Written by:
Christine Christodoulou

Celebrating #IWD2021. The initiatives championing women in tech!

Happy International Women’s Day!

Today is all about recognising and celebrating the amazing achievements of women across the world who are paving the way for the next generation and accelerating gender parity.

If you’re reading this, thinking ‘really, is there any need for an International Women’s Day?’ you should probably keep reading…

According to the World Economic Forum, sadly none of us will see gender parity in our lifetimes, and nor likely will many of our children. Gender parity will not be attained for almost a century. Shocking.

There’s urgent work to do – and we can all play a part. (Find out more here.)

Operating in the digital sector, it’s no secret that the number of men outnumber the number of women. In fact, sadly, women only represent 17% of the digital workforce. It’s a shame considering diversity’s key role in tech success. Not only does diversity help companies deliver better products and services that work for everyone, Mckinsey research has also found that diverse companies perform better, attract better talent and manage to keep them engaged and happier.

A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. This year’s IWD theme ‘Choose to challenge’ embodies that statement.

We want to highlight some of the organisations and initiatives that are doing just that – challenging stereotypes and inequality and championing women and young girls in the digital sector.

Coders of Colour
Coders of Colour is an organisation that is doing amazing work in empowering and enabling young, under-represented people of colour to pursue a career in tech by providing them with a safe space for them to learn, explore and grow. They do this primarily by running free coding workshops for young people.

Only 16% of females have had a career in tech suggested to them, compared to 33% of men (according to PWC). Suggesting the work and engaging more women in the sector needs to start early on. Coders of Colour is opening up the world of tech to young BAME girls and making it accessible and obtainable for them. Demonstrating the possibilities across a number of areas in tech from Python coding trough to UX/ UI. (Check out past programmes and future events here.)

There’s a number of ways you can support Coders of Colour and the work they do. Click here to find out how you can volunteer your expertise, your time or donate.

Bristol based Dr Zara Nanu and her team at Gapsquare are on a mission to help employers become more inclusive, helping them solve challenges with data from gender inequality and bridging pay gaps.

Gapsquare’s tech tool ‘fairplay’ is backed by a team of equality and diversity experts. It automates gender and ethnicity pay gap reporting, allows businesses to look at the impact of their pay reviews and develops equal pay audits saving hundreds of hours normally spent on analysis. The Gapsquare tool produces crucial recommendations that are already supporting their clients, working with hundreds of thousands of employees, to lead on equality and diversity in their industry.

Find out more about Gapsquare and the work they do here. 

Stemettes was founded in 2013 by Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon with the mission to inspire the next generation of females and nonbinary people into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) fields by showing them the diversity of people already in STEM.

Their vision is clear – Stemettes want all girls to be able to make informed decisions about careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), so that eventually women can be proportionally represented in the field. “So that we can have 30%+ of the UK’s STEM workforce being female, as opposed to just 21%.”
PWC stats told us that 78% of students can’t name a famous female working in technology. Stemettes connects young girls to programmes and mentors in the STEM sector – helping them identify role models and see real life examples of where women have been successful.

More than 45,000 young people have attended events, workshops and Stemette experiences for free across the UK & Ireland. 95% of Stemettes attendees now have increased interest in Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths after just one Stemettes event.

Find out more about Stemettes and the work they do on their website, here. 

Wise Campaign
The Wise Campaign is dedicated to increasing gender balance in STEM from the classroom to the board room.

WC’s vision is to make it is as easy and natural for a girl or a woman in the UK to choose and do well in physics, maths, computing, engineering, or construction as it is for a boy or a man – wherever she lives and whatever her family background so that women make up a third (or more) of the UK’s science, technology, and engineering workforce.

An open, inclusive culture, transformed by a critical mass of women, draws in bright men and women from all backgrounds.

A bigger and more diverse talent pool drives UK productivity, innovation and competitiveness.

Find out more about Wise and the support it offers businesses here.

She Says
She Says was founded in 2007 by Alessandra Lariu and Laura Jordan Baubach with the aim of stopping gender leadership imbalance by focusing on exposing collective voices, not just the one of a happy few. She Says believes “if we use our collective voices permanent change in gender leadership is within our reach”.

Since the She Says journey started they now have a presence in over 55 countries and believe if we use our collective voices permanent change in gender leadership is within our reach. Check out their website here.

Across the country there are awesome regional women’s groups who do fantastic work for Women in Tech in their local area. Here’s a nod to one of the many groups in our area…

Women’s Tech Hub Bristol
Women’s Tech Hub Bristol was set up with the mission to support the tech industry in the local area so that it is inclusive of all and reflects wider society.

WTH aims to support and encourage women and gender non-conforming people working in, or wishing to move into, the tech industry through careers support, workshops and signposting. 

The hub supports companies wishing to improve on their inclusion through introducing them to members through candidates pages and reaching out through their Jobs Board. 

Find out more about WTH and how you can support and get involved here.

We’re aware we’ve barely scratched the surface here and that there are so many more fantastic organisations making waves in this area.

What organisations have inspired you?

Which initiatives should we be shouting about?

Join us in the celebration and give them a shout out on social.

Happy International Women’s Day!  Be sure to recognise the women who have supported and inspired you today. Follow our hashtag #RevocoIWD21 to see our shoutouts! 


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