This year’s International Women’s Day theme, #BreakTheBias seeks to defy gender bias, discrimination, and stereotyping. Here at Sport Tech Hub, we are proud to support early stage female-led sports tech start-ups that encourage Londoner’s to be more physically active.
Levelling the playing field in tech
One industry that has a significant disparity between men and women is the tech industry, with figures by PwC from 2021 disclosing that less than half (31%) of UK tech jobs are held by women, and only 5% of women hold leadership roles in the tech industry. However, the issue of gender inequality in tech transcends into the funding of start-ups, with a study conducted by Crunchbase citing that only 2.3% of women-led start-ups raised VC funding in 2020, and just 12% of women hold executive positions at VC firms.
Women's representation in sports
Despite women’s participation in sport increasing at the turn of the 21st century, sport is another industry where the presence of women in sport has appeared stagnant, with only 4% of media coverage allocated to women’s sports, despite 40% of participants in sport consisting of women. The imbalance of women in sport has also extended to the boardroom, according to Farrer & Co, which found that only 3% of professional sports had 30% or more of women on their boards, while a report conducted by the BBC cited that less than half (30%) of sports coaches are women.
Paving a way in sports tech
As reported by Forbes, which estimated the sports tech industry to be worth more than $440.77B in 2021, largely due to innovation in data, gaming and augmented reality, the representation of women in the sports technology sector remains idle in comparison to the presence of men in the industry.
Founder of fitness app Proday, Sarah Kunst suggested that implicit bias has impacted low figures of women in the sports tech industry. “There are two main things that happen in male-dominated industries. Women are either treated poorly, such as sexual harassment, being paid unfairly; or women are just completely shut out and ignored. In my experience, there’s a lot more shutting out versus poor treatment that happens in sports technology.” Kunst stated
Supporting female-founded sports tech
Observing this year’s theme of #BreakTheBias, we are highlighting female-founded sports tech start-ups to challenge gender inequality in the industry.
Just some of the women-founded start-ups at Sport Tech Hub that are navigating the male-dominated industry include HubFiiiT by Shireen Walker, which provides employers with health and wellness solutions for employees; Go Jauntly by Hana Sutch, an app that encourages individuals to take walks through picturesque trails, and Red January by Hannah Beecham, a platform that empowers individuals to stay active to beat the winter blues.
Making news over in the US. raising a seed round of $6.5 million, women-led start-up, Balanced, a fitness app to keep older adults active by founders Katie Reed, Kelly Froelich and Kelly Froelich, have set the benchmark for women-led start-ups in the sports tech space.
Following suit, WILD.AI, an app by Hélène Guillaume which offers women with tailored fitness training by leveraging data and Spond, a platform that enables users to organise sports teams and group activities, led by CEO, Trine Falnes are two start-ups that are part of the Sport Tech Hub community, looking to support individuals in their health and fitness journey.