YNAP launches programme to build next generation of female tech leaders

YNAP Yoox Net-A-Porter
YNAP's London tech centre

YOOX NET-A-PORTER Group (YNAP) has unveiled a new sponsorship programme designed to help create next generation of female technology leaders.

The online luxury group said the move, announced just ahead of International Women’s Day, was part of its commitment to “drive gender equality in technology”.

It has established an internal sponsorship scheme pairing rising female talent in its technology team with senior business leaders over a period of 10 months.

The initiative aims to provide advanced learning and development opportunities for employees on the path to leadership and it stems from the commitment that Federico Marchetti, YNAP Chairman and CEO, made as a founding member of Male Champions of Change’s Global Tech Group.

This is a coalition of leaders, which includes representatives from BBC, Condé Nast and Microsoft Ventures, who have joined together to accelerate the advancement of gender equality in the technology industry.

In addition to the pairing programme, sponsees will benefit from additional leadership training, network connections and opportunities to demonstrate their skill set. Through the programme, sponsees and sponsors will begin to design new ways of working that overcome the barriers women in technology can typically experience.

“Our ambition is for YOOX NET-A-PORTER to be the number one employer for female talent in the technology industry. We already employ more women in tech than the industry average, but we have to be relentless in our mission.

“I have always believed in the power of knowledge and the power of opportunity. We want even more women to excel in technology leadership roles, and this requires new ways of working. In this respect, everyone involved in the programme is an innovator – redesigning how we collaborate and supporting greater diversity of thinking,” Marchetti said.

The group has major technology hubs in London and Milan and says that currently 27% of its technology workforce are women, which is ahead of the industry average.

Earlier this week, Marchetti, who founded YOOX 20 years ago and who was appointed CEO of the YOOX NET-A-PORTER Group in 2015, said he was readying himself to stand down as CEO once a suitable replacement is found. He has said he would stay in his role of chairman for a transition period.