By showcasing leading women in the industry, we will inspire the next generation of tech talent – ​​FE News

By showcasing leading women in the industry, we will inspire the next generation of tech talent – ​​FE News

Currently, women make up just 21% of the tech industry, black women make up just 3%, and just 5% of leadership roles in the UK tech industry are held by women. These statistics are startling but discouraging, progress in tackling this gender tech crisis has been painfully slow both across the world and in the UK.

This gender gap is being accompanied by a growing technology skills gap. Today, there are already more tech jobs being advertised than candidates, with the UK tech job market forecast to be worth £30bn by 2025, six times what it is now. It is estimated that there will be 3 million jobs in the UK by 2025 in software, data and cyber, but data from UCAS shows there will only be 150,000 qualified graduates by then, and only 17% of these will be women. Big growth, of course, means big opportunities. But we cannot avoid the fact that, unless something drastically changes, there will not be enough candidates to fill the positions that are needed. Our analysis has found that there will only be one qualified woman for every 115 roles by 2025.

Why does this technology gender gap exist?

Whether it’s not showing tech career options among school-age girls, financial barriers to entry from post-tech educational routes, or the unique challenges facing career-changing women who often need more flexibility and autonomy, barriers exist at multiple points in the pipeline for women. Another major issue is that there is a discrepancy in the number of visible female role models in the tech industry to inspire and motivate the next generation of talent.

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This gap means that women are unable to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the tech industry, entrenching economic and career inequality. Tech jobs have higher starting salaries than most other industries, and independent analysis suggests that tech as a profession offers more social mobility than professions like medicine and law.

At Code First Girls, we are on a mission to close the gender gap in the tech industry by providing employment through free education and building a community of women to support and inspire each other. We have launched an interview series, #REPRESENT, in which a number of women from organizations including Nike, BAE Systems, Morgan Stanley and Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) will share their professional stories, education, inspiration and personal experiences. which helped them overcome the barriers to entry in the technology sector.

Through our series, these influential women will share their recommendations for reversing gender bias in the tech industry. By interviewing and showcasing leading women in the industry, we will be able to provide our community with a variety of inspiring voices and ideas to help them thrive in their tech careers and hopefully engage women who are not currently studying or working in tech as well.

Closing the gender gap and striving to secure opportunities in technology for women is the right thing to do for women, but it’s also the right thing to do for the industry. To ensure the industry is as strong as possible, we need to tap into the widest possible range of voices and insights, and we need a diverse talent pool to unlock the industry’s potential.

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By shining a light on female tech leaders, we’ll help show other women the path to tech, and we’ll all benefit.

Anna Brailsford, CEO of Code First Girls

Anna Brailsford is the CEO of Code First Girls and is on a mission to close the diversity gap in technology by providing free education and economic opportunity to women around the world. Anna is also a board member of the Coding Institute. Previously, Ella Anna was the Business Director for Lynda.com and LinkedIn. When Lynda was acquired by LinkedIn for $1.5 billion in April 2015, she became part of the fourth-largest acquisition in social media history and later helped create LinkedIn Learning.

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