For me the technology sector is such an inspiring and exciting space and my role leading marketing as CMO at  gives me an amazing opportunity to work across the business from strategy and resource planning to product development, finance, sales, to data and of course creative and brand. I am hugely passionate advocate for ensuring opportunities for women and under-represented groups in our company and across the industry because I know that not only will it improve society, but also because it enables us to tackle the silent opposition, hurdles and glass ceilings faced by many. 

Earlier this year, I read an article that highlighted how women are disrupting the status quo of every field, from art to business, from technology to government. It further claims there are three ways to categorize tech, with one highlighting that it can improve the ways we live and work.  This got me thinking about why we’re still experiencing such imbalances in terms of women in leadership positions across every industry.

Sadly, the fact remains that across industries, but especially in technology, there is still a lack of female representation across all levels with women making up less than a third of the world’s workforce in tech fields. This is all too apparent when looking at the tech we all rely on today, everything from crash test dummies to mobile phones, as they were developed with men in mind, with the former putting even putting female drivers at risk.

With artificial intelligence in its infancy, it is unsurprising that there is concern about the lack of female involvement in its development. With the benefit of hindsight, it is clear how important it is that we ensure women and society are represented in senior decision-making roles and in the development of these new tools that will impact everything from our everyday chore to our healthcare. There is a huge opportunity to make this technology representative of society as a whole and reduce the spread of bias and misrepresentation.

While it’s great to see that there is more discussion around what we can do to support women in tech and to help the younger generation pursue STEM education to help close the gender gap in the future, frustratingly, only 27% of female students say they would consider a career in technology, compared to 61% of males, and only 3% of females say that a career in tech is their first choice. This clearly indicates that there is still a job to be done in terms of breaking down the barriers, ensuring that there are enough diverse role models, and correcting the misconceptions that technology is for men.   

Too often, there is the misunderstanding that you have to have studied tech to get into the industry. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Technology companies need people who are able to offer leadership, creativity, problem solving, analysis, communications, project management, and teamwork. These skills are what will secure you a role in tech or any industry for that matter.  

It’s also important to remember that there are many areas within the tech industry, and everything is constantly moving and changing from new technologies to different methods of collecting and storying data. So much has happened in the past five to ten years. It’s safe to say that even the things we were doing six months ago have already moved on. This helps to level the playing field between people who have studied tech, worked in the sector for years, and those that are looking to get started in the industry. 

I would encourage all my colleagues in marketing and technology to celebrate diversity and be role models - share your knowledge and nurture the next generation of innovators. Equally, I would encourage everyone to continue raising and discussing the issues - through open communication and awareness, we are equipped to break the cycle of imbalanced representation.   

For anyone questioning whether they are right for a tech role, push out of your comfort zone and try. Focus on what you're good at, figure out what excites you, and become an expert in that. There are so many different roles within tech companies, from HR through to User Experience, that the possibilities are endless.