Girls allowed: breaking the diversity stalemate | PA Consulting

The argument is clear: ‘More women in business equals better business’. The link between financial performance and gender diversity has been researched and reported on over the last decade and is now widely acknowledged to be a simple truth.

At the same time, however, high-profile attempts to accelerate women up the organisational ladder have had only a minor impact on diversity statistics. Shell became the latest corporate giant to admit the topic ‘needed a little bit more time’ when non-executive chairman Jorma Ollila said the company was still searching for “females who really have the ability to contribute” to the board.

So we asked the question: “are we missing something here?”

In a nutshell, the answer our research led us to is ‘culture’.

Organisational culture has been largely overlooked in the gender diversity debate. Research shows that a high-performance culture is critical to success, yet certain cultural conditions – such as long hours and a lack of flexible working – have been identified as barriers to greater diversity. Organisations may employ programmatic interventions to address these challenges, but the problems are often created by an ingrained workplace environment.
Studying the performance and workforce equality of 50 leading organisations, we asked, “what is the relationship between high-performance cultures, the number of women on executive teams and the gender diversity challenge? Are high-performance cultures and gender diversity mutually exclusive?”

Download full report here

Exploring the Gender Imbalance | Spring Technology

Women in Technology

Whilst the country’s 1.2 million IT & Telecoms (IT&T) professionals make up just 4.2% of the UK’s total workforce, they are both the power behind the sizeable information economy and the backbone to every other sector. Could industry be doing more to increase its power? Is the workforce a fair representation of a modern day society?

With news emerging from Silicon Valley that women typically comprise less than 30% of its workforce, Spring Technology was keen to look at female participation in the UK IT & Telecoms occupations. Startlingly, our research found that, in 2014, women accounted for just 16.4% of the country’s IT & Telecoms professionals.*

To understand why so few women are entering and staying in the profession, our research looked into:
  • Education: What’s being done to improve technical and digital skills and increase interest levels in working in the profession
  • Early careers within IT & Telecoms, progression opportunities, and the availability of opportunities at a senior level

From this research - which comprised qualitative interviews, a survey across our comprehensive network, and extensive data analysis - we unearthed issues that not only impact women, but the workforce as a whole.

I hope that the findings from our research will prove useful in helping to shape the future of IT & Telecoms recruitment, and to improve the prospects of the profession at large.

Download full report here

Mind the Gap: A report on the UK's Technology Skills Gap | Hired

Over the past several years, successive British governments have prioritised growing the tech industry as a way to ensure that the UK economy can thrive in an increasingly digital world; and those results have paid off.

Gap - Via Shutterstock - Skills Gap
Gap - Via Shutterstock

According to recent statistics, the UK’s thriving digital industry is now worth £161bn to the economy and supports more than 1.5m jobs. What’s more, the UK has the largest digital economy as a percentage of GDP in the G20, with expected growth of 15% next year.

That said, this position is far from guaranteed. Brexit, the uncertainty around freedom of movement, and the growing appeal of other global tech hubs in Europe, the US and Asia have called into question whether the UK is well-positioned to fill the 750,000 new digital jobs that will open by 2020 and ultimately stay competitive in the global tech economy.

To get at the root of this issue, Hired dug into the hundreds of companies and thousands of candidates who have participated in our UK marketplace over the last 18 months to better understand the state of the nation’s talent and skills base. The result is our “Mind the Gap” report, which helps identify the digital skills that companies are demanding to help their businesses grow, and which we hope will inform the debate about what the UK needs to do next to maintain its position at the forefront of the global tech industry.

Among the key findings the analysis revealed include:

1. There is a significant skills gap in the key areas of data, security, Python, Ruby, UI and UX. Whether measured by supply and demand, interview requests or job offers, these areas consistently emerged as the skills most coveted by tech firms. Market appetite for these skills is far outstripping supply, with, for example, the demand for security engineers increasingly by 234% in the last 18 months alone.
2. Particularly with the uncertainty over the Brexit decision, gaps in the supply and demand of vital skills may hold back the UK tech sector’s growth. One in three people working in the UK tech sector come from another European country. Britain’s position as a digital powerhouse has been dependent on bringing in these kinds of high-skilled workers as a supplement to the country’s home-grown talent; the skills gap will only worsen if the UK can’t attract the best talent, wherever it’s from.
3. The UK’s global competitiveness against US tech hubs is an area of concern. Average salaries for tech workers in London are substantially lower than in Silicon Valley and New York, which have salaries 38% and 35% higher, respectively, than the UK.
4. There is a worrying trend when looking at the pipeline of tech-savvy students entering the workforce. Seventy-four percent of tech workers have a degree – a much higher proportion than the national average. However, the number of UK students graduating with computer science qualifications has dropped considerably since 2002. This is in direct contrast to neighbours such as France, which now provides the European market with more computer science graduates than any other country. Given this and the fact that our data revealed that a large number of developers are now self-taught, employers need to ensure passion and commitment are given due consideration in their recruitment process, alongside university degrees.

