Call it an “old boys club” or “brogrammer culture”, there’s no denying that the tech world is still male-dominated. Of course, a lot has been written about the lack of diversity in the industry. Most tech companies are male-led, and female role models are few and far between.
According to a World Bank report, women make up less than a third of the global workforce in technology-related fields. In the European Union, they represent only 17% of the ICT (information and communication technology) sector.
This gap continues to widen at the managerial level, where women hold only 11% of managerial positions. To add insult to injury, Atomico’s State of European Tech report revealed that the proportion of funds raised by all-women’s teams has fallen from 3% to a meager 1% since 2018. And those that receive funding get fewer than male-led teams and mixed male-female teams. Sigh.
The statistics remain bleak, although countless studies show that diverse technology companies consistently outperform homogeneous ones. In a global analysis of 2,400 companies conducted by Credit Suisse, organizations with at least one female board member achieved higher return on equity and higher net income growth than organizations without women on their boards.
And when VCs invest in women-led companies, they make more money too. Research shows that female leaders influence company performance and overall growth. A survey conducted by BCG and Mass Challenge found that companies run by women generate higher revenues – more than twice as much per dollar invested.
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The following three women – Anne Boden, founder of Starling Bank; Victoria van Lennep, co-founder of lending platform Lendable; and dr Loubna Bouarfa, Founder and CEO of OKRA Technologies – are living proof that women-led companies are ready to disrupt, innovate and improve the technology world. Better yet, all three are currently hiring.
1. Starling Bank
Anne Boden is quite the glass ceiling breaker. When Starling Bank received its banking license in 2016, it became the first woman in history to start a UK bank. She has since led her team to launch the UK’s first mobile current accounts, partnered with the Post Office, raised over £300m in funding and opened three offices. Today, Starling employs more than 2,000 people and has over three million accounts.
“The vast majority of people in this industry are men in their early thirties with beards. People don’t expect me to be a fintech entrepreneur,” Boden told The Times. “I think it’s harder to stand out, but I’d much rather stand out by being the only woman to have started a bank in the UK.”
Sounds like the kind of executive you’d like to work for? Starling is looking for an Infrastructure Engineer for his bank in London. Starling is open-minded when it comes to hiring, placing more emphasis on suitability and attitude than on specific experience or qualifications. It’s very open in how it delivers software. It believes in clean coding, simple solutions, automated testing, and continuous delivery. If you care enough about finding elegant solutions to difficult technical problems, Starling would love to hear from you. Find out everything you need to know about this exciting task here.
Just as Starling Bank received praise for announcing in 2020 that it was profitable after just three years, Lendable, the leading AI-powered consumer finance platform, was quietly raking in money with profits way ahead of most European unicorns.
Founded in 2014 and co-founded by Victoria van Lennep, the company’s mission was to undercut traditional banks by offering competitive rates and fast applications. Now the company approves a new loan every 30 seconds, employs over 200 people and is listed in the Sunday Times’ top 10 tech industry rankings for fastest growing revenue.
Lendable hires a new Senior Data Scientist to join its team. This role is at the heart of the brand’s unique selling proposition, the development of the credit risk models for underwriting credit and credit card products. If you succeed, you’ll have access to the latest machine learning techniques combined with an extensive data repository to provide the best market risk models. Are you interested? Read all about the role here.
3. OKRA Technologies
OKRA Technologies is a leading provider of AI-driven analytics for global life sciences. The company was founded in 2015 by Dr. Loubna Bouarfa with the vision to lead the healthcare industry into a future of personalized medicine powered by explainable AI.
dr Bouarfa’s goal has always been to ensure that AI makes us humans smarter and empowers us to make better decisions. She was instrumental in building the OKRA Explainability Engine, which supports users by providing explanations behind the results of AI systems.
Last year OKRA made it onto the 2022 Deloitte Tech Fast 50 list for the fastest growing technology companies in the UK, beating out 70 startups from 20 different European countries to win the award for Best Female-Led Startup at the StartUp Europe Awards.
The company is currently seeking a Junior/Senior NLP Data Scientist to join its Leiden team in The Netherlands. As an NLP Data Scientist at OKRA, you’ll play a critical role in designing and building solutions using the leading AI engine for healthcare and life sciences.
You will develop new capabilities that can be used to extract insights from unstructured, free-text data to drive appropriate actions and desired outcomes. In this role, you will work closely with the leadership team, which has over 15 years of experience implementing machine learning technology in real-world applications, transforming research into commercial reality. Sounds like your kind of role? You can apply here.