Attendees at first OpenUK / OVHcloud International Women’s Day Lunch heard from Afghanistan Judges on oppression, and importance of law, policy and technology to equality
London, UK – 9 March 2022 – OpenUK today announced the findings of a survey at the first OpenUK International Women’s Day lunch covering the attitudes to women in the technology and legal sectors. The event was sponsored by OVHcloud and hosted at the House of Lords by Helena Kennedy QC, Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws, to celebrate the contributions of women in the law, policy and technology sectors. The event saw two women judges evacuated from Afghanistan as part of 500 individuals able to leave the country, thanks to Baroness Kennedy, share their very relevant experiences of women in war, and their own stories of fleeing the Taliban they had helped to imprison.
As part of the lunch, a survey into the position of women in the legal and tech sectors was carried out with the attendees. The results include:
- The technology sector is seen as a force for good by the majority of attendees.
- 43 percent thought the sector was a force for good, but could do more to improve the situation 34 percent thought the sector was equally good and bad for equality
- 11 percent thought that the sector was a positive force, while 11 percent said that the sector did not do enough
- Of those working in the technology sector, 76 percent thought that the industry needs to supply more support to women. This compares with 58 percent of those working in the legal sector that think the legal sector needs to support women more.
- The technology sector is doing enough to remove barriers to women achieving senior leadership positions according to 53 percent of respondents, while 47 percent thought that the sector could do more.
- 63 percent of those from the technology sector thought the situation had improved in the last twelve months
“It is important to remember the special ways in which women suffer during wars and conflict: loss of loved ones, displacement, sexual violence. So many of the refugees fleeing their homeland with children are women. Many women are also taking up arms. For men and women, the war in Ukraine is an outrage and constitutes grave crimes. The world is weeping but we must take action today of all days in solidarity with the women of Ukraine,” said Baroness Helena Kennedy, QC who shared her report on misogyny with the Scottish Government this week.
“Open technology plays an essential role at the intersection of technology, law and policy – open communities should make it easier for everyone to contribute and get involved in these areas. However, the situation still offers opportunity for improvement and the role that women play is recognised and valued more highly. The open technology community can demonstrate best practices that everyone can learn from. During the lunch, we heard about the terrible situations in Afghanistan and Ukraine. The technology and legal sectors are engaged to support women across borders and nationalities as one community,” said Amanda Brock, CEO at OpenUK.
“OVHcloud is proud to have sponsored OpenUK’s International Women’s Day event, with an exceptionally inspirational talk from Baroness Kennedy. We are committed to equal opportunities. This is core to our ethos, not only as a technology provider but first and foremost as an employer. Currently, we’re recruiting over 100 positions globally across the business. It’s challenging engaging women in these roles, that’s why we partner with associations like Code First Girls to support all women who wish to embrace a career in tech,” commented Hiren Parekh, Vice President Northern Europe, at OVHcloud.
OpenUK is a not for profit industry organisation for the business of Open Technology, being open source software, open source hardware and open data across the UK. OpenUK gives its participants greater influence than they could ever achieve alone by creating a cohesive voice for the business community.
OpenUK is committed to promoting UK leadership and international collaboration in open technology and supporting collaboration between businesses, public sector organisations, government and communities, focusing on the UK to collaborate globally. OpenUK works on 3 pillars: Community, Legal and Policy and Learning.
In 2022 OpenUK will be focusing on Skills, Security and Sustainability. OpenUK is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, company number 11209475.
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