Working hands - Cell phone & post its

20 APRIL 2021

TTC Hackathon: how to drive inclusion and diversity within a start-up or scale-up environment

Kick start your inclusion & diversity strategy to address your tech skills shortages

Kicks off: 29th June & runs for a month
Location: Virtual


Sponsored by:


About this hackathon

The Tech Talent Charter (TTC) will stage our next inclusion and diversity (I&D) hackathon in June. This hackathon will focus on actions specific to start-up and scale-up companies. The hackathon, sponsored by Spinks, kicks off on 29th June when four groups of inclusion and diversity subject matter experts will collaborate to build new products for our Open Playbook.

Timing: running over one month, the hackathon kicks off on Tuesday 29th June and concludes on Thursday 29th July 2021.

Participants for each team will be experts on specific topic I&D areas and will work in small, virtual teams of 5 or 6, led by a team leader to deliver a new employer product for the Open Playbook to be judged by an expert panel.

Host: Tech Talent Charter Event sponsors: Spinks

Who is this hackathon for?

We are looking to recruit subject matter experts to contribute their expertise and develop the TTC's Open Playbook, our open-source resource for all employers. The TTC is specifically seeking people who have strong inclusion and diversity (I&D) knowledge and experience of at least one of the following areas specifically related to startup or scale-up environments:

  • Cultivating an inclusive culture
  • Reward and retention
  • Hiring diverse tech talent: accessing all of the talent pool (ie. attraction strategies, job advertisements, pathways offered etc)
  • Hiring diverse tech talent: assessing talent (shortlisting and selection methods, alternatives to interviews, hiring managers etc)

As spaces are limited, we request that participants please provide evidence of having the necessary expertise of one of the above subject areas.

What's in it for you?

  • We often ask hackathon participants to join future TTC panels to showcase the products they produce
  • Cross-company learning
  • Networking
  • Personal and company PR 
  • Deepen your understanding of the topic area
  • An opportunity to ‘give back', supporting our not for profit organisation to develop new employer resources.

All participants and companies will be credited on social media channels (especially the winning team!) and all participants are invited to add their TTC hackathon expertise to their LinkedIn profile.

The mission

There will be 4 teams. Each team will create one employer product that is designed specifically for use within a startup and/or scale-up company and the focus for each team will be:

  1. Team 1: How to cultivate an inclusive culture
  2. Team 2: How to reward and retain talent
  3. Team 3: How to access all of the available tech talent
  4. Team 4: How to assess talent

Each team's mission will be to produce a 'roadmap' - this should be a high-level menu of the most important actions organisations should consider with respect to the specific topic. The goal is to “join the dots”, i.e. to signpost great resources. What we don't ask for is an exhaustive list of all actions employers of tech could do. For teams that would like it, the TTC will provide a list of recommended resources already in the Open Playbook on the topic (by no means exhaustive). If not, the team can choose to start with a blank sheet.

Examples of products from previous TTC hackathons can be found on the Hackathon page on the TTC website and all products live in our Open Playbook.

Time commitment

Based on our recent hackathons, we anticipate the amount of time it will take teams to co-create their product will be approximately 10-12 hours over a month (done flexibly).

Important point! If this hackathon sounds like a good fit for you, please confirm that you will have availability during this period and are committed to contributing to this team effort!

Hackathon timing and key dates

Each team's specific meeting dates/times will be confirmed once participants are in teams (meetings will be set up by team leaders). The below dates and6 times are confirmed at the outset:

  • 10.00, Tuesday 29th June: hackathon begins with a briefing led by TTC followed by 30 mins with your team
  • 29th June - 26th July: Teams work together to create their 'product' (the roadmap)
  • 17.00, Monday 26th July: Strict deadline to submit product 
  • 15.00, Thursday 29th July*: Feedback session with judges

*Feedback session: This session is when judges will provide their feedback and where teams will provide a very high-level overview of the key elements of their roadmap.

The team leader role

As part of the sign-up process we will recruit 4 team leaders - please indicate if you'd like to be a team leader when signing up. The role of the team leader is to help facilitate the team discussion, encouraging all team members to share their ideas; organise team meetings and submit the final 'product' for judging by the expert panel.

Team leaders are free to organise and structure meetings at times that work for your team and use tools that work best for the team. On the day before the hackathon kicks off, the TTC will provide team leaders with each of their team member's names, their skills and experience, preferred working style, any availability preference (this information is provided when signing up in Eventbrite) and your team's email addresses.

What is the TTC Open Playbook?

Our Open Playbook has six themes all focussing on driving inclusion and diversity in tech. Within each theme, there are several recommendations and resources shared by organisations and subject matter experts. In each section, you'll find lots of strategies, articles, tools and reports about how to address specific challenges and increase inclusion and diversity in tech teams.

The expert judging panel will include (more to be added shortly!)

  • Robin Beattie, Managing Director, Spinks
  • Edleen John, TTC Director and Director - International Relations, Corporate Affairs & Co-Partner for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, The Football Association
  • Debbie Forster MBE, CEO, Tech Talent Charter

The Tech Talent Charter is a non-profit organisation leading a movement to address inequality in the UK tech sector and drive inclusion and diversity in a practical and uniquely measurable way. Our ultimate goal: that the UK tech sector becomes truly inclusive and a reflection of the society which it represents. We work at scale, addressing the tech ecosystem as a whole to drive change. We focus on the how, not just the why of inclusion.

There are now over 630 UK organisations that are Signatories of the Charter and each organisation has made a number of pledges in relation to inclusive recruitment and retention practices. Although it is very much an employer-led initiative, the TTC is supported by the UK Government's Digital Strategy. Membership is free.

The TTC focuses on practical action --events are not a sales pitch or a promotional piece. We also believe in sharing what works rather than treating it like a "trade secret". Our working events are a great opportunity to learn, share and plan for action.

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Are you a subject matter expert in inclusion and diversity?

Click here to register your interest for future hackathons and working lunches that match your areas of expertise and interest.

Interested in attending more Inclusion and Diversity events?

The Tech Talent Charter hosts various events including Hackathons, Drop-in Sessions, and Working Lunches.