International Women’s Day 2024

International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8th March every year and is a day for recognising the achievements of women, but also acknowledging the changes that still need to be made to achieve gender equality. Whilst we have seen big improvements over the years, there is still a long way to go. For example, women only currently hold 27% of tech-related roles and the median pay for full-time employees was 7.7% less for women than for men in April 2023 in the UK. However, this issue is not limited to the UK, UN Women have shown that globally, women are paid less than men, are less likely to work, and when they do are more likely to work in informal and vulnerable employment.


Each year there is a new theme for International Women’s Day and this year it is ‘Invest in Women’. This includes recruiting, retaining and developing female talent, supporting women and girls into leadership, decision-making, business and STEM and providing women and girls with access to quality education and training. We all need to play a part if we want to truly reach gender equality. At Women in Tech, we partner with employers who are passionate about closing the gender gap in technology. To mark this International Women’s Day, we’re looking at how some of these partners invest in their women and promote gender inclusion in tech.

BAE Systems

One way to invest in women is to promote them into senior and leadership roles, which will not only help close the gender pay gap, but will also create role models for other women, encouraging them to want to get into higher roles themselves. Tech is an industry where this is most important as women in tech leadership roles fell to just 28% in 2023. BAE Systems are doing their part to increase this percentage by aiming to have at least 50% of their Executive Committee and 30% of their workforce be female by 2030. Helping them with this goal is their Gender Equity Network, their forum for discussion and change.

IWDCurrently, only 15% of engineering graduates, and 16.5% of all engineers in the UK are female. Therefore, BAE Systems are on a mission to shift this balance and as a result, they have been voted as the top Engineering Employer of Choice by female engineering job hunters. Ensuring more girls secure a future in STEM is why BAE Systems has worked closely with Discover Cyber Security to help fund and develop InnovateHer, a free educational course suitable for all genders aged 13-17. Students start their educational journey as cybersecurity ‘apprentices’ and will receive information from their virtual mentors throughout the course. During this time they learn about the many different roles that exist within cybersecurity and will learn skills such as analysing data, online safety and risk identifying.

Dr Mary Haigh, Chief Information and Security Officer at BAE Systems said:

“We are immensely proud of our partnership with InnovateHer, reflecting our commitment to fostering innovation and empowering those who need it most. Our latest collaboration, a first-of-its-kind cyber course for young people across the UK, stands as a testament to our dedication in shaping the next generation of future cyber talent.”

Want to join the BAE Systems team? Find out more and apply here.


IWDTraining and development is a huge factor when considering a DE&I programme to support and invest in gender diversity. Zellis ask all colleagues to complete an annual Diversity, Equity & Inclusion eLearning module, and they also provide in-depth training modules for managers to ensure that they are supported in sourcing & selecting talent. This also helps break down barriers to entering work for people from disadvantaged or underrepresented groups.

Employee networks are also a great tool to help create an inclusive workplace as they provide a safe space for underrepresented employees to ask for advice, offer support and provide the opportunity for them to make changes within the company. Zellis launched their first network ‘Count Me In,’ which is a women’s business group for their India based colleagues that aims to accelerate change and ensure colleagues’ views and interests are represented at all levels of the business. In addition to this, they have since launched ‘SheTech,’ which is the Zellis Group’s women in technology network open to all colleagues, aiming to create a diverse community that enables women of all backgrounds to achieve personal and professional development. They believe access to roles in technology should be available to all, and women must be equal participants in creating and nurturing our culture, products, and services.

Find out more about Zellis’ gender diversity initiatives here.


IWDThe skills gap that we currently have in tech can be greatly improved if we invest in young girls and women’s education and resources. Shockingly, 52% of women do not have access to the internet, compared to 42% of men. Therefore, Experian believes it is imperative to invest in initiatives to equip future generations with the necessary data literacy and skills to address this gap and unlock the full potential of data-driven innovation.

