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The Tech Talent Charter (TTC) recently launched its inaugural benchmarking Report – the first report of its kind tracking gender diversity in technology roles across the UK.
Gathered from over 200 signatories representing over half a million employees, the data gives a snapshot of today’s tech industry and an insight into practical ways companies can improve it:
● Across signatories women hold 26% of technical roles compared with 19% UK wide – micro businesses are found to be the most gender diverse with women holding 53% of technical roles
● 71% of signatories already have active diversity and inclusion policies as part of their recruitment approach. 27% don’t, but are putting them in place in the next year.
● 36% of signatories already have policies in place to increase the number of women included in interview shortlists, with 32% saying they will be adding this in 2019
● 57% of signatories outsource some or all of their technical roles
The current state of play
Across the signatories, women hold 26% of the technical roles. Looking at the workforce of signatories more broadly, women make up 34.9% of the signatories’ workforces compared to the wider digital tech workforce average of 19%.
When broken down into job roles, it is clear that there remains specific technology specialisms where women are less represented. User-centered design had the highest proportion of women (48%) and Engineer and Programmer had the lowest proportion (15%). There were no surprises here, as it is well known that the engineering sector specifically struggles to attract and retain women.
Industrywide – % of positions held by women
- User-centered design – 48%
- Production and delivery roles – 33%
- Data roles – 31%
- QAT analyst roles – 26%
- IT operations roles – 25%
- Engineer/Programmer roles – 15%
Does size matter in gender diversity?
The data collected shows clear differences between the size of an organisation and its gender representation in technology roles. However, there is no clear trend between size and gender representation. Surprisingly, micro-companies had the highest representation with 53% of all technical roles held by women, in comparison with small companies at 20%, medium at 23% and large at 19%.
Debbie Forster, CEO Tech Talent Charter comments
We are delighted to see our smaller companies challenging assumptions that they are too small or too busy to focus on diversity. This report clearly shows every size and type of company can and must become more inclusive and diverse.
The key is learning from each other. At our events across the country our smaller companies are helping larger companies find ways of ‘thinking like a start-up’, to pilot smaller scale-approaches and then scaling them, rather than waiting to create the perfect solution and then trickle it down.”
Phasing out all-male job interview shortlists
Data were also collated on the efforts made by signatories to rollout gender inclusion and diversity policies.
The overwhelming majority of the Charter’s signatories have an active policy in place already (70.71%) or plan to roll out such policies in the coming year (27.27%). Over a third (36%) of signatories also already have policies in place to increase the number of women in included in interview shortlists, with 32% saying they will be adding this in 2019. The remaining 2% of signatories – those without policies in place or planned – gave a variety of reasons why this was the case, primarily that diversity and inclusion underpins their approach to recruitment already and they see no need for a formal policy.
Debbie Forster, CEO Tech Talent Charter continues
We believe that, first and foremost, any policy that is implemented should align with a company’s unique culture. If a policy cannot fully capture company culture, businesses should focus on identifying the metrics and measurements that will set them up for sustainable progress. Our members know that if you genuinely build an inclusive culture, diversity will follow. Policies can and should underpin culture but the culture is the essential component.
Focus for 2019
The report also reveals over half (57%) of signatories outsource all or some of their technology roles to a third party, highlighting that companies need to look beyond their own walls to ensure gender parity.
As the Charter develops and expands, The Tech Talent Charter will work more closely with the outsourcing companies. There is a responsibility for employers who are calling for meaningful diversity in their own teams to also be aware of the diversity within their supply chain, and ask more of their outsourcing partners.
Debbie Forster, CEO Tech Talent Charter added,
We’re delighted to publish our TTC toolkit. For the first time, we’re bringing together sector-wide data that is not just a restating of the problem – it allows companies to measure their own practice against others and to learn from each other to create solutions. We’re also painstakingly documenting existing best practice from across the sector and the huge range of organisations, initiatives and schemes businesses can work with to drive inclusion and diversity themselves.
All the work the Tech Talent Charter has done with its UK wide members to pinpoint the policies and practices that can really move the dial on gender diversity in tech are available for any business to read and learn from in The Open Playbook for Best Practice.
The Open Playbook for Best Practice is an open source document with tips and insights from businesses and recruiters sharing what has worked well in their diversity journey. It covers four key topics: Returners & Retraining; Retention & Growth; Recruitment and Culture and contains a section on other resources that are available for members to use. This resource will continue to grow as we hold more regional events throughout 2019 and insert our members’ learnings.
