Percentage of women in the tech sector is worse than in Parliament, says Martha-Lane Fox

“Fewer than one in 10 women are in leadership positions within the tech sector and, perhaps most shockingly, women only hold 4%of software engineers," Martha-Lane Fox said.

Zlata Rodionova
Tuesday 08 March 2016 13:04
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Baroness Martha Lane-Fox, a champion of women in the technology sector, has said the number of female employees working in tech are even lower that in the Parliament.

“Under 10 per cent of internet companies are founded by women,” Baroness Lane-Fox, who co-founded Lastminute.com, an online travel and leisure retailer platform, told the BBC.

"If you look at the venture capital community it's about 9 per cent and the numbers overall of women working in tech, it's about 17 per cent - a smaller percentage than the number of women in Parliament.

“Fewer than one in 10 of these women are in leadership positions within the tech sector and, perhaps most shockingly, women only hold 4 per cent of software engineers," she added.

Her comments come a day after research suggested that businesses led by women are some of the fastest growing in the UK and have collectively contributed more than £2 billion to the UK economy in 2015.

Over 760 women-led business identified by the study are expanding at a medium growth rate of 30 per cent a year. Almost 60 per cent of these companies are growing by 20 per cent or more, the research found.

The data compiled by Founder4Schools, free nationwide service that connects classrooms with succesfull business leaders, used interactive maps revealing the location of women-led businesses with £1 million to £250 million in revenue across the UK.

"I think the overwhelming message is that women are fantastically good investments - all the data from today's research shows that women-led businesses, scale up, they're fast growing, they deliver a great return,” Martha-Lane Fox said.

But she said that more things need to be done.

“We should be encouraging a new big skilling up programme for women who are currently not in work or want to come back into work to show the advantages. The programme paid by the companies that need to fill their tech talent shortages,” she said.

Researchers Francine D. Blau and Lawrence M. Kahn found that the lack of women in certain industries and specific jobs is one reason that women wages still lack behind.

“Significantly, women continue to lag in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), fields particularly in mathematically-intensive fields. And gender differences in college major have been found to be an important determinant of the pay gap between college-educated men and women,” the researchers said.

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