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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.
28% of organisations do not have a definition of talent reveals a new study from the CIPD entitled “Attitudes towards Employability and Talent”.
Employers’ views of employability and talent
In practice, talent management – processes of attracting, developing and retaining people – is recognised as a source of competitive advantage in the context of the current demographic trends and patchy availability of skills in home markets.
Yet, the very definition of ‘talent’ lacks rigour. Sometimes, ‘talent’ is used as a euphemism for ‘people’ – anyone working for an organisation, and, therefore, having potential to make a difference to organisational performance.
Others apply the term to denote the organisational ‘elites’ – workers with highest potential to progress to and perform in business-critical roles.
In human resource management, talent is described through the level of value added to an organisation. Talented workers are then the ones who possess such capital and/ or can make themselves useful in a business context.
In contrast, educational psychology views talent as excellence in a particular area of knowledge and skills, with less focus on how that is applied in practice.
Already these two definitions give potentially mixed advice when investing in talent management and development activities.
In a survey of HR practitioners conducted for the report, only 22% of respondents said their organisation had a formal definition of ‘talent’ as part of their strategy.
Encouragingly, a further 42% suggested that there is at least an informal agreement of what is understood by the concept.
Yet, almost three in ten practitioners (28%) admitted to having no definition, despite having a strategy in place for the organisation and its people.
This was more likely in the voluntary (45%) and in the public (37%) sectors, compared with organisations in the private sector (24%). Large organisations (31%) were significantly more likely than SMEs (8%) to have a formal definition of talent.
About half of all respondents (499) then provided their definition of talent in an openended format as follows
Line managers were asked the same question. To discover their answers and to read more download the study.
Leaders from some of Britain’s largest companies are to undertake a government-backed review on improving female representation in leadership positions of British business.
The review, which will be led by Sir Philip Hampton, chair of GlaxoSmithKline, and Dame Helen Alexander, chair of UBM, will focus on ensuring the very best of female talent make their way up the pipeline by removing barriers to their success, and continue to drive forward the momentum from Lord Davies’s work – which pushed the numbers of females on FTSE 100 boards up from 12.5% to 26%.
The review broadens the ambition to the entire FTSE 350 and raising the target to 33% of women on boards by 2020.
The focus for the work on the pipeline will be on representation on executive committees and direct reports to the executive committee in FTSE 350 companies.
Sir Philip Hampton said:
It is clear that gender balance on FTSE boards has undergone a dramatic shift in recent years and this progress continues. However, we must significantly increase the number of women in senior leadership roles if we are to harness the skills of women for the benefit of business and the UK economy.
A key element of the review will also consider current research on how to drive improvements and the obstacles preventing women’s progression. It is expected that findings will be presented to government by the end of 2016.
In order to meet the 33% target for FTSE 350 boards by 2020, a constant turnover is required and an appointment rate of one in three board positions going to women.
Turnover rates have decreased, with fewer people leaving and joining companies, and the percentage of new appointments going to women over the past six months dropping below the one in three required to meet the 33% target.
Progress in the executive ranks and in the executive pipeline remains very slow. Only 9.7% of executive directors in the FTSE 100 are women, dropping to only 5.6% in the FTSE 250.
Women in the City has curated a number of key gender diversity reports in its searchable Knowledge Bank