The UK tech sector has long been recognised as a driving force behind innovation and economic growth. However, recent figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) have revealed a concerning trend – a decline in the number of women working in this sector during the second quarter of 2023.

This decline has raised concerns among tech leaders, who are recognising the impact of economic instabilities on female workers. In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind this decline and explore possible solutions to address the issue.

The decline in numbers

According to the ONS figures, the number of women working in the UK tech sector has decreased between the first and second quarter of 2023. This decline is alarming, considering the efforts made in recent years to promote gender diversity and inclusion in the industry. It is essential to understand the factors contributing to this decline in order to develop effective strategies to reverse the trend.

Economic instabilities and their impact

One of the primary reasons behind the decline in female workers in the tech sector is the economic instabilities experienced during the second quarter of 2023. These instabilities, largely influenced by global factors. Such as political uncertainties and trade tensions, have had a disproportionate impact on the employment of women. Research suggests that women are often more vulnerable to economic downturns, making them more susceptible to job losses and reduced opportunities for career advancement.

Representation and role models

Another significant factor contributing to the decline is the lack of representation and role models for women in the tech sector. Despite efforts to promote diversity and inclusion, women continue to be underrepresented in leadership positions and technical roles. This lack of representation can discourage women from pursuing careers in tech. This limits their access to mentorship and professional development opportunities.

Gender bias and stereotypes

Gender bias and stereotypes also play a crucial role in the decline of women in the tech sector. Research has shown that unconscious biases and stereotypes can influence hiring decisions and workplace culture, creating barriers for women to enter and thrive in the industry. Addressing these biases and stereotypes is essential to create an inclusive and supportive environment that attracts and retains female talent.

The Importance of STEM education and early intervention

To address the decline in women working in the tech sector, it is crucial to focus on promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education and early intervention. Encouraging girls to pursue STEM subjects from a young age can help break down gender barriers.  This can empower them to consider careers in the tech sector. Also providing mentorship and support programs for female students can play a vital role in nurturing their interest and confidence in pursuing tech-related careers.

Creating inclusive workplaces

Creating inclusive workplaces is key to attracting and retaining female talent in the tech sector. Companies should prioritise diversity and inclusion initiatives, ensuring equal opportunities for all employees. Implementing policies and practices that promote work-life balance, flexible working arrangements, and family-friendly policies can help address the unique challenges faced by women in the industry. Additionally, fostering a supportive and inclusive culture that celebrates diversity can contribute to a more gender-balanced workforce.

Collaboration and industry initiatives

Addressing the decline in the number of women working in the tech sector requires collaborative efforts from various stakeholders. Industry initiatives and partnerships between tech companies, educational institutions and government bodies can be instrumental in driving change. These collaborations can focus on increasing the visibility of women in tech, providing mentoring programs and advocating for policies that support gender diversity and inclusion.


The decline in the number of women working in the UK tech sector during the second quarter of 2023 highlights the need for immediate action. Economic instabilities, lack of representation, gender bias and stereotypes are among the key factors contributing to this decline. By promoting STEM education, creating inclusive workplaces and fostering collaborations, we can strive towards a more gender-balanced tech sector. It is essential for tech leaders, policymakers, and society as a whole to recognise the value of diversity and work together to create an environment that empowers and supports women in tech.