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Three-quarters of tech firms do not have gender diverse senior management

Research by Tech London Advocates finds that only 23% of technology companies have gender diverse teams at senior management level

More than three-quarters of technology firms do not have a senior management team that reflects gender diversity, according to research by the Tech London Advocates (TLA).

The study found only 23% of technology firms have senior management teams that reflect the diversity levels of the London population, and 18% of companies in the London tech sector have no women at board level.

As part of the launch of London Technology week, the TLA released its annual TLA Women in Tech Leadership Index, which shows that in almost half of technology companies, less than 25% of senior management roles are held by women.

Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates, said: “Technology’s gender problem has not gone away. Female CEOs have been instrumental to the rise of London’s tech sector, creating some of the city’s most exciting businesses, but the lack of wider representation for women at senior levels is shameful.”

Shaw urged tech firms to widen the diversity of teams, including those of different ages, genders and backgrounds, to increase the industry’s creativity and help firms better to cater to a larger audience.

As a result of the lack of gender diversity in the city’s tech firms, 60% of members of the TLA have stated tech firms do not reflect the diversity in London’s population for the second year in a row.

But the same number of TLA members also claimed they are taking steps to improve recruitment strategies to ensure an increase in diversity to their workforces.

Read more about diversity in technology

  • Startups in the UK are more likely to have a diverse workforce than those in the US, according to Wayra UK report.
  • The London Assembly Economy Committee urges mayor of London Boris Johnson to further champion women in IT and re-design apprenticeships to improve skills and diversity.

A fifth of the companies taking part in the survey – all of which were technology experts, leaders or investors – had a female CEO, in comparison to companies in the FTSE 100 where 5% of CEOs are women.  

Many claim an increase in diversity will increase a business’s potential to compete as it can better cater to its audience.

Sarah Luxford, director at Nexec Leaders and TLA Women in Tech lead, claimed a lack of engagement with women “undermined” the technology industry’s potential to be an open enabler of diversity.

“With such a requirement for tech professionals, harnessing the potential of 50% of the population is the solution to long-term growth. The TLA Women in Tech group exists to showcase best practice around diversity and celebrate the enormous impact of women working for technology companies,” she said.

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Gender diversity corresponds to the lack of gender diversity in the ranks and the colleges. To force gender diversity at the top before people earn and deserve it to meet diversity goals, puts the firm at gender targets at risk. Unless there is some underlying force the females know about the technology or the sale of that technology, the diversity issue needs to work it through naturally. If there is talent, then move them up quickly, but as we have seen with several silicon valley cases - diversity for diversity sake has been an economic and career disaster.
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