Manchester Digital will confront the lack of gender diversity in the tech sector by running a session with several top firms.

The digital trade association will bring together Microsoft, Autotrader, Co-op Digital, Reason Digital and others at Manchester Science Partnerships’ Citylabs 1.0 next month.

Manchester Digital marketing manager Rachel Thompson said: “Given that Manchester is one of Europe’s most significant technology hubs, it makes sense that we lead the way in attracting and retaining diverse workforces.

“We should be creating best practices for other cities to follow.

“Not only are women just as capable as men in digital roles, but they can translate new qualities into an all-male workforce, which will make a more well-rounded team.

“We’re running this session to discuss the issue and create some real actions and ideas for these businesses to take on board – raising awareness of the issue is just half the battle, we want to tackle it head on.”

The session will discuss mentoring, flexible working, equal pay and empowering underrepresented groups.

Rowena Burns, chief executive of Manchester Science Partnerships, said: “Manchester Digital is bringing the diversity imbalance challenge to the forefront of the sector.

“We have a diverse community in Manchester, and this should be reflected in the digital and tech sector.”

Manchester Digital’s 2016 Skills Audit found that one in five digital businesses in the North employed no women at all.

In July British Gas launched its own women in tech network to provide a community for its female employees to network and collaborate.