Capgemini launches TechFuture Women's Network

18 November 2015

To help women working in technology inspire a new generation, Capgemini, Apps for Good and Tech Partnership have launched the TechFuture Women’s Network. The aim of the network is to address the gender imbalance within the technology sector by a variety of initiatives.

TechFuture Women’s Network
Research shows that women are still significantly under-represented in technology. To help close the gender gap within the technology sector, education movement Apps for Good, employer organisation the Tech Partnership, and consultancy Capgemini launched TechFuture Women’s Network. The network uses female role models to encourage more women to apply for technology jobs, change the perceptions of the industry, and advance the process of building a more diverse and tech-savvy workforce.

To reach its goal, the network asks women working in digital and technology roles at all levels to sign up to the TechFuture Women’s Network, and thereby act as a role model and take part in programmes that promote technology in schools. Initiatives include the Apps for Good Expert Community, set up to let experts share skills and knowledge with enthusiastic student teams as they develop ideas for apps, and the TechFuture Girls clubs, which allow women to mentor girls aged 10-14 after school or during lunch breaks.

Capgemini launches TechFuture Womens Network

Commenting on the reason for Capgemini to be involved in the launch of the TechFuture Women’s Network, Michelle Perkins, Director of the Schools Outreach Programme at Capgemini, says: “If we’re to attract talented young people into tech careers, we need to start early, so working with school age children is vital.” According to her, role models are crucial: “We know that nothing is more powerful for young people than seeing real-life success – people who are clearly having enjoyable and worthwhile careers – so we hope that female tech specialists will jump at the chance to act as role models.”

Debbie Forster, co-CEO of Apps for Good, adds: “School students really value their interaction with business people, and the positive modelling they provide adds an extra dimension to the Apps for Good programme. We’re delighted to be working with Capgemini, and the other employers of the Tech Partnership, to encourage mentors to join us in schools.”

Women in STEM
Capgemini is not the only consulting firm that signs partnerships to help close the gender gap in professions generally considered male-dominated, such as roles in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) industries. Accenture recently agreed a partnership with Girls Who Code to assist young women to secure a career in technology and in addition supports the Girl Geeks Campus, launched to provide female STEM students with opportunities to discover career paths and develop employable skills. Mace for example, a large engineering firm, acts as a member of WISE.


Women remain underrepresented in UK's hospitality industry leadership

12 April 2019

Female engagement at the top level of the UK hospitality industry is still lagging, with the vast majority of decision-making roles continue to be held by men. Only 7% of the industry’s FTSE 350 CEOs are women; however, the pay gap in hospitality and leisure is far better than in other industries, at a median of approximately 7%.

The hospitality, travel and leisure (HTL) sector is one of the UK’s largest employers, with 3.2 million people working in its segments. Despite a poor 2018 in terms of tightening consumer spending, the industry is still one of the top sectors in terms of economic activity, hitting £130 billion last year – besting the UK’s automotive, pharmaceutical and aeronautical sectors’ combined activities.

While the industry is one of the country’s largest employers, it still faces considerable issues around diversity at the top. New analysis from PwC has explored the matter, as well what initiatives the industry has engaged to open up its top ranks to a more diverse background.

Female representation at board level for UK companies and HTLs

According to a survey of CEOs, Chairs or HR Directors of over 100 of the most significant leisure businesses across the UK, the hospitality industry has a relatively male-dominated top level. This lags behind the FTSE 100, where companies have female board level representation at 32.2%. Meanwhile, the figure for the combined executive committee and direct reports stands at 28%. This is well above FTSE 250 levels, where female board level representation stands at 22.4% and executive committee & direct reports stand at 27.8%.

For the hospitality industry as a whole, board level representation came in at 23.6%, with FTSE 350 for the industry performing slightly better at 25.1%, while non-listed companies performed considerably worse at 18.2%. The firm notes that the figures hide that while some companies are making strides to improve equality, others are not moving forward – with the positive result reflecting more often the good work of some, while others are not taking the issue seriously in their agenda setting.

Blind spot

The study states, however, that while the overall numbers are relatively strong, the industry has a number of acute weaknesses. These include CEO numbers, with only 7% of HTL FTSE 350 companies helmed by women and 11% of non-listed companies led by female CEOs. Meanwhile, female chairs at FTSE 350 companies for the sector stand at zero. In terms of wider diversity representation, only 1 in 33 leaders at industry companies is from a BAME background.

Pay gap for HTL and hospitality

The report noted discrepancies between FTSE 100 companies and FTSE 250 in terms of improving the number of women at executive level. The majority have met the Hampton-Alexander Review target of 33% women at board level, up from around 25% in 2016. However, the remaining ~40% are not on target, and are unlikely to meet the target by 2020. A similar trend is noted when it comes to executive committee and direct reporting numbers.

Jon Terry, Diversity & Inclusion Consulting Leader at PwC, said, "To make real progress in diversity and inclusion, businesses need to elevate it onto the CEO’s agenda and align diversity & inclusion strategy to the fundamentals of the business."

Tracking progress FTSE 250 level

However, one area where hospitality travel and leisure companies are outperforming other companies in the wider UK economy, is the mean and median pay gap between men and women. PwC found that the median of the wider UK economy comes is approximately 14% – with upper quartile companies noted for a gap of low 20%, and lower quartile companies noted for differences of around 2%.

The median pay gap for HTL comes in at well below 7%, with the median close to parity. There are considerable differences, however, with hospitality at 7%, while travel comes in considerably higher, at 22%. The latter figure reflects fewer women in higher paid pilot and technical positions within the industry.