The UK tech scene is considerably more diverse than its US counterpart, with those working at startups in Britain five times more likely to be female than in America, according to a new study.
The research was conducted by startup accelerator Wayra, and found that the UK outpaces the US on diversity issues on a number of metrics. Entrepreneurs in London are three times more likely to be female than in Silicon Valley, for example, and individuals in the capital are also twice as likely to come from a black or minority ethnic background than in New York.
The data drew on respondents at 222 startups from around Britain, and shows the UK is leading the pack, Wayra claims, and is “more diverse than other major startup ecosystems, including the US, Silicon Valley, NYC and Tel Aviv.” Overall, however, it suggests there is still some way to go.
Just 30.3% of the individuals in the “startup ecosystem” are women — and when it comes to funding, men are 86% more likely than women to receive venture capital funding.
Over the last few years, diversity has become an increasingly important issue within the technology industry. Under pressure from campaigners to expand upon their traditionally white male workforces, big companies including Apple, Facebook, and Twitter have begun publishing yearly diversity reports.
Executives have also upped their rhetoric on the issue. Apple CEO Tim Cook, for example, said diversity issues were “central to the future of our company,” and that “diversity leads to better products.” However, 70% of Apple’s global workforce is male, and of its 15 top-tier executives, just 3 are women.
In a 2014 Guardian poll, 73% of respondents (who worked in the industry) said they thought the tech industry was sexist, and 52% said women are paid less for the same job than men.