Tech Talent Charter reaches milestone of 200 signatures

Organisation is now touring UK to help SMBs and startups attract more women in tech

Two hundred organisations have now signed the Tech Talent Charter in a bid to help encourage more women to enter technology roles and help companies retain their female tech talent.

The government-supported campaign announced the milestone as it conducted the first of a number of regional events at the Sad Business School in Oxford, where 30 SMB and startup companies met up to discuss practical solutions to the problems of recruiting women to tech roles, and ways to incentivise more women to retrain in tech.

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The Tech Talent Charter exists to combat the lack of women in digital and technology roles. Recent signatories include the British Heart Foundation, Microsoft, Salesforce, Vodafone and all UK government departments. Numbers are growing quickly, with the charter counting 90 signatories last November and 125 in January.

Debbie Forster, CEO of the Tech Talent Charter, said: "Last November we promised to grow our membership, to break outside the London 'bubble' and to focus on action over talk to move the dial on diversity in tech.

"We are therefore delighted to have doubled in size since then and to have hosted out first event in Oxford focusing on helping small companies and startups to recruit more women into tech roles. We know there are many out there already doing great work and by working with partners like Nominet, this event will help us to continue to connect the dots rather than re-inventing the wheel."

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A lack of women in digital and technology roles is a growing problem, with just 17% of UK tech workers being female, according to the BCS's own research, while recent Department of Education statistics show 0.4% of girls chose to study Computer Science at A-Level.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) committed government funding to support the development of the Tech Talent Charter last year, and minister for digital and the creative industries, Margot James, said she hoped the charter will give more opportunities for women looking to work in the IT sector.

"The Tech Talent Charter is a timely initiative to put the UK at the forefront of tackling the gender imbalance in the tech workforce," she said.

"It is great to see so many companies showing interest and I hope by encouraging others to join we can galvanise support for the charter so everyone has the opportunity to work in this challenging and exciting field."

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The Charter is hosting a series of regional events aimed at businesses of all sizes across the UK, sponsored by domain name registry Nominet.

Chief operating officer Eleanor Bradley said: "It's essential that our tech workforce is diverse and inclusive if we are going to address the digital skills gap and make use of the widest range of talent possible."

Picture: Bigstock

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