Women in tech are gaining influence, but it’s still not enough

2018 is being called by some commentators the ‘year of the woman’. While this personally grates on me (we only get one year?), there’s no doubt that 2018 has seen some of the most visible challenges to the male-dominated status quo across a number of different areas. From the worldwide ripple effect of the #metoo movement, the Google walkout, and more women than ever being elected to public office, 2018 has seen some encouraging signs of inching towards equality. We’re happy to say that the Tyto Tech 500 Power List is also showing signs of progress.

The analysis of the UK tech sector’s most influential figures, based on an objective analysis of audience reach and impact through media, social media and events, the Tyto Tech 500 Power List has revealed an upswing in the number of influential women in the UK tech sector from 24% to 31% since the same time last year.

The increased influence of women is present in shorter lists as well. The Tech 50 includes 34% women and things are similar for the Tech 25 (36%), and three women made it into the top ten – Emma Jones founder of Enterprise Nation, Anne Boden founder and Chief Executive at Starling Bank and Reshma Sohoni Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Seedcamp.

However, it’s not all good news as more than two-thirds of the list is still male. Influencers in the general tech category are most likely to be women, with 49% of those in this section female. Women are also highly visible within CleanTech (43%) and AgriTech (44%), a stark contrast to the InsurTech and TravelTech categories which are exclusively male.

While a seemingly increased appetite to hear from and listen to women leaders may represent an encouraging sign, women still make up just 12.6% of board members across the top tech firms in the UK, and almost two thirds of boards in the top tech firms had no female members, according to a report by Inclusive Boards, published in November.

This suggests that while people are increasingly willing to listen to and follow successful women in the tech sector, day to day business decisions that define board make-up, recruitment strategies and project teams are lagging behind the intent. Read more about big businesses’ lack of foresight in Brendon’s blog here.

Tyto applauds the women who made it onto the list not only for their incredible achievements in technology but also their tenacity in making their voices heard. We hope this trend continues and that 2018 is indeed not a peak for women, but just a sign of things to come.

Download the Tyto Tech 500 Power List to read the full report.