Posted on June 4, 2019 by staff

TomTom co-founder: Poor tech education keeps me awake at night


The co-founder of TomTom says the poor quality of tech education “keeps me awake at night”.

Corinne Vigreux told the annual FORTUNE Most Powerful Women International Summit in London that governments are not doing enough to teach technology early on in schools.

“I’m always a bit flabbergasted by the fact that governments don’t realise, the whole world is going digital, everywhere, and the education system is just not coping,” she said.

“The fact that in most countries, you’re not really getting tech education early on in schools is what is keeping me awake at night.

“In the future the divide is not going to be between rich and poor, it will be between the digitally literate and the digitally illiterate.”

She also spoke out on the need to get more women into tech roles. “Biases are a big problem… having all the algorithms being programmed by white men is not a good idea,” she said.

The navigation tech firm has opened a coding school which requires no qualifications to encourage diverse applicants.

It currently has 30 per cent women in the school and is working on attracting more women to reach a 50:50 gender split.

Meanwhile, booking platform are funding scholarships to support and advance the prospects of women in STEM careers, and recognising women across the world who are transforming businesses, industries, communities and society using technology through their Technology Playmaker Awards.

Gillian Tans, CEO and president, expressed a commitment to ‘future-proof modern companies’ by encouraging more women into the field.

Tans said that “technology in the future will be the driver of social and economic change” and that the lack of diversity amongst those developing technology must be addressed.