Statistics show masculine workforce dominates as London Technology Week begins.
Martha Lane Fox has condemned London’s tech scene for employing fewer women than even the fusty House of Lords.
Speaking in the upper chamber of Parliament at the start of London Technology Week, the tech entrepreneur reacted to research from Tech London Advocates which showed that a quarter of the capital’s tech firms had no women on their boards.
Some 15% of firms also reported that they had no women in senior management, with a mere 12% claiming their boards had an even split between the sexes.
However almost half of those surveyed believed that London’s tech companies were more accessible to women than other cities around the world.
"There is a greater proportion of women in the House of Lords than British tech companies," Lane Fox said.
"We must accept the scale of this problem and work together to put women at the heart of the technology sector. Mobilising a currently unused resource will have huge benefits for the digital industry, the economy and UK PLC."
Gender diversity in technology has been increasingly highlighted after the likes of Twitter, Google and Facebook released statistics about the makeup of their workforces.
More recently Ellen Pao lost a discrimination case against her former employer Kleiner Perkins in the US, with the jury finding in favour of the venture capital firm which maintained Pao was fired because she could not perform.
Commenting on his group’s survey, Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates, said: "For an sector identified with disruption and change, these figures are very disappointing.
"We live in a city with a global reputation for diversity yet our most exciting industry fails to reflect this in its most senior positions."
Though many of tech’s luminaries have been supportive of greater female involvement and ethnic diversity in tech firms, men still dominate many of the scientific subjects at university from where much of the sector’s talent is drawn.
In October 2013 the Russell Group of universities reported that fewer than 40% of its maths, physical sciences, engineering and computer science students were women.
Some past studies have linked more gender-balanced boards to better corporate financial performance, though the specifics of the relationship remains in dispute.