Bazaarvoice’s Kate Musgrove has been working within the tech industry for more than 20 years. That time has seen some significant changes in tech but, as she explained, not enough positive change for women.
“At the heart of the change and the enabler for the thriving Martech space I’m in today, was the shift from dial-up internet back in the early 2000s to the high-speed mobile connectivity we have today,” she said.
Having served as Bazaarvoice’s Asia Pacific managing director for more than seven years and working for a range of IT companies since the turn of the Millennium Musgrove is very well-placed to talk about the industry’s progression.
“This accessibility to the internet along with companies having to accelerate remote workforces during the pandemic means that the smartest of companies should be able to tap into greater and more diverse talent pools. Whilst I have seen some small shifts in tech towards more diversity, the number of women employed is still significantly underrepresented, with most data sources citing it’s less than 30 per cent of all employees,” said Musgrove.
However, there are a wealth of opportunities for women in the tech industry and a corresponding wealth of under-utilised female talent.
“The career opportunities for women in the tech space are vast,” said Musgrove.
“Finding a great mentor who can help you understand the industry will be helpful as would seeking feedback and different perspectives on career pathways and development focus areas. Most importantly, back yourself and don’t be afraid to be bold. A gender-equal future is within our reach!”
Building that base of women in tech — or any industry for that matter — requires building enthusiasm in girls at school and university and challenging the notion of what are considered ‘girl’ jobs and ‘boy’ jobs.
“We need to get the next generation of women excited and enabled to work in tech. Today, women only make up a quarter of all students enrolled to study STEM university courses. We need more businesses in the tech space to get behind education providers and partner with them to really support and champion STEM in schools and universities,” said Musgrove.
Women who are already leading the tech industry have a role to play, as well, according to Musgrove.
“I also would want to see more women in leadership roles. Whilst tech businesses need to work on attracting young women into the industry and nurturing them to develop their talent, women in tech leadership can be incredible role models for the talent of the future,” she explained.
For those already working within the sector, Musgrove’s advice is stark, but sadly not original.
“The tech sector needs more women, full stop. Businesses need to get serious about closing this gap and leverage the wealth of untapped talent. Rolling out mandatory equality training, reviewing outdated hiring practices and promoting a culture that’s welcoming and supportive of women and other minorities will all be helpful steps towards achieving a more gender-diverse tech space,” she said.
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