for all.
Jessica Naziri, founder of TechSesh.co, a platform dedicated to empowering women in tech
‘Trolling would be tamed – and period tech would be more advanced’
If we had more women in the tech world, we would have more products that actually solved problems for everyone. When you have different types of people on medical trials, either on the funding side or doing the research, it means research is less biased. So, for example, I believe that if men had periods we’d have a lot more advancement in sanitary towels, tampons and pain relief technology.
Surveys show that in the volume and nature of trolling women are attacked more than men, so they are more aware of these issues. I believe if women were in charge of tech companies, there would be more protection put in place for cyberbullying and trolling.
Anne-Marie Imafidon, co-founder of Stemettes, a social enterprise encouraging girls towards Stem roles
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