People and processesTech Talent Charter launches inaugural diversity benchmarking report

Tech Talent Charter launches inaugural diversity benchmarking report

The Tech Talent Charter inaugural benchmarking report is the first of its kind to track gender diversity in technology roles across the UK.

The Tech Talent Charter (TTC) has launched its inaugural benchmarking report – the first of its kind to track gender diversity in technology roles across the UK.

The data, gathered from over 200 signatories representing over half a million employees, including a number of government departments, provides a snapshot of today’s tech industry and an insight into practical ways companies can improve it. The report found that:

  • Across TTC’s 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 report, sponsored by DCMS, techUK and BAE Systems can be found online here.

The current state of play

Across the charter signatories, women hold 26% of the technical roles. Looking at the workforce of signatories more broadly, women make up 34.9% of our 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-centred 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, our 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 commented: “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

TTC also collated data on the efforts made by signatories to rollout gender inclusion and diversity policies.

The overwhelming majority of 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.

Forster continued: “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 our 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, it is our intention to 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.

Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries Margot James said, “One year on from the launch of the Tech Talent Charter, it’s encouraging to see that there’s real buy-in to improve the diversity of our workforce. However, with only one in five digital tech jobs nationally covered by women there is more work to do to get the balance right.

“Diversity makes good business sense and it’s positive to see smaller companies leading the way. I now want more of our larger companies to sign up to the Charter and commit to getting more women into tech jobs.”

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