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TeamViewer launches initiative to bring women into sports tech

TeamViewer’s flagship SheSportTech initiative aims to encourage more women into sports technology, offering ‘inspiration, training grants and access to unique experiences’

German remote access software provider TeamViewer has revealed details of an initiative called SheSportTech that aims to help “women explore the career possibilities” in the growing industry of sports technology.

The scheme launched on 4 April in collaboration with sports partners Manchester United and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team, and is backed by Women in Sports Tech (WIST), a global non-profit organisation driving growth opportunities for women in the sports tech industry.

Open to women aged 18 and above globally, the programme will provide five successful applicants with up to €1,500 to be used on courses related to sports tech careers, an assigned female mentor from TeamViewer or one of the initiative’s sports partners, and opportunities to access “bespoke events and experiences”.

Currently, the number of women in tech remains low, with just over a quarter (26%) of tech-related jobs in the UK held by women, according to Tech Nation, with the number in sports tech being even lower. And more people are noticing the gender disparity, with 91% of respondents to a 2023 Women in Tech survey believing there are more men in tech than women.

Faith Wheller, vice-president of brand at TeamViewer, said: “We believe that technology is made better by a diverse workforce. And we know that representation matters in making women feel that sport tech is a field where they could thrive, which is why our campaign brings all these amazing women – and their roles – into the spotlight.”

The initiative is accompanied by a creative campaign featuring the diverse female talent of Manchester United, both on the pitch and behind the scenes. Players such as Mary Earps and Nikita Parris feature alongside the women behind the club’s data analysis and security, customer relationship management and talent management.

“We’re hoping their stories will inspire more women to join the industry. Applying for the grants and experiences within our SheSportTech programme can be a great step in this direction,” Wheller added.

Marilou McFarlane, founder and CEO of WIST, said: “We are honoured to join forces with TeamViewer on this exciting, educational and engaging initiative.

“This partnership aligns with our vision of creating a more diverse and inclusive sport tech ecosystem, and ultimately more innovative and successful businesses, through proven, tangible solutions. Together, we look forward to driving positive change and providing valuable and equitable opportunities for networking, learning and professional growth.” 

Applicants will be judged on three criteria: their reason for seeking a career transition into sports tech, a description of potential opportunities they would pursue using the funds, and the quality of their written proposal. Entries close on Sunday 30 June 2024.

Women in tech in the UK

Though there has been improvement, there is still much progress to be made for women in the tech industry in the UK.

Women in Tech’s 2023 survey revealed that 76% of women in the industry have experienced gender bias or discrimination at least once. Some 79% of people agreed there was a gender pay gap in the sector and 70% of people reported a gender imbalance in their current or most recent team.

At the same time, 90% of respondents believed the tech sector would benefit from an equal workforce, with 61% saying their organisation was actively working on it – a 25% rise since 2019.

The survey also revealed that most people believed the early misconception that a lack of education in young girls is to blame for deterring women from the industry, with the next most popular opinion being its male-dominated workforce.

Optimism about the situation varies – most respondents believe it will take between six and 10 years to reach gender equality in tech, but 8% think it will never be equal, while Aviva CEO Amanda Blanc estimates that it will take 30 years to close the gender pay gap if progress continues at this “frustratingly slow” rate.

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