From education to employment

Leading women share advice to overcome the tech gender gap in new interview series

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Some of the most influential women in the global tech sector begin to share their recommendations today for overturning the gender bias in the tech industry, as new stats reveal by 2025 there will be just one qualified woman for every 115 roles in tech. 

Nike’s Global Senior Director, Innovation Marketplace Studio, Rosie Hawke, said her key advice for women looking to get into tech is to “be bold” and “be curious”. She also shared it’s vital that colleagues carve out sufficient time to rest and recover between tasks. She opened an interview series curated by the UK’s largest provider of free coding courses for women, Code First Girls, with the following words of advice: 

“The essential skill is to be able to give yourself enough time to rest and recover – to look at work patiently but to ensure that each week you’re taking time for yourself, whether that’s spending time with children or family, learning a new skill, or doing sports. It’s a bit like an athlete. If you’re constantly training and on-the-go, it’s very hard to perform. A big part of being able to juggle different things is being able to take some time out and give yourself a break.” 

There is a growing skills gap in the tech industry, as well as a stark gender gap. Currently, women make up just 21% of the UK’s tech industry and black women make up 3%. The UK’s tech job market is projected to be worth £30bn by 2025 – six times larger than it is now – and a diverse talent pipeline will need to be put in place in order to unlock this value. However, analysis by Code First Girls finds there will be one qualified woman for every 115 roles by 2025. 

Code First Girls’ interview series – #REPRESENT – will see a number of women and non-binary leaders, from organisations including BAE Systems and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), share their career stories, education, inspiration, and personal experiences which helped them overcome barriers to entry in the tech sector. 

Anna Brailsford, CEO of Code First Girls, commented:

“At Code First Girls, we’re incredibly proud to be the largest community of female coders in the UK, but there is still a serious gender gap in the tech industry both in the UK and around the world. That includes a discrepancy in the number of visible female role models in the tech industry to inspire and motivate the next generation of talent.

“By interviewing and showcasing leading women in the industry, we’ll be able to provide our community with a range of inspirational voices and insights to help them thrive in their tech careers, and to hopefully engage women who aren’t currently studying or working in tech too. With the tech market projected to grow but facing a major skills gap, it‘s crucial that we encourage more women to code and put the talent pipeline in place that will strengthen the sector over the long-term.”

Code First Girls will be releasing a new interview every two weeks via its YouTube channel, which can be found here. Rosie’s interview can be viewed in full, here.

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