Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL

What is the Tech Talent Charter?

The Tech Talent Charter (TTC) is a commitment by organisations to a set of undertakings that aim to deliver greater inclusion and diversity in the tech workforce of the UK, one that better reflects the make-up of the population.  This covers both organisations in the technology sector itself, and organisations across all other sectors, who have employees in tech roles.  Signatories of the charter make a number of pledges in relation to their approach to recruitment and retention.  Although it is very much an employer-led initiative, the TTC is supported in the Government’s UK Digital Strategy.  

Why is there a need for a Tech Talent Charter?

Just 17% of Tech/ICT workers in the UK are female, only one in ten females are currently taking A-Level computer studies, and yet there is a looming digital skills gap where the UK needs one million more tech workers by 2020.  Half the population cannot be ignored, and nor should it be, if there is to be a more diverse, inclusive, fairer and commercially successful tech workforce and industry.

Is the Tech Talent Charter only about the gender imbalance, or about diversity more widely?

For inclusion and diversity strategies to be truly impactful, we must build an inclusive culture for all. In our early days, the TTC focused solely on the lens of gender. We have now broadened our scope, looking to surface and share what works and what doesn't to create greater diversity and inclusion in relation to ethnicity, age, disability, orientation, social inclusion, mental health, neurodiversity, and wider forms of intersectional diversity.

I want to know more about the pledge a Signatory organisation must make to improve inclusion and diversity

One of the pledges Signatories make upon joining the Charter is that they will have a plan to improve inclusion; including adopting inclusive recruitment and promotion processes and practices to support the development and retention of a diverse workforce (you'll find loads of examples of what other organisations are doing in our Open Playbook of Best Practice to help with this).

We do not ‘check on’ or request information about this plan and we appreciate we have companies joining at all stages of the journey. Some are well on the way to reaping the benefits of good practice while others are just starting out their journey. We provide our Toolkit to support companies to create their action plan and deliver against it with our Open Playbook, our I&D Directory and our Diversity in Tech Report.The toolkit is open to anyone within your organisation to access.

The charter deliberately and explicitly acknowledges that it will take time for a Signatory to achieve all the pledges in the TTC, and each Signatory undertakes to “define its own timetable for change and implement the strategy that is right for their organisation (acknowledging that all signatories will have different starting points)”. 

How can I update my contact details?

Keeping your key contacts current

Please keep your company's key contacts current by completing the relevant form when there is a change:

Update Principal Contact
Update Senior Signatory
Update Data Contact
Update PR Contact

All contacts can update their Communication Preferences and unsubscribe at any time.  If a key contact unsubscribes from TTC communications we will require an alternative contact. 

GOVERNANCE

How is the TTC organised and managed?

The TTC is a Community Interest Company (CIC), a community-oriented enterprise movement. Details of how such organisations run generally are provided here.

The TTC has a board of 5 directors who works closely with a steering group that meets monthly. Members of both groups can be found on the TTC website.

How is the steering group selected? Can my organisation be on it?

The steering group in its current form was established in April 2017 on a collaborative collective basis, and includes a range of employers and not-for profit organisations working in the field of UK tech and digital skills development. Membership – for practical reasons – is capped at sixteen organisations.

How do you know whether an employer is following through on their action plan?

This is a voluntary scheme, and so the emphasis will not be on close monitoring of progress by TTC but on transparency via published plans and submission of data.

What is the process for managing any press enquiries and press releases?

When your organisation becomes a TTC Signatory, a pack of promotional material becomes available, including the TTC logo, and draft tweets and press releases for you to adapt.

New signatories will be publicised to create more impact in showing the collective growth in employer numbers.

There will also be specific social media publicity around TTC-run events. 

What is the role of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in the TTC?

The vision of the DCMS includes “leading the digital revolution to make the UK the most competitive and innovative market in the world”. They are supporting a range of initiatives to improve the digital skills of the nation and in a January 2016 report noted that “Barriers exist especially for women who are under represented on higher education courses in computer related subjects, and within the industry as a whole.”  They are a supporter of this employer-led charter and are represented on its steering group.

Government support for the TTC is also referenced in their UK Digital Strategy of March 2017 – search for “tech talent” in this section of the report.

How does the TTC compare with the Women in Finance Charter sponsored by the Treasury? What does it mean for employers of technical staff in financial services companies?

The two charters are complementary.  They do have a slightly different focus as there are slightly different challenges in each sector.  The Women in Finance Charter has an emphasis on the lack of women in senior roles and on the gender pay gap, which are the issues where the financial services sector is most imbalanced.  The TTC looks at diversity and inclusion across technical roles in all industry sectors.  Work you undertake to support both charters will be complementary.

Are there any fees associated with being a signatory of the TTC?

TTC is committed to being a not-for-profit, employer-led scheme.  The goal is to make all operations as lean and automated as possible and to make use of pro-bono support from signatories. 

DATA

Where can I find an information pack and a copy of the data submission questions?

To find out more about the questions asked, see the NDA, etc., you can download our  2020 data information pack on data here

Do we have to share our organisation’s gender diversity profile data to participate in the Tech Talent Charter?

The belief that “what isn’t measured isn’t managed” is a key belief underpinning the TTC. And so, yes, one of the four pledges of a TTC Signatory is to measure their employee diversity and to share that data.  All data is anonymised and aggregated, which then allows your organisation to benchmark your own diversity position – which only you can see – across the TTC Signatory group (we have over 450 organisations signed up).

