The negative impact of the significant lack of diversity within tech professions has long been touted, and new research conducted on behalf of edtech company Fire Tech provides further evidence of this.
In a study that examined the top CEOs in tech corporations worldwide, the company sought to gain insight into just how far the sector’s lack of diversity is impacting the digital skills gap.
Upon analysing 50 of the largest and most successful tech-focused organisations on the globe, Fire Tech’s study found that almost all (90%) CEOs in the field are men, and none of the world’s top 10 largest tech firms have a woman at the helm.
But its not just in gender diversity that the industry falls short, since the study also confirmed that almost half (45%) of all male CEOs are white, 33% Asian, 9% English, 4% French, 4% Spanish and 2% Swedish. Not one of the men leading the world’s top tech companies is black, while just one female CEO included in the study is black.
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The gender pay gap is another exasperating statistic highlighted by the study; findings show that male CEOs of the top 10 firms earn an average of US$24.4m per year, whilst women in similar positions earn just US$7.25m in comparison. This means that, on average, men earn 237% more than women in tech leadership positions.
On top of this, Fire Tech has highlighted a number of other issues the sector must strive to address, such as the insignificant supply of skilled professionals to fill the industry’s increasing demand. The Institute of Coding (IoC) estimates that an additional 1.5m people will be needed to fill specialist IT and digital positions over the next two years.
The need to upskill the workforce is also clear, with many citizens still not possessing the necessary skill set required to apply for the most lucrative roles in tech. It’s not easy for such people to gain a foot in the door to the sector when they have not experienced, or even had access to, education in areas such as coding, meaning they often lack both the expertise and the confidence required to succeed in the professional field.
“It’s disappointing but not really surprising to see just how underrepresented women are within the tech industry, and how this is contributing to the digital skills gap in the UK,” said Jill Hodges, founder of Fire Tech.
“…I want students to gain the skills and confidence from an early age to see themselves as tech leaders,” added Hodges. “By giving young people engaging, relevant projects and then empowering them with the tech skills to build something new, we can help girls and kids from underrepresented groups get the sense that these opportunities are wide open for them.”