Claire Dracott | NewsUK

Claire joined News UK in August 2011 on the Technology graduate scheme, after a year she was offered a job in the UX+Design team. She has spent the last 5 years predominately working for The Times and The Sunday Times helping to grow the team, being an advocate for user experience within the business and putting the customer at the heart of the products by constantly usability testing concepts. Claire's recent role as Deputy Head of UX for News UK will see her working across title, line managing the team and developing the range of products we offer.

news uk

News UK

news uk

Our mission is to attract, retain and develop talent and a large part of this is creating a diverse workforce through empowering women. Listed below are some of the initiatives we've implemented.

- Role profiles: Review and redesign our role profiles to be gender neutral: Several studies suggest the importance of gender neutrality when writing role profiles. We’ve worked hard to ensure the language we use is reflective of us and our audience.

- Social Media: Reviewed our use of social media and advertising platforms; we were already doing great things but needed to share these externally enabling us to attract a more diverse workforce.

- Partnership: Improving diversity and being proud of our culture is something we would never achieve if it wasn’t for the great work our partners do both with us and in the broader market. This has seen us partner with FDM, Code First Girls, Makers Academy, Pivigo, HackerEarth and Apps for Good; hosting an event in partnership with Apps for Good at the News Building.

- Networking group: Our executive team is split 50/50 and they are fully behind our commitment to create a diverse technology team. This commitment saw the launch of The Network which was sponsored by Rebekah Brooks (CEO) and Christina Scott (CTO). This is about connecting with the wider business and creating a platform for honest and open feedback. It aspires to be a wrap around for groups focused on areas of interest including gender and LGBT.. News UK has since gone on to sponsor London Pride having purchased a table at the pre pride gala dinner earlier this year.

- Community: To address the market perception of the Technology team we made a commitment to host more events, talk at more seminars and to enter - and win - awards so our teams can be recognised for the great things they do.

- Communication: As of last year communication was a common theme when asking our employees where we could improve. As a result we’ve introduced fortnightly newsletters, internal videos highlighting successes and showcasing the talent we have.

- Digi Academy: In previous years we’ve run News Academy aimed at supporting young journalists to start their career. This year we’ve made the move to digital where journalists will work alongside 10 budding developers and designers to produce a multimedia digital news product. The aim is to increase awareness of digital in the newsroom by setting the tone early for collaboration. Our cohort has a 50/50 gender split.

- The introduction of an Agile Academy; Having hired two female graduates we’ve developed an intensive training programme designed over the next two years this programme will introduce them to digital and help them become strong female delivery managers.

- Apprenticeship scheme: We’ve partnered with Ada College who aim to use digital skills as a tool for social mobility and have a 5-year goals of recruiting 50% of their students from low-income backgrounds, as well as a 50/50 gender split. This further supports our ambition to be a destination of choice for all. 25% of our intake is female.

- Engagement platform: Whilst it’s important to increase diversity it’s as important if not more so to ensure those already working for us and our new recruits are engaged and that we live up to our promise to them. Our platform allows us to hear everyone's feedback in a safe environment. We’ll use this platform to sense check how employees from different backgrounds feel and why. This will enable us to make any changes to improve their employment journey.

- Working groups: We're setting up quarterly drop in sessions so we our contractors or those that aren’t comfortable using a platform for engagement are able to voice their ideas or concerns in a safe environment.

- Mentor scheme: our mentor scheme will be designed with the employee in mind to offer support from imposter syndrome to upskilling.

The results:

To sum up we’re immensely proud of what we’ve achieved and that the bar is set high for all who work here regardless of their background. So far we’ve achieved more than we’d hoped and it’s this that gives us the determination to strive for greatness. Females account for 25% as of February 2017 of our team up from 15.6% in April 2016 whilst our attrition has improved from 19.3 - 17.9%. We have ambitious targets which we hope to realise with gender reaching 30% and attrition tracking at 15%. In the last year we’ve won seven awards including most improved diversity and IT partnership of the year through Real IT with an ambition to win more!

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