Small firms lead the way in tech workforce gender parity

DataIQ News

Small businesses are proving far more successful than their larger counterparts in tackling the gender imbalance in the tech workforce, according to the inaugural benchmarking report from Government-backed initiative Tech Talent Charter.

Across the 200 companies which responded to the survey, women hold 26% of technical roles compared with 19% across the UK, but in micro businesses women outnumber the men in technical roles, taking 53% of those jobs.

Meanwhile, 71% of signatories to the Tech Talent Charter have active diversity and inclusion policies as part of their recruitment process, and the 27% who do not, say are putting them in place next year.

About a third say they have policies to increase numbers of women in interview shortlists, and another third say they are adding this to their agenda.

When broken down into job roles, those in user-centred design roles had the highest proportion of women (48%), followed by production and delivery (33%) and data (31%).

Debbie Forster, chief executive officer of Tech Talent Charter, said: “For the first time, we’re bringing together sector-wide data that is not just a restating of the problem – it allows companies to measure their own practice against others and to learn from each other to create solutions.

“We’re also painstakingly documenting existing best practice from across the sector and the huge range of organisations, initiatives and schemes businesses can work with to drive inclusion and diversity themselves.”

BAE Systems head of diversity and inclusion Theresa Palmer added: “To date, the tech industry has only been able to provide anecdotal evidence and a limited amount of analytical data that suggests women are not getting equal opportunities in the field.

“Larger companies are struggling more than smaller organisations to level the playing field. As a large, global employer BAE Systems takes this finding seriously and wants to work hard to ensure we stay ahead of the statistics and lead the way.”