There has probably never been more conversations around gender diversity in tech than now. So when I read that the number of females in tech and telco companies dropped 6% in Australia during the past year, it made me wonder what piece is missing?

I think I found the answer. I attended Catalyst this week in Melbourne, one of Australia’s key events for gender diversity in tech Down Under, organised by Girls in Tech.  

Entering the room for the first keynote, I couldn’t help but notice the men in the room…or lack thereof

At the end of the day, I learned only a disheartening 6% of event attendees were men!

On stage, Dr. Arti Agrawal, Director Women in Engineering and IT at the University of Technology in Sydney said “gender equality in tech is about collaboration, not competition”. 

But if men can’t hear the message, what is the point?

Men don’t know what they missed out by not attending this great event, but I do. I saw frst-hand how much women are already making such a huge difference in IT. Emma Pudney from Rackspace has found a new way to commercialise Cloud offers. Her fight to take the idea to fruition, within a large and global company, is downright inspiring.

As was Dr. Susan Entwisle’s powerful reminder that businesses have to do something about their corporate responsibility, now more than ever, in light of mega-trends impacting the world. And that includes diversity, both gender and in other areas.

A lack of diversity has already proven many times it's potential negative impacts. I’m left wondering why more men still don’t want to engage in the issue. If you want to help, organisations like Girls in Tech work only thanks to volunteers. 

Hotwire Australia also organises regular events on the topic, and we welcome partnerships and initiatives that will help bring change. Get in touch: sebastien.meunier@hotwireglobal.com