Meet the entrepreneur battling to keep women in tech


From the Mayor’s Office to France’s first tech incubator for female leaders, Caroline Ramade has dedicated her career to tackling tech’s huge issue of female retention.

Gender balance in tech is lower now than it was in 1984 (35% vs 32%) and despite there being more tech roles for women and a greater awareness of gender equality, women only represent 17% of leaders. Women, on average, earn 400,000 less than men during their careers – even though gender-diverse companies increase financial returns by 15% – and one out of two leaves tech by the age of 35.

Caroline Ramade – ex-head of innovation and chief digital officer for the mayor of Paris, and founder and CEO of social startup 50inTech – is dedicating her career to fixing tech’s big problem of female retention.

“We know that inspiration for little girls comes from the first network,” says Ramade. “We can work on education, but we first need to focus on retention of talent in the tech industry…If your mother, sister or friends are happy in tech, you can inspire a lot of women.”

Ramade, a UN Woman board member, is committed to gender equality. At the Paris Mayor’s office under Bertrand Delanoë, Ramade used tech to engage the startup population at a time when €1bn was being poured into innovation and incubators were emerging across the city. Encountering Paris Pionnières, the first incubator for female entrepreneurs in tech, was life-changing and Ramade left the Mairie in 2015 to become the organization’s MD (it was subsequently rebranded to WILLA).

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