In 2023, the technology industry, with all of its facets, continues to move at pace, offering a multitude of opportunities to those looking to be at the heart of understanding, developing and implementing it’s offerings.

However, looking specifically at the workforce, there is still a long way to go when it comes to achieving gender parity. Despite progress, females still only make up a quarter (26 per cent) of those in tech, with a range of issues cited against this, such as a lack of role models to follow, pay imbalance, and a lack of female visibility at senior levels.

As the UK targets economic growth across all areas, it is vital that women’s potential is fully realised in order to bring fresh perspectives, experience and impact to the fore.

For barriers to start to truly be broken down, women need to see it to believe they can be it. This means that there must be a concerted effort to encourage more females into leadership and C-suite positions, providing role models for future generations, concentration on progressive policies, such as flexible working, that allow all genders to maintain a positive work-life balance, and initiatives focused on highlighting the benefits of women taking up key tech positions.

Diversity filtering through

There is no doubt that maximising female representation in the technology industry is an area that needs consistent focus, from an equality point of view as well as developmentally, when looking at the evolving nature of the technology landscape.

For many businesses today, equality, diversity and inclusion strategies and initiatives sit high on the agenda, with the benefits of a diverse culture and voices within an organisation becoming more apparent.

Encompass Corporation, for example, which currently has an above-average gender split across its senior levels, has worked consistently to maintain an open and inclusive environment where all staff members can contribute. By using a multi-focus lens of supportive people policies, performance initiatives, coaching, recognition and reward, more women are getting the support required to progress within their chosen specialist fields.

All businesses need to take a serious, focused approach to inclusion, understanding that consistently prioritising how they attract, retain and grow staff from all walks of life now will allow change to filter through in years to come.

Female representation at senior level

To make tangible progress, the technology sector must provide future generations with the grounding to grow. This means filling all levels of positions with individuals from reflective, differing backgrounds that the employees of tomorrow can relate to.

For women, this means it is more important than ever to see others being recognised and rewarded across the organisational chart, fulfilling their ambitions, and providing instances and people to relate to as they look to shape their own careers. Technology has always been a predominately male occupied sector, meaning it can often be daunting for women to begin their own journeys. Therefore, having a role model to take inspiration from, and from the very beginning, is critical to motivation and self-belief.

Additionally, many women also balance childcare and wider family responsibilities with their job. In this respect, hybrid working has been game-changing, as it enables staff to juggle life priorities alongside their careers and take up opportunities to thrive professionally.

By supporting more women to grow in a way that accommodates both work and life priorities, organisations will see more female candidates drawn to the industry and, ultimately, this will build a more diverse, representative sector by showing what is possible.

The benefits of a diverse business structure

Organisations must also continue to provide optimal working environments to staff who are more dispersed than ever before and will often opt for a hybrid style of working, which allows them to enjoy a balanced lifestyle.

Ensuring growth opportunities are provided, despite location, and offering platforms for voices to be heard, are more important to motivation, satisfaction and company culture than ever before. It is those businesses that show a true commitment to development by facilitating meaningful support and training, and encouraging differing personalities and approaches to shine, that will reap the benefits.

Women can be bold and proactive in seeking opportunities to enter powerful, high-growth industries. They should feel confident about being vocal about what is needed for them to succeed and take up career pathways that have been laid down by women before them. Tech is agile and quick to change, so using any mentoring or examples from female role models as a personal learning trampoline is key to making your own success.

The technology sector has long been called upon to unleash the full suite of benefits that women can bring, both professionally and personally, by leveraging the resources and tools to help them find their place and excel within their roles.

That being said, as opportunities arise, the onus is also on women themselves to take on challenges and be confident in their ability to succeed. By recognising the people potential in front of us, we will see innovation thrive and diversity in representation across all levels of businesses improve as organisations set themselves up for future growth.