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Government Commits to Diversifying its Tech Workforce

09/02/2018

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has committed itself to tackling gender disparity and promoting diversity in the tech sector by signing up to the Tech Talent Charter.

According to a report in the New Statesman, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has committed itself to tackling gender disparity and promoting diversity in the tech sector by signing up to the Tech Talent Charter. Currently only 17 per cent of tech and ICT workers in the UK are female.

The Tech Talent Charter (TTC) is a commitment by organisations to a set of undertakings that aim to deliver greater diversity in the tech workforce of the UK, one that better reflects the make-up of the population. Signatories of the charter make a number of pledges in relation to their approach to recruitment and retention. Although it is very much an employer-led initiative, in March 2017 the TTC was supported in the government’s policy paper on the UK Digital Strategy.

Just 17% of Tech/ICT workers in the UK are female, only one in ten females are currently taking A-Level computer studies, and yet there is a looming digital skills gap where the UK needs one million more tech workers by 2020. Half the population cannot be ignored, and nor should it be, if there is to be a more diverse, inclusive, fairer and commercially successful tech workforce and industry. The Charter encourages and supports signatories to tackle this head-on by undertaking to: 

  • support attraction, recruitment and retention practices that are designed to increase the diversity of their workforce;
  • define their own timetable for change and implement the strategy that is right for their organisation (acknowledging that all signatories will have different starting points);
  • measure the diversity profile of their UK employees and to share this data for (anonymous) collective publication.

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