This suggests that, while the UK has a highly-qualified workforce today, it risks the skills gap widening, with fewer developers and software engineers entering the workplace despite an economy that is hungrier than ever for tech talent.

Businesses, educational institutions and the government need to collaborate closely to ensure that we are addressing this issue and nurturing the talent that will secure the UK’s position as a digital leader in the years ahead. If we do this, we will ensure that the UK remains competitive in the global tech marketplace.

Read the full report here


Tech Talent Charter: Benchmarking Report 2018


Today the Tech Talent Charter (TTC) launched its inaugural benchmarking report – the first report of its kind tracking gender diversity in technology roles across the UK.

Gathered from over 200 signatories representing over half a million employees, the data gives a snapshot of today’s tech industry and an insight into practical ways companies can improve it:

  • Across our signatories women hold 26 per cent of technical roles compared with 19 per cent UK wide – micro businesses are found to be the most gender diverse with women holding 53 per cent of technical roles
  • 71 per cent of signatories already have active diversity and inclusion policies as part of their recruitment approach. 27 per cent don’t, but are putting them in place in the next year.
  • 36 per cent of signatories already have policies in place to increase the number of women included in interview shortlists, with 32 per cent saying they will be adding this in 2019
  • 57 per cent of signatories outsource some or all of their technical roles



Hampton-Alexander Review | FTSE Women Leaders

Hampton Alexander Report

As 2018 draws to a close, there has never been more visibility in business on the lack of women in leadership.

Companies addressing gender imbalance, as part of the drive to align corporate purpose to changing societal expectations, are building the greatest trust in their stakeholders. Rising public awareness and grass-roots focus from employees, will help quicken the pace. But we need to ask what more is required.

The Hampton-Alexander Review (the Review), which is an independent, business-led initiative supported by Government, builds on the success of its predecessor, the Davies Review. In 2016 the Review set fve key Recommendations aimed at increasing the number of women in leadership positions of FTSE 350 companies. This third annual report assesses progress, shines a spotlight on emerging best practice and current challenges.


Speak Up: Bringing More Women’s Voices to Tech Conferences

Speak Up report

New research conducted by Ensono, reveals the stigma that women face at technology conferences. 

The report, “Speak Up: Bringing More Women’s Voices to Tech Conferences”, which interviewed 500 women in tech in the US and UK, uncovers women’s experiences and attitudes toward the representation of women in tech. It found, for example, that:

  • One in four women have experienced sexual harassment at a tech conference
  • Seventy per cent of women who’ve sat on a panel at a technology conference have been the only woman on the panel

The study also included an audit of 18 major tech industry conferences in the US and UK to find the number of keynotes that have been given by women over the past three years.


Women in Technology: Leaders of Tomorrow | Accenture

It seems like today women are better positioned than ever before to rise to leadership roles in technology.

Not only do companies have many kinds of support structures in place, such as women’s networks and leadership development courses, but there is an increasing number of women at the top who can serve as role models or inspiration. Externally, groups like the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, Girls Who Code, and other organizations aim to support women in the industry and increase the percentage of women entering the tech space as well.

Nevertheless, women are still a distinct minority in the technology workforce –and an even smaller proportion of corporate leadership. In the 1980s, women represented a peak of between 35 and 40 percent of the computing and information technology (IT) workforce in the U.S. By 2011, that percentage dropped to about 25 percent, according to NCWIT. This coincided with a decrease in the percentage of women majoring in computer science degrees in college.

Our research in this area shows that while women in tech are working hard, they don’t necessarily believe they know how to get to the top. At The Glass Hammer’s November 2012 Women in Tech career event, we repeatedly heard that young women were confused about the practical steps they need to take to make it to leadership.