Almost three in four (72%) women between the ages of 16 and 27 in Britain consider working in tech to be prestigious but are far less likely than men to pursue a career in the sector, according to new research by HelloFresh, the world’s leading meal kit company and integrated food solutions group. The survey of 1,000 young people by HelloFresh and Kantar highlights a need for more representation from women, better training and information, with the prevailing perception that it is a male-dominated industry.
Women between the ages of 16 and 27 report seeing a role in technology as desirable, citing good job prospects (63%), great benefits and perks (50%) and the potential to have a positive impact on society (29%).
Despite recognising the strengths of the sector, only 19% of those surveyed said they were likely to pursue a career in the sector with only 6% of those saying they were ‘very likely’. That compares with 28% of male respondents who said they were likely to pursue a career in the sector with 14% of those saying it was ‘very likely’.
Surprisingly, despite being no older than 27, one in five of those surveyed believe they are too old to switch into a career in tech (19.3%).
When asked about their perception of the sector, 77% of women still consider it to be male-dominated (compared to 59% of men). Almost half (49%) of women aged 16-27 believe more women in leadership roles would encourage them to enter the sector, and 45% want to see more role models.
Women are also more likely than men to believe they don’t have the right skill set (55% vs 31%). This uncertainty around starting a tech career is also reflected in the finding that 32% of women who are discounting a career in technology mention that they don’t have enough information about the sector.
Annie Meininghaus, Senior Vice President of Product at HelloFresh, commented: “These survey findings are certainly not surprising, and these feelings are something that many women pursuing careers in technology have already come up against. I’m delighted to be working for a company that recognises these struggles and actively supports women pursuing careers in technology. I look forward to welcoming our next cohort of Women in Tech scholarship recipients, and further increasing the diversity in the tech sector!”.
Respondents also mentioned that access to training and scholarships (51%) and support to build skills (44%) would help them enter the sector. HelloFresh is in its second year of running a Women in Tech scholarship programme, which includes mentoring and financial support.
Young women in Northern Ireland are most likely to be considering a career in technology, with those in Yorkshire at the other end of the scale.
After launching a successful first cohort last year, HelloFresh will re-launch the Women in Tech program this year and double the number of participants, offering more women the chance to step into a tech career from a non-tech background. The company has hired six women from different tech and coding bootcamps, who will work in Frontend and as Data Analyst interns in Berlin. In addition to the paid internship, the women are provided with a scholarship of 10,000 Euros each to support their educational and living costs. Each intern is assigned a woman mentor from HelloFresh’s tech team.
Suzi Filipowska, former Women in Tech scholarship participant and Frontend Engineer at HelloFresh: “Coming from a non tech background, it was daunting to change my career path, however through the Women in Tech scholarship at HelloFresh I was able to do so. Now, I’m continuing my career in tech as a junior engineer at HelloFresh, and I couldn’t be more happy to do so.”
With its Employee Resource Groups, including the Gender Equality Team, HelloFresh fosters a diverse and empowering working environment among their 21.000+ employees from 90+ nationalities. The company committed to the Women Empowerment Principles (WEP) established by the UN Global Compact and UN Women.