Now, people before you get too excited about the title of this blog, girl power. We would just like to state that it is purely about the most recent increase of female entrepreneurs within the tech industry and in particular that of fashion tech. Can girls eventually come to dominate this sector of the tech industry? Can there ever be girl power in fashion tech? After all, most online shopping and to be more specific, 34.3% of fashion retail purchases online are carried out by females. Females are responsible for over 80% of purchases within households representing over $20 trillion in consumer spending annually according to Time magazine. Yet the number of female CEO’s within the corporate world is almost microscopic, a stark 3.80% for women CEO’S for fortune 500 companies sinking to 1.71% for retail businesses in particular. One would think that a demographic with so much spending power would at least represent a significant portion of the decision-making on boards and that women would therefore be selected to run some companies especially within the fashion retail sector? As we can see this is clearly not the case; and as a result women are now beginning to take matters into their own spending hands by establishing their own enterprises especially within fashion technology, a sector they are more aligned to and one they are readily more positioned to understand. It should be a “no brainer”, women provide better experiences to shoppers simply because they are the ones doing most of the shopping. Furthermore, the flexibility that accompanies self employment is ideal for women with families; they are able to juxtapose the running of families and running their businesses simultaneously simply because they can work from home when the need arises. Will we ever see “girl power and domination” of the fashion tech industry? We have seen the likes of Natalie Massenet with Net-a-porter and we believe that as of recent we have seen some upward mobility, albeit this movement appears to be slow. This gradual change may primarily be because a large portion of women do not have or have a limited access to money. The investment community is by and large dominated by men who may not fully understand “female propositions” like those that exist within the fashion industry and thus significant challenges may be encountered whilst seeking funding. Nonetheless, females are now rallying together to create tech scenes that support and advise women for e.g. in the UK we have seen the likes of girls in tech which regularly hosts events for women who have entered the tech start-up industry. Signficantly the founder of Modafirma became frustrated with the glass ceiling within the financial services and banking industry and Modafirma was an idea borne out of frustration of not being able to entirely “run her own show”. The idea for Modafirma was in fact discovered whilst she was shopping online at work. It is therefore not uncanny that 40% of online shopping is carried out by women in the age group of 18-34 whilst doing their day jobs!
Even though there may be challenges facing women in the fashion technology space, it cannot be stated loud enough that women have great instincts when it comes to entrepreneurship, we may be a bit further away from girl power and domination but we are certainly breaking through.