FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

General

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. 

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.

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.

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)”. 

Please keep your company's key contacts current by completing the relevant forms at the following page URL when there is a change:

https://www.techtalentcharter.co.uk/updateyourcontacts

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. 

Data

To find out more about the questions asked in our annual data submission survey, see the 2021 version of the Data Collection Questions and FAQs here.

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 500 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 annual Diversity in Tech report enables your organisation to benchmark your progress against others and understand what others are doing to drive progress.

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 in our annual data submission survey, see the 2021 version of the Data Collection Questions and FAQs here.

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. 

To get a clearer sense of how we use the data, you can view our most recent Diversity in Tech Reports here.

The report allows companies to measure their own data against the wider Signatory group, companies of similar size, sector, etc. 

Data is the way in which we cut through our assumptions. It enables us to have tough conversations in an informed and productive way and to identify the most promising solutions. This is why submitting diversity data is one of four things a company must commit to when signing up to the TTC. We know that simply having this data recorded does not result in a more diverse workforce. It’s a vital first step but must be linked to action. Our intention is to support organisations through, particularly those early on in their D&I journey, who wish to develop their D&I data strategy to be as inclusive and thorough as possible. We do this through the various elements within our toolkit.

Our latest Diversity in Tech report uses data from 418 organisations, an increase of nearly a hundred organisations compared to our 2019 report. Our dataset covers 161,859 people working in technical roles in the UK and we estimate this represents around 13-14% of the current UK’s tech-skilled labour force, now making TTC’s dataset comparable in size to the equalities datasets provided by the ONS.

Data gathering will open on 1 Aug 2022. The deadline is end of the day 30 Sep 2022. Companies will have two months to complete their submission.

The 2022 data collection information pack will be available in the Spring. In the meantime, see the 2021 version of the Data Collection Questions and FAQs here.

Engagement

The TTC is a Community Interest Company (CIC), a community-oriented enterprise movement. 

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 our About the Tech Talent Charter page.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

Governance

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.

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.

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.

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)

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.

Of course, we welcome recruitment agencies as signatories. 

Are you ready to join us in delivering greater workforce inclusion and diversity?

Sign up to become a Signatory of the Charter and demonstrate your company's commitment to driving inclusion, enhancing your brand as an employer of choice.

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What our Signatories are saying

"I am delighted that the Bank of England is now a proud signatory of Tech Talent Charter. We are committing ourselves to action by joining this collective effort and pledging to collaborate and share best practices with others, progress our plan to improve inclusion and share diversity data for collective intelligence. I strongly believe our commitment advances the Bank’s desire for meaningful change, continuing to hold ourselves accountable both to our staff and externally to our peers." Bank of England
"eSynergy Solutions are proud signatories of the Tech Talent Charter and are honoured to be part of a community dedicated to taking positive and measurable action to improve the gender balance within the tech industry. Rather than re-writing the playbook, being part of the TTC community allows you to access a wide range of resources including their toolkits, playbooks and events to help support you in your own D&I journey. Our diversity and inclusion strategy is data-driven and evidence-based which means that is incredibly useful to be able to benchmark our progress using the TTC’s Diversity in Tech Report. We encourage other organisations to also pledge their commitment to the delivery of greater diversity in the technology and digital industry and take part in events and hackathons to cross share knowledge to work together to create a more diverse and inclusive industry." eSynergy Solutions
"We are very proud to be a signatory - OVO is determined to hire and nurture a diverse and inclusive movement of world changers. We're solving humankind's greatest challenge and we need all of humankind here to help us. We look forward to learning from and networking with the TTC community." OVO Energy
"Obtaining a balanced workplace, where everyone is comfortable contributing their maximum potential, is key to achieving great business results and is motivational to all involved. As a technology function we are working hard to make sure that we achieve this through our recruiting and development of our talent. Through the Tech Talent Charter, I am looking forward to help drive this in any way I can." Superdrug Stores plc
"We are really pleased that our ICT Provider Publica Group Ltd along with Cheltenham Borough Council have signed up to the charter. We have a shared commitment to greater inclusion and diversity in technology roles." Cheltenham Borough Council