Women At The Top In Global Technology To Tackle Dismal Diversity Figures

Women At The Top In Global Technology To Tackle Dismal Diversity Figures
Women At The Top In Global Technology To Tackle Dismal Diversity Figures

Women at the top of the global technology industry will seize the opportunities presented by an event in Hull to tackle the “dismal” figures for diversity in the sector.

Tech Expo, which takes place at the Bonus Arena on Tuesday 9 November and is part of Tech Week Humber, will bring together women from some of the biggest tech brands locally and internationally for a “Women In Technology” panel aimed at addressing the imbalance.

Texas-based Dr Melissa Sassi will take part in her role as Chief Penguin of Student & Entrepreneur Experience within the IBM Z division of IBM and Global Head of IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator.

She cited research from 2020 by the AnitaB.org Institute – a California-based organisation for women technologists – which said only 28.8 percent of the tech workforce is made up of women, despite women constituting half of the overall workforce. In addition, less than three percent of venture-funded startups are helmed by women. 

Melissa said: “The results are still dismal despite recognising that the profitability of firms increases when women leaders have a seat at the table. We must all foster career paths for women in tech, as there is no difference between the capabilities and strengths of women in the workforce compared to their male counterparts.

“As a woman in tech, and a tech startup founder, I encourage us all to look beyond existing biases and rise up to break the glass ceiling that continues to impact half the workforce. Join our panel to discover insights from me and our panellists to do just that. See you there!”

Speakers from Amazon, Apple, Deliveroo, HSBC and Microsoft are also lined up for the session and will be joined by Lindsay Rodgers, who has worked her way up during 28 years at KCOM to become the company’s Director of Digital Transformation.

Lindsay, who is also a member of the Humber Digital Skills Partnership delivered by the Hull and East Yorkshire LEP, said: “At a time when technology skills, and especially digital skills, are more in demand than ever, it is essential that we all question why half of the population is still so under-represented in the industry.

“We must look at all aspects of this; attracting women into the tech industry, ensuring the right skills are developed for tech roles, and ensuring companies have a diverse and inclusive culture to retain employees within these roles.

“The skills, experience, and perspectives that women bring to tech need to be recognised and valued and we need more great, visible role models to help bring careers in technology to life for women. I am really looking forward to discussing this with the other panellists at the Women in Tech session. Join the discussion, we need to talk about this!”

Jo Fleming, the co-founder of Tech Expo organiser, GBE Connect, said the aim of Tech Week Humber is to showcase the digital strength of the Hull and Humber region, encourage greater participation in the sector, and promote education and training to develop skills.

Jo said: “It’s about inspiring future generations of men and women, no matter what kind of upbringing and start you have had in life. I had children very young but was still able to build a career. It’s never game over.

“We hope that by bringing global influencers in the technology sector into our city we will open people’s eyes to the fact that anything is possible.

“People have to keep aspiring to push forward and succeed. You have got to be focused on what you want and surround yourself with people who can help you achieve that and who inspire you as well.”

Bridging the Gender Gap

The tech industry has long been dominated by men, but the tide is slowly turning as more women are making significant strides in this dynamic field. Women bring unique perspectives, skills, and leadership styles that are essential for innovation and growth. However, despite these contributions, women still face numerous challenges, including gender bias, a lack of representation, and limited access to leadership roles.

Organisations and initiatives dedicated to fostering diversity and inclusion are crucial in addressing these challenges. For example, platforms like Divrsity are instrumental in highlighting the importance of an inclusive workplace that values the contributions of women and other underrepresented groups.

Events like Tech Week Humber play a vital role in showcasing the achievements of women in tech and inspiring future generations. Panels and discussions led by female tech leaders provide valuable insights and encourage young women to pursue careers in technology. These events also emphasize the importance of mentorship and networking, helping women build the connections they need to succeed.

Moreover, companies are beginning to understand the business case for diversity. Research consistently shows that diverse teams perform better, drive more innovation, and are more profitable. By actively promoting gender diversity, businesses not only create a more equitable workplace but also gain a competitive edge.

A Global Assembly of Tech ‘Game-Changers’

Returning to Tech Week Humber and its illustrious attendees, Google Digital Garage is also playing a key part in the programme, and headline partners include Hull-based ultra-fast broadband provider Connexin and Hull City Council, as well as the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC).

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DMCC, said: “Our world is moving at unprecedented speed, with new technologies revolutionising how we live, work, trade, and communicate. DMCC is already home to some of the world’s most ambitious companies that continually push the boundaries of what’s possible. The growth of our Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange – now powered by Nasdaq and a full suite of integrated marketplace solutions – is the perfect example.

“With 19,000 registered member companies, DMCC provides a frontier to new possibilities and, whilst we are interested in the state of the tech market today, what is more important to us is where the market will be tomorrow. DMCC is where it is today precisely because it builds for the future, anticipates shifting market demands and always remains one step ahead of the curve.

“Simply put, Tech Week Humber cannot be missed. DMCC will have a strong presence at the event, and we will engage directly with the hundreds of game-changers in attendance. We have high hopes for Tech Week Humber, and will be sure to maximise the opportunity to drive DMCC’s ambitious innovation agenda.”

Tech Week Humber is a free event. To find out more and to register visit https://techweekhumber.com/

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