The UK technology and recruitment industry are uniting to improve the diversity and inclusion of the tech workforce with the launch of the TechTalent Charter. The Charter, initiated and written by Monster.co.uk with the support of Code First: Girls and a number of industry influencers and organisations, outlines a series of key measures which aim to encourage organisations to think differently to encourage and support a more diverse tech workforce.
Last year Caitlin Moran highlighted that "if 90% of coders are men, developing and owning the language of the future, women won’t be part of the conversation". With this front of mind, and mindful of the looming digital skills gap, Monster.co.uk launched its Girls in Coding campaign earlier this year which consisted of a series of initiatives and events aimed at raising awareness of the low ratio of females in the tech workforce and encouraging females to aspire to work in technology related roles.
From this initiative, and inspired by conversations with leading organisations such as Stemettes, the TechTalent Charter was born, with Monster bringing together numerous key figures within the industry to support and form the working groups of a charter that encourages businesses to sign up to key measures which aim to increase the amount of diverse talent within their organisations.
Details of the Charter
The TechTalent Charter's aim is to take positive action to increase this ratio of women working in tech to reflect the makeup of the UK population. There are two stages to the Charter's evolution which aim to effect a meaningful change. Firstly at the launch on 26th November 2015, those who sign up as founding signatories are agreeing in principle to aspire to the protocols and commitments detailed in the Charter, detailed below:
- 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
Secondly, the Charter has established six workstreams: Best Practice in Recruitment; Best Practice in Retention; Marketing & Promotion; Annual Reporting & Measurement; Eco-system & Policy and Education & Talent Pipeline. These workstreams, headed up by members of the Charter's founding steering group, will work in the coming months to provide the support, information and guidelines needed to help organisations implement the protocols above. With that in mind and to ensure change starts to happen, in June 2016, signatories will be asked to sign up to fully embrace and implement the Charter's protocols.