Last year the number of reporting technology roles held by women from companies that signed up to the Technology Talent Charter (TTC) efforts rose from 25% to 27% and indicated that gender minority representation is still about 6% higher than it is. for the entire UK technology workforce.
These data points are among the data included in the latest version of the TTC Diversity in Tech Report 2021. TTC is a pioneering non-profit that encourages diversity efforts among the UK technology workforce; it measures the activities and progress of the signatory companies towards inclusion, equity and diversity.
That list of companies includes Spotify, Deliveroo, General Dynamics, Very Group, and Marie Curie.
The 2021 report is the first to include ethnicity data, which companies may choose to share this year. (Reporting on ethnicity will be mandatory in the future.) Ethnic minority representation among TTC Signatory organizations was 20% – higher than the UK average technology workforce of 16%.
Ethnic minority workers make up about 11% of the overall workforce in the UK.
What works when it comes to D&I
In trying to determine what works best for companies looking to strengthen diversity, TTC has taken a data – driven approach, according to Debbie Forster, CEO and nonprofit co – founder. Companies were asked not only about what they were doing but also what is not working and where improvements are still needed.
Launched in 2017, the group aims to assist technology sector organizations best practices for sharing diversity are addressed. According to the TTC 2021 report, there are at least 20 different interventions that are critical to diversity efforts.
While there is “one magic bullet and one order in which things happen,” Forster said, TTC is now beginning to look at patterns in how companies succeed. For companies with the most gendered and ethnically diverse technology workforce, the most successful efforts include:
- Raise awareness of D&I efforts;
- Set D&I goals and measures and hold managers / leaders to account for their actions;
- Use audit processes and systems to mitigate bias;
- Collect employee feedback / measure inclusion;
- D&I training;
- Paying for D&I external services.
The 2021 report relies on data from 580 organizations, an increase of 162 year on year. TTC estimates that its group represents approximately 15-16% of the current technology-skilled workforce in the UK, making it one of the largest and most up-to-date datasets of its kind – comparable to National Office datasets Statistics. The participating companies range from micro to super large, and include IT workers in 70 different industries. The technology workers surveyed were based in all 12 regions of the UK and 10% have accepted remote work or are site agnostic.
In comments published with the report, Deloitte UK said its training of recruitment managers has been updated to explicitly address racial bias and has made changes to its early career recruitment process.
“For example, based on research, we have eliminated the requirement for final stage presentation, redesigned our assessment material and launched a preparatory guide for new candidates to ensure that Black candidates are not disadvantaged, ”Said Deloitte UK. “This has the effect of closing the conversion rate gap between Black colleagues and those from other ethnic backgrounds.”
In a separate comment, Unilever PLC stated that it wants to be “at the forefront of using results-based scientific approaches to combat bias.”
Since 2018, Unilever has partnered with Iris Bohnet, professor of public policy at Harvard University; As a result of that partnership the company launched a metric called the Gender Appointment Ratio (GAR). It is calculated as the total number of women appointed over a five-year period, divided by the total number of men appointed.
“Awareness of line managers increases their appointment decisions over a five-year period and helps them make unbiased choices the next time the opportunity arises,” said Unilever.
Diversity challenges remain
Despite recent progress, Forster said there is still much work to be done. One of the biggest problems facing the UK technology sector is an ever – widening skills gap. While more structural and societal changes can help, individual companies need to expand their recruitment pipelines beyond the traditional routes into the industry.
In fact, the most frequently reported concern among companies that participated in TTC ‘s work was to attract diverse talent amid a lack of technological talent.
A key focus for nonprofits in 2022 will be to focus on how employers can use other ways to attract technology employees and make them a routine for more companies. The efforts come even as the industry faces “Great Ireland,” making the fight for talent fierce.
(Includes all IT related vacancies now 13% of all open job vacancies in the UK.)
An ongoing problem cited by TTC signatories in 2021 was the lack of diversity in senior positions. Forster said companies need to remember that, in terms of diversity, it’s not just about getting people in the door; it is also intended to ensure that active systems are in place to ensure that those from underrepresented backgrounds can move into executive leadership roles.
In 2021, TTC partnered with We Are Tech Women and Ipsos MORI to investigate the perceived barriers for women as they progress their careers, as well as recognizing what is important when looking for new roles. The main reason women change or stay in jobs is salary, which means that companies that fail to address the gender pay gap will have difficulty retaining talent.
Companies such as non-profit companies or public sector companies that are not able to offer competitive salaries can still do a lot to attract talent.
“The right managers, the right culture, are offering clear opportunities for promotion transparency and allowing for flexible working,” she said. “Any company, no matter what size you have, wherever you are in the country, you can get it right. And there is the business case. When you get the talent you will have more money, it costs you to lose your talent. ”
That’s why TTC’s efforts are important: once companies have real data on diversity, they can begin to use it to understand where the problems lie, how to focus interventions and how to measure the impact of their efforts. They can then share the data with middle managers to build goals and accountability.
“All the puzzle pieces are out there,” she said. “We haven’t put the whole puzzle together yet, but we’re starting to see the image come together.”
Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.
Tech Talent Charter 2021 Report: What works for UK businesses accepting D&I?
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