3.5 min to readThought Leadership

The challenge of attracting women into the tech world

Simone WrightsonUK Public Sector Sales Leader

Our commitment to supporting women in tech

SoftwareOne is a global software and cloud solutions provider, operating in more than 90 countries. The company is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive work environment, where all employees can thrive and contribute their unique perspectives and talents. This commitment extends to women in technology, and SoftwareOne has taken several initiatives to support and promote gender diversity in the industry at a time when it is still well needed.

As Women’s Equality Day is celebrated across the US on 26th August 2023, we wanted to take this opportunity to explain our approach towards redressing gender inequality including the steps we are taking ourselves to create a greater level of balance within our own organisation- and on a global level.

The industry in numbers

Over the last 10 years, investment in the UK tech market has more than doubled; growing to £9bn this year and putting the UK far ahead of its neighbouring EU nations. Back in 2020, the UK government announced an investment of over one million pounds to help upskill and create new technical and digitally savvy workers to support the enormous growth of this sector.

According to a 2022 Office of National Statistics (ONS) report, the number of women working in technology has continued to increase in the last year, with 31% of UK tech jobs held by women. However, while the data set shows progress, women in tech are still widely underrepresented in IT professional and leadership roles.

Women in tech: challenges & solutions

According to a recent Tech City UK report, 45% of women cite skill gaps in technology, 38% lack tech knowledge, and 24% feel excluded from the field. Imposter syndrome, stemming from a lack of confidence, exacerbates the gender gap. A lack of senior female role models in senior positions further hinders progress and this can be a barrier to career growth for many women in tech.

Solutions include skill-building, combating imposter syndrome, and promoting diverse leadership to foster inclusivity and professional advancement.

SoftwareOne’s initiatives

One of the ways SoftwareOne supports women in technology is through its Women@Work employee resource group. This group is dedicated to advancing the careers of women at SoftwareOne and promoting gender diversity in the industry.

Women@Work provides mentoring, networking, and professional development opportunities to its members, as well as advocacy and awareness-raising initiatives to promote gender equality.

In addition to our internal initiatives, SoftwareOne also supports external programs that promote gender diversity in technology. For example, we have partnered with organisations such as Girls Who Code and Women Who Code, which provide coding and technology education to young women and girls.

We have built a gender funnel, tracking male/female ratios through our talent acquisition process so we can identify if there are any stages that show bias. The answer is they don’t. Statistically, we make offers to a higher percentage of female applicants than male applicants. The issue is the top of the funnel and how many women we have in the industry to start with.

Simon Bishop

Global Head of Talent Acquisition at SoftwareOne

Connecting with early talent

SoftwareOne runs its own Academy, a paid employment opportunity for school and university leavers, apprentices, and career switchers, that combines extensive on-the-job training and an educational program to equip them for a career in tech.

Our Academy is a global initiative that is educationally agnostic and open to all but is designed to give opportunities to those who might otherwise be less able to get a foot in the door.

We had hoped that the Academy would attract more women into the profession, but we are finding that there is still an imbalance in the number of girls vs boys doing STEM subjects at school and seeking STEM related jobs as a result. Until this is corrected, the problem persists. We actively encourage girls and women to speak to our Academy team to discover the opportunities available for them and get them excited about their future potential.

Serena Gonsalves-Fersch

Head of Talent Management at SoftwareOne

Overcoming the Language Barrier

A significant hurdle faced by many women in the tech industry is their reluctance to apply for jobs unless they believe they meet all the job criteria. Harvard Business Review's research revealed that 21.6% of women adhere to this, compared to only 12.7% of men. Recognising this gap is crucial for boosting the confidence of female candidates and encouraging them to apply for positions.

SoftwareOne is actively addressing this challenge through partnerships with organisations like PowerToFly, , aimed at attracting more women to the industry. Moreover, when creating new Job descriptions our TA team are using gender decoding tools to ensure they are written with inclusive language. The use of gender-neutral language in job specifications is significant as it fosters inclusivity, and helps ensure equal opportunities for every candidate.

How equity supports equality

It’s important to recognise the key differences between equality and equity and how these relate to redressing gender imbalances in the workplace and in society more generally.

We recognise that equality and equity aren’t the same thing. Equality means giving every individual the same resources or opportunities. Equity acknowledges that every person’s circumstances are different, and the resources given should result in an equal outcome. This is true not just for gender, but for race, ethnicity, abilities and disabilities, religions, cultures, background, and sexual orientation. We want to be fair to all employees while empowering those who may previously have been disadvantaged.
Julia Braun, CHRO SoftwareOne

Julia Braun

Chief HR Officer at SoftwareOne

The road ahead…

We're witnessing positive trends within our organisation. Notably, in NORAM, 38% of our employees are women – surpassing the national average – and all our US staff return to work after parental leave. SoftwareOne was recognised as one of Newsweek's top workplaces for women in 2023, achieving a 4.5-star rating. Additionally, 2022 witnessed an uptick in women receiving long-term incentives, indicating career growth.

Earlier in 2023, CRN named six female business leaders in its annual Women of the Channel List, recognising how their expertise and visionary thinking is making a significant and noticeable mark on the technology industry.


The message is clear. SoftwareOne wants more women to join the team, regardless of having a tech background. 

However, we acknowledge there is still much progress to be made. Currently, our overall workforce comprises 64% men and 34% women, reflecting industry norms, and this ratio is consistent in our management roles. Despite this, we're committed to improvement through dedicated initiatives, actively addressing this challenge and partnering with organisations that are equally committed to establishing progressive and inclusive cultures where diversity is celebrated.


Our people are our greatest asset

We support and care for our colleagues, investing in their career and professional development to deliver the world's best software and cloud purchasing advice for customers in 90 countries.

Our people are our greatest asset

We support and care for our colleagues, investing in their career and professional development to deliver the world's best software and cloud purchasing advice for customers in 90 countries.



Simone Wrightson
UK Public Sector Sales Leader