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International Women’s Day 2017: The tech stats

Women in tech

Some professions such as nursing and teaching have historically being dominated by females, whereas more technical roles such as developers are often fulfilled by men.

In celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD), we’ve taken a look at the stats to see just how much progress, if any, has been made to attract more women to the technology industry in recent years.

Here’s what we’ve found:

Women at C-level

A recent report by Silicon Valley Bank found that 68% of startups surveyed had no women on their board of directors. Astonishingly, 53% of respondents had no women in their C-level management bodies.

Additionally, the research highlighted the lack of female founders and co-founders, noting that only 23% of those surveyed were women.

Claire Lee, managing director and head of SVB’s Early Stage Practice, commented on the findings: “We expected to see more women in leadership positions this year, and instead our survey shows how little progress is being made.”

“We cannot be deceived by our seemingly large network of talented and successful female founders, investors, board members and innovators. The data show us these women remain a lonely minority in the technology world,” she added.

The research delved deeper into tech verticals and found the largest concentrations of female-founded startups were in healthcare (21%) and consumer internet/digital media (20%).


Although raising funds is considered to be challenging by both sexes, 27% of female founded companies said the current environment was “extremely challenging”. Alternatively, only 15% of businesses established by men said the same.

Worryingly, the report found the UK was lagging behind in terms of the amount of women holding a leadership position in the tech industry. Females in leading positions were much more common in China, with 63% of startups in the Asian country having at least one female executive, the study said.

Women in FinTech

Innovate Finance, a membership association which seeks to represent the UK FinTech sector, has released the results of a survey highlighting the experiences of women working in the financial technology industry.

The anonymised results showed that 48% of those women surveyed believe FinTech was becoming a more attractive space for female talent. Some 35% also said female leaders had helped them achieve their career goals.

Respondents also shared their willingness to ask for remuneration increases, while 45% felt their opinions were being heard in their FinTech work environments.

Commenting on the results, Lawrence Wintermeyer, CEO of Innovate Finance, said: “The sentiment of the survey is generally positive but we still need to encourage more women to pursue leadership roles in FinTech.

“Within the Innovate Finance startup community 8 per cent are founded or headed up by women. While this percentage is higher than the number of women executives in the European tech sector, there is a lot of room for improvement,” he added.

Unicorn hunt data

On average, women seem to aim for lower-paying jobs than men.

That’s according to data released by Unicorn Hunt, which shows the media salary for jobs men apply for is £35,000, while women settle for £31,500.

The research undertaken by the firm also found that job descriptions have a significant influence on potential candidates – those containing a higher number of positive words and sentiment attracted more female applicants.

Unsurprisingly, the research highlighted the fact that men often apply for developer roles, whereas women tend to look for work in the marketing field, especially if the position is linked to a strong social elements.

Chief Unicorn Wrangler, Ben Southworth, said: “We over at Unicorn Hunt were fascinated to see what we’d suspected somewhat anecdotally, which it that men are far happier to reach for higher salaries, yet women are far more concerned with internal culture.

“As often, where we perceive value is not always monetary. Unicorn Hunt is committed to trying to ensure this data becomes less and less true as time goes on,” he added.

The gender funding gap

A global survey has highlighted how the odds are significantly stacked against female entrepreneurs.

The study found women were more likely to start their business much later in life and when they did so, they had less access to funding than men.

The poll, conducted by design marketplace 99designs, surveyed more than 1,700 entrepreneurs from the UK, US, Europe and Australia and found there were substantial funding obstacles between the sexes.

Some 12% of men had secured $100,000 or more in funding compared to only 6% of women.

However, UK female entrepreneurs are bucking the trend as a higher percentage (11%) had secured over $100,000 in investment versus the 6% secured by their male entrepreneur counterparts.

“With the venture capital sector remaining a male-dominated industry, the odds are already stacked against female entrepreneurs,” said Pam Webber, CMO at 99designs, concluding:

“Women also tend to be more risk-calculating and going after that initial (seemingly) high seed might be daunting. Support from experienced female peers within the VC sphere may help to deter and overcome any fears of risk or existing gender bias.”

How are you celebrating International Women’s Day? What can be done to attract more women to the technology sector? Let us know in the comments section below.