The tech mantra of disrupting industries and transforming the world is alive and well in London’s bustling startups, Silicon Valley’s grand visions and in the garages and co-working spaces of tech startups.
Sadly, according to a recent Reuters study, 30% of 450 technology executives said that their groups had no women in leadership positions. It goes on to say that only 25% of IT jobs in the US are filled by women and, even more dispiritingly, 56% of these women leave IT at the peak of their careers.
Nordic regions and smaller European countries sometimes struggle to provide as many opportunities as their wealthier neighbours.
The latest report from the Gender Equality Index, which measures gender equality policies across 28 countries in the European Union, found that in the ‘work’ category, women in Slovakia, Croatia, the Czech Republic and Italy ranked significantly low, indicating limited access to equal employment opportunities.
Luciana Carvalho Se, Head of Partnerships at Virtual Reality (VR) agency Rewind is another strong European voice when it comes to advancing women in technology.
She is an ambassador and mentor for Code First Girls, Founders of the Future and Series Q. She was also elected one of Code First Girls ’25 Ones to Watch’, and ‘Top 5 Female Role Models in the Tech Industry’. She cites VR as a new sector that may offer women more opportunities.
“VR is fast becoming a medium in its own right, carving a space alongside music, art, film, and television. Sitting at the intersection of art and science, it has the potential to appeal to and engage girls and women of all ages, unlike any other medium before it.
“Never before has equal opportunity been so high on the agenda. Never before has society been so in need of empowering, diverse and inclusive voices. Never before have women been more ready to lead,” she says.
As International Women’s Day approaches (March 8th), the technology industry needs to foster, embrace and promote women to positions of influence to create a more balanced future for the next generation.
The work of Girls In Tech and its resurgent London division, the support offered by investment institutions such as BlackRock and the potential of VR to disrupt the current (and shameful) imbalance offer hope.
Technology needs to teach its children well… it’s about time.