Bridging the Gender Gap in Tech: 5Y Technologies Commitment and Journey Forward

Co-Founder and COO, Jamille Sammour, discusses the gender gap in the tech industry and 5Y's commitments and strategies for change as part of our series for International Women's Day 2024.
Fri, March 08, 2024 Bridging the Gender Gap in Tech: 5Y Technologies Commitment and Journey Forward

In an era where technology is the backbone of innovation and economic growth, the disparity in gender representation within the tech sector stands out as both a challenge and an opportunity. With women occupying only 18% of data engineering roles across UK and European companies (22% of all tech roles), the gender gap in technology is not just a social issue but an economic imperative​​. As a company, our current standing, with 20 percent of our data engineering roles filled by women, mirrors the broader industry landscape.

The Current Landscape

The tech industry's gender gap is not merely a pipeline issue; it's a complex challenge rooted in cultural, educational, and professional environments. UK and European tech face a potential talent gap of 1.4 - 3.9 million people by 2027, and doubling the share of women in the tech workforce could significantly mitigate this challenge while boosting GDP by up to £600 billion​​. This staggering potential underscores the economic necessity of bridging the gender gap in tech.

Our current gender representation in tech roles reflects the broader industry trends. The journey of women in tech is marred by significant drop-off points, first during the transition from secondary education to university and again when moving from university into the workforce​​. These drop-offs contribute to a cycle of underrepresentation that we are committed to addressing.

Our Reflection and Commitment

As a company, we recognise that our current state is not where we want to be. The insights we read through at the start of the year here are truer than ever and continue to be a sobering reminder of the challenges ahead​​. However, we see this as an opportunity to lead by example, to not only improve ourselves but to contribute to a broader societal change.

Strategies for Change

Our approach to bridging the gender gap in tech is multifaceted, focusing on intervention strategies that have been identified as impactful:

Reframe: Creating an Inclusive Work Environment

We understand that to attract and retain women in tech, we must continue to foster an environment where they can thrive as well as adjust our approach to recruitment. We have scheduled unconscious bias in the workspace, offer flexible working and as we look forward into the new financial year we have budgeted time, money and resources to improve our internal support networks through our Women in Technology (WIT) committee.

Retain: Enhancing Career Development and Support

Acknowledging that over half of the women in tech leave the industry at the midpoint of their careers, we are focused on improving retention by providing strong management support and opportunities for career advancement – in the next financial year we will be increasing the number of women in leadership positions in the company, half of which come from women in our existing team.

Redeploy: Focusing on Future-Proof Skills

We are committed to increasing the representation of women in future-proof tech roles. This involves hiring from untapped talent pools through initiatives such as our Academy in Jordan, which is spearheaded by a female leader, and where 50% of roles are filled by women. The Academy offers training in modern technologies and facilitates transition into tech roles that are poised for growth. By focusing on roles such as Data Engineers, AI Experts and Product Leads, we can not only close the gender gap but also align our workforce with future industry demands​​ and increase the number of women entering the industry in technical roles.

Looking Forward

Our journey towards bridging the gender gap in tech is ongoing. We are inspired by the potential impact we can have and are committed to making tangible progress. We are focusing on creating an inclusive work environment, enhancing career development support, and creating routes to redeploy talent into future-proof roles, we aim to not only improve 5Ys gender representation in tech but also contribute to a larger societal change. 5Y recognise that solving the gender gap in tech is a complex challenge that requires persistent effort and commitment. We are optimistic about our path forward and believe that by implementing these strategies, we can make a significant impact on the tech industry's gender dynamics. Our goal is to not only bridge the gap but to set a new standard for inclusion and diversity in tech, benefiting not just our company but the industry and society at large.

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