The UK Government is backing the Tech Talent Charter which looks to boost gender diversity in tech roles and is encouraging businesses across the country to do the same.
Digital and culture secretary Matt Hancock has announced the whole of Government will sign up to the Tech Talent Charter.
The charter is an essential and timely initiative which puts the UK at the forefront of tackling the gender imbalance in the tech workforce.
It covers all organisations employing people in technology roles and commits signatories to include women on interview shortlists wherever possible and collect and submit anonymised data for an annual diversity report.
Hancock said the minister for digital and the creative industries, Margot James, will also write to major tech firms asking them to sign up to the charter to help support gender diversity across the industry.
This will help boost support for a scheme which already has more than 125 signatories including Dell, Sage and Cisco.
Speaking yesterday at a creative industries and 4th industrial revolution APPG reception, Hancock said: “We recently launched the Tech Talent Charter and more than 125 companies have signed a pledge to take concrete measures to improve the gender diversity of their tech workforce.
“It is essential the public sector leads the way in driving this change and I can announce every Government department will be signing the charter.
“Cracking the challenge is in part about changing the education system but it’s also about changing the culture and opening up.
“So the minister for digital will also be writing to major tech firms asking them to sign up. This will help galvanise support for the charter so everyone has the opportunity to fill the fantastic jobs available.”
Hancock, as minister for digital, announced the initial project last year when he said “you can’t catch all the fish if you only fish in half the pool, and if we want Britain’s tech industry to prosper we should be using the talents of the whole nation”.
The department for digital, culture, media and sport was the first government department to sign the charter. Other government departments will now follow suit.
The charter brings the public, private and charitable sectors together to share ideas and experience. It also gives organisations clear actions and principles to adopt to become more gender-diverse.