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Tackling Gender Diversity in the UK Tech Industry

Alice Bravery

The tech sector in the United Kingdom is worth £184bn, and expanding three times faster than the rest of the UK economy. As individuals and businesses become ever more reliant on technology that makes decisions for and about us, it is increasingly important we achieve diversity in tech. If those building algorithms and platforms aren’t diverse, it raises the likelihood that end-results won’t be inclusive or representative of key demographics.

Women make up just 17% of tech workers in the UK. To change this, PAN UK is working with Tech Talent Charter, an organisation that encourages companies with tech roles to sign a pledge to increase gender diversity in the industry. Organisations are also asked to report figures annually and share best practices among the Tech Talent Charter’s 300+ signatories (including BBC, HP, Cancer Research and Cisco). They, like us, believe that what gets measured gets done.

Diversity in the Technology Industry

This month we launched the latest Tech Talent Charter Diversity in Tech benchmarking report at London’s iconic Gherkin with support from Baroness Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport. We achieved coverage across a plethora of national, local and tech titles including The Telegraph, Evening Standard and Computer World.

Diversity in B2B and B2C Technology

Secretary of State for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport, Baroness Nicky Morgan, giving the keynote speech at the Tech Talent Charter 2020 event (Tech Talent Charter)

Are you looking to increase gender diversity in your organisation? If so, the results of the report are clear:

  • Set goals for the diversity of candidates on hiring shortlists – the signatories that have targets for women on interview shortlists have a higher than average number of women in tech roles.
  • Have a clear diversity and inclusion strategy – of the 205 signatories doing better than the national average for employing women in tech roles, 38% have a D&I strategy. This suggests having a D&I strategy is effective at improving the percentage of women in tech roles.
  • Create returner and retaining schemes – work closely with women and other minority groups to ensure that retraining and returners programmes are appealing, impactful and sustainable.
  • Measure your progress – what gets measured gets done!

For further guidance, take a look at the Tech Talent Charter’s three-part Toolkit, including the Open Book of Best Practice and Inclusion and Diversity Map.

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Topics: Thought Leadership

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