Did you know that more men named John run big businesses than all women? How about that by 2040, if there are no interventions, it’s estimated that only 1% of the tech sector will be female? And have you heard that if we were to close the gender gap it would be worth an estimated 600 billion to the UK?
Liverpool Girl Geeks have, and are on a mission to change the future regarding women and the tech sector through events, courses and workshops to inspire women and girls of all ages.
To mark International Women’s Day last Wednesday, the Girl Geeks, in collaboration with FACT, hosted a special film screening of the documentary Code Girl, preceded by a panel discussion and the first full length showing of their latest home grown production, Be Bold For Change.
Hosted by Liverpool Girl Geeks' director Jo Morfee, the panel saw representatives from FACT, Doris IT, Innovators Hub and Shop Direct discuss the history and impact of International Women’s Day, their experiences in technology and, tying in with the short film shown before the main feature Code Girl, their ‘Bold Moments’ from throughout their careers and life; from quitting well paid jobs to go at it alone and set up a business to creating enterprises like Grrrl Power Liverpool to address gender inequality across industries like arts, literature and technology.
Be Bold For Change, the mini film by Liverpool Girl Geeks, features northern women sharing their stories of working in tech and when they have taken bold action to help improve or develop their own career, business or personal lives - or that of another woman’s. Prior to the screening, Jo mentioned how she had recently been to an event where it was revealed that 88% of the tech roles across the North West belong to men; a decline from previous years. Upon hearing that statistic, the short feature not only felt uplifting and inspiring but also very necessary. Be Bold For Change may only be five minutes long but it’s enough to leave you motivated to change the current climate for working women and contribute more.
After watching the main feature, Code Girl, a documentary which follows the story of high school-aged girls from around the world as they try to change their communities through technology and collaboration, I began to wonder why I wasn’t pushing myself enough to be bold like these young girls. The film is enlightening, at times emotional, but the overwhelming take away from it is a motivational push to do more. If these women who hadn’t even graduated high school where out there putting themselves forward, what’s my excuse? Learning to code is now as sought after as mastering a second language, if not more, so what’s stopping me having a go? Why do I accept my websites aren’t great and think ‘I’m not very good with that kind of thing’ is an acceptable excuse? The resources and information are out there for me to learn and master new skills and be bold.
By the end of 2017, the app market is estimated to be valued at $77 billion and over 80% of developers will be male. This gender imbalance isn't due to women not having the talent or the skills required; it's partially due to a society that makes females feel that tech isn't for them, that they should leave it to the boys. Hopefully, with enterprises like Liverpool Girl Geeks around, that statistic will have evened out in the coming years.