Thursday 18 June 2015 7:55 am

Women in tech: Female health apps are helping us get to the top

Female health products are becoming recognised as a huge opportunity in the tech industry – you only have to look at the positive response to the release of Apple's reproductive apps to realise this. 
And among all the tech sectors, digital female health is one of the fastest growing, with period and fertility trackers encompassing the second largest category within health apps, second only to running.
As female-focused technology is emerging, so too are women-led tech firms – increasing numbers of us are building companies and products to solve the issues they care about.
This is good news, considering how seriously under-represented women are in the industry as a whole, currently holding just 10 to 20 per cent of all the jobs on offer. At last it looks as though they are starting to make a name for themselves. 
Personally, I have never felt that being a woman has impeded my work; if anything, I have found it to be more of a benefit than a blocker. But for many women, one of the biggest obstacles is the idea that you can’t have a work-life balance. There is the notion that if you own a tech startup you cannot be a mum, but that is not a premise I am willing to accept. When it comes to my business, we are constantly experimenting with our work-life balances.
Research is continually showing the positive impact of gender diversity on businesses. The evidence suggests that the more diverse the business is, the more competitive they’re going to be and will in turn perform better financially. It’s good to see the tech industry is starting to take notice of what I’ve known for a long time.
For this reason I make sure the team at Clue has a balanced gender mix, as we don’t view period tracking, the subject we focus on, as a woman-only area but something that affects everyone. My hope is that as more women lead the way in technology, more companies will adopt this model and employ a gender balanced workforce.
The benefits of women leading these companies are clear, too – a recent report showed that women-led tech firms have a 35 per cent higher return on investment than those led by men, which is remarkable. 
But for women to reach the top, it is essential for them to empower each other, to take up space in the industry and continue breaking gender stereotypes in order to pave the way for others, and this is what we are now seeing at last. 

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.