Gender inequality holds back economic growth in Milton Keynes, says business founder

Safia Boot

Safia Boot

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“There has never been a better time to work in the exciting and creative world of technology given the economic and personal growth opportunities that exist. Technology is an integral part of our everyday lives yet it is predominately male dominated.”

Business founder Safia Boot, who chairs the 1,200-strong Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Group in Milton Keynes, will be speaking up for women and for economic common sense at MKEX Technology Exhibition on June 22.

Safia, whose passion is for learning and improving working lives, will be arguing that the all-pervasive issue of diversity needs to be tackled in order to make tech industries more successful.

Women make up less than 30 per cent of the ICT workforce in the UK, including the Milton Keynes region. “That situation is flat-lining and, if anything, getting worse,” she said.

Safia, the founder of Respect at Work, based Milton Keynes, said: “In a male dominated tech environment, 90 per cent of women have witnessed sexist behaviour”.

Safia will also make the economic case for women in tech. She said: “It makes sense that those who design technological solutions reflect the diversity of everyday people who interact with technology. Despite the growth potential the sector suffers from major gaps in the workforce.

“Women have recently taken several notable positions at the forefront of not only big tech companies but increasingly many start-up companies. Unfortunately, they remain the exception to the rule creating a scarcity of much needed female role models for leadership as well as a technical talent pipeline for women in a range of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers.”

Safia will also tell her audience about the four key barriers to gender equality and why this is holding back economic growth not only in the UK but across the world.

“Britain has a great opportunity to set a global standard for equality in the technology sector by contributing to shifting its current gender equality ranking in the annual measure of global equality by the World Economic Forum,” she said.

To find out more about Safia visit www.respectatwork.co.uk.

For free tickets to the 10.30am-11am presentation visit http://www.mkex.co.uk/visitor-booking-page/