Technology: A Global Language

Emma Wakefield Senior associate, People & Organisation

I joined the Women in Technology initiative shortly after joining PwC last year. Diversity is something that I feel very strongly about – at University I studied a languages degree where as a female, I was unsurprisingly in the majority and the consulting graduate scheme has a very even split between males and females.

So why, you may ask, am I spending my time championing the Women in Technology: Change the Ratio campaign? Well, not only is it a really fun team to be a part of, it is also something that I think we really need to keep at the forefront of our minds. Whether we are male or female, junior or senior, working in Technology or not; because despite all the discussions on diversity and the work that has been done to date, there is still a major gap that we need to fill. There has been a lot of progress which should be and is celebrated, but I can think of various recent examples where I’ve been surprised by the lack of diversity, especially at a more senior level. I won’t go into detail on the statistics, but research shows that from school right through to leadership positions, females are both in the minority, and at a disadvantage when it comes to opportunities in the workplace. And at the same time, research shows that diverse teams are more productive, more effective and more innovative - so the lack of diversity just doesn’t make sense.

Research shows that diverse teams are more productive, more effective and more innovative - so the lack of diversity just doesn’t make sense.

As a young female just starting out in my career, I don’t expect to be treated any differently to my male colleagues, although unfortunately this has happened to me on at least one occasion. I also certainly do not expect that in the future I will not be able to progress to leadership positions at the same rate as the males I work with, whether I choose to work in Technology or in another part of the firm. I’ve been brought up and learnt through my experiences that I should expect to be completely equal- but what I see around me doesn’t quite reflect this.

It feels very apt to be writing this blog following PwC’s Global Diversity week having just read an email on the focus that PwC puts on diversity and equality in the workplace. It’s not just the Women in Technology team that are working so hard and striving to create a more inclusive environment. For me it is a privilege to be a part of the Change the Ratio team, to be leading one of the initiatives, and to see the passion, hard work and dedication of the other females (and male). If we can keep the momentum going, keep raising awareness and changing behaviours, I’m hopeful that in the future this won’t be something that we need to discuss!

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Emma Wakefield
Senior associate, People & Organisation
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