Back We Asked Daisy COO, Lyndsey Charlton How the Tech Industry Can Attract More Female Talent
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that Technology is a male-dominated career path. This may be the case today, however it’s also true that women have a lot to offer the industry and things are changing.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports that over the last decade, the percentage of female professionals in the tech industry has been steadily increasing, although it still sits at less than a quarter of the total workforce (circa 22%).
Organisations in the tech industry in particular are taking steps to attract more female talent both to address current skills shortages in the UK and because diverse teams are proven to perform better and be more innovative.
Lyndsey Charlton, COO at Daisy Corporate Services said: “The tech industry needs more women. A lot of people are held back by the false perception that they can’t succeed. I started out as an engineer and worked my way up because I was lucky enough to have great role models that showed me male and female jobs weren’t a thing. I can’t count the number of impressive women I’ve met working in the industry, but a lot of young girls don’t know these people exist, or what they do, so they often don’t even consider it as a career path.”
Lyndsey is keen to encourage girls of school age to consider a future in tech, and as such, is one of many STEM ambassadors that provide mentorship and share their knowledge and real-world experience with classrooms and clubs across the UK. This is something tech companies can also get involved in, by offering colleagues the opportunity to share their skills. She has also organised a partnership between Daisy and STEM ENTHUSE, which allows STEM professionals to visit primary and secondary schools to raise awareness of the career opportunities available.
“It’s a great feeling to see someone find their calling” adds Charlton. “I’ve worked with women who started out in traditionally ‘female’ roles and transitioned across after realising that the paths were open to them.”
Community initiatives and partnerships are another key way that tech companies can challenge stereotypes. Daisy is one of a number of STEM organisations, including Google and the UK Space Agency, that partners with Girlguiding to show young girls that they can be anything they want to be.
“I’m very proud of our partnership with Girlguiding. We sponsor their recycling badge, which means we get to take part in setting up fun challenges to not only make kids think more about the impact they’re having on the environment, but the role the technology they already use plays in that.”
As well as her work with Daisy, Lyndsey is a member of the board of directors for the charity Groundbreaker. Groundbreaker is a non-profit service for companies that want to support environmental and school projects for underprivileged children worldwide.
“In my role at Groundbreaker, I’m particularly keen to give girls the opportunity to learn STEM skills that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. With the support and funding of technology companies, we’re able to deliver building projects, educational initiatives, and community support. This year Groundbreaker launched their Talents scholarship programme creating a place to study software development for females in Uganda, giving them accommodation and education to develop a career in Tech. For example, last year Daisy funded a new science lab at a school in Honduras, giving over 170 children access to a whole range of new skills.”