International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This year’s theme #BreakTheBias encourages people to commit to helping forge an inclusive world. A world that is diverse and equitable. A world that is valued and celebrated. A world that is free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. 

As a software and technology business, we wanted to show our support for IWD by sharing statistics highlighting the female representation imbalance within the sector, hearing the perspective of a woman in our workforce , and explaining how our software can help businesses to protect women within food supply chains. 

Gender disparity in the tech industry 

Biases are rife in many industries, but particularly in tech. The sector has a well-documented gender imbalance with women making up just 31% of UK tech roles according to a report by the Office of National Statistics,. 

So why is that the case? There is no succinct answer to this question, though it is likely due to a number of factors: 

  • Gender bias
  • Lack of female role models in tech fields
  • Stereotypes that girls aren’t interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers

Women often face an uphill battle when trying to enter male-dominated fields, and typically need to work harder than their male counterparts in order to progress. Data from the Harvey Nash Tech Survey 2021 revealed leadership positions in the UK tech industry are held by just 12% of women, and explained that a lack of strong tech talent pipeline is starting to impact organisations. 

We all know tech can and will continue to change the world. We therefore need to help cultivate an inclusive industry where all women are welcome. The tech sector must continue to encourage women to apply to the industry and focus on retaining the female demographic. Technology’s future depends on it. 

“To create a more diverse and inclusive tech world, we need to inspire and empower the next generation of female role models to pursue and develop their career in technology and become innovators, leaders and entrepreneurs.” 

Anna Radulovski, Founder and CEO at Coding Girls and WomenTech Network 

Why women belong in tech 

Although the tech industry still has a far way to go to be truly diverse, various women in the tech sector are thriving and leading the way for others to follow in their footsteps. Being a woman technologist is powerful. Women of all backgrounds have a huge opportunity to help shape the future of business by sharing their perspectives and thinking creatively about how to build, use and solve problems using technology. 

81% of women believe the technology industry would benefit from having a gender equal workforce

2019 Women in Tech Survey

Women may be still in the minority when it comes to the world of technology – but as female representation in the sector increases, so will their contribution. 

Recognising the women behind the Authenticate platform

Diversity is critical in tech. A 2020 report from McKinsey found that diverse companies perform better, hire better talent and have more engaged employees. Women already make up 38% of the workforce here at Authenticate, a statistic which is projected to grow over the coming years.  

To recognise and hear perspectives from women who are moving technology forward, we spoke to one of our own female developers to demonstrate in more detail what the current picture of tech looks like for her.  

Introducing Sally – UX/UI Designer

As a UX/UI designer, Sally’s role is all about the user’s in-platform experience, using research and analysis to create new or adapt existing designs. 

“In a nutshell I take initial concepts and ideas, create user journeys, wireframes, prototypes, user testing, high fidelity designs and then handover to the development team to work their magic.” 

When asked about stereotypes within the industry, Sally feels that despite being one of only two females on both courses at college and university and within the Authenticate tech team, she never felt that she wasn’t supposed to be there or that her gender was a disadvantage. 

“The key thing for me was following something I was interested in and passionate about. If you have the skill and ability to do the job you want to do then you just need to go for it, and not let other people’s biases or stereotypes stop you. There is a long way to go to close the gender gap but there are lots of brilliant women in tech changing the landscape.” 

Sally offers salient career advice for women considering a career in the tech industry:

“Grow and learn as much as you can. Knowledge is power. Attend events and conferences where you can get insight and direction and join tech groups where you can network and meet new contacts to grow your career in tech.” 

What Sally enjoys most about working at Authenticate is the people.

“The team I work with are all fantastic and really supportive of one another. There is a feeling we can achieve anything we set our minds to. We are encouraged to be curious and ingenious.” 

How supply chain software can help protect women through the tiers 

There are still significant numbers of women facing human rights abuses and gender inequality worldwide and throughout supply chains. 

40 million people are estimated to be trapped in modern slavery worldwide. 71% are women and girls.

Global Slavery Index

Helping businesses to protect women hidden in historically opaque global supply chains, Authenticate builds visibility to manage social and ethical risk by providing a suite of scalable digital tools. 

  • Our Supply Chain Mapping technology allows companies to build visibility and drill down to suppliers at country level where there may be more prevalence of labour abuses for women. 
  • Our Audits & Assessments solution enables organisations to conduct and collate supplier responses to custom surveys, allowing data linked to modern slavery, worker welfare, gender equality practices and more to be collated and interrogated in a secure, central environment. 
  • Our Document Management module allows businesses to centrally request, store, share, organise and manage critical documents such as worker welfare policies for continued reference. 
  • Our KPI Management tool empowers companies to manage and score supplier performance over time against key custom metrics. Set targets linked to supplier gender pay gap performance, forced labour abuses and much more to make informed sourcing decisions and drive continued improvement in line with business priorities. With fully customisable performance metrics, Authenticate provides the flexibility to evaluate suppliers and improve your supply chain. 
  • Our ESG Assessment helps businesses gather performance data using a standardised supplier survey to benchmark and drive improvements around important environmental and social matters including human rights.  

Keen to protect women in your supply chains this International Women’s Day and beyond? Speak to a member of our diverse team or request a demo of our platform

For more information on the Authenticate platform or to discuss your challenges and requirements, get in touch with the team.