We recently signed up to the Tech Talent Charter and I was delighted to attend the brilliant launch of this essential movement.
Below is an extract from an article in the Evening Standard.
The initiative, which launched in November 2017, was established to encourage organisations to deliver greater parity amongst their technical staff. Across the UK, women make up around 19 per cent of tech roles, way below the TTC’s goal of 50 per cent.
“We don’t know if we’re having an impact unless we measure it,” Debbie Forster, CEO of TTC, told the Standard. “When companies sign up to us there is no cost, but they’re committing that they have a senior signatory, that they have a plan, and that they will share practice and share data.”
TTC now has nearly 300 companies on its roster, and around 200 provided data, including organisations such as BAE Systems, Deloitte, and Channel 4. Using this data, the TTC report shows, in general, women can be found in roles including user-centred design (48 per cent), as well as production and delivery roles (33 per cent), but companies struggle to attract and retain women in engineering and programmer roles, as the gender split is 85 per cent male, 15 per cent female.
The point of the report is to demonstrate a snapshot of the gender breakdown in companies. Following on from this, TTC is creating an open playbook of best practice where companies and organisations can learn from one another to improve the diversity makeup of their workplaces. This could include policies on retraining women who are re-entering the workforce or ensuring there are women on all their interview shortlists.
“This is not about companies saying they’re perfect, nor is it about league tables or beating them with a stick,” said Forster. “This report allows companies to sit down internally and feel happy that they’re ahead of the game or feel concerned that they’re behind it. Then they can turn to the tool kit to see what they can learn from other companies and who else they can work with to improve those numbers for the following year.”
One area where companies can do more learning is from the start-ups signed up to the TTC. According to the report, these micro-companies (one to nine employees) have the highest representation with 53 per cent of all technical roles held by women, compared to large companies at 19 per cent.
Forster believes this is down to support at the top of the organisation. “These are founders and CEOs who absolutely get it and want diversity. They bake it into the culture from the very start, into what they think about their workforce.”
If your organisation hasn’t signed up already, I’d urge you to do so today.