Today the techUK team are celebrating International Women’s Day. We celebrate today to recognise the successes of women while also pushing for more progress towards gender equality and diversity – aptly shown by this year’s theme #BalanceforBetter.
It's great to see so many of our members mark the occasion in a variety of ways which we will be promoting throughout today.
Here at techUK we are fortunate to have incredible female role models and male allies not least of all our President Jacqueline de Rojas who has been aptly badged ‘a tech titan’. But across our sector female representation remains stubbornly low. The statistics are well known: only 17% of employees in the UK technology sector are women; only one in six school leavers starting a degree in computer science in 2016 was female and the total number of girls taking either ICT or computer science at GCSE fell by 12% in the same year.
If we are to close the UK skills gap, increase diversity and continue to grow and prosper we need to reach more women. Fortunately there are a number of great initiatives both from Government and Industry doing just this.
Since last year, techUK has been a part of great initiatives working towards improving gender diversity in the tech sector. techUK is proud to support the Tech Talent Charter, with almost 300 signatories, the Charter published it’s first annual benchmarking report earlier this year and has now branched out across 13 different sectors. 2019 is shaping up to be a great year for growing the Charter’s reach and anyone interested in getting their company signed up should speak to us.
techUK is also a key supporter of the WISE campaign - ‘My Skills, My Life’, working to engage more girls to consider studies and careers in STEM. If you are interested in becoming a role model or supporting WISE’s work again get in touch!
techUK is as committed to encouraging new entrants into the pipelines as ensuring women return to tech after a career break. That is why we created the techUK Returners Hub a one-stop-shop for women looking to return to work. The Hub signposts to programmes, training providers, free resources and courses, and provides insights into experience’s women have had returning to work. If your company runs a Returners Programme then let us know and we can promote it on our hub and help more women find you.
We will only move the dial on diversity in our sector if we all get involved and support each other. The challenge can seem daunting but we can all take meaningful and practical steps to help promote and increase diversity.
techUK is committed to making the tech sector an attractive and welcoming place for women and on International Women’s Day we look forward to celebrating the many achievements of women in our sector and pushing for more change, faster.