3.5 min to readThought LeadershipCareersOur People

The challenge of attracting women into the tech world

SoftwareOne blog editorial team
Blog Editorial Team
A woman with her arms outstretched in the air.

As we celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8, it seems timely to ask: “How can we inspire inclusion” so that more women embrace the challenge of a career in the tech world?

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. We’re all-in on redressing gender inequality and are taking step to create a greater level of balance within our own organisation- and on a global level.

The industry in numbers

According to the Women in Tech Survey 2023, 26% of people working in UK technology are women. This is an increase from 2019 when the figure was 19%, but the survey also shows that 91% of people believe that there are more males in tech than females, and only 2% think it's equal.

Disconcertingly, industry reports towards the end of last year cited ONS figures suggesting that the number of women in the industry saw a decline of 3,000 between January and March of 2023, and April and June of 2023, despite the industry as a whole growing in numbers during the same period.

Women in tech: challenges & solutions

The Women in Tech survey cited above notes a range of challenges, including:

SoftwareOne’s initiatives

We recognise challenges like these and we’re taking action to create positive change.

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.
A man in a blue sweater is posing for a picture.

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.
A woman in a white shirt with black hair.

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.


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. As of August 2023, our overall workforce comprised 64% men and 34% women, reflecting industry norms, and this ratio was 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.

A group of people's hands on a wooden table.

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.


SoftwareOne blog editorial team

Blog Editorial Team

We analyse the latest IT trends and industry-relevant innovations to keep you up-to-date with the latest technology.