Across the world, gender stereotypes are holding women back. Almost 90% of people are biased against women, according to the recent Gender Social Norm Index analysing data from 75 countries across the world and this bias extends across all aspects of women’s lives.
The tech sector is still predominantly male; these gender stereotypes are rife and are significantly contributing to the gender gap in women’s representation. Just 15% of senior leaders in the tech industry are women. Women are not seen to have the right characteristics to succeed – they are not seen as risk takers, resilient, assertive, or confident compared to their male counterparts and instead are pressured to prioritise family and domestic duties. Nearly two thirds of the women entrepreneurs in low- and middle-income countries surveyed for the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women's 2019 report had also experienced these negative stereotypes.
The consequences of these gender stereotypes not only prevent women from achieving their potential, but also create significant long-term problems for the tech sector – from gender-bias in the products and services that are created, to an inability to fill the millions of specialist tech jobs that are anticipated to be created in the next 10 years.
It is impossible for the tech industry to achieve its full potential unless women are fully included and equally represented – as employees and entrepreneurs. Tackling gender stereotypes is a long-term process and there are multiple ways the industry can embrace the challenge and step up as a community to dismantle these gender stereotypes.
To explore the prevalence and impact of gender stereotypes experienced by women entrepreneurs operating in the tech sector – particularly those in low and middle income countries – the event will bring together Sian Hawkins, Director of External Affairs at the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women; Odunayo Sanya, General Manager, Planning & Customer Management at MTN Nigeria, and Fadé Ogunro, CEO at BookingsAfrica.com
Together, they will discuss:
- How gender stereotypes affect women entrepreneurs from low and middle income countries in the tech sector
- The impact of gender stereotypes on the tech sector as a whole –its products, services and performance
- Best practice and innovative programmes that successfully address gender stereotypes and negative social norms. What can be learnt by the tech sector?
- Key recommendations and ways forward for the tech sector to tackle gender stereotypes and embrace the potential of women entrepreneurs in low and middle income countries
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