Technological innovation is changing the way we live, work and consume. Who doesn’t want to work in a sector that is actively changing the world? It’s vibrant, fast-paced and optimistic. More importantly, the technological sector has started to dominate the job market.
Surprisingly, only few women work in the sector, with even fewer in leadership positions. The lack of gender diversity in technology is more than surprising considering the availability of job opportunities in tech. It’s a problem. Diversity is good for productivity, return on investment and even attraction and retention of employees. Not to forget the empowerment of people through work.
There is a lot of research that tries to answer the questions as to why there is such little diversity in tech and about what can be done to change the ratio. One of the key reasons they’ve identified that perpetuates the problem is a lack of role models. You can’t be what you can’t see.
The hundreds of nominees Inspiring Fifty receives every year show that these role models are there. The women who are listed in the Inspiring Fifty prove that technology is a field women can excel in. If she can see it, she can be it after all.
The two initiators of Inspiring Fifty, Janneke Niessen and Joelle Frijters, have experienced first-hand how uncommon it is to find women in leadership positions in technology and how pervasive gender bias and negative perceptions can be at all levels. They started Inspiring Fifty to challenge the perception people have of working in technology. To expand knowledge about what technology is, that everybody could be working in technology and to make people think about what their own role can be. We want to inspire girls and women to give technology a chance. For people to discover all the exciting career opportunities technology brings.
It’s about time we recognise the many accomplished, fierce and all-too-often overlooked women in technology who live and work right in your country and continent. These women set a shining example for future leaders and entrepreneurs to follow in their footsteps – female, male or other.
So go on, take a look and be inspired by the most inspiring Europe, France, the Netherlands and the Nordics have to offer. And ask yourself: what change do you want to be? What is it that you can do? Today.