Women in Tech: Tackling the Tech Gender Gap

three women linking arms

With the Women in Tech Excellence Awards 2021 coming up, the spotlight is on the gender gap within the tech industry and wider STEM professions as a whole. The world has gone digital, and it permeates every aspect of our lives. Such is the magnitude that tech companies hold increasing power to influence the direction humanity takes.

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With this in mind, it becomes clear why addressing the gender gap in the tech industry is so important. If tech is so crucial to our future, then women, who make up half of the population, must be equally represented within the industry. Yet currently, only 23% of those working with STEM roles are women. Even more alarmingly, just 5% of leadership positions within the tech industry are held by women.

Diversity and inclusion are critical in the tech industry, especially as the tech sector lags behind the rest of the job market when it comes to gender parity. As a global software company, it’s extremely important to Cloudbooking to break this stigma and embrace a high-quality pool of candidates of different genders, races, and backgrounds to create a workplace with equity and equality.

In terms of gender ratios, at Cloudbooking, 41% of the Cloudbooking workforce are women and 7% of these women hold leadership positions.

What is the cause of the gender gap in the tech industry?

The gender gap in the tech industry has its roots in education. According to Adeva, a mere 3% of female students indicate that a tech career would be their primary choice. This is, apparently, due to young women lacking sufficient information about what a job in STEM entails or what working within the tech industry would be like.

Many young girls are steered away from STEM careers or activities, and too few are encouraged to pursue futures within these fields. The stereotype of tech being a male-dominated industry pervades society. This may be discouraging for some young women or perhaps influence some to exclude it as an option before being explored unconsciously.

Worryingly, those who pursue careers within this industry are too often met with an uphill battle to career success. Many women within the tech industry have noted the difficulty of competing with males for promotions and opportunities. For many women, it is not viewed as a supportive working environment where their voices can be heard equally. Rising up the corporate ladder is a challenge.

Women from ethnic and minority backgrounds are even more underrepresented in the tech industry. For those women who do enter professions within the tech industry, statistics show that they will be paid substantially less than their male peers. This does not help to encourage women to pursue careers in tech.

One of the reasons why the number of females within the tech industry is not rising is that many who enter this field do not remain in it. Sadly, a UNESCO study determined that the most common reason female tech professionals in the US leave the industry is that they do not feel valued within their roles.

Confidence may be another factor holding women back from entering STEM careers. In a male-dominated industry, where women are so underrepresented and especially at the highest levels, those who enter the field may have difficulty combatting imposter syndrome.

How can we increase gender parity in the tech industry?

Since the gender gap in tech has its roots in education, initiatives within this area will play a crucial role in closing the gap. Initiatives in education should begin at an early age and nurtured throughout secondary and university education. The education system should promote extra-curricular activities for females to build essential tech skills such as coding, cyber security, data management, and general media skills such as video editing and app development and STEM careers should be promoted in such a way within secondary education that young women begin to view these as a viable option when carving out their career pathways.

Beyond education, work needs to be done at the recruitment level within tech companies. Whether conscious or unconscious, there appears to be biased against women at the recruitment stage. Female candidates appearing in recruiter search results for tech positions are 13% less likely to be viewed by recruiters than males. Those involved in recruitment must, therefore, be informed and aware of this issue.

Finally, there is a role for female advocates promoting and encouraging STEM careers amongst girls and women of all ages. Female role models must be visible. A PWC survey found that 78% of students could not name a famous woman working in tech. Successful females working in tech must be widely celebrated with their achievements highlighted and showcased to promote careers within the industry.

With this in mind, let’s look at some influential women in tech today.

Notable female leaders in the tech industry

Despite women being underrepresented in tech, many notable females can serve as role models for future generations. Influential female leaders in the industry such as Elizabeth Churchill: Director of User Experience at Google, Susan Wojcicki: CEO of YouTube and Reshma Saujani: Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code have shown a generation of women that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible.

Whilst we at Cloudbooking continue to take strides to improve our own workforce diversity, we’d like to take this moment to celebrate the achievements of some of our own notable females.

Sarie Copplestone: Director of Client Services at Cloudbooking

An impressive Cloudbooking leader with 15 years of experience in managing entrepreneurial companies in the delivery of technology-enabled products and services for the UK and global clients. In Australia, she completed her first degree at The University of Technology Sydney, achieving a major in Visual Communications. She then went on to do a Master of Marketing Communications at The University of Westminster in the United Kingdom. Sarie began her career as a Digital Project Manager with her role evolving to Client Services Director. She has worked for several digital agencies and tech companies before landing her position as Client Services Director at Cloudbooking.

Amber O’Neal: Head of Delivery at Cloudbooking

As a natural tech enthusiast, Amber knew at a young age that she was keen to pursue a career in IT. Amber attended the University of Brighton where she completed a Bachelor of Science in Computing and Statistics. She then went on to begin her career in IT at various companies, starting out with a role as a Test Analyst and Helpdesk Support in the United States, where she lived for 6 years before returning to the U.K to work as a Systems and Network Administrator. She has worked her way up through many notable companies including KPMG as a Test Manager and AIG Life ltd as Head of Software Delivery.  Now with over 20 years of experience, Amber is an accomplished tech leader, and a truly invaluable member of the Cloudbooking team.

Anna Williams: Business Analyst at Cloudbooking

Through her many years of work, Anna has built up a knowledge of complex processes and systems to be able to identify business needs and solutions. Anna graduated from The University of Newcastle with Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Psychology. She began her career in tech by working for Dell computers as a Project Management Office Coordinator. Interestingly, much of her work has been in the travel industry having been a Business Analyst for the likes of STA Travel, Virgin Holidays and The Travel Corporation before finding her true calling at Cloudbooking. Something intriguing that people may not know about Anna is that she is also a self-employed massage therapist! Anna is an awe-inspiring leader here at Cloudbooking, delivering the best technical solution to clients on many global IT and digital projects.

Jane Holmes: Head of Marketing and Communications at Cloudbooking

This Irish firecracker embodies the heart and soul of Cloudbooking. Having been with the company for over 11 years, she’s overseen its development from start up to the successful and established company it is today. Jane’s background was previously in retail, studying at Dundee College in Scotland where she received an HND in Retail Management. Alongside her qualification, she began her retail career and quickly made her way up to Department Manager, before pursuing a career change and diving headfirst into the world of B2B Marketing at Cloudbooking. She is a phenomenal asset to the Cloudbooking team and has played a major role in its success today.

To tackle the gender gap in tech, women like these must continually be celebrated. Alongside educational and recruitment initiatives, they play a crucial role in changing women and girls’ perceptions of STEM careers.


Cloudbooking’s agile working tools can enhance your work environment, aiming to create a work culture based on inclusion and equality.  Contact us now for a no-obligation product demo.

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