Mark Adair

London Tech Week: Female founded businesses still overlooked in UK tech scene

As UK firms struggle to recruit for tech roles with a staggering 150,000 vacancies in the sector, Trachet, a female-led advisory helping entrepreneurs accelerate growth, highlights the fact that women are still sorely absent in the UK startup tech arena.

Research shows women make up only 19 per cent of the general talent pool and 23 per cent at senior level compared to 49 per cent and 29 per cent respectively in the wider economy.

In light of this, Trachet commissioned landmark national research to understand what barriers are hampering gender equality in the UK business ecosystem. The data found that nearly 1-in-5 British women state that due to a lack of diversity in the higher ranks of their business they never saw a future in it, so they left that sector.

A further 52 per cent of Brits state they share the sentiment that women must work twice as hard or be twice as qualified as men to reach the same objectives in business - an issue which is further exacerbated when it comes to female founded companies.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this need to work harder is having a knock-on effect on their mental health, with 36 per cent stating they often feel tired, helpless, or lonely from the world of work due to their workload.

Furthermore, the Rose Review progress report - which sets out the full extent of progress made into gender equality in business - announced that the UK economy finds its growth hampered by nearly £250bn due to a lack of investment and support into female-founded businesses.

Women lead 40 per cent of all micro businesses and 38 per cent of small businesses yet only 26 per cent of women lead medium sized businesses, with the percentages getting gradually lower as the businesses get bigger. This is seemingly due to the barriers women encounter when seeking finance to scale-up their firms.

Women start their businesses on average with 53 per cent less capital than men, a report by Deloitte states that 46 per cent of would-be borrowers did not seek finance because they expected issues with the loan process. Female-founded businesses only secured only 1.4 per cent of VC funding in 2021, compared to 24 per cent of crowdfunding deals, and 20 per cent of angel investments.

Claire Trachet, founder of Trachet, “social models are still significantly biased against women and minorities. This is reflected in business by lower salaries, a slower career path, distinct lack of access to C-suite or board positions and both fewer and smaller investments received.”

“Crucially, it is important to note that this is not advocating for the promotion of subpar businesses because they are led by women. It is about giving people a fair shot and owning the fact that biases run deep within businesses and institutions all around the world, including tech.”

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