By Kirstie Buchanan, Growth & Partnership Director, CTI Digital

In the rapidly evolving world we live in, technology and creativity play a pivotal role in shaping our future. That’s why there is an urgent need to promote more female representation in these industries, inspiring more women and girls to step into these careers. But how?

Empowering through education

When thinking about how we can advance women in tech and creative sectors, it must start early with education. Initiatives like STEM programs, Tech She Can, and Innovate Her have set out to bring girls and women into the tech industry – and they are achieving brilliant things. They are instrumental in educating and showcasing the boundless opportunities available to girls in the tech and creative sectors, regardless of their backgrounds. These programs highlight that unique skills and perspectives can be powerful assets in technology and creativity.

Collaboration with industry giants such as BA Systems brings real-world experiences to schools. These programmes not only engage young minds but also inspire and provide a glimpse into the exciting opportunities and possibilities that tech and creativity offer. It also gives an opportunity for young people to speak directly to somebody about their career options or aspirations.

Education doesn’t just stop there. It’s essential to educate and challenge parents’ perceptions of tech careers too. Despite the changing landscape, some parents still don’t consider tech as a viable career option for their daughters. Through the initiatives and schemes I work on; our mission is to break down this misconception and shine a light on all the various roles beyond coding and development which tech can offer. Opportunities span from marketing and design to many other fields, and it is vital that parents support these career avenues for young women.

And it’s not just at the education stage that the tech industry needs to do more to entice women. It’s crucial to make tech opportunities appealing for women who are returning to work – not least because they may possess developed skills and experience which will strengthen any tech company’s offering.

Shining a guiding light

Many aspiring individuals face a daunting challenge: where to start. While a university degree remains beneficial, it is no longer a requirement with apprenticeship schemes becoming more prevalent. Schools, colleges and universities must take on the responsibility of providing guidance and all routes into the industry, particularly for young women and those from underrepresented backgrounds. Schemes like WYK Digital are a great example of pathways for underrepresented groups to step into agency environments, thereby diversifying the talent pools of the industry.

The power of mentorship

Whether you’re already in the tech and creative industry or aspiring to enter, building long-lasting relationships is key. This journey involves creating a support network – a tribe of like-minded people who can share experiences, offer guidance and provide solutions to common challenges you may face. The power of mentorship is undisputable, offering a guiding light, invaluable advice and insights from those who have faced a similar journey to yours.

A word to all

Advocacy and support extend beyond gender boundaries. In the workplace, we should foster a culture of respect and support where everyone helps each other grow. This includes offering soft skills training, promoting teamwork, and nurturing a strong company culture. By holding each other up high and forming alliances, we can collectively overcome obstacles and pave the way for a more inclusive and diverse industry.

As we champion women in technology and creativity, these interconnected elements—mentorship, support networks, and a culture of mutual respect—are the cornerstones of our shared success. Initiatives, both in education and the workplace, are breaking down barriers and creating a more inclusive future where gender doesn’t define one’s potential in these dynamic fields.

As we look ahead, it’s clear that we are on the right path when it comes to bringing more women in technology and creativity, and I am excited to be a part of this journey.

About the author

Kirstie has been in the industry for over 20 years and CTI Digital for four. She is an industry veteran, with a wealth of knowledge and a catalogue of respected clients and experience in her back pocket.

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