Baroness Martha Lane Fox has penned her thoughts on becoming the newest member to join Twitter’s board stating, “diversity on boards is critical to sustaining and advancing performance.”
Baroness Martha Lane Fox
Baroness Martha Lane Fox

Lane Fox announced last week that she would be joining the social media giant’s board by tweeting that is would be the “best job ever.”

It was also announced that Pepsi’s chief financial officer Hugh Johnston will be joining the board. In February Twitter posted a quarterly net loss of $90m (£64m).

Lane Fox was the UK’s Digital Champion until 2013, the same year she joined the House of Lords. She is best known for founding with Brent Hoberman in 1998. The company was sold in 2005 for £577m.

More recently she founded a national body called Dot Everyone, that champions digital innovation.

Speaking to the BBC she said: “I’m absolutely over the moon to be part of the journey of an iconic company that I love using.”

“Watch out Silicon Valley – the Brits are coming.”

In an article for the Telegraph she wrote: “I’m incredibly excited to join Twitter on its journey to more deeply focus on inclusion and diversity at all levels including board, and be a part of the amazing team that will help shape the platform’s future development of products, services and ideas.

“Diversity on boards is critical to sustaining and advancing performance and having worked in the tech sector since its early days, I find it astonishing that there’s already a profound gender imbalance – at every level – in an industry that didn’t even exist 30 years ago.”

“Having worked in the tech sector since its early days, it still surprises me that the original promises of the internet – to empower, be universal and uphold democracy – have somehow stalled.”

“A strong and dynamic tech sector is essential if Britain is to flourish in the digital world. We won’t – and shouldn’t – always compete on price. The battles we should be looking to win hinge on innovation, skill and creativity. However, we’re currently playing this game with one hand tied behind our backs.”

Doteveryone recently published data giving an overview of women in technology finding that only 17% of tech jobs are occupied by women and that less than one in 10 of these are in leadership positions.

The research also found that women make up only 3% of partners in venture capital firms, 20% of tech founders and 4% of software engineers.

“If we don’t rectify the gender imbalance [in technology], we are missing out on 50 per cent of the talent pool.”

According to a McKinsey Global Institute report $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 by advancing women’s equality.

Lane Fox added: “On a global scale, we see that women entrepreneurs are poised to lead the next wave of growth in global technology ventures. Research shows the high-tech companies women build are more capital-efficient than the norm.”

She said that as a nation we need to do more to support women in tech: “This fast-growing sector needs to offer flexible working hours to make a tech career a lifelong career for more women. Some companies get it. These are the most agile and best placed to thrive as they take advantage of the untapped pool of talent.

“It’s also difficult to raise money to build your own tech business from external sources if you have no traction, revenue, or impact in the marketplace. Pre-seed funding needs more focus and attention from investors so that more women can have the confidence to find their feet during the transition from business idea to execution.”