According to the recent OnePoll survey, most people think that the key to encouraging women to start a business in the technology sector is education, and 43 per cent of those surveyed said more girls should be encouraged to study STEM subjects. Another way to encourage more women into the tech sector is addressing gender pay gaps, with 43 per cent of respondents stating men earn more than women; for female respondents, this figure goes up to 50 per cent. When asked about increased funding opportunities for women, 29 per cent of female respondents agreed there should be more, compared to 19 per cent of male respondents. Affordable, accessible childcare/family support is also believed to be a core motivator to encourage more women into tech- with 36 per cent of female respondents saying this could help encourage women to start a tech business, compared to just 21 per cent of male respondents.
Turning to research with female founders themselves, 47 per cent of them believe the sector is ‘unwelcoming for women’. In order of priority, the top five factors cited as the main reasons for the lack of women starting a business in the digital health sector according to female founders are:
- A lack of money and investment for female entrepreneurs (63 per cent)
- Women lacking in confidence to start a business (53 per cent)
- A lack of women with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) qualifications (47 per cent)
- A lack of contacts and networking opportunities for female entrepreneurs (42 per cent)
- Women finding it difficult to juggle work/life balance and family commitments (26 per cent)
Marija Butkovic, CEO of Women of Wearables, says: ‘Tech industry in general is very male dominated. There were only a handful of us in wearable tech three years ago when I moved to London. We need more female role models if we want to solve this problem. Young girls and women who want to pursue their career in STEM, particularly health tech, need to feel safe and be encouraged to start their journey in these industries. Women can do everything boys can do. Yet, so many women have that imposter syndrome that they are not good enough or capable enough for having a career in tech.’
This blog was written by Tina Woods. Read the whole story via MedTech Engine here.