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Digital Entrepreneur Awards help UK tech cop an eyeful of... WTF?

The 1970s called, it wants its dancers back

When it comes to women in tech, it's fair to say the sector has a bit of an image problem.

Just this week, 89 of the country's largest employers of computer developers signed up to the Tech Talent Charter, which asks businesses to share recruitment and gender pay gap data.

While that might be seen as another meaningless diversity pledge, it obviously wouldn't be "thing" if the sector wasn't such a sausage fest in the first place.

So it was a visual version of the classic record-scratch sound effect from an '80s movie when scantily clad women doing a showgirl routine took to the stage of the Digital Entrepreneur Awards on Wednesday night.

The event, in Manchester on 22 November, sponsored by Lawrence Jones-helmed Brit hosting biz UKFast, bills itself as the UK's longest-standing national tech awards in the UK, celebrating the best of a rapidly growing industry.

As you'd expect, plenty of folk took to Twitter to air their views about DEA's feathered friends:

The DEA is not alone in its tone-deaf approach. Just last year, Microsoft had to apologise over hiring dancers in skimpy schoolgirl outfits at the Games Developers Conference in San Francisco, prompting protests from female devs who were there to network.

Meanwhile, booth babes – lightly dressed models paid to hand out fliers at tech events – while they've been banned at RSA since 2015, still regularly appear at tech trade shows.®

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