Anna Perelman on why tech startups need to welcome women into the business

"If you take a quick glance at the fashion industry, you’ll see the crucial role women have played as trendsetters, early adopters and leaders. The likes of Anna Wintour, Vivienne Westwood and Tamara Mellon have all helped drive the industry to where it is today. However, in the technology industry, when companies often looking to target the early adopters women are often overlooked. 

In fact, women are overlooked completely in the consumer tech space despite their $20 trillion global consumer spend. In consumer electronics specifically, most speakers are designed by and for men, despite the fact that women influence 90% of all purchases.

How many times have we engaged in conversations about where to hide the technology in our homes?

The tech industry not only lacks in asking women for their opinions, it also doesn’t have many of them working in it.

However, the last few years have seen many influential women take on senior positions in the technology industry. Marissa Mayer moving from Google to become CEO of Yahoo!, Sheryl Sandberg taking charge as chief operating officer of Facebook and Lastminute.com founder, Martha Lane Fox, continues to be a leading voice in tech, driving digital skills in the UK.

Companies are quickly realising that women, just like men, are fond of technology, but we just don’t like it complicated. Thanks Apple for simplifying our lives. This, alongside the fact that women don’t want to sacrifice on look and feel for function, makes the female influence one that many large brands want to adopt. In 2013, Apple saw the potential and employed Angela Ahrendts, then CEO of Burberry as its head of retail. Angela’s appointment stimulated rumours that Apple was looking to solve its ‘fashion dilemma’ on how to create wearable technologies that consumers would actually want to wear.

Consumer technology needs to move forward in the way it looks. Why should consumers have to compromise style for the latest technology advancements? Plastic black box speakers are a thing of the past, but companies keep manufacturing these systems and expect them to be displayed in our homes or become part of our daily use. Companies need to employ a more feminine perspective and create tech products that ignite the same excitement for women in a way that shoes and handbags have managed to do.

Large technology brands are already turning to fashion houses and their senior female staff to support upcoming product launches."

Anna Perelman, CEO of Stellé Audio Couture

 

This move towards more fashionable and functional consumer technology will drive more women to get involved in the industry. Large technology brands are already turning to fashion houses and their senior female staff to support upcoming product launches. 

As a female CEO of a tech company myself, I am keen to give women a voice and support the drive to employ more females in the industry.  I see firsthand how their insights and contributions make a difference and ensure today’s savvy, fashion-forward, contemporary consumers are able to have products that combine design, music and technology.

I believe that organisations in the technology space will start to realise that employing more women in all departments will be the key to successfully evolve current products and become a household name."

For more on women in business, check out Smarta's infographic here

Women in business Smarta infographic

 

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