If you thought mining was the biggest boys club in corporate Australia or Silicon Valley sexism didn’t reach Down Under, think again.

Stockhead analysis has found that of 729 board positions in the ASX tech scene only 73 (just over 10 per cent) are held by women.

Moreover only four out of 164 companies have women comprising over 40 per cent of their board seats.

These companies are Elmo Software (ASX:ELO), Jaxsta (ASX:JXT), Smart Parking (ASX:SPZ) and Trimatium Growthops (ASX:TGO).

Here are all 164 ASX small cap tech stocks and their current board composition:

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Code Name Women Total % of board seats
TV2 TV2U INTERNATIONAL LTD 1 4 25%
GSW GETSWIFT LTD 0 4 0%
XPE XPED LTD 0 3 0%
ESK ETHERSTACK PLC-CDI 0 4 0%
TTL TRANSCENDENCE TECHNOLOGIES LTD 0 3 0%
QTG Q TECHNOLOGY GROUP LTD 0 3 0%
CT1 CCP TECHNOLOGIES LTD 0 3 0%
MOQ MOQ LTD 0 5 0%
EML EML PAYMENTS LTD 2 6 33%
RXP RXP SERVICES LTD 1 3 33%
DUB DUBBER CORP LTD 0 4 0%
RKN RECKON LTD 0 4 0%
BCT BLUECHIIP LTD 0 5 0%
DTI DTI GROUP LTD 0 4 0%
PPS PRAEMIUM LTD 1 5 20%
ISD ISENTIA GROUP LTD 2 7 29%
SRH SAFEROADS HOLDINGS LTD 1 10 10%
TZL TZ LTD 0 4 0%
PRZ PARAZERO LTD 0 3 0%
FAM FAMILY INSIGHTS GROUP LTD 0 3 0%
BCC BEAM COMMUNICATIONS HOLDINGS 0 4 0%
CXZ CONNEXION TELEMATICS LTD 0 4 0%
TSN TRANSACTION SOLUTIONS INTERN 0 3 0%
SCL SCHROLE GROUP LTD 0 4 0%
QFY QUANTIFY TECHNOLOGY HOLDINGS 0 4 0%
CNW CIRRUS NETWORKS HOLDINGS LTD 0 5 0%
AR9 ARCHTIS LTD 1 5 20%
DTL DATA#3 LTD 0 4 0%
CSV CSG LTD 1 3 33%
CAT CATAPULT GROUP INTERNATIONAL 1 5 20%
PRO PROPHECY INTERNATIONAL HLDGS 1 4 25%
RDY READYTECH HOLDINGS LTD 1 5 20%
ADA ADACEL TECHNOLOGIES LTD 1 4 25%
APT AFTERPAY TOUCH GROUP LTD 2 6 33%
ELO ELMO SOFTWARE LTD 2 4 50%
UBN URBANISE.COM LTD 0 5 0%
RHP RHIPE LTD 2 6 33%
NOV NOVATTI GROUP LTD 0 6 0%
CLT CELLNET GROUP LTD 0 4 0%
CWL CHANT WEST HOLDINGS LTD 0 3 0%
AD8 AUDINATE GROUP LTD 1 6 17%
ADJ ADSLOT LTD 1 6 17%
DWS DWS LTD 1 6 17%
JCS JCURVE SOLUTIONS LTD 0 4 0%
CGO CPT GLOBAL LIMITED 0 4 0%
RCW RIGHTCROWD LTD 0 3 0%
WJA WAMEJA LTD 0 4 0%
DN8 DREAMSCAPE NETWORKS LTD 1 5 20%
FTC FINTECH CHAIN LTD 0 4 0%
3DP POINTERRA LTD 0 3 0%
LVE LOVE GROUP GLOBAL LTD 0 3 0%
IRI INTEGRATED RESEARCH LTD 1 6 17%
RZI RAIZ INVEST LTD 2 5 40%
JXT JAXSTA LTD 2 4 50%
SKF SKYFII LTD 1 5 20%
SNS SENSEN NETWORKS LTD 0 5 0%
CIO CONNECTED IO LTD 0 3 0%
TCN TECHNICHE LTD 1 4 25%
KTE K2 ENERGY LTD 0 3 0%
BTK BOTAI TECHNOLOGY LTD 1 5 20%
OMN ONEMARKET LTD 1 6 17%
LNU LINIUS TECHNOLOGIES LTD 0 3 0%
EPD EMPIRED LTD 0 5 0%
FZO FAMILY ZONE CYBER SAFETY LTD 0 4 0%
RD1 REGISTRY DIRECT LTD 0 3 0%
BLG BLUGLASS LTD 0 5 0%
SP3 SPECTUR LTD 0 5 0%
CRO CIRRALTO LTD 0 4 0%
RFN REFFIND LTD 0 3 0%
