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.
At YOOX NET-A-PORTER we run digital education initiatives in partnership with Imperial College London in the UK and Fondazione Golinelli in Italy. In 2017 alone we trained over 2,000 students, half of whom were girls.
In 2018 I joined the Male Champions of Change Global Technology Group, pledging to continue to step up beside women to drive gender equality at YOOX NET-A-PORTER and across the tech industry more broadly.