Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Call for more women to get involved in technology business

Published 22/01/2016

Lady Lane-Fox warned the UK would not be able to compete economically without greater female involvement in the internet
Lady Lane-Fox warned the UK would not be able to compete economically without greater female involvement in the internet

Digital entrepreneur Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho has hit out at male domination of the internet and called for more women to get involved in the technology business.

Lady Lane-Fox told the Lords the internet was "controlled, run, funded, made and, to a large extent, used predominantly by men".

The independent crossbench peer said this was an "extremely serious situation" and "profoundly upsetting".

Only about 4% of the world's software developers were women and about 9% of businesses founded on the internet were run by women, she said.

"This from an industry that did not exist 30 years ago - an industry that has grown in parallel with the general acceptance that men and women should be treated equally.

"We have effectively replaced the establishments and hierarchies of the turn of the last century with exactly the same looking hierarchies."

Lady Lane-Fox, who co-founded lastminute.com and served as the Government's digital champion, said this took her breath away but insisted there was much that could be done to change things.

Warning that the UK would not be able to compete economically without greater female involvement in the internet, she said the "enormous skills crisis in the tech sector" must be addressed by training more women.

"We will design much better products and services if we involve women in their original conception and creation."

She said the problems of trolling and online abuse might have been foreseen if women had been more involved with internet development.

Online Editors

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More