The Tech Talent Charter (TTC) is today releasing its annual Diversity in Tech report, benchmarking the activities and progress being made towards inclusion, equity and diversity by its signatory companies, including Unilever, HP and Lloyds Banking Group.
The report will be launched at the Inclusion in Tech Festival starting today until 26 February, sponsored by Unilever and featuring an appearance from Rt Hon. Caroline Dinenage, Minister of state for Digital and Culture.
The report, which this year tracks ethnicity data for the first time, shows that wide inequalities still persist within the UK tech sector, but that TTC signatories are making progress faster than the rest of the industry, indicating that a willingness to discuss and address inequality is a vital first step in tackling it.
Additionally, the report reveals that women hold 25% of technical roles across Tech Talent Charter signatories, compared with the UK average of 19% (according to BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT). When comparing diversity by industry, the not-for-profit sector had the most balance, with over 40% of tech roles held by women and 45% of tech roles held by people belonging to ethnic minority groups.
36% of signatories are now offering either a retraining or a returners programme for technical staff, one and a half times higher than the number that reported having such programmes last year. This reflects a possible opportunity to increase more diverse and gender-balanced tech talent following the pandemic.
CEO and Co-Founder of the Tech Talent Charter Debbie Forster comments: “While many companies have the right intentions on diversity, reluctance to speak up through anxiety or fear of saying the wrong thing can slow down progress, which not only prevents equity and inclusion, but also slows down efforts to close the UK’s digital skills gap.
“This year we are calling on our signatories and the wider industry to create safe environments in which to start those tough conversations that are needed to remove bias from systems and processes and help to drive meaningful change. Only through collaboration can progress be made.”
The Tech Talent Charter is a non-profit organisation leading a movement to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in the UK tech sector, which research indicates is essential to close the tech skills gap. More than 500 organisations have signed up to its pledges.
Minister for Digital and Culture Caroline Dinenage comments: “We are proud to champion the Tech Talent Charter and this report shows its signatories are leading the way on diversity and inclusion in the tech sector. But much more needs to be done and I want more companies to sign up and introduce the positive changes that will make their businesses stronger, fairer and more resilient as we build back from the pandemic.”
The Diversity in Tech Report and Inclusion in Tech Festival are free to access here and are supported by Unilever, HP, Lloyds, Nationwide, Natwest, Nominet, QA, Tech UK, Attest, Nominet, Iress, CWJobs and Accenture and Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.