In the vibrant landscape of the UK’s tech industry, we find ourselves confronted by an alarming truth in 2023 – women continue to receive unequal pay compared to their male counterparts. Yes, you read that correctly. Despite remarkable progress, the policies put in place, and the widespread consensus that change is essential, we have yet to level the playing field.
This September, as we mark International Equal Pay Day (on September 18th), aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, I stand here, once again, calling for transformation
Earlier this year, Sifted unearthed a disheartening reality – women were being paid less than men at 19 out of the UK’s top 20 tech companies, with many displaying larger than average gender pay disparities. Nationally, for every £1 earned by a man, women earned only 90.6p.
Additionally, a UKTN report unveiled that tech startups were paying women a staggering 26% less than their male counterparts, the highest disparity in Europe.
While we’ve witnessed some progress in narrowing the gender pay gap, it remains far from the pace I desire. It is crucial to note that a pay gap does not always indicate that women are paid less for performing the same job as men.
However, it underscores the fact that fewer women occupy higher-paying positions, especially in leadership roles.
I am not surprised by these findings, but as someone who has been deeply involved in the tech industry for decades, I am profoundly frustrated by the situation. The tech sector offers numerous opportunities for women to excel, and it is our duty to highlight these prospects.
We must continue to amplify the message about these opportunities, such as the government’s collaboration with Code First Girls. Let us showcase the remarkable women who already contribute to the tech world, illuminating the pathways for others to follow. We must engage with young girls at an early stage in their education, introducing them to the boundless world of tech possibilities.
The glass ceilings that limit women’s progress and the notion of gender-defined careers should not merely be shattered; they must be obliterated, demolished, and eliminated. Achieving this requires sustained investment and effective collaboration between industry leaders and policy influencers.
Together, we are on a transformative journey, and it all commences with equal pay. Let us unite in our pursuit of a tech industry that is diverse, inclusive, and free from the confines of a “boys’ club”. The time for change is now, and together, we shall create a brighter, more equitable future for all.