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Women in business

Gender balance: not just a feminist issue


Jacqueline de Rojas

President of techUK 

Jacqueline de Rojas, President of techUK explains why achieving a greater gender balance can be transformative in a business’s development.

Addressing the gender balance in the workforce is too frequently discussed solely in terms of an egalitarian agenda. But while such an approach is wholly justified, it also fails to address the true advantage. Achieving a greater gender balance is transformative in a business’s development.

A McKinsey whitepaper looking at gender found clear evidence that where the male-female ratio of a team was between 40 and 60 percent, it produced more predictable and sustained results than those of unbalanced teams.

The IT and tech industry can and should be at the forefront of this change. However, according to the Office for National Statistics, despite representing 46 per cent of the labour market, women still only make up 12.8 per cent of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) workforce. The ratio of women in our workforce is no greater than it was 20 years ago.

This is in the context of an industry struggling to find the talent it needs to sustain the remarkable growth we’ve seen in recent years. To really make a difference, the IT and technology industry must differentiate itself as an industry which offers tailored support, enabling women to succeed in their career.

If Britain is to seize its place as a digital nation of significance, we need more digital talent. By harnessing women we can grow this talent pool very quickly. It is important that all the stakeholders in its success truly understand the benefits a gender balanced tech sector can have for businesses and the economy as a whole.

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