Yes, the Irish tech sector is still very much a boy’s club

28 Jan 2016

While it might not come as a surprise to many who have been advocating for more women in tech, a new report shows that the overwhelming majority of tech firms in Ireland have no woman at the helm.

While a number of Irish tech sector companies have been making efforts in 2015 to narrow the diversity gap that has seen considerably more men than women employed at their companies, it appears that major issues remain at the very top levels of management and VC funding.

According to a new report issued by the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) and published in the Irish Independent, of all the start-ups that achieve successful venture capital (VC) funding, only 3pc are founded by a woman.

This statistic is even worse when looking at start-ups with a chief executive who is a woman, with only 0.6pc achieving funding.

When looking at the difference between the average amounts of funding issued to start-ups in the first 10 months of 2015, there was a clear gap whereby women-led companies achieved €591,000 in funding, while the average man-led company banked €5.46m.

Fraction of funding for women

Unfortunately, the depressing figures just keep coming and coming as we are told that Irish tech firms achieved a total funding of €415m in this period last year, of which only €2.3m went to women-led companies.

88 companies received VC funding in 2015, the IVCA’s figures go on to say, yet only 16 had any women in a top role at the company, this then further broken down into 12 with one woman as a co-founder and four named as a chief executive.

Efforts to bridge the gap continue to be fought from the earliest stages of development however with, Accenture Ireland, this morning (28 January) hosting a #GirlsInSTEM event to encourage girls to look into careers in science, technology, engineering and maths, while later this year Inspirefest 2016 will take place with stories and advice from some of the leading figures – both men and women – who have gender parity and diversity in workplaces as their end goal.

Old-fashioned gentleman’s club image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic