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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.
Start tackling the challenge by paying women fairly…
A new global survey of women working in technology by IT software specialist Ivanti has found that 63 percent of women feel gender bias continues to damage their professional opportunities and undermine their work environments.
Having suggestions dismissed, being constantly interrupted in meetings and being overlooked for promotion in favour of male counterparts were among the daily challenges faced by the 500 respondents to the survey, published by Ivanti in September 2018.
The survey came as gender pay gap figures revealed earlier this year showed that Facebook’s bonuses for female staff were 41.5 percent lower than men’s, while Apple were 57 percent lower.
Mind the Pay Gap
Some 75 percent of respondents to the Ivanti survey agreed that the best change that organisations and the wider technology industry could make to encourage more women into technology would be to pay women the same as their male counterparts.
As Sheila Flavel, COO at FDM Group, said earlier this year:
Tackling the gender pay gap in the traditionally male-dominated technology industry requires a concerted effort at every level of the organization, to recruit and retain female talent in the workforce.
To remedy this problem, companies need to introduce improved flexible working policies and provide dedicated programmes to recruit returners and work with employees across the company to change for the better, reducing the gap and creating a more vibrant workforce. Closing the gender pay gap shouldn’t be a tick box exercise, it should be about creating a more diverse and productive workforce that ensures everyone is treated fairly – we want to create a country that works for everyone.
Encouragingly, over half of those surveyed have noticed that there are more women working in technology now than there were five years ago.
Sarah Lewis, Director of Field Marketing & UK Women in Tech Ambassador at Ivanti, said,
While it is incredible to see that there are so many more women working in the technology industry than ever before, the report highlights what we have been told anecdotally for years: more needs to be done in order to encourage gender diversity in technology. Women need to be taken seriously and be paid the same as their male counterparts in order to ensure the continued growth and diversity of the tech sector.