The Tech Talent Charter has also compiled a searchable and sortable Diversity Directory containing over 300 programmes that employers can draw on to support them in driving inclusion and diversity in their companies.
Gill Wylie, Enterprise Transformation Director, Lloyds Banking Group, commented,
Being able to attract, develop, fully utilise and retain top female talent is highly important to us, and we have set a target for 40% of our senior roles to be held by women by 2020. We are proud to work with the Tech Talent Charter to promote roles of women in technology, throughout the length and breadth of the UK. This is just one of the ways we are helping Britain prosper.
It’s a well-documented fact that women are lagging men in workplace equality. Different reports have pegged the time to gender parity at as much as 100 years. Now new Accenture research is proving that digital fluency—the extent to which both men and women have embraced digital technologies to become more knowledgeable, connected and effective—is helping to close this gender gap and level the playing field for women in the workplace.
Accenture’s Digital Fluency Model examines the impact of digital technologies across women’s entire career lifecycle. Nearly 5,000 women and men in 31 countries were surveyed to gauge their familiarity with digital technologies. While men outscore women in digital fluency across almost all of the 31 countries studied, that gap is narrowing and digital fluency acts as an accelerant in every stage of a person’s career—a powerful one in education and in the workplace, and an increasingly important one as they advance into the ranks of leadership.
Why is this? Digital fluency is helping today’s workers better manage their time and become more productive. Digital fluency also enables greater work flexibility—an amenity that workers value and companies are now providing. While men and women alike are liberated by the balance that work flexibility affords, women appear to derive greater value from it.
Getting on the right side of the digital fluency gap can change the picture for women—and their countries—in dramatic ways.
If governments and businesses can double the pace at which women become digitally fluent, we could reach gender equality in the workplace by 2040 in developed nations and by 2060 in developing nations.
Visit our Knowledge Bank for a range of gender diversity, leadership reports and statistics.
[tweetthis]Digital has a positive impact on the women’s education and employment opportunities.[/tweetthis]
Tough Choices, a new report by Your Life campaign in partnership with AT Kearney and supported by the CBI, found that young people are deterred from studying maths and physics A-levels, which are seen as too theoretical, inaccessible, and only for the “ultra-bright”. Yet they unlock a vast array of exciting jobs, which are fundamental to the businesses we operate and the UK’s global competitiveness.
The report reveals engagement with maths and science declines by 74% among girls and 56% among boys during secondary school.
Tough Choices, blames the lack of knowledge among teachers and parents about job prospects for maths and science subjects. ‘Students are not just uninformed, they are ill-informed about the value of STEM for their future careers and livelihoods and about the value of STEM in the labour market in general.’
It also criticises schools that recommend STEM subjects only to ‘ultra-bright’ students. ‘Many teachers and parents push students to prioritise good grades and as a result steer them away from STEM.’
Combined v separate sciences
The report adds that the current approach to combined and separate science choices at GCSE has a big impact on whether students continue with the subject at A-level. Students who take combined sciences, often a choice made for them by the school, are two to three times less likely to take the subject further.
‘Streaming has two effects. It sends the message to many [combined] science students that “science is not for you”. It also means that, if they do choose to proceed with an A-level, they are starting at a disadvantage, as they have covered less of the curriculum than their [separate] science peers.’
The report makes a series of recommendations. It asks employers to emphasise STEM in their recruitment and influence careers advice. It calls on government to improve the quality and quantity of STEM teaching, ensuring teaching methods are relevant and engaging with an emphasis on practical applications. It also asks teachers and parents to change the message students receive from ‘it’s hard’ to ‘you can do it’.
Tough Choices was written by consultants A.T. Kearney for the Your Life campaign in partnership with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). The CBI warns that without significant change, the current STEM worker shortfall of 40,000 each year will continue, causing the UK economy to fall further behind other countries.
Paul Drechsler, CBI president, said:
Education is a shared passion for government, business, schools and parents – who all want the best for young people. As the business community we have a role to play – offering support to teachers and headteachers, inspiring young people and giving up-to-date insights into the world of work.
Read Tough Choices
Visit our searchable Knowledge Bank for a variety of reports on diversity, leadership and associated topics.
[tweetthis]Tough Choices. Read how schools put off #girls and #boys studying #STEM[/tweetthis]