Tackling gender inequality in IT


A new website has been launched to tackle gender inequality at tech events in the south west.

The womenintechsouthwest.com website, which was created by Community Interest Company TECwomen in collaboration with Software Cornwall and the team behind the annual Falmouth-based conference Agile on the Beach, was launched last month on International Women’s Day and has already attracted 50 user profiles.

Users are invited to create their profiles on the platform using a simple form, which can then act as a searchable database for event organisers looking for speakers on specific topics.

In addition, it can also act as a place to find mentors, mentees, advisors, board members and subject matter experts among women in the southwest.

The team has set a target of 500 new profiles added to the website and is inviting submissions from any person who self-identifies as a woman.

Niki Davies, director of Software Cornwall, said: “We wanted to mark International Women’s Day this year, not just with a few celebratory words but with something that could tackle gender inequality for women in tech in the southwest and act as a tool to help raise their profile and provide them with speaking and leadership opportunities.

“This website aims to be a really simple way to do that and be something for us to build on so that equality can be achieved 365 days a year, not just on International Women’s Day.”

Caitlin Gould, founder and director of TECwomen CIC has extensive experience in speaking at tech conferences and in schools on STEM subjects and added: “If young people only see men talking about tech then it creates a bias early on. When you do get a woman coming in to talk about tech it starts to change some of the perceptions they have.

“There are so many amazing and talented speakers locally who organisers don’t know about, so a platform like this helps to raise their profile and bring in new speakers who are invited because of their subject matter expertise. This will help to challenge some of those biases.”