“We are thrilled to highlight the significant contribution of the rising stars of the software industry,” said Claudia Harris, CEO of Makers. “We know that shining the spotlight on the work of these 20 incredible women will hopefully inspire others to consider a career in the digital economy. Real-life examples are critical when it comes to shifting perceptions within the industry, and we are proud to be celebrating these.”
There is not only a lack of women in tech, with women only making up around 17% of the tech sector, but a lack of diversity in the tech sector in general. A recent report from the BCS found the number of IT professionals from underrepresented groups has only increased by around 2% in the past five years – 8% of IT specialists are of Indian ethnicity, 2% are from a black, African, Caribbean or black British background, while 2% are from Pakistani or Bangladeshi backgrounds. Women also only make up 17% of the technology sector – a figure which has only increased by 1% over the past five years.
There are many reasons cited for this, including a lack of diverse role models, issues with the tech industry pipeline that puts women and other underrepresented groups in UK tech off of studying science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects, negative stereotypes surrounding who “should” pursue a tech career and non-equitable and non-inclusive work environments.
Last year, during its Power list launch, Makers called for a “change of narrative” surrounding the conversation about women in the tech sector, recognizing that there is much more to do to achieve diversity and inclusion in the industry.
Anyone can put forward a nomination for the women in software in the tech community to be considered for the Women in Software Powerlist, as long as the nominee has been part of the sector for six years or less, and Makers, along with a panel of judges, will select 20 women to be highlighted using the following criteria:
- Growth – in learning and leadership
- Influence – in the community and among peers
- Innovation – contributing to interesting projects at work or independently
The bootcamp is also launching the second year of its Changemakers list to highlight the people and organisations making a positive change to diversity and inclusion in the UK’s tech sector.
The changemakers list will be decided using the following criteria:
- Action – have things changed as a result of this initiative?
- Influence – has this initiative been successful in raising the profile of women in software?
- Innovation – is this initiative unique in inspiring future change?
The deadline for nominations for these lists is August 6, with the winners of the Powerlist being announced at a special event in September.