WOMEN are thriving in Worcestershire’s Tech sector, according to leading industry figures.

Cheryl Guest, operations director at Unique IQ said the county has provided equal opportunities to her as a woman in the industry.

She said: "Working in the tech sector in Worcestershire, I have never personally felt discriminated against.

"Historically, I am aware there has been a gender gap in the tech sector, but I feel that local schools are starting to offer more options in software and technology for GCSE and making this more attractive and accessible to all students.

"I have worked at Unique IQ for five years and have very quickly moved up the career ladder. I now head up a team of twelve which includes eight male software developers.

"I have been given the same opportunities as my male colleagues and have the same level of respect as my male counterparts.”

Nicola Whiting, chief strategy officer at Worcester-based cyber security firm Titania was awarded an MBE in Her Majesty’s Honours List in the New Year and is a shining example of the many women thriving in Worcestershire’s tech sector.

READ MORE: Aldi workers in Worcestershire to receive pay rise next month

Lisa Ventura, founder and CEO of UK Cyber Security Association (UKCSA) has been listed in the top 50 women in the UK’s cyber security sector and won ‘Cyber Security Supporter of Women’ in the Cyber Security Woman of the Year Awards in the USA.’

Although there is a gender imbalance, with recent figures revealing that less than a quarter of UK tech roles are held by women, the gender gap in this industry is beginning to close, especially in Worcestershire.

Mrs Ventura said: “When it happens, it can be soul destroying. I often receive emails addressed to my husband as the CEO and Founder of UKCSA when he is the Chief Operating Officer.

"There is often some surprise when it is realised that the Founder and CEO is female.

“I work to encourage more women to enter the tech sector and I hope to see many more women enter the industry.

"We are so lucky to be based near Cyber Valley, this has opened a wealth of opportunities. Things are changing for women in tech slowly but surely.

"I am currently compiling a book entitled The Rise of Cyber Women, which aims to be a collection of inspiring stories from women have had a non-linear journey into the tech and cyber security industry, or who have overcome many challenges to get where they are today, like I have.”