UK’s technology industry is at the forefront of innovation. It’s responsible for some of the most progressive inventions of the last decade and has nurtured some of the brightest minds of today. And yet, paradoxically, it’s completely lacking progress when it comes to diversity, posing a big threat to the future of the industry and the UK economy.
Just 17% of tech/ICT workers in the UK are female, only one in ten females are currently taking A-Level computer studies, and yet there is a looming digital skills gap where the UK needs one million more tech workers by 2020. We believe that for the UK’s tech industry to truly succeed there needs to be a more diverse, inclusive, fairer and commercially successful tech workforce and industry.
For that reason, we have joined companies like Sky, News UK, Accenture, PWC, BBC and Deloitte, in pledging our support to the Tech Talent Charter, a commitment by organisations to a set of undertakings that aim to deliver greater gender diversity in the tech workforce of the UK.
As a signatory, we have pledged our commitment to:
- Having a senior-level, named representative with responsibility for the Charter commitments;
- Adopting inclusive attraction and recruitment processes, working toward a goal that, wherever possible, women are included on the shortlist for interviews and diverse talent is actively encouraged to apply for roles;
- Ensuring we have employment policies and practices that support the development and retention of an inclusive and diverse workforce;
- Working collectively with other signatories to develop, share and implement protocols and best practice for the practical implementation of the aims of the Charter;
- Contributing our employment diversity data into a common central anonymised database, for sharing amongst signatories bi-annually, and for publishing publicly in an annual report.
The Charter is founded on the belief that tech and digital talent is critical to the future of the UK economy, and that attracting and retaining talented people who fully reflect a diverse society provides the UK with a competitive edge.
David Hancock, UK Managing Director and Senior Signatory, further explained: “The technology industry offers an abundance of opportunities and we firmly believe that they should be accessible to anyone, regardless of their gender. Unfortunately, despite being an innovative industry, it’s not necessarily a progressive one in terms of gender balance and equality. It’s something we believe needs to be addressed by the whole industry, which is why we have pledged our support for the Tech Talent Charter in order to support their efforts in making our industry fair and inclusive.”
Tech Talent Charter CEO, Debbie Forster, added: “It’s vital for the industry to come together as a whole to do more to show females that a career in technology is incredibly rewarding, to increase the number of females working within the industry, to attract people who are considering a career change, and to encourage younger generations to consider these careers from the word go. One single company can’t do it alone, which is why we’re asking organisations to pledge their support for the Tech Talent Charter and join us on our exciting journey.”
Watch this space for further updates about our involvement with the Tech Talent Charter and don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions or suggestions.