It’s an exciting time to work in the UK’s technology industry, with companies growing from strength to strength each year. But there is something of an elephant in the room when it comes to the tech industry - the lack of women entering STEM roles, not just in the UK but worldwide.

It’s widely recognised that recruiting a diverse workforce inclusive of women creates a more creative and innovative environment in which to work. And well known travel brand Airbnb has vowed to increase its number of technical women to 25 per cent in 2017, but are all tech businesses taking this approach?

Why is it so difficult to encourage women into STEM roles?

The Government Equalities Office said in its 2016 report Closing the gender pay gap: “Gendered stereotypes about what society regards as ‘men’s work’ and ‘women’s work’ are a strong influence on young people throughout their education, and can have a significant influence on the career choices they make.”

So the issue clearly can’t be blamed on one single organisation or institution. It’s plain to see that to solve the diversity skills gap, educators, businesses, and campaigners need to come together. Tech innovators and big brands such as Airbnb and Facebook are championing women in STEM, which is leading others to follow in their direction. Unless we work together to encourage more women into STEM, it will constantly be a disjointed process, meaning more women are likely to miss out on reaching their potential in a huge range of fantastic careers.

Doing our bit

As a business, we are committed to equal opportunity, so are proud to have more than doubled the number of women in technical roles at our Bristol office over the last 12 months.

While encouraging women into STEM is something we work to do across Scott Logic, in Bristol we also support the Women’s Tech Hub, a network organisation committed to addressing this issue, and we also plan to host a Girl Geek Dinner later this year for the second time. Outside of Bristol, we’re also a long-time sponsor of the Lovelace Colloquium, a one-day conference for female STEM students, which this year is celebrating its 10th anniversary. And in Newcastle, we have our very own STEM Ambassador, Hannah, who is passionate about encouraging women and girls into STEM, attending events and taking part in initiatives at local schools and meetups to help the word.

Scott Logic’s Head of Development in Bristol, Nic Hemley, said: “It’s been fantastic to see that our efforts to encourage and support women in STEM can actually make a difference. Whilst we recognise there is still far more for us to do to raise awareness of the gender imbalance in UK technology, we’re incredibly proud to have seen an increase in the numbers of talented women contributing to Scott Logic’s success, not just in Bristol but also nationwide. We hope to build on this momentum and employ many more women over the coming months and years”

Rose tinted glasses

Although pleased with our progress to attract a greater number of women into our technical roles, this doesn’t mean there isn’t work to be done. It’s evident from Manchester Digital’s Annual Digital Skills Audit 2017 that the gender gap is definitely still apparent in tech, with a split of 72:28 male to female in the northern technology sector compared to 60:40 in 2016.

As a company, we’ll continue to work with meetup groups, schools, and other organisations, to increase awareness of the variety of roles there are in STEM for women and girls to consider. By working together with educators, campaigners and organisations, we will hopefully and gradually be able to tackle this issue. However, it’s an ongoing, long-term process that won’t bring about change overnight. But we are seeing a difference this International Women’s Day, so let’s celebrate that and #BeBoldForChange.

To find out more about the roles we have available, visit scottlogic.com/careers/vacancies.

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