In conjunction with the Commonwealth Bank Women in Focus and Gemstar Technology, the event, held at the CBA Innovation Lab, featured a select panel of inspiring female speakers discussing the role women play in technology disruption.
The engaged audience heard from the savvy line-up on their learnings, challenges, tips and insights into what it takes to start a successful tech business. The 5 key takeaways were:
- Still a gender equality gap A continued lack of diversity and resistance of the industry-at-large to women is slowing the uptake, and acknowledgement of, the role women are playing in tech. Success needs to not go unnoticed and women need to remember to be continually investing in themselves and surrounding themselves with a supportive network that will foster their growth and acceleration. There can be up to 67% better business return with a diverse team driving successes – from corporate to small business, once organisations start making a conscious decision and concerted effort to employ more women in the workplace, the rewards will be exceptional.
- The Government has a part to play Addressing the pay gap is necessary across all industries, but in tech, equality by remuneration could help that bit more to encourage more women to step into this sector, without the concern of indifference amongst colleagues. Providing initiatives by way of specific start-up loan opportunities could also allow women to feel comfortable about leaving full-time employment to pursue their passions of starting a tech or other business, without worry. Having to use savings or the fear of failure and fully investing in their ideas, minus an income, could be curtailed with the option of a monetary safety net.
- Focus on problems that need to be solved Women are starting their entrepreneurial journeys because they’ve found they had no other choice. Their start-ups are born from the frustration of not being able to find what they’re looking, so they’ve decided to solve the problem for themselves. In an era of answer-to-everything, women are the driving-force to developing solutions-based technology, and this isn’t going to stop anytime soon. Women are fast-forwarding responses to everyday issues by disrupting the tech status quo – and as this continues to happen, everyone needs to fashion a response that ensures women continue to grow themselves, their ideas and their identities in the sector and forge forward as the tech problem-solvers.
- It’s about an eco-system, not ego-system From as early as 2006, European futurist, Gerd Leonhard, has been talking about the shift from control to openness and domination to collaboration. Women in tech need to be championing a community approach to their business ventures, whether it be finding a partner willing to walk the same path, or outsourcing app or website development; the opportunities are endless if they seek out co-partners and other highly driven problem-solvers.
- Girls are the future Excellent opportunities exist for girls today that offer a supportive network to young inquisitive minds interested in tech. Coding classes and other digital workshops, courses and materials are available - whether they be for a hobby, or career path. Sydney’s Code Rangers school and Tech Girls Movement resources are just a few options - and with programming communities like Scratch, or the worldwide Hour of Code event, fostering abilities in our young women right now is key to encouraging their interest in making opportunities for themselves in the long-term.