Wrap up of International Women’s Day 2023

International Women’s Day 2023 heroed two themes; ‘DigitiALL: innovation and technology for gender equality’ and #EmbraceEquity. Below is a wrap up of the stories from our #ChangeTheFace Alliance members.

To change the face of tech, we need to better understand the barriers that women face. Within STEM education, women and girls make up just 35% of students, in ICT it’s just 3%. The lack of encouragement, empowerment and opportunity women receive from the education sector translates into occupations within the tech industry too. Across European countries women occupy only 22% of all tech roles, and alarmingly only 45% of companies see advancing women into leadership roles as a top business priority. This needs to change.

This year, UN Women’s theme for International Women’s Day was ‘DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality‘. Change The Face Alliance members shared powerful examples of their work to drive equality and inclusion and combatting the lack of female representation in tech.

Jenni Sach, Director of Business Partner Marketing at Colt, shared how they are addressing the gender imbalance by mentoring the next generation of women in tech. Colt has teamed up with Upskill Me to empower and inspire young girls and non-binary people who are studying STEM subjects at A-Level.

Vodafone’s first female appointed CEO, Margherita Della Valle, championed and celebrated the achievements of women in tech and emphasised how important role models are to motivate and inspire the next generation. Vodafone shared the stories and achievements of women working in tech globally.

A new study commissioned by IBM reported that across 10 industries, there has been a small increase to the number of women at C-suite and Board level. However, the pipelines for top leadership positions still haven’t recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Whilst the study reports the barriers women face in the workplace, IBM also share a roadmap for sustainable progress on leadership practises.

Despite progress being made to advance and empower women in technology, speaking at the Commission on the Status of Women, United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, has warned that, on the current track, gender equality is still 300 years away.

We’re making progress but there’s still work to be done. By better understanding the barriers facing women and girls and moving from words to action to tackle them, we can help to #ChangeTheFace of tech.