The company that I built sits at the intersection of luxury and tech. Culturally, those can be two very different worlds. Luxury and tech are also distinct in another significant way. While the fashion and luxury sector has always attracted talented women, tech is still very male-dominated.
The fact is, there simply aren’t enough women working in tech today. It's a problem that Silicon Valley has been slow to address seriously. Industry data suggests that women make up an average of just 17% of the tech workforce in big technology companies.
Recent research, commissioned by YOOX NET-A-PORTER, provides possible reasons for this. 50% of young women in Britain think careers in tech are ‘unexciting’. It’s a statistic that I am determined to change.
I am utterly convinced that digital talent will become as important to fashion and luxury as design talent. We must look ahead and drive a shift in education and training to meet demand for these digital skills. Expect the next Coco Chanel to be a coder.
Since many years we have been investing in digital education for the young generations. We want to inspire young people of all ages to become tomorrow's innovators by helping them develop the necessary skills to face a thriving digital economy. Through our Digital Education program, we encourage new generations, especially girls, to take careers in technology, thanks to the support of our partners including Fondazione Golinelli in Bologna and Imperial College in London. Since 2016, YOOX NET-A-PORTER's Digital Education Programme has reached over 10,000 children and young people, of whom over 50% were girls.
In 2018 I joined the Champions of Change Coalition Global Technology Group, with the aim of increasing gender equality, both within YOOX NET-A-PORTER and in the entire technology sector.