Investment in D&I data systems, setting and measuring D&I targets, and gathering employee feedback make a tangible difference in driving inclusion and diversity in tech, says a new annual benchmarking report covering 580 tech employers.
Diversity in tech – the strategies that could work
The Tech Talent Charter’s (TTC) annual Diversity in Tech 2021 report benchmarks its signatory companies’ activities and progress towards inclusion, equity, and diversity. For the first time, all signatories shared data on ethnic diversity in their tech roles, enabling TTC to reveal the most effective types of interventions that help achieve an inclusive and diverse workforce.
The report found that by taking steps to gather data, owning reaching diversity targets and building awareness among employees to counter unconscious bias, companies reported they are seeing tangible progress in their D&I strategies. Signatories shared data and experiences on interventions that worked and those that were less effective in boosting diversity in tech.
Other key findings from the report include the increase in the number of reported tech roles held by women, increasing from 25% in 2020 to 27% in 2021. It also found that ethnic minority representation among TTC Signatory organisations was 20% — higher than the UK tech workforce average (16%).
The report also highlights the important role of SMEs in positively impacting the future tech talent pipeline since these companies may be able to more easily implement new D&I practices than larger, more complex multinationals. Such progressive systemic changes feed into the market at scale later as these trailblazing companies grow. SMEs may be seen as training grounds for developing tech talent and, if successful, encourage larger businesses to follow their lead.
Signatories to the charter increased by 151% last year. They include Spotify, Deliveroo, General Dynamics, Very Group and Marie Curie, among other new signatories making commitments to inclusion and diversity in tech. While HP, Nominet, Lloyds, Global and PwC became Principal Partners for 2022, providing thought-leadership and strategic collaboration and funding. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport also provides funding. This will allow the TTC to remain free of charge for all signatories.
Debbie Forster, MBA, CEO and Co-Founder of the Tech Talent Charter, commented: “We’ve been heartened to see diversity remaining a priority for so many companies through the pandemic, which is reflected by our significant growth, but 2022 will be a pivotal year as new working patterns become more normalised. Inclusion must be baked in now, or the tech sector risks cementing inequalities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
“Sharing valuable insights on winning D&I strategies means that companies across the sector can learn best practices and more quickly bring about change for the greater good of the sector and the wider UK population. We are grateful for the ongoing support of the DCMS and that of our Principal Partners who are truly going beyond thought leadership and driving real and long-lasting change across the industry.”
Nick Williams, Group Transformation Director, Lloyds Banking Group, commented: “We are delighted to deepen our existing relationship with the Tech Talent Charter and become one of their Principal Partners for 2022. We hold the same ambitions as the Tech Talent Charter at Lloyds Banking Group. We have goals in place to continue making our technology and digital businesses further reflective of the communities we serve and the inclusive society we want to be an active part of. As Principal Partners, we look forward to working with the brilliant TTC team to help Britain prosper.”
Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “With demand for tech talent at an all-time high, it is vital that our booming tech sector aims for a workforce powered by people from all walks of life. The charter shows the positive impact of tech companies collaborating to improve accessibility, and we want more firms to come on board to make the industry truly reflect the diverse fabric of the UK.”
Key findings from the report will be discussed at the Tech Talent Charter Inclusion in Tech Festival on 1st March. At the event, speakers from the businesses who supplied data for the research will be sharing their learnings and best practices.
For more information, visit www.techtalentcharter.co.uk