America’s tech industry isn’t alone in its gender diversity problem. According to a recent survey, London — “capital” of the European tech world — has a starkly similar situation, with 25 percent of companies having only men as board-level executives, Bloomberg reported.
Industry advocacy group Tech London Advocates surveyed over 1,600 tech workers and found that nearly 15 percent of their companies had no women in senior management positions. Of those that did, women represented half of management staff about 12 percent of the time.
“For a sector identified with disruption and change, these figures are very disappointing,” TLA founder Russ Shaw said Monday during a London Technology Week event.
The survey also found the gender imbalance wasn’t being ignored by people who work in tech: Fifty-nine percent said the numbers are out of line with London’s own demographics.
“There is a greater proportion of women in the House of Lords than British tech companies,” said online travel company Lastminute.com founder Martha Lane-Fox said as she announced the survey results Monday. “We must accept the scale of this problem and work together to put women at the heart of the technology sector.”
Women tech executives have only recently become recognizable faces of top companies, but they are still few and far between. Amazon recently hired its first female executive, Maria Renz, as CEO Jeff Bezo’s right hand — a coveted position that only men previously held.
Newly ousted Twitter CEO Dick Costolo came under fire for poorly handling the site’s online harassment problem, which critics said was a direct result of the company’s lack of women on its executive board. Twitter is currently searching for a new CEO, but so far women candidates are missing from the very preliminary applicant pool — something that could change.
Women only make up 11 percent of all executive positions in Silicon Valley companies, and often deal with hostile work environments, where sexual harassment and innuendo are rampant. Women are also less likely to land full-time teaching jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math departments.