The Tech Talent Charter has received a second round of government funding (£97,000) to support growth from 200 to 500 signatories by 2019 – totalling £170,000 funding to date. Speaking as Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Margot James said: “Diversity is not just a moral imperative, it also makes good business sense. We are more than doubling our support for this essential and timely initiative to put the UK at the forefront of tackling the gender imbalance in the tech workforce as we work to build a Britain which is fit for the future.”
The retention of tech talent, and encouragement of candidates to roles, is essential for the UK to have the skilled tech workforce necessary for a thriving economy. Research by Tech City UK stated one million tech workers are needed by 2020; female workers have a vital role to play in ensuring the UK continues to have a strong role in technological and digital innovation. Alarmingly the representation of females in these all important roles is disproportionately low - only 17 per cent of tech and telco workers are currently women. These stats highlight that businesses need to do all they can to bring female talent into their organisations and celebrate the valuable contribution they make.
The Tech Talent Charter is a passionate and ambitious organisation that moves away from simply talking about the issue to implementing positive action to ensure women play a significant role in the growing UK tech industry.
The latest signatories joining the mission to tackle the gender imbalance in the UK technology industry include Channel 4, RBS, Metropolitan Police, Financial Times, Cisco. They join a growing list of 225 businesses that have signed up to the Charter since its inception two years ago, including Monster, Accenture, Atom bank and Nominet as part of their commitment to implement recruitment and retention policies that will support women in digital and technology roles.
Debbie Forster, CEO, Tech Talent Charter, commented: “We are delighted to have the DCMS both as a funder and a partner in this next phase of TTC growth. With this funding we will be able not just to grow from 200 to 500 companies by 2019 but also to ensure we are a fully national programme, extending our regional work as we break outside the London bubble.
“This support also means we can continue to build an “open playbook” of best practice, sourced from our members personal experiences, to share with our members on recruitment, retraining, retention and progression for women in tech. We want to keep our focus on action, on helping companies draw on what is already working rather businesses working in silos to re-invent the wheel themselves again and again. We’ve already held two successful regional events for businesses of all sizes and have many more planned to help companies share best practice and learn from others experiences.
“We’ll also be working with the government, our members and partners to launch our first report in the Autumn, containing not just the first national benchmarking data of gender diversity but also a map highlighting support available and talent recruitment and retention strategies around the UK to support companies who want to move the dial on diversity.”
The Tech Talent Charter’s next regional event will be held in Manchester on July 3rd, sponsored by Cisco and supported by Manchester Digital. For more information and to sign up to attend the event follow this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/tech-talent-charter-north-west-event-driving-diversity-returners-retraining-and-retention-registration-45807423236