More women needed in tech


The technology sector can only continue to grow. And with an anticipated 1 million workers needed by 2020, as a country we need to think big. Currently, only 17% of all tech and telco workers are women. It’s clear there’s a whole pool of potential talent that we could be tapping in to. And that’s where organisations like The Tech Talent Charter come into their own.

The Tech Talent Charter is a Community Interest Company that is passionate about implementing positive action to ensure women play a significant role in the growing UK tech industry. The Tech Talent Charter now has 90 businesses that are backing this initiative. These signatories make a commitment as to how they tackle recruitment and retention in this field, with the aim to deliver greater diversity in the UK tech workforce.

Today, sees the release of even more good news. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport is backing the work being done in the form of a grant to support its early-stage development.

Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital said: "You can't catch all the fish if you only fish in half the pool. Yet our tech industry is still too male dominated, in fact and in culture. We want to see equal opportunities for men and women in one of the fastest growing areas of life, and we want to see Britain's tech industry using the talents of the whole nation. So we funded this fantastic initiative to help tackle the gender divide in technology jobs to end the gender divide, which is wrong in principle and wrong in practice.

"As part of the Digital Strategy we committed to work with industry on the Tech Talent Charter so everyone can access exciting technology careers. 

"The charter gives organisations tangible actions and principles they can adopt and I encourage all organisations employing tech specialists to sign up." 

Debbie Forster, CEO, Tech Talent Charter, commented, "We’re very excited to be taking the next step on our journey. It’s vital for the industry to come together to show females that a career in technology is incredibly rewarding, to increase the number of females working within the industry, to attract those considering a career change, and to inspire younger generations. One single company can’t do it alone which is why we created the Tech Talent Charter, to bring organisations and individuals together to effect the change we need. We’ve come a long way since we first started out, and it’s hugely rewarding to see the amount of signatories we already have on board. We look forward to welcoming many more as we continue our important work."

The 90-strong list of signatories is made up of a broad range of companies – from banking and finance, to media, charities, energy, telco and consultancies. The latest to sign up includes HP, CA Technologies and the BBC.

George Brasher, Managing Director for HP UK and Ireland said:  “At HP we believe that the more points of view a business can draw on, the better its products and the company as a whole will be. Diversity helps drive new business, fuel innovation, and attract and attain the best employees. We are delighted to be a founder signatory of the Tech Talent Charter and look forward to working alongside other signatories to share best practise and to together improve diversity within the UK tech industry. Words are not enough and actions have to be measurable to be effective. As a starting point HP UK will commit to hiring a minimum of 50% female interns each year and we are introducing a “Returners Program” which will focus on encouraging women back into the workplace through fixed term maternity cover, which we hope will in turn lead to permanent positions.”

There’s no doubt this is an impressive collective. Let’s hope they go on to make impressive inroads to address the imbalance, so that UK can continue to play a leading role in technological and digital innovation.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

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More women needed in tech
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