This year 1,674 women completed our Women in Technology Survey.
We asked you what government could do to encourage more women to pursue careers in technology. You gave us your thoughts and ideas and so we listened, and were delighted to host a Girl Geek Scotland round table for the Secretary of State Alistair Carmichael.
On Tuesday 12th we assembled a small group of women from a range of backgrounds, areas of technology and career stages. We wanted to represent diverse and differing viewpoints. Our guests included members of fantasy sports start-up FanDuel to global giant IBM, and even our youngest member, Megan Sime, a computing student at the University of Dundee. The group met with Alistair Carmichael and shared their responses and ideas.
According to Megan ‘there are only two or three girls in my year, which is a shame as I love studying Computing in Dundee, and I’m beginning to realise the number of opportunities I’ll have when I graduate. Personally, I think the problem lies in the way it is presented in schools. I think if they put more effort into showing students the full range of opportunities in the field the number of female students could rise’.
Yiyu Chen works in Technology Risk at Morgan Stanley and explained that students in China have a different mentality to education. For example, around the age of 18, she decided to study computer science above business studies as she believed it would be a set of hard skills for life, whereas business studies would have been more useful had she gained prior practical business experience.
Many women transfer into technology from other career backgrounds. Leah Hutcheon, entrepreneur and CEO of Appointedd, was a magazine editor who was drawn into the technology sector while looking to solve a real life problem.
‘Coming to technology in my thirties has meant that I have a slightly different perspective of the issues facing women in tech. For example, I didn’t realise how few of us there really are! We are hiring for developers at the moment and haven’t had one application from a woman. I think employers recognise the benefits that having a gender diverse team can bring, but at the moment it would be impossible for me to create one – and that’s really a shame’.
Many of the women discovered that they had someone in their family who worked in technology or taught computing, showing that inspiring career choices often start at home. IT needs to do a better job of marketing itself, not only to young adults, but to parents who influence their children’s career choices.
The Harvey Nash Women in Technology Team are analysing the data from the survey and look forward to sharing our report with you shortly. If you would like to receive a copy of this report when it is finalised please contact Nikki Lovie on 0131 3015116 or Nikki.firstname.lastname@example.org