SRO SHAREROOT LTD 0 3 0%
SYT SYNTONIC LTD 0 4 0%
IAM INTIGER GROUP LTD 0 4 0%
SMX SECURITY MATTERS LTD 1 6 17%
WSP WHISPIR LTD 2 5 40%
GBT GBST HOLDINGS LTD 2 5 40%
RUL RPMGLOBAL HOLDINGS LTD 0 4 0%
KNO KNOSYS LTD 0 4 0%
MPW MSL SOLUTIONS LTD 0 6 0%
VLT VAULT INTELLIGENCE LTD 0 4 0%
LVH LIVEHIRE LTD 0 5 0%
LVT LIVETILES LTD 1 5 20%
BRN BRAINCHIP HOLDINGS LTD 0 5 0%
CCG COMMSCHOICE GROUP LTD 0 5 0%
OPN OPENDNA LTD 0 4 0%
K2F K2FLY LTD 1 4 25%
IOD IODM LTD 1 4 25%
ODA ORCODA LTD 0 4 0%
IXU IXUP LTD 1 3 33%
ARQ ARQ GROUP LTD 1 6 17%
DTS DRAGONTAIL SYSTEMS LTD 0 5 0%
BTH BIGTINCAN HOLDINGS LTD 0 4 0%
HYD HYDRIX LTD 2 5 40%
CCA CHANGE FINANCIAL LTD 0 4 0%
WZR WISR LTD 0 5 0%
IS3 I SYNERGY GROUP LIMITED 0 3 0%
4DS 4DS MEMORY LTD 0 4 0%
DXN DXN LTD 0 6 0%
SE1 SENSERA LTD 0 3 0%
KYK KYCKR LTD 2 7 29%
8CO 8COMMON LTD 0 5 0%
WBT WEEBIT NANO LTD 0 7 0%
EOL ENERGY ONE LTD 0 5 0%
BUD BUDDY TECHNOLOGIES LTD 1 5 20%
OCL OBJECTIVE CORPORATION LTD 0 4 0%
RDF REDFLEX HOLDINGS LTD 0 7 0%
GOO GOOROO VENTURES LTD 0 6 0%
CV1 CV CHECK LTD 0 5 0%
NUH NUHEARA LTD 1 3 33%
TYM TYMLEZ GROUP LTD 0 4 0%
RCL READCLOUD LTD 0 4 0%
NVX NOVONIX LTD 0 7 0%
CL1 CLASS LTD 2 6 33%
PVS PIVOTAL SYSTEMS CORP INC-CDI 0 6 0%
OTW OVER THE WIRE HOLDINGS LTD 1 4 25%
DSE DROPSUITE LTD 0 3 0%
EVS ENVIROSUITE LTD 0 4 0%
KKL KOLLAKORN CORP LTD 0 4 0%
JAN JANISON EDUCATION GROUP LTD 1 6 17%
HIL HILLS LTD 2 5 40%
ELS ELSIGHT LTD 0 5 0%
CAG CAPE RANGE LTD 0 4 0%
TBL TAMBLA LTD 0 5 0%
HSC HOMESTAY CARE LTD 1 4 25%
SPZ SMART PARKING LTD 3 6 50%
BIQ BUILDINGIQ INC-CDI 1 5 20%
MNW MINT PAYMENTS LTD 1 5 20%
AMO AMBERTECH LTD 0 5 0%
PIL PEPPERMINT INNOVATION LTD 0 5 0%
ID8 IDENTITII LTD 0 4 0%
SEN SENETAS CORP LTD 0 4 0%
PYG PAYGROUP LTD 0 4 0%
SM8 SMART MARINE SYSTEMS LTD 0 4 0%
COO CORUM GROUP LTD 0 4 0%
XF1 XREF LTD 0 5 0%
SZL SEZZLE INC-CDI 1 5 20%
AVA AVA RISK GROUP LTD 1 5 20%
SVT SERVTECH GLOBAL HOLDINGS LTD 0 3 0%
FCT FIRSTWAVE CLOUD TECHNOLOGY L 0 5 0%
AO1 ASSETOWL LTD 0 3 0%
SMN STRUCTURAL MONITORING-CDI 0 4 0%
SPT SPLITIT PAYMENTS LTD 1 7 14%
DTZ DOTZ NANO LTD 0 4 0%
DCC DIGITALX LTD 0 3 0%
TNT TESSERENT LTD 0 4 0%
360 LIFE360 INC-CDI 1 7 14%
MOB MOBILICOM LTD/AUSTRALIA 0 5 0%
TGO TRIMANTIUM GROWTHOPS LTD 2 4 50%
IP1 INTEGRATED PAYMENT TECHNOLOG 0 3 0%
CGL CITADEL GROUP LTD/THE 1 4 25%
MYQ MYFIZIQ LTD 0 4 0%
SLX SILEX SYSTEMS LTD 1 4 25%
SIS SIMBLE SOLUTIONS LTD 0 4 0%
BID BIDENERGY LTD 1 3 33%
9SP 9 SPOKES INTERNATIONAL LTD 0 4 0%
YOJ YOJEE LTD 1 4 25%
OLV OTHERLEVELS HOLDINGS LIMITED 1 5 20%
NET NETLINKZ LTD 0 3 0%
NVU NANOVEU LTD 0 4 0%
CWZ CASHWERKZ LTD 0 4 0%
IHR INTELLIHR LTD 0 4 0%
NOR NORWOOD SYSTEMS LTD 0 3 0%
MBM MOBECOM LTD 0 5 0%
FGO FLAMINGO AI LTD 1 3 33%
SF1 STEMIFY LTD 0 3 0%
73 729 10%

