Women have been battling for gender equality for over 140 years. The history of gender diversity within the workforce has been a bumpy road and whilst other industries continue to take strides towards closing the gender gap, the Tech industry is one of few who are arguably falling behind.
Just 4 years ago, Forbes unintentionally highlighted the more widespread issue of women as leaders in Forbes 100 Most Innovative Leaders list of 2019, where only one female leader made it onto the list – Barbara Rentler, we salute you! Later, Forbes reflected on the lack of women in the list and its gender balance – or should we say imbalance – and agreed the problem was clear: Women are poorly represented at the top of large corporations and fare even worse among growing public tech companies.
In 2023, only 26% of the tech workforce being female – the lowest in all industries – it’s clear we have some milestones to go. And the icing on the cake, among that 26%, 76% of women have experienced gender discrimination or bias whilst working in a tech role.
With the studies and statistics casting a shadow over the tech industry, we wanted to take the time to dive deeper into the subject. Talking to some of our own female employees, we explored what they have found particularly challenging and better yet, how can we help them feel empowered.
Since 2017, businesses with 250+ employees in the UK are legally obligated to share information on the gender pay gap, with data showing that more than 3 out of 4 UK companies pay males on average more than females and over 50% give higher bonuses to men. Reporting on the gender pay gap has created some positive change, pressing companies to investigate the insights of the pay review to understand if and why males are being paid more and most importantly, what can they do about the problem. Other positive impacts included introducing skills-based recruitment, transparent progression and diverse managers.
Creating a more equal playing field within tech companies can only benefit business growth. Gender diversity and different backgrounds, experiences and ideas breed higher quality products and processes. Males and females can bring both different strengths to the workforce, to ensure there are diverse opinions and ideas within the growing tech sector.
So, how are Webeo paving the way for Women in SaaS?
- 57% of the Webeo senior leadership team are female
- Our CEO, Kirsty Dawe is female
- Female mentors/role models in both Webeo and the wider group
- Equal pay in similar roles regardless of gender
To celebrate International Women’s Day in 2022 we spoke to some of our strong female employees on what it’s like working for Webeo and what advice they would have for Women starting out in SaaS.
Kirsty Dawe – CEO
The biggest challenge for females in the tech industry is that there are less female tech leaders to aspire to than men, so its more difficult to role model success.
I find leading the charge and supporting other female leaders in tech to have effective role models in future the most empowering part of being a female in the tech industry.
Webeo supports me by providing unlimited growth opportunities, guidance and coaching as well as exposure to mentors and experts.
To increase recruitment of females into Webeo, we can raise the profile of women in development and engineering as it’s the one area that we still fall down in terms of female diversity. Also, we can continue to grow out and nurture female talent through positive role modelling whilst supporting our female talent to have effective work life balance, through motherhood and other life milestones.
Dawn Upton – Head of Customer Marketing
I consider myself extremely lucky, because nothing comes to mind when I think about what I find the most challenging about being a female in the tech industry. I honestly don’t really think of myself as a ‘female’ in the tech industry, I think of myself as a professional in the tech industry and my gender should not matter. As long as I’m capable of the job in hand, the rest is irrelevant. I appreciate not everyone’s experience is the same and I’ve seen female colleague’s struggle to be heard, or second guess themselves. As a leader I’m big on empowering people and in these circumstances, I try to encourage them to believe in themselves and provide support and mentoring to help them achieve this.
I’ve never felt that my gender has played a part in the opportunities available to me at Webeo. Hard work, self-motivation and tenacity is rewarded and celebrated within the group and being surrounded by so many great leaders, including our female CEO, shows us there are no glass ceilings here!
Rachel Palmer – Senior Sales Development Representative
For me, it’s empowering to be a female in the tech industry and know I am paving the way for other women to join this fast-paced industry. Webeo supports me as a woman in three key ways. Firstly, seeing women in the SLT means I know our voice is being heard. Secondly, Kirsty takes time out of her schedule to help develop me. Lastly, we are always reminded that outside work is just as important as inside work.
I would love for more of our SLT to be involved in webinar panels, to contribute to boosting the female presence within the tech industry. I believe having an apprenticeship programme for women in STEM and creating placement opportunities and grad schemes could really help increase recruitment of females into Webeo.
If you’re looking to join a diverse team within the SaaS space and want to know what opportunities we have available, get in touch with a member of our team.