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We must build skills and diversity in our tech companies – Sherry Coutu CBE, Chair of the Scaleup Institute and Founders4schools

Tech Nation

Sherry Coutu CBE is Chair of the Scaleup Institute and Founders4schools. Based in Cambridge, and originally from Canada, she is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor who serves on the boards of companies, charities and universities. 

Sherry Coutu
Sherry Coutu CBE

On 17th May 2018 Tech Nation published its 2018 Report, which shows how connections and collaborations are powering the UK tech sector and driving the economy.

The Tech Nation report underlines the great things that are already happening in UK digital tech but as the pace of change quickens we must also build skills and diversity in our tech companies so that we can react to a changing global landscape.

Key findings from the report

  • Digital tech expanding 2.6 times faster than the rest of the UK economy;
  • Digital tech sector worth nearly £184bn to UK economy, up from £170bn in 2016;
  • The UK has digital suburbs not just cities;
  • Diversity remains a key challenge for digital tech;
  • 72% of UK digital tech workers are over 35;
  • London ranks as second most connected place for tech on planet, after Silicon Valley;
  • London beats Silicon Valley when it comes to proportion of overseas customers.


Women-in-techTech Nation 2018 reveals that the digital tech sector’s workforce is older than commonly perceived and more ethnically mixed than the average UK workplace. However, the dearth of women in the digital tech sector remains a factor, albeit one that is beginning to be addressed by activities to tackle the recruitment and retention of women. 

  • On average 72% of UK digital tech workers are over 35, challenging the stereotype that jobs in this sector are the preserve of Millennials 
  • 15% of those in digital tech jobs are of black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) background, significantly higher than the 10% across all UK jobs 
  • Only 19% of the digital tech workforce is female, compared to 49% across all UK jobs
  • Gender diversity is a pressing concern for communities across the UK. 48% of people felt that gender diversity in their local tech ecosystem was low


You can read the full report here: