Why do we need women in tech?

Thursday, July 4, 2024

A few days ago, I attended a female community networking event. The room was filled with bright, successful women, working at the most prestigious companies in the Netherlands. After a very nice introductory speech, one of the participants asked a question: “Why is it important to have women in tech?”

This question was such an interesting one to me. Even though we have made significant progress in female representation in tech, this question is still present –  some people seek affirmation, some are curious, while some ask it out of skepticism or resistance. In my view, the question shouldn’t be about why we need women in tech, but rather how the absence of women can hinder the development of products and services, particularly those aimed at female consumers.

In this article I explore some of the reasons why women have to be in the tech industry, and why their inclusion is essential for creating a more balanced and effective technological future.

Table of contents

  • Diverse perspectives bring innovation
  • Inclusive design and minimising bias
  • Market representation and economic influence
  • Innovation across all domains
  • Ethical and social impact
  • Conclusion

Diverse perspectives bring innovation

We’ve heard this so many times – diversity brings innovation. It is reflected in opinion pieces in the Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and McKinsey reports, but also in academic literature.

The reasoning is that one of the most significant advantages of having women in tech is the diversity of perspectives they bring. Understanding the needs, preferences, and pain points of female users is crucial in developing user-centric products. Women can provide insights that men might overlook due to different life experiences and viewpoints. This diversity fosters creativity and innovation, leading to new ideas and solutions that might not emerge in a homogenous team.

For example, when designing healthcare apps that cater to women, such as those for tracking pregnancy, menstrual health, and mental well-being, companies benefit immensely from female input, ensuring they meet the real needs of their users. Women understand these issues and can offer perspectives that ensure these apps are truly useful and relevant. This understanding extends to other areas, such as wearable technology, where design and functionality must meet specific needs that only women might fully comprehend.

Inclusive design and minimising bias

The concept of inclusive design is pivotal in creating products that cater to a broad audience. Without women in tech, it’s challenging to achieve true inclusivity and accessibility, particularly for half of the population. Inclusive design requires an understanding of diverse user needs, and women in tech are essential for identifying and addressing these requirements.

In addition, a homogenous team might unintentionally embed biases into their products. Women in tech play a crucial role in identifying and correcting these biases, ensuring that the technology is fairer and more equitable. For instance, safety features in apps, such as those aimed at preventing harassment, benefit significantly from female perspectives. Women understand the nuances of safety concerns and can contribute to designing effective and sensitive solutions. One prominent example is the dating app Bumble, founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd. On Bumble, only women can initiate conversations after a match is made, which shifts the dynamics of traditional dating apps and aims to reduce the harassment and unwanted advances often experienced by women on these platforms.

Image credit: LinkedIn Learning Solutions

Market presentation and economic influence

Women control significant purchasing power globally, making their representation in tech essential for catering to this influential market segment. Developing products without female input risks alienating a substantial portion of potential users. Products designed with women's input are more likely to resonate with female users, leading to higher adoption rates and customer satisfaction.

Consider the example of fitness apps. Women might prioritise different features compared to men, such as tracking specific health metrics or integrating community support features. Without women in tech, these preferences might be overlooked, resulting in products that fail to engage a significant user base. By ensuring women are part of the development process, tech companies can better understand and cater to female consumers, ultimately driving market success.

Innovation across all domains

The presence of women in tech is crucial for fostering diversity, inclusivity, and innovation across all domains, not just traditionally female-focused areas like healthcare, fitness or mental health. Women bring unique perspectives that enhance user-centric product development and their contributions are essential in traditionally male-dominated fields like software engineering, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and data science. Boston Consulting Group advocates for women in cyber-security, as it can “broaden and strengthen cybersecurity capabilities”. Promoting gender diversity in tech not only ensures fairness and equality but also leads to more robust, innovative, and inclusive technological solutions, benefiting everyone and driving progress in the industry.

Ethical and social impact

Promoting gender diversity in tech is not only a matter of equity and fairness but also a reflection of a commitment to equal opportunity. Addressing historical gender imbalances in the industry is crucial for ethical and social reasons. Women in tech serve as role models and mentors, inspiring the next generation of female technologists. This helps build a more diverse and robust talent pipeline for the future.

A quote from KPMG’s Global Chief Digital Officer Lisa Heneghan summarises the impact of tech on creating equal opportunities: “Just over 30 years ago, as a young woman right out of school, I took a job as an account manager at a tech firm. Today, I’m the first female Global Chief Digital Officer of a ‘Big Four’ accounting organisation. Technology gave me the tools, the experience and the motivation to smash glass ceilings and advocate for equality. Let’s give all women the same opportunity”.

Lisa Heneghan can also serve as a role model for women in tech. Role models are particularly important in breaking down stereotypes and encouraging young women to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). When young women see successful female techies, they are more likely to envision themselves in similar roles, helping to close the gender gap in tech over time.


In conclusion, the need for women in tech goes far beyond achieving gender equality. It means the creation of better, more inclusive, and innovative products that cater to a diverse user base. Women bring essential perspectives and insights that are critical for understanding and addressing the unique requirements of female consumers. Their contributions lead to more user-centric designs, fairer technology, and a more representative market approach.

The tech industry must prioritise gender diversity not only for ethical reasons, but also to enhance creativity, innovation, and market success. By creating and fostering an environment that supports and encourages women in tech, we pave the way for a future where technology meets the needs of all users, driving progress and innovation for everyone.

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By Milica van Leeuwen Bobic

Milica van Leeuwen Bobic is a contributing author for RightBrains and supports our mission of promoting gender balance in digital technology. Holding two Master's degrees and with years of working in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) space, she offers a unique perspective on topics like social justice and organisational D&I.