It is common knowledge that women are underrepresented in the tech sector in the Western world both Down Under and in Silicon Valley.

This is despite technology leaders taking steps to look progressive such as giving office perks or pawternity leave granting leave for welcoming pets.

Stockhead spoke to Women in Technology (WiT) board adviser Carrie Hillyard about the issue. WiT supports and recognises women in technology, particularly those that want to become directors.

Boards are beginning to realise that technology skills are a must in this digital age,” Hillyard told Stockhead.

“Nobody wants to be left behind, when disruptive technology is making inroads into a traditional market.

There is a particular need to understand cybersecurity and risks, as well as digital marketing and direct to consumer sales strategies. 

“This is where our technologically trained and savvy women can provide a skill a board needs.”

What can companies do?

Australian Institute of Company Directors’ Manager of Advocacy Louise Petschler told Stockhead companies were missing out on the benefits of diversity.

However she did caution that smaller companies were a different kettle of fish than the larger companies.

“It’s important to acknowledge there are differences between the ASX 200 and smaller companies,” she said.

“Smaller companies are far more likely to rely on their existing networks when appointing new directors as opposed to employing professional search firms to provide a balanced list of candidates for a board position.”

WiT runs a 10-week program designed in a similar fashion to Australian Institute of Company Directors certification — 200 women have undertaken the program in 10 years.

While quotas may sometimes be necessary, it is much better if a board decides for itself that it needs diversity – not solely gender equity but to bring on a range of backgrounds, skills and experience as well,” Hillyard said. 

What can aspiring directors do?

Despite company inertia, Hillyard said aspiring directors themselves could take some proactive steps to help themselves.

One of the big lessons for women is to demonstrate self-confidence and not hold back if a board advertises preferred requirements and they don’t tick every box,” she said.

Women are more likely to want to show that their applications comply with every advertised requirement, whereas men will often ‘wing it’.  

The right training often gives female applicants the added confidence they need to compete successfully.”

There is also optimism that things will change over time in conjunction with other generational shifts.

“We expect a generational change as millennials make their way up the ladder,” Petschler said.

Last year Silicon Valley was rocked by Emily Chang’s book Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys Club of Silicon Valley.

She blamed a culture of hypermasculinity, as well as an idea from psychological personality testing used by companies that only antisocial male nerds were good at computer programming.

“I think everybody needs to lead on this issue,” she said in an interview with Recode.

“We all have to pay more attention to it; everybody needs to take a closer look at how they’re running their companies, how they’re behaving.

“Men aren’t going to do this by themselves, women can’t do this by themselves.

“If robots are going to be running the world they cannot be programmed by men alone.”