A scheme aimed at balancing the gender gap in London’s tech community has been launched. The Tech Talent Charter has been set up in a new bid to encourage more women into what is still a male-dominated industry. The central London launch of the Tech Talent Charter, attended by Digital Minister Matt Hancock, comes after a year blighted by accussations of sexism and sexual harassment in the technology industry, largely in the heart of Silicon Valley but also in the UK.
In the UK, women account for 17 per cent of tech and IT workers, compared with 47 per cent of the workforce overall. More worryingly is the number coming out of schools, with just one in 10 A-level computer studies candidates currently female.
Jacqueline de Rojas, president of techUK, said: “We’re creating more jobs than we can fill in technology and clearly it’s for us to turn to the women to fill those roles. With Brexit we may not be able to fill these roles externally as easily as we could have before.Culture trumps strategy every time and what we definitely have to do is make sure there’s a culture of opportunity equality and no room for sexism in our industry.” De Rojas wants to raise the share of women in the tech workforce to 20 per cent by 2020.
The charter is backed by 80 organisations including Nationwide, BT and the BBC, which will share their employment and diversity data anonymously to a central database for annual publication.