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Published On: Sat, Jul 28th, 2018

buzzmove is launching #buzzingfor50 to address the gender disparity in tech

London-based tech start-up buzzmove, a company which aims to make moving easy by providing a reliable comparison service for those looking to switch up their home or office location on a national or international level, have launched #buzzingfor50, an initiative which will actively champion equal representation for women in tech.

Not just another lip service campaign, #buzzingfor50 will target tangible results rather than just awareness, taking the ‘charity begins at home’ mantra to heart and looking inwardly to begin.   

photo/ rawpixel

There simply aren’t enough women in tech. In fact, despite buzzmove having been established by Becky Downing, this is far from the norm as just 5% of start-ups around the world are founded by women.

Recruitment International also reported last year that only 17% of the UK tech industry is populated by women (and just 12% of undergraduate computer science students in 2016 were girls).

For a world in which 51% of us are women, this seems bizarre at best and worrying at worst.

And the US doesn’t fare much better either, with only 26% of computing jobs being occupied by women according to this infographic. If you’re still not buying it, take a look at this truly graphic set of statistics about women in major tech companies around the world.  

Why is this the case?

In short, tech can be a toxic environment for women and other so-called ‘minorities’ (who are really the ‘majorities’). After all, they have spent their whole life being conditioned to believe that the skill set that often seems to be required for tech roles, like assertiveness and ambition (a.k.a. bossiness and bitchiness) are off-putting and ‘unladylike’. Further to that, when women do make it into the industry, they find it often unprepared and unwelcoming and regularly leave within the first year.

photo: photologue_np via Flickr

That’s why buzzmove have launched #buzzingfor50, an initiative that will push the radical feminist agenda of equal representation for women in tech. (Just kidding on the radical feminism front, it’s actually just a very common-sense campaign!)

Even though buzzmove’s board currently has a 50/50 split of men to women, with women making up 37.5% of the upper management, there’s still more to be done, especially when it comes to developing; so, their first priority will be working from within and striving to get that gold-standard 50/50 men to women split at all levels of buzzmove by 2019. They are going to achieve this by implementing six action points:

 

  1. Vocal and financial support for grassroots organisations that help promote STEM subjects, tech careers and coding to women in the first place. They will complement this by opening up opportunities at buzzmove for women to experience tech careers in a hands on way.
  2. Beyond skills development programmes, buzzmove will also sponsor women in tech events, such as Women Who Code. Again, this action point will be brought back from the macrocosm to the microcosm, as they will launch in-house women in tech events too.
  3. Then, they will move onto the problem of unconscious bias that often thwarts the tech industry, taking it down from the inside out. buzzmove will work to address the unconscious biases they may harbour, offering training to existing and new hires and working on altering perceptions of women in tech.
  4. They’ll help maintain the workforce of women once they’ve hired them too. As noted above, many women leave tech industries within the first year, and they will seek to change that making it a diverse working environment worth sticking around for.
  5. After gaining experience (and staying) in the tech industry, buzzmove won’t then penalise women for recognising their worth and initiating pay negotiations. In fact, they will acknowledge that worth and put our money where our mouths are when it comes to equal pay.
  6. Finally, buzzmove won’t forget about men. They can be the strongest allies in the working world, especially in tech, and they need them to advocate for us. Having said that, while men should be our partners in driving change, they should also know when to let us take the wheel and amplify our own voices.  

Do you want to get involved in #buzzingfor50?

If you’re a woman or non-binary person, push for what is yours, recognise your worth and pursue a career in tech if it’s truly your passion.

If you’re a man, work on being a good ally. Listen to women, let them speak, employ them in the first place. Then, help them to stay. Make your workplace an environment that helps women and other non-straight-white-people want to stay there. Achieve 50/50 representation.

Author: Sophie Fenns

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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