Culture, training, and diverse thinking is needed to drive data education that is why at Experian it is so important for them to hire and invest in female talent at the early stages of their careers. So, they have worked in partnership with Code First Girls (CFG) over the past 3 years, sponsoring training places for females looking to move into data and tech roles. They also host ‘school insights days’ where they invite groups of Y10 – Y13 students from local schools to visit their office and provide them with an overview of the business, to inspire them to think about careers working with data which they may never have considered. In October last year, Experian also worked with ReachNextGeneration to host an event for 70 schoolgirls to inspire them to consider careers they may never thought possible, including working with data.

Find out more about the workplace culture at Experian here.


IWDCompanies with gender diversity are generally more successful in achieving a low turnover rate, better employee satisfaction and increased profitability and productivity. This can be helped by having workplace diversity and inclusion initiatives. For example, Chase has formed ‘Women on the Move’ which is an initiative aimed to fuel female ambition and advance gender equality. Women on the Move provides education and tools to increase the financial health and independence of women clients, women, and girls in our communities. This is important as research by PWC found that 10.7 million women cannot access mainstream financial products.  

According to a report from McKinsey & Co., women are less likely to get hired than men, this can partly be due to unconscious bias. Therefore, Chase are working to strengthen their organisation by training managers on unconscious bias, so they can tackle gender issues together, especially around talent development and promotions. As part of this commitment, 49% of their new global hires are women. 

Find out more about Chase’s current opportunities here.


IAG Tech

IWDResearch has shown that a strong commitment to supporting diversity and inclusion is one of the major deciding factors for candidates when applying for jobs, particularly those in underrepresented groups. IAG Tech openly supports a variety of engagement platforms including Women in Tech, Diversity in Tech, Women in Business and Tech, and MyGwork. They also publicly celebrate International Women’s Day annually, holding panel discussions for their employees with inspirational speakers from both within and outside IAG (International Airlines Group). They provide access to a host of networks for women in our business, such as Elevate (the network for those who identify as women), and their Working Parents and Carers Network.

Due to the prevalence of the stigma of menopause, IAG Tech also runs menopause awareness training and has refreshed their family, leave and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion policies to ensure they provide support and flexibility to their people. In 2023, they recruited over 330 people into the business across technology, finance, procurement, and support functions, of which over 40% were women. 

Find out more about what IAG Tech is doing to improve gender diversity.



IWDAfter reviewing the results of our most recent Women in Tech survey, Kinly noted that employee benefits were one of the top things that women in tech value the most when looking for a new job. Among the most sought-after incentives was flexible or remote working. This helps women to achieve a healthy work/life balance that allows them to juggle having both a career and family. Kinly listened to the feedback and have made flexible working a day one right for all to ensure that all females are encouraged to work their hours at times that suit them. This maximises employee productivity, performance and wellbeing. Kinly has also enhanced its maternity pay to give female employees more security when they embark on their new journeys. This includes three-months at full pay and a further three-months at half.

Whilst menopause is becoming less taboo in some places, many women are living in households, communities or working in environments where menopause is stigmatised. Kinly is working hard to change this narrative and has updated and modernised female-centric support policies including menopause, time off for fertility treatment and time off for miscarriage. Kinly has also created a support network of maternity mentors across its business as they know how daunting an experience this can be, both prior- and post-leave. In addition, Kinly has trained four individuals to become menopause mentors across its global business to provide effective support for its staff.

To help increase the number of women taking up senior and leadership roles, Kinly has created an internal high performers programme, Kinly Powerhouse, which is made up of 40 per cent females. As part of their training, they have access to an online programme specifically developed for women in business. In the programme, they take part in four masterclasses from inspirational women to help unlock potential, highlight capabilities and support them in taking the next steps in their career.

Kinly has also created its first female-led employee resource group, SHEer Brilliance, and are looking to grow this in 2024 post their first ever global female event for International Women’s Day. As a result of its dedication to improving gender equality, Kinly ended 2023 with 24.5 per cent of UK-based employees identifying as being female. This is a growth of 3 per cent, year-on-year.

Taking the same actions as our partners, companies can help build a truly inclusive environment, not just on International Women’s Day, but every day.

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