22% of UK employers believe women still at disadvantage when it comes to securing tech roles
Research from Monster.co.uk, in conjunction with YouGov, has revealed that almost a quarter of UK employers (22%) believe women are at a disadvantage when it comes to securing jobs within the technology sector.
Despite almost half of employers (48%) admitting they find it difficult to recruit for technology roles, there is reluctance to adapt current policies to encourage gender equality – a startling three quarters (75%) of employers admitted they have no plans to do so.
In recognition of the issues many employers are facing, Monster has come together with key industry leaders including Code First Girls, Stemettes, Apps for Good, RBI, Michael Page, S3 Group and JLR Solutions to launch the Tech Talent Charter. The charter encourages businesses to sign up to a set of key measures which aim to increase the amount of female talent within their organisations.
Gender discrepancies are echoed by UK employees, with 59% reporting there are more men than women in technical and digital jobs within their organization and just 35% believing men and women are equally represented in these roles.
The research highlighted that many still feel the UK is a long way from achieving gender parity in the office. 39% believe women still have to work harder for a promotion or recognition and over two fifths (47%) of females say they have either experienced themselves or witnessed gender inequality in the workplace.
In order to address these inequalities, the top five things UK employees think need to be implemented are:
- Transparency on equal pay for women and men (55%)
- Offering paternity and family leave to both men and women (43%)
- Greater flexibility on working hours and working from home (40%)
- More encouragement for women to study STEM subjects (32%)
- More training for managers and staff on best equality practice (31%)
Ensuring women and men alike are encouraged into the technology sector has never been more important as the UK faces a much discussed digital skills shortage. More than half of UK employees (54%) agreed having stronger technology skills would help them find a better job and one in four (24%) rated learning basic coding skills as important, yet only 15% took an IT or tech course at school or university. The majority of UK employees (84%) expressed an interest in having comprehensive training across coding, computer language and digital skills.
Sinead Bunting, European director of consumer marketing, commented, “With a looming digital skills gap that is critical for our economy’s growth, we need to do all we can to encourage and support organisations in bringing on board more female talent, and todays (sic) research highlights there is still a way to go until females have equal representation within the technology sector. It was especially worrying to see so many employers admit that they had no plans to adapt their policies.
Here at Monster we’ve recognised that to truly move the dial and effect change we are stronger working as a unified collective. We have a need and an opportunity to build a dynamic, representative and commercially successful tech workforce. However we do need to rethink and change how we build our talent pipelines, how we recruit and how we retain our tech staff. The Tech Talent Charter is a way we can all work together to make that happen and that is something we at Monster and in the Tech Talent Charter steering group are incredibly excited about.”
The TechTalent Charter’s aim is to take positive action to increase the number of females in UK technology roles, to reflect the makeup of the UK population. The charter officially launched on 22nd June and signatures commit to:
Commit to best practice in recruitment by implementing the ‘Rooney Rule’ – interviewing at least one female candidate (where available) as part of the recruitment process
Encourage and support adoption of diversity best practice by adhering to the ‘tech inclusion’ accreditation scheme
Explore and collectively support initiatives to address longer term programmes to build a strong tech talent pipeline among the younger UK generation
Appoint a senior level, named representative with responsibility for the Charter commitments from each signatory organisation
Work collectively with other signatories to develop and implement future protocols that support the practical implementation of the aims of the Charter
Establish a set benchmark for measurement – signatories agree to share and publish the diversity profile of UK employees and any other work on equality, diversity and inclusion
To measure and monitor progress of the Charter and its protocols, publishing an annual joint report based on contributing data shared from all signatories
The Charter has established six work streams: Best Practice in Recruitment; Best Practice in Retention; Marketing & Advocacy; Annual Reporting & Measurement; Eco-system & Policy and Education & Talent Pipeline. These work streams, headed up by members of the Charter’s founding steering group, will work to provide the support, information and guidelines needed to help organisations implement the protocols above.
Amali de Alwis, CEO of Code First Girls, said, “Encouraging talented individuals to enter the technology sector, whether as graduates or at a later stage in their career, is something I believe passionately in, and is very much at the heart of the work we do at Code First Girls. Vital technology skills, whether in coding, data science, data security or UX/UI, now play a critical role in the way we live and work. With the UK looking at a needing further 1 million tech workers by 2020, we all have to take a serious look at how we manage talent in our companies and update restricting incumbent behaviour which are holding us back from continued success.
“This is the reason I became so heavily involved with the Tech Talent Charter. We need to ensure we are doing all we can to support all our businesses, whilst giving the candidates themselves the confidence to get involved in this dynamic and fast growing sector. I look forward to having you all join us on that journey, and working together to drive change in UK Business to supports our continued status and a global leader in tech, innovation and talent."