The Daily Swig’s Jessica Haworth talks tech journalism and how to bring more women into the industry
The technology industry continues to grow at an exponential rate, and earlier this year, UK Tech News reported that the UK tech sector was valued at $1 trillion. It’s no surprise that the volume of media coverage equally reflects this pace and doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
In the latest episode of Digital Communicators, Jessica Haworth, journalist at the Daily Swig spoke with Babel director, Simon Coughlin about her time in the industry, creating her own podcast, and her views on the need to make the sector more gender inclusive.
With an enduring interest in the tech sector, Jessica explains how this led her down the path of journalism following the completion of her National Council for the Training of Journalists course in 2011. Having grown up in Manchester, she moved to London where she would go on to work for the Daily Star and latterly the Mirror Online.
A move back to her home city of Manchester followed, where she began with the Daily Swig in 2018. The publication retains a niche interest in the tech sector, focusing on web and cyber security. Their team now has four full-time journalists and a number of freelancers, combining to produce content that is read largely by web security enthusiasts, tech business decision-makers and anyone generally interested in the online security world.
Reflecting on the nature of the tech industry, Jessica notes the all-too-common apprehension people have of the internet. Data has found that 69% of UK consumers are highly concerned about their privacy online. Despite there existing a yearning for public knowledge of the internet, people fear they just won’t understand it. With this rationale, Jessica launched her own podcast, I’m Scared of the Internet. The aim of the podcast is to make people more comfortable making their own decisions online. Recent episodes have covered how people can be more confident online and whether hacking can be ethical.
Building on this idea of confidence, Jessica moves on to speak about another of her passions, women in tech. Unhesitating in describing herself as an advocate, she outlines how women need to be enticed into the industry. With the present skills gap and demand for labour, now is an opportune time to break the mould and diversify what has long been a male-dominated sector.
Women currently represent only 19% of the tech workforce, with many put off by unwelcoming language in job adverts and inflexible working arrangements. There has been noteworthy progress, though, with research from Deloitte signalling that large companies are employing more diverse workforces than ever before.
Listen to Jessica’s conversation with Simon Coughlin here.