Diversity is important to me, and I’m so proud to work for a business which feels the same way. But the industry that a vast majority of our clients work within – the technology space – is notoriously not diverse. The gender imbalance is particularly shocking. There’s an estimated 2.1million tech workers in the UK, but only 14% are female.
Couple this with the notorious ‘skills gap’ – there simply isn’t enough supply of talent to fulfill the demand for technical expertise. Businesses we work with, and their own customers, regularly cite this as a major issue. The shortage of STEM skills in the workforce is also one of our key economic problems according to groups like the Public Accounts Committee.
The answer to the skills gap issue is far from simple, but surely widening the groups of people your roles and brand appeals to is one obvious way forward.
But therein lies another problem. Just 3% of women who study a STEM subject at school go onto consider a career in tech. With so few female voices in technology, it’s unsurprising that future generations of women aren’t being inspired to commit to a career in this industry. Only 22% of students surveyed by PwC could name a ‘famous female’ working in technology, compared to two thirds who could name a man.
So today we’re taking action. As communications experts we’re in a position to be able to effect change. Every day we’re putting spokespeople forward to speak to media, contribute to published articles, present keynotes and participate in panels. We’re committed to driving a better representation of females talking on technical topics by working with our clients to pitch women for more opportunities, giving more women in technology a public voice.
To do that, we need a bigger pool of available spokespeople. So from today we’ll be offering Hotwire clients in the UK free media training for women. The trajectory to becoming an industry role model often starts with media training, after which spokespeople are provided an increased volume of opportunities to have their voices heard.
You can find out more about our commitment to diversity here.