About the Charter
DETAILS OF THE CHARTER
1. having a senior-level, named representative with responsibility for the Charter commitments;
2. adopting inclusive recruitment processes, working toward a goal that, wherever possible, women are included on the shortlist for interviews;
3. ensuring they have employment policies and practices that support the development and retention of an inclusive and diverse workforce;
4. working collectively with other signatories to develop, share and implement protocols and best practice for the practical implementation of the aims of this Charter;
5. contributing their employment diversity data into a common central anonymised database, for sharing amongst signatories bi-annually, and for publishing publicly in an annual report.
The Back Story
In July 2014 Caitlin Moran, the novelist and journalist highlighted at her book launch in London that “if 90% of coders are men, developing and owning the language of the future, women won’t be part of the conversation“. In the audience that evening happened to be the Marketing Director of Monster.co.uk, Sinead Bunting. Concerned and inspired to try and do something about it, she set about trying to raise awareness of the tech diversity crisis amongst the HR and recruitment industry. Reaching out and chatting to ‘women in tech’ in this area, she met many inspirational women who were already doing amazing things to raise awareness of the importance of tech and STEM to females and upskill them in all things tech.
These women included Anne Marie Amifidon, Co-Founder of Stemettes, Amali de Alwis, CEO of Code First Girls and Debbie Forster, Co-CEO of Apps for Good. In fact it was during an initial call with Anne Marie, where Anne Marie mentioned that there should be a charter to address the biases and issues faced by females in the recruitment process. Sinead thought Anne Marie’s idea of a charter was an excellent idea and set about trying to make it happen. Calling it the Tech Talent Charter (creative!) making a logo (it now had an identity so it must be real!) and getting the much needed buy-in and support of her bosses such as Andrea Bertone at Monster to support the implementation, she wrote the initial charter and worked side by side with Amali de Alwis of Code First Girls who advised a work stream framework be devised and implemented.
But of course, only progress could be made if other organisations joined them to make an industry collective. Sure enough, Stemettes, Apps For Good, RBI, Michael Page, JLR Solutions amongst others stepped up to the plate and worked to deliver case studies, guidelines and best practice to provide supporting material for the TTC.
Meanwhile, the government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport were also discussing with technology employers across many industry sectors what could be done to improve the gender bias in digital roles in the UK workforce. A team that included people from Nationwide, techUK and the BBC had started developing the idea of a diversity charter for employers when they heard about the TTC, and the two groups joined forces.
In March 2017, DCMS ensured that the TTC and their support for it was name-checked in the government’s policy on the UK Digital Strategy, and so a new TTC phase began, to drive employer buy-in. There is a great deal of work going on in this space and the TTC team is determined to connect the dots, rather than re-invent the wheel, so is talking to and working with a range of leading companies and organisations across the whole of the sector about building on their existing programmes of work, to maximise the benefit of all our efforts.