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03.2

We're All Part of the Problem

Despite many voices in the industry taking a negative view on the level of inclusion in Europe's tech industry, people are much more likely to believe that the culture in their own companies is inclusive. In fact, more than three-quarters of founders or employees at Europe's private tech companies perceive their company's culture to be inclusive.

The culture at my tech company is inclusive

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  • Agree
  • Neither agree nor disagree
  • Disagree

People in the European tech ecosystem are split in their views on whether it is inclusive. While a majority of men think it is inclusive, only 38% of women agree. Female investors on the other hand, who are arguably able to take a broader view given the number of companies they meet, are much less positive, with 45% disagreeing that the industry is inclusive versus 36% that agree.

The European tech industry is inclusive

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  • Agree
  • Neither agree nor disagree
  • Disagree

The industry's perception of its own inclusiveness is undermined by what survey respondents shared about their individual experiences of discrimination while working in European tech. 46% of women state that they have experienced discrimination.

Have you ever experienced discrimination while working in the European tech industry?

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  • Female
  • Male

Women are experiencing an alarming level of discrimination in the European tech industry.

Discrimination in the European tech industry

46%
of female respondents have experienced some form of discrimination while working in the European tech industry

Companies are not looking widely and deeply enough for diverse talent. Founders need to take ownership of this as they scale.

Diversity is a key challenge facing the tech ecosystem here in Europe, and it is ironic that more companies are not looking to address that challenge when talent is also such a key issue for them. Companies are not looking widely and deeply enough for diverse talent. Founders need to take ownership of this as they scale.

Baroness Martha Lane Fox

Doteveryone

Discrimination based on gender might be the most visible and quantifiable, but it is not the only form of discrimination that exists at worrying levels in the European tech ecosystem. A meaningful number of respondents have experienced discrimination based on age and ethnicity too. The survey can't accurately quantify the level of discrimination based on disability or sexual orientation, but the data points to these being very prevalent here too.

Types of discrimination experienced by people who have experienced any form of it when working in European tech

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  • Female
  • Male
Note:
The respondents' mix in self-identified ethnicity: 84% White, 5% Asian, 1% Black/African/Caribbean, 3% Mixed/Multiple, 2% Other, 4% Prefer not to say.

In Europe we have blindly imported Silicon Valley’s conversation on diversity and inclusion, which is often too narrow in scope, and further marginalises other underrepresented groups or leaves itself vulnerable to accusations of identity politics.

In Europe we have blindly imported Silicon Valley’s conversation on diversity and inclusion, which is often too narrow in scope, and further marginalises other underrepresented groups or leaves itself vulnerable to accusations of identity politics. For example, the underrepresentation of people from less privileged socio-economic backgrounds or persons with disabilities seems to be missing from the conversation entirely.

Steve O'Hear

TechCrunch

This is exemplified by the fact that people of Black, African or Caribbean ethnicity who are working in the European tech ecosystem are more likely to have experienced discrimination than not.

Share of respondents who have experienced discrimination by self-defined ethnicity

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  • % of respondents who have experienced discrimination
Note:
The sample size for all ethnicities is not large, but this fact itself tells a story of its own.