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Diversity in Tech Report Highlights Sector’s Inclusion and Diversity Progress

David Paul

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Tech Talent Charter

The report, released today by the Tech Talent Charter, shows “slow but steady” development on diversity in UK tech roles.

The Tech Talent Charter (TCC) has announced the release of its annual Diversity in Tech 2020 report as part of its Inclusion in Tech Festival starting today (24th February).

TCC’s report benchmarks the activities and progress being made towards inclusion, equity and diversity by its signatory firms, including Unilever, HP and Lloyds Banking Group.

Data from the report shows that wide inequalities still persist within the UK tech sector, but that firms are making progress and 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%.

When comparing diversity by industry, the not-for-profit sector had the most balanced, with over 40% of tech roles held by women and 45% of tech roles held by people belonging to ethnic minority groups.

Of the TCC signatories, 36% say they are now offering either retraining or a returners programme for technical staff, one and a half times higher than the number that reported having such programmes last year. TCC says this reflects “potential opportunities to increase more diverse and gender-balanced tech talent” following the pandemic.

CEO and Co-Founder of the Tech Talent Charter Debbie Forster commented: “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.”

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Commenting on the report, Minister for Digital and Culture Caroline Dinenage said: “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.”

As part of the report, the TTC also carried out a separate tech industry survey with Attest Research looking at attitudes to D&I initiatives, to help companies understand how they can make their D&I initiatives more successful.

While more than 80% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that “initiatives in the workplace to improve gender and ethnic diversity in tech roles are necessary,” 22% of respondents said they would have concerns raising a D&I issue, rising to 32% among ethnic minority groups.

David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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