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Top 10 women in tech and diversity in tech stories of 2022

As the year draws to a close, Computer Weekly looks over some of the notable stories relating to women in tech, diversity and inclusion throughout 2022

Though there have been small improvements when it comes to diversity in the technology sector, the pace of change is too slow.

Data this year revealed that if the pace of change continues at the same rate, a 50/50 gender split in the technology industry will not be achieved until 2060.

But there are still several initiatives and groups pushing for change, and 2022 was a busy year for the diversity in tech space.

1. Young people are leaving tech because of bad culture

The year started with the news that young people are having bad experiences in the technology sector that are causing them to pursue roles in other industries.

More than half of people between the ages of 18 and 24 told talent and skills provider Mthree that they had either quit or thought about quitting their tech-based role because of poor company culture.

The importance of an inclusive culture in technology organisations was a theme across the year – Mthree’s research found women and minority groups were less likely than other groups to say they had an entirely positive experience in the tech sector so far.

2. Around 65% of tech recruiters say there’s bias in the hiring process

There are several points in the tech pipeline where more can be done to encourage diverse candidates into the technology sector.

There have been issues flagged about tech hiring in the past – including male-dominated language in job adverts or managers only targeting candidates who are from the same backgrounds as them.

According to research by CodinGame and CoderPad, these issues still exist, with 65% of people globally responsible for recruiting developers believe there is still bias in the process.

3. Diversity and inclusion in STEM – data, culture and social benefit

The government’s Science and Technology Committee (STC) has spent the last year gathering data surrounding diversity and inclusion in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

The committee’s first meeting heard about the use of data and the importance of skills in the development of an equitable STEM sector, while a later meeting highlighted how role models contribute to diversity in the industry.

4. Men don’t need to help women in tech, say IT professionals

It has been made clear that everyone needs to be involved in making the tech sector a more inclusive place if it wants to become more appealing to different groups of people.

Often, those in a position to help are men, who are more likely to be in decision-making positions than other groups. But men are still of the impression that they don’t need to help women and others into the sector, with more saying this than last year, according to TechTarget’s annual Salary survey.

5. UK tech has 2.8% gender ‘wage gap’, says Hired

Adding to the pain points in the UK’s tech sector, there is still a wage gap between women and men in the industry.

Job marketplace Hired found there is still a 2.8% wage gap in what is offered to female versus male tech candidates in the UK. Female candidates are also less likely to receive a request for an interview than their male counterparts.

6. 60% of tech workers say more needs to be done on diversity

Tech workers in the UK believe much more needs to be done if diversity in the tech sector is to be improved.

ThoughtWorks found that 60% of tech workers believe there is work to be done surrounding diversity, and just over half think their firms are behind in doing what they can to make the sector more equitable.

7. The Most Influential Women in UK Technology 2022

Each year, Computer Weekly announces the list of the Most Influential Women in UK Technology alongside an interview with its winner, the Most Influential Woman in UK Tech, which in 2022 went to founder of 3 Colours Rule and the GTA Black Women in Tech, Flavilla Fongang.

As well as the most influential women in tech, so to celebrate the occasion, names were added to both the list of Rising Stars in the women in tech sector and the Hall of Fame dedicated to honouring women who have made a lasting impact on the technology sector.

Each year, Computer Weekly also publishes the longlist of nominees to shine a light on all of those nominated, which in 2022 reached more than 600.

8. Young people in tech unhappy despite inclusion push

The tail end of the year brought more stories about young people being unhappy in the sector.

Despite the effort of some to create a more inclusive tech sector, many people in the 18-to-24 age category still don’t feel happy, according to research by Wiley Edge. Out of people in this age range in tech, many claimed to have had a mostly negative experience in the sector.

9. Women more likely to leave tech jobs than men

It’s not surprising that with inclusion issues in the technology sector negatively affecting women and underrepresented groups disproportionately, women are more likely to quit tech jobs than men.

Research by InnovateHer also found that half of women employees are likely to have quit their tech role by the age of 35, with the education platform’s co-founder and director claiming the small increase in women working in tech this year still isn’t enough.

10. Everywoman Forum 2022: Inclusivity, support and involvement

Covering many of the themes seen in the diversity in tech space over the past year, speakers at this year’s Everywoman Forum covered a number of topics such as inclusivity, support and involvement.

Being authentic, finding a support network and talking to strangers in airports were just some of the pieces of advice given throughout the day, as well as both being and seeing role models, and appreciating what you bring to the table as an individual at work.

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