Manchester business joins national tech diversity drive

North West | Technology

UKFast

UKFast is reaffirming its commitment to delivering greater diversity within the UK technology workforce as it signs up to the Tech Talent Charter (TTC).

The company is among the first Manchester-based businesses to add its name to the government-supported TTC, which encourages organisations to work actively to effect meaningful change and accelerate the diversity and inclusion agenda across UK tech.

Just 17% of tech workers in the UK are female and just one in ten females are currently taking A-Level computer studies. At the same time there is a looming digital skills gap, with the UK needing one million additional tech workers by 2020.

The TTC requires signatories to make a number of pledges, including supporting inclusive recruitment and retention practices; measuring and benchmarking the diversity profile of their workforce; and working collectively with other signatories to develop, share and implement policies which encourage diversity in the tech workplace.

UKFast MD Gail Jones said: “We’re incredibly proud to sign up to the Tech Talent Charter. The initiative underpins our commitment to diversity relating to both gender and in the broader sense of the word too. We’re committed to continuously embedding real diversity and equality into our organisation to drive meaningful change in the tech industry.”

UKFast works with 60,000 students from more than 60 educational institutions across Greater Manchester. The firm’s commitment to transforming tech education has seen their bid to open a digital-focussed school in partnership with the Dean Trust approved by the government.

UKFast has a mean gender pay gap of just 0.9%, a 50/50 gender split within its board of directors and more women than men in senior management roles.

Tech Talent Charter CEO Debbie Forster added: “We’re delighted to have UKFast join the ranks of our growing network in Manchester. Each company that becomes a signatory helps us continue to build our “open playbook” of best practice, sourced from and driven by our members’ personal experiences in recruitment, retraining and retention of women in tech.

“We’re working to ensure women play a significant role in the growing UK tech industry by moving away from simply talking about the issue of a lack of women in tech, to implementing positive action fuelled by businesses coming together, sharing best practice and learning from each other.”

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