Women in Tech Forum 2020 Special Edition: Closing the Gender Gap in Technology

Why Our Mission Is More Important than Ever

Image for post
Image for post

Seven years ago, Finland’s ambitious women leaders had but one option.

Start to speed up the cultural shift in Finland and encourage women to work in tech.

The first-ever Women in Tech Forum was held in 2013, gathering 500 participants in Espoo’s single lecture hall. The event’s success led to the birth of an organization that is today 46 member organizations strong and keeps growing.

From the beginning, the problem was apparent: women remained widely underrepresented in the technology workforce. Still, technology companies kept developing and delivering solutions based on the perspectives of only a part of the population.

Concerns about the lack of diversity in tech aren’t new. Still, looking at today’s number’s we can see they are grueling:

  • Only 3% of females say a career in technology is their first choice

(Source: https://www.womentech.net/women-technology-statistics)

Pandemic widens the gap

The world’s state has shifted drastically due to COVID-19 and based on the initial estimations, the effects can be harmful to gender equality in tech unless we increase our efforts.

The research found that women in tech are 1.6x as likely to be laid off or furloughed than their male colleagues due to the COVID-19. The same study found that females are nearly 1.5 times as likely as men to report feeling greater childcare burden. According to another study, 23% of the entry-level jobs disappeared this year, slowing the efforts to attract female candidates to apply for tech jobs.

That’s why the Forum’s theme for this year is: “Closing the Gender Gap in Technology.”

Today, technology has never been more relevant to people and their businesses. Today, more than ever, technology defines how we will live in the changing world, what kind of products we built, and how the work-life will look like in the future.

Why should we all care?

Diversity is good for business

Researchers have found that diverse and inclusive workplaces go hand in hand with a profitable business. A study focusing on Standard & Poor’s Composite 1500 list studied top management teams 1992–2006 and found that female representation in top management leads to an increase of $42 million in firm value.

Diversity helps build better products

Diverse teams help companies to find blind spots in their design, usability, and usage of language. Most of the world’s most influential software is developed by a small group of male engineers who do not reflect everyone’s worldviews. That, in return, can alienate users and seriously affect the company’s finance.

Diversity makes us smarter

Real innovation requires the right mix of experience, ideas, and ages. Studies show that working in a group that doesn’t consist of your peers will force you to work harder and enhance your creativity. Simply being exposed to diversity can cause you to think differently.

Special Edition is all about the need for change

This year, Women in Tech Forum is organized as Special Edition live streaming to everyone sharing a keen interest in women’s future in technology.

Just as everyone in the event industry, Women in Tech Forum faced uncertainty during the turbulent times. We created Special Edition due to the increasing interest in inspiring more women to join tech and bringing up role models. We believe much more action is needed.

It has been incredible to see that our partners value our mission so much that they decided to support this year’s Special Edition.

This year Women in Tech Forum has a goal to aim at being bolder about the need for change: having braver conversations about why the change is needed and how to do it.

What can a viewer expect from this year’s program?

This year we have amazing speakers from corporations, scaleups, and startups sharing their firsthand experiences building products and teams with impact and diversity in mind.

Meet some of our speakers

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

We have a limited number of online seats. Don’t forget to register to secure your spot and join us on October 27th at 4:30 PM EEST. Hope to see you online!

Written by

Women in Tech aims to encourage more women in technology and to promote the value of diversity, inclusion and equity in technology.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store