If women are absent from the UK internet and tech industry “we will go back in time” Baroness Martha Lane Fox said at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.Martha Lane

She made her comments whilst at the festival outlining her plans for Dot Everyone project. In April she used her Dimbleby Lecture to reveal national institution idea to make Britain “the most digital nation on the planet”, and urged the nation to sign an online petition demanding that the next prime minister gets started on building the institution.

The Telegraph reported Lane Fox as saying that the growth of the internet is the ”industrial revolution of our time” and she hoped that the internet would level the playing for diversity.

”All that’s happened is that one bunch of very rich white men have transferred their money to another bunch of very rich white men and, worse than that, they are in a very small concentrated area of the world, in Silicon Valley,” she said.

During her Dimbleby lecture Lane Fox said Dot Everyone aims to educate on how the internet works, but it also plans to put women at the forefront of the movement, because she is concerned none of the big internet businesses relied on by the public were founded or are run by a woman.

Lane Fox added: ”I still find that really baffling. The absence of women from the teams that are making the internet, the product designers, the coders, the engineers, the absence of women in the venture capital community. ‘I think it is really profoundly important because this is where the industrial revolution of our time is. If women are absent from it I think we will go back in time.

”I am perplexed by this as I genuinely thought the internet would be an empowering tool for women.”

According to Lane Fox “unconscious biasness” within the venture capital community is holding women back: ”There is a cycle of behaviour in the venture capital community which I don’t think is overt sexism, I think there is some, but I don’t think it is the only reason but there is a lot of unconscious bias.

”If you are a venture capitalist and you are looking at risk you are less likely to invest in someone that is not like you.”