Love Tech is a local registered Charity and initiative run by a group of local female business leaders and technologists on the Isle of Man.
From left to right: Owen Cutajar, Angela van den Berg, Claire Milne, Joanne Thurlow, Lisa Karran, Clare Pettit, Adam Drummond, Alex Halsall, Jayne Hartley, Charlotte Cain, Deb Byron, Jackie Morrey-Grace. Missing from the photo is Jade Zorab.
Love Tech was launched by Claire Milne of Appleby, Deb Byron of Hansard and Roberta Castle of Continent 8. All of them have worked for years in and alongside the technology sector and were determined to increase the number of women choosing technology careers.
The ladies gathered a group of Isle of Man-based female leaders and technologists to realise this vision, and Love Tech was born.
Initially operating as a not-for-profit and now a registered Charity, we are now a team of 20+ local female business leaders and technologists on the Isle of Man, all volunteering our time to support and mentor young people.
Our aim is to inspire and empower girls and young women to explore opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) through events, workshops and mentorship in the Isle of Man.
We imagine a world in which women and men have truly equal opportunities, representation and recognition in STEM careers and academia.
We are kindly supported by our valued sponsors and work closely with our STEM mentors and partners including local schools, the Brownies, Code Club, Libraries, the Astronomical Society, Army Cadets and many more.
Our ongoing events programme seeks to ignite and kindle sparks of interest and provide role models to help broaden girls’ horizons about what career options are both possible, and available.
Ask anyone to think of a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, a computer technician or a mathematician and they’re unlikely to picture a woman, even if they’re a woman themselves. Gender stereotyping and unconscious bias is real and starts at a young age and its impact, amongst other things is resulting in gross under-representation of females in STEM roles at every level.
This short video ‘Redraw the Balance’ made by the MullenLowe Group, illustrates the problem:
Whatever the historical, societal or physiological reasons are that women have tended less towards STEM studies and careers, the fact is that in an ever-more technology driven world, there is and will continue to be a skills shortage. A study by STEM Learning came up with a cost to UK businesses in the sector of £1.5 billion per year* and it’s estimated that there will be a shortage of up to 500,000 ICT workers in Europe by 2020.**
Encouraging all children into STEM careers is important but it is particularly helpful to redress the gender imbalance, as there is little to suggest that ability is the problem.
There is evidence however, to suggest that girls are naturally less confident in some STEM subjects and that positive role models can help to change this. Europe-wide research by Microsoft showed that the presence of a role model almost doubled the interest girls had in STEM subjects.***
There are many charities, groups and companies across the globe that are working to change this and at Love Tech we are passionate about playing our part, to positively influence opinions, awareness and ultimately the choices our young people make in the future.
- * STEM recruitment crisis costs UK industry £1.5bn per year
- ** Increase gender gap in the digital sector – study on women in the digital age
- *** Microsoft research on role models
- Women in Science: ‘Go for it’
- Hands-on experience inspires girls to explore tech jobs
- Macho ‘brogrammer’ culture still nudging women out of tech
- Bridging the gender gap: why do so few girls stud STEM Subjects?