With worldwide events such as this month’s International Women’s Day and March being Women’s History Month, more women’s voices are getting heard across the globe year on year. As the gender pay gap and diversity in the workplace discussions continue into 2017, employers are being encouraged every day to consider the gender balance in their workplace. It is no secret that the world of technology has typically been reluctant to engage female employees over its short but expansive life span – but things are changing. Women’s technology group Code First: Girls beliefs stand strong: “It’s a complex issue […] we do believe one thing – tech shouldn’t just be a boys club.”

Women are the world’s most powerful consumers, and their impact on the economy is growing every year – women’s global incomes are predicted to reach over £14 ($18) trillion by 2018. In fact, if the consumer economy had a sex, it would be female, as women drive 70-80% of all consumer purchasing through a combination of buying and influence purchases (Source: Forbes). With 16.8% of all the retail trade happening online, and women controlling this much purchasing power, who better to understand women’s needs behind a site better than women themselves? (Source: We Are Social). Bridget Brennan, a contributor on Forbes suggests reviewing your company’s audience: “If women make up a significant portion of your customer base, they should be represented on your management team. Research shows that companies with gender-balanced teams have a higher ROI.”

The rise of cloud computing, m-commerce, and apps have all greatly reduced the costs of starting a company, which are some of the ways more women are breaking into e-commerce and achieving major success in the field. Marketplace websites like Amazon, eBay and Etsy also make eCommerce accessible to all, allowing all budding entrepreneurs to start their own online stores.

Schools are a key method for encouraging girls to get interested in STEM careers at an early age – introducing technology as a tool to solve problems is the way to open their minds to tech and stimulate an interest. As more girls gain exposure to coding and understand its huge potential for application in the wider world, more girls will consider an education in tech.

With the rise of female led tech organisations such as Code First: Girls, Girls Who Code, and Women in eCommerce; early computer education in schools; and the re-invention of female-friendly cultures in tech companies; and the sudden boom of models who code such as Lyndsey Scott and Karlie Kloss; the opportunities and potential for women in tech are increasing every day. Therese Stowell, a Principal Product Manager at Pivotal believes role models are key: “By having an opportunity to look up to someone who has already accomplished their dream, girls will feel more confident and engaged with the industry.”

We at Vortex are proud to be increasing our diversity in the office as much as we possibly can, with three new female recruits in the past four months since our last post about women working in eCommerce. Interested in becoming a member of the team? Check out our careers page for our latest vacancies!