6 May 2014 - 12:35pm | 5 comments

Tanya Cordrey, chief digital officer at The Guardian, says number of tech roles women apply for is “depressing”

Tanya Cordrey, chief digital officer at The Guardian, says number of tech roles women apply for is “depressing” Tanya Cordrey, chief digital officer at The Guardian, says number of

The Guardian’s chief digital officer, Tanya Cordrey, led the media group’s migration from a UK to global domain last year and oversaw the recruitment of over one hundred people in the process.

However, she has said that the general number of women applying for tech and engineering roles is depressing and that there are still a lot of myths and misconceptions that need to be broken down.

Speaking to The Drum for its Girl Guides series, Cordrey said: “Even in Silicon Valley where they have coding computer clubs for kids as young as 10 in the summer, there are still so many more boys than girls in them. More work must be done to improve the image of technological and engineering roles for women, to highlight how creative they can be.”

“The engineers in my team are some of the most creative people I’ve ever worked with – often that is a point that’s missed. We need to break down some of these myths and misunderstandings,” she continued.

“When we were doing graduate recruitment it was very depressing looking at the initial number of women that applied, so we made a big push around that. But it’s tough and we have to keep pushing.”

Cordrey also discussed her past at eBay UK, when it was just a “ramshackle” office of 20 people, as well as her future plans for The Guardian’s new website and app rollout.

Read full the interview in the latest issue of The Drum 30 April issue, subscribing to The Drum here – or if you're already a subscriber, can access a downloadable pdf of the latest issue here.

Comments

6 May 2014 - 14:31
scritty's picture

Nothing new here. The push to get more women in technology has been going since at LEAST 1984 when I started at tech college. 26 boys and 2 girls. Back then,- 30 years ago, there were TV programs, leaflet drives, radio talk shows, promotions around local schools all aimed at getting more girls into tech. The next year? 1 girl applied. Look - maybe no matter how it's dressed up, perhaps less girls find it appealing than boys. It's been more than a generation now and nothing has changed despite a concerted effort.

Why can't we accept that boys and girls are different and perhaps that includes having different aspirations? Not better or worse - just different.

Not only does that seem a sensible view point from where I'm sat, it seems patently frikking obvious and always has done.

Maybe we don't value traditional women's roles as much as we should? I'll re-phrase that we definitely DO NOT value traditional women's roles as much as we should.

Rather than try and force square pegs into round holes and vice versa, why not make sure that the square pegs get a fair deal when put into the correctly dimensioned orifice? Pay nurses, midwives etc a proper wage rather than treat many of these roles as almost second class.

Societies values need to change, because sexual psychology is hard wired. Surely that's obvious?

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7 May 2014 - 09:05
sonjabs

@scritty TOTALLY with you in fact just have a new book published saying get over it there are differences. STOP looking at gender differences accept they exist. Also the 30 years of interventions have FAILED. Girls can do IT and even like it BUT they like other things MORE - hence select other careers.

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7 May 2014 - 08:13
sonjabs

The push to get more women into tech has FAILED. it is time to accept that and recognise there ARE differences between genders. STOP using a gender approach, start appealing to individual interests. STOP treating this as a target. Women do GET IT and many even like IT BUT the are MORE interested in other careers Understand that and accept it.

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7 May 2014 - 09:45
scritty's picture

Brilliant Sonjabs. Sexes are equal - but NOT the same. The best society would value each skill set equally and make the most of the differences, rather than trying to turn two separate sexes into one generic "mush" that is ideally suited to...nothing. Where everything is a compromise.. Differences are fantastic, they should be applauded, society should REVEL in them, They bring so many more options, opportunities. But still some try and disguise them. "Equal" does not mean "the same"

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10 May 2014 - 16:41
mairi_clark's picture

Couldn't agree more. I'm sick of hearing people bleat about more women or more black people. Can we settle for best people for jobs rather than creating issues where none exist? The more we say there's no women in tech the more exclusionary it will appear. There are loads of fabulous women in technology. They might just be too busy with the job in hand to indulge in the cock-waving some of their male counterparts do.

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