UK struggles to identify female technology leaders

McAfee survey reviews UK able to recognise male high flyers in technology but 72% struggle to name females

Almost three quarters of the British public struggle to identify females in leadership roles in technology, according to a survey by McAfee, part of Intel Security.

Surveying 4,000 people throughout the UK, respondents were able to identify high-profile men within the technology industry; however they struggled to identify the women.

The results revealed that when asked about the 10 most well-known men in technology 90% of the nation had heard of Bill Gates, 78% knew the name Mark Zuckerberg and 70% were familiar with Steve Jobs.

However, 72% claimed to not recognise any of the females listed; only 17% knew of Martha Lane Fox, and just 8% had heard of Sheryl Sandberg.

In addition, 77% of women said they had not heard of any high-profile women in IT, whereas this figure was only 66% when put to men.

Raj Samani, CTO EMEA at McAfee, part of Intel Security, said: “Hubs like Bletchley Park, with McAfee’s support, are designed to encourage anyone, at any age, to take an interest and learn more about technology and cyber security.”

“We hope this initiative, along with others, will generate appeal among budding young coders or computer engineers – whether male or female - and create excitement, interest and opportunities within the industry.”

McAfee and Bletchley Park Trust have partnered to launch McAfee’s Cyber Security Exhibition and Computer Learning Zone at Bletchley Park. The exhibition was launched at Bletchley Park due to its connection it the World War II codebreakers, in a bid to reinforce the importance of encouraging more men and women into cyber security careers.

During World War II nearly 10,000 (75%) of those that worked on the code breaking operation were women.

Samantha Humphries-Swift, McAfee labs manager, said: “Women have always played an important role in the growth and development of the technology industry. Thousands of women famously worked tirelessly to break German codes and ciphers at Bletchley Park during World War II.

“At the forefront of the genesis of cyber security as we know it today, these women were the original female role models of modern computing. It’s this history, combined with the leaders in technology today that should serve to inspire current and future generations of both men and women into the world of IT.”

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