Are the most influential women in tech narrowing the gender gap?

The technology industry is rapidly growing, and its influence is increasingly transforming the way we live and work. Despite its potential, the technology sphere has long been marked by gender disparity, but an encouraging shift is underway as the European tech influencer community strives to close the gender gap. 

Women’s representation among tech influencer elite grows in 2023

The latest edition of the Tyto Tech 500, in its seventh year, reveals a noteworthy 23% increase in the presence of women among the most influential tech personalities in Europe in just two years.  

The annual Tech 500 researches and ranks the most influential individuals in technology in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Sweden and the Netherlands. The data reflects a positive trend in the right direction with women now representing 27% of the top 500 most influential individuals in the pan-European ranking. This marks a substantial increase from 25% in the previous year and 22% in 2021. Whilst it may take many more years for the gender gap to truly narrow, it is encouraging to see an increasing number of women rise to the forefront as some of the most influential individuals shaping the technology industry. 

Journalists and business leaders, the primary roles of women in tech 

The importance of women in technology roles cannot be understated. A gender diverse team fosters divergent ways of thinking, essential for supporting innovation and growth. Within the pan-European top 500, the majority of the most influential women in the technology sphere are business leaders and journalists. In fact, almost eight out of ten women belong to either of these two professions. This highlights the valuable contribution women make in shaping technology and sharing trusted industry news and information.  

When scrutinising the overall Tech 500 – the combined country lists with a total of 2,093 influencers – the data reveals that one in four influencers are female. Moreover, 53% of these influential women fall within the business leader category. The second-largest contingent (23%) of female influencers is comprised of journalists. In summary, three-quarters (76%) of women within the overall Tech 500 are affiliated with these two influential categories, underscoring their essential roles in shaping the technology narrative across all of the five countries. 

Many organisations are attracting more women to the tech sector. Despite progress, there is still work to be done. While some tech sectors have a higher representation of the female influencers, others lag behind. 32% of women in the overall Tech 500 belong to the General Tech category, FinTech has 8%, EnterpriseTech and HealthTech both stand at 7%, and AI & Data Science at 6%. It is promising, however, to see successful role models in these sectors, inspiring future generations of women to pursue tech roles.   

The balance of gender diversity across the European tech landscape  

The top female influencers in the technology sector span 133 individuals across the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, and Sweden in our list of the top 500 most influential figures. Notably, the majority of these women (58%) are from the UK, positioning it as a trailblazer for gender diversity in the technology industry. Germany follows with 23%, and France with 12%.   

The most influential woman in the Tyto Tech 500 is Annalena Baerbock, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs for the German government. Next on the list are Helen Dickinson,CEO of British Retail Consortium and Sarah Butler, Retail Correspondent at The Guardian and The Observer.

Tech’s diversity challenges are well-documented and are certainly far from addressed. Yet, it is reassuring to witness year-on-year progress towards narrowing the gender gap. Real action, both from organisations and society, such as fostering female talent, hiring more women in tech roles and implementing flexible working policies is key to see further change. If this momentum persists, there is hope for a more inclusive and diverse future in the technology sector.

Will the positive trend continue in 2024? 

The incremental progress shown in the Tyto Tech 500 shows a positive trajectory and indicates a transformative shift in the European tech influencer landscape. The increasing representation of women in influential positions not only reflects progress but also underscored the industry’s recognition of the importance of gender diversity. As we celebrate these advancements, it is crucial to acknowledge that sustained efforts are necessary to ensure a more inclusive future for women in technology. 

Want to discover more about the changing influence across the tech industry? The full Tyto Tech 500 report reveals the most influential personalities across countries, sectors and professions. Published once a year, it highlights the evolving trends shaping the technology landscape. Get your copy now! 

Featured photo by Christina Morillo.