The anonymous and aggregated data provided by each organisation enables us to provide a unique lens on diversity and inclusion in tech in the UK. Our report enables your organisation to benchmark your progress against others and understand what others are doing to drive progress.

How will our gender diversity profile data be gathered and used?

A very basic data set is required from all signatories, that we would expect all organisations to already hold in their HR systems.  This data is gathered annually in September and submitted online via a Typeform.  Further data can be entered on an optional basis, and over time we expect that more and more employers will also gather this optional information, enabling richer insight and analysis.  You will find that you already need to gather some of this data under the recent UK gender pay gap legislation.

Please note that no personal data is gathered at any point and all data is covered by NDA.

To find out more about the questions asked, see the NDA, etc., you can download our 2020 data information pack here

How will the security of the anonymised data be managed?

The company providing this service, Attest, carry out all the data management.  Research data is gathered and stored in accordance with the Market Research Society (MRS) Code of Conduct.  Attest is a member of the MRS (mrs.org.uk), and is a fully-accredited Fair Data company (fairdata.org.uk).  They are also an Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) Registered Data Controller (ZA120737), use SSL encryption, and run on secure servers based in the EU to ensure all data is treated securely.

Please note that no personal data is gathered at any stage and no company-identified data is held beyond the point when the data is anonymised. 

 

What form does the annual report take?

The report will evolve and grow over time,  but will give an overview of the data, segmenting by company sector, size, etc.  There will be no naming of companies or league tables, instead we will creat benchmarking tools which allow companies to measure their own data against the wider membership, companies of similar size, sector, etc. 

To get a clearer sense of how we use the data, you can download the latest Annual Report here.

What is the purpose of the annual report and research?

One of the biggest challenges to an organisation hoping to make change is the ability to measure the impact of that change over time.  Especially when it comes to understanding diversity in a business, being able to monitor progress, and understand what the real differences are in jobs done by men and women at different levels across tech roles (with anonymised pay benchmarking) is a critical aspect of making effective change.

As such, the Tech Talent Charter will help to collect this data from its membership companies and beyond, and so help its member companies to improve diversity through collection of consistent and comparable tech talent data.

When will we be asked to submit data in 2020?

Data gathering will open on 3 Aug 2020. The deadline is 30 Sep 2020. Companies will have two months to complete their submission (a month longer than in 2019)

ENGAGEMENT

Who is involved in the Tech Talent Charter?

The TTC was founded by a number of organisations across the recruitment, tech and social enterprise fields that included Monster.co.uk, Code First Girls, Stemettes, Apps for Good, RBI, Michael Page, S3 Group, JLR Solutions and Global Radio. From early 2017 engagement widened further to Nationwide, the BBC, Aptum, Tech UK, Tech London Advocates and the Cabinet Office. Work to expand the signatories is now well underway with the support of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) who are leading on the UK digital skills agenda for the current government.

What resources are available to support us in achieving signature, and to follow through on the charter pledges?

To help you carry the message into your organisation and obtain buy-in to sign up, the following materials are available to download:

To put your TTC plan into action, there is a range of supporting materials available on our Toolkit page which include: our Open Playbook, our I&D Directory and our Diversity in Tech Report.

Finally, we host regular events where organisations share their experiences and ideas.

My organisation wants to make progress on inclusion and diversity but isn’t ready to do everything in the TTC, so how can we participate?

The charter deliberately and explicitly acknowledges that it will take time for a signatory to achieve all the pledges in the TTC, by saying that each signatory undertakes to “define its own timetable for change and implement the strategy that is right for their organisation (acknowledging that all signatories will have different starting points)”. So you do need to have a senior leader overseeing the work, to have an action plan and deliver on it, and be willing to share anonymised data, but all this doesn’t have to be operational upon signing.

Can I be involved as an individual or do I have to be part of an organisation?

While the main focus of the TTC is the work of signatory organisations, we recognise there are individuals who wish to advocate and support change in this space. Individual TTC supporters are welcome at all TTC events and can contribute to workstreams and further development of best practice content without their organisations being signatories themselves.

My organisation needs more evidence to support the case for change, can you help?

Here are some of the sound commercial arguments for gender diversity – at its broadest, not specific to digital/tech skills:

  • Researchers discovered that shifting from an all-male or all-female office to one split evenly along gender lines could increase revenue by roughly 41 percent. (Source: study from Journal of Economics and Management Strategy.)
  • Publicly traded companies with male-only executive directors missed out on £430bn of investment returns last year. (Source)
  • The Tech Sector accounts for 67% women-led businesses with 35% of the businesses growing 50% or more per annum. (Source: Sherry Coutu research)
  • Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians. (Source)
  • Studies reveal that gender diverse companies are 45% more likely to improve market share, achieve 53% higher returns on equity, and are 70% more likely to report successfully capturing new markets. (Source)
There are so many initiatives in this area, particularly around women in technology, women in digital, girls and STEM subjects at school, it’s really hard to keep track of what is going on. How do I know what my organisation should best participate in, and contribute to?

It’s great that there are now so many strands of activity, as the challenge needs tackling on many fronts at once, and they are all serving slightly different purposes.  The TTC aims not to re-invent the wheel and indeed with signpost to such initiatives rather than create new ones.  Signatories are encouraged to share the work that they are doing in this space and the TTC website will link to relevant content.

Can recruitment agencies sign up?

Of course, we welcome recruitment agencies as signatories.