Capgemini UK's Laura Gardner discusses why Capgemini is a proud signatory of the Tech Talent Charter encouraging greater diversity in the UK's technology workforce


Prime employer, Capgemini, is a Tech Talent Charter signatory

Prime employer, Capgemini, is a Tech Talent Charter signatory

Laura Gardner works in Active Inclusion, Core Services, at Capgemini UK. She explains why Capgemini is proud to be a signatory of the Tech Talent Charter.

The Tech Talent Charter (TTC) is an employer-led initiative to encourage greater diversity in the tech workforce of the UK, supported by the government’s policy paper on the UK Digital Strategy in 2018. As a signatory, Capgemini has made a number of pledges: to support recruitment and retention practices designed to increase diversity, contributing company data for the annual benchmarking report, and continuing to implement its Active Inclusion strategy for change.

Working together to drive inclusion and diversity

Laura says: "When just 17% of Tech/ICT workers in the UK and only one in ten A-Level computer studies students are female, it’s time to work together as an industry to drive inclusion and diversity. We’re proud to be a signatory of the Tech Talent Charter."

The Tech Talent Charter recently published its Benchmarking Report, compiling data from 202 signatories, across all sectors and sizes of organisations. Overall, the data shows that as a group, the TTC signatories are leading the way, although with an average of 26.13 per cent of technical jobs held by women, there is still a way to go.

Laura looks closer at the highlights in the overall benchmarking report:

"Think small then scale – smaller micro-organisations (1-9 employees) are averaging 53 per cent women in technical roles, which then dips to 20 per cent female in small employers (10-49 employees), 23 per cent in medium employers (50-249 employees) and 19 per cent in large employers (250+). While there is the argument that it’s easiest to make a big splash in a smaller pond, as one of 8,000+ employees I know we can learn from other, smaller organisations and are keen to do so. We actively encourage our teams to pilot changes or activities within their areas, to then adopt further – from reverse mentoring to altering job descriptions, we’ve seen this pay off," she comments.

"Look at your outsourcing – we have a mandatory supplier assessment that requests diversity information, but we know we can do more. We’re challenging our recruitment suppliers to provide diverse shortlists of candidates, and establishing governance to track progress, share the pain and successes."

Laura suggests rethinking support for retraining and returners – saying this is absolutely integral for companies' future success, on two counts: "We find that our alumni frequently return to our organisation (I co-facilitate our company inductions, and we usually welcome several alumni re-joining us every month). Going one step further, our Return@Capgemini programme is now well-established, from the initial pilot in 2017, to Sara Matthewman winning Outstanding Returner of the Year at the 2018 Women in IT Excellence Awards," she says. "We already welcomed nine returners this January and are looking forward to welcoming more throughout the year, ready to rejoin the workplace with tailored coaching, development and support."

More than just numbers

"For us, being a signatory of the Tech Talent Charter is more than just numbers though," comments Laura. "We need to ensure our workplaces are welcoming and inclusive for all, which is why the heart of our Active Inclusion strategy is making sure that every employee feels able to bring their best self to work. But this takes work; we all have a role to play, to challenge norms, change the existing narrative, and act in an inclusive way. Looking ahead, we’re committed and will continue to share and learn together with our Tech Talent Charter signatories."

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