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Talking returning to work, career advice & getting more women into the tech space with a tech recruiter

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Ascent Group is home to six diverse recruitment brands that all specialise in their own field, whilst providing top talent to the tech industry.

Starting with TechNET IT in 2001, Ascent Group teams have been expanding ever since, with the sharpest, most knowledgeable specialