Holly in The Business Pharmacy Room

Why women entrepreneurs need digital technology skills: a how-to tech guide for female founders

By Holly & Co, with Dell Technologies


A female founders’ guide to tech has been created by our friends at Dell Technologies. Why? Because a recent global poll revealed that UK female founders are lacking in this area, potentially by not having the same opportunities as men. Here’s the solution…

London is no.1 at attracting women entrepreneurs — great news for female founders

The Dell Technologies and DWEN (Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network) WE Cities Index measures and ranks 55 global cities based on their ability to attract and support high-potential women entrepreneurs — and London placed first across the globe for 2023.

This is powerful news for UK female founders because it means that…

  • Women are finally being globally recognised for having business talent.
  • We have the power to attract crowdfunding in our capital city (which can be an important source of funds for women entrepreneurs who still face many barriers when it comes to VC funding).
  • There are inspirational role models for future female entrepreneurs.
  • Our capital city’s vibrant entrepreneurial culture is enabling women to dream big — which will benefit women nationwide.
  • This could be the start of a whole new future for us.

Yet tech is holding women back

In the DWEN WE Cities Index, cities are ranked on different pillars — from our markets to our talent — and where we scored lowest out of all of these, was in tech — which indicates that tech is potentially holding female founders back. That’s why we investigated further…

Why is digital literacy important for women?

  • As it stands just 26% of the tech workforce are women.¹
  • There is a bigger pay gap in tech than many other industries.²
  • Women have less opportunities for promotion in tech.³
  • At school, 33% of men had a technology career suggested to them and just 16% of women could say the same.
  • When Dell did a deep dive after the Index, they found that women entrepreneurs view technology skills as vital, but often worry that they don’t have a strong enough understanding of technology to be able to navigate through the digital age.

It seems that even if women don’t want to go into tech-based jobs or create tech-based companies, our lack of tech knowledge still leaves us at a distinct disadvantage within our businesses.

How can we empower women in tech?

Our friends at Dell — who are passionate advocates of supporting female founders and launched DWEN over a decade ago to help unite and empower women — have compiled a brilliant, demystified ‘Female founders’ guide to tech’ below. It’s entirely free, could help change our futures and only takes moments to read.

A female founders’ guide to tech

1. How do you finance your tech?

Here’s what Dell suggest:

  • Seek vendors that will partner on financing. This is a great solution if you don’t have the funding (or a funding plan) for the tech your business might need to excel.
  • Make tech costs as variable as possible. This will enable you to work your costs around your needs (which are likely to change as you grow).
  • Leverage an advisory board to help secure funding. This means you’ll have experienced people on your side to help you navigate the best way to scale your business.

2. What technology tools do you need?

  • Keep up with the tech landscape. Be an avid and humble seeker of tech information to decide what’s right for you. Make research something you do as standard — either by yourself or by getting vendor demonstrations. DWEN will be a valuable tool for you here as they’re committed to helping women in tech, so will give you tailored guidance to suit your needs and business.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask your vendors ‘stupid’ questions. If it helps your business, how stupid can it really be?! Share your findings with others too or share your vendor contacts. By adopting an ‘each one, teach one’ approach, we’ll spread knowledge faster.
  • Leverage your networks for knowledge. Who do you know who could share their insight? What tech are they using and what are the pros and cons? Try to ask people with similar business needs to your own as this will be a quicker way to learn what might work for you.
  • Ask yourself, ‘Will this technology reduce friction?’ After all, that’s the main aim of good technology.
Olive and Hols looking at a Dell laptop sat in the Holly & Co workshop

3. How do you use technology to improve efficiency?

  • Always try to know the role of your technology. It should free up more time for you and your employees, and create more value for customers.
  • See if there’s anything you can automate. Using tools, tech equipment or packages could give you better control, insight and efficiency (if you’re not sure where to start with this, again, DWEN and the DWEN community can help).
  • Understand any disclosures attached to ‘freebies’. Always ask about this up front. Not all vendors are as open as others.

Women's guide to tech: key takeaways...

1. DWEN’s WE Cities Index revealed that London is no.1 for attracting women entrepreneurs, but women need to know their tech:

Now is the time to educate yourself and share knowledge with other female founders.

2. You need to understand your tech financing options:

So find a finance partner, select an advisory board and opt for variable costs rather than fixed.

3. It's important to find out what tech you need for your business:

Do your research, ask DWEN and leverage your personal networks for insight and advice too.

4. Stay focused on efficiency:

Know the role of the tech you choose and see where you can automate.

Once you’ve read this article, please do share it with other female founders. The more we can empower our community to gain confidence in tech and choose the right tech solutions for our businesses, the less we’ll be held back. And luckily for us, Dell Technologies remain fully committed to helping us do this.

Remember, you can always contact a Dell Small Business Tech Advisor on 0800 085 4878 with questions (it’s free!), and they’ll point you in the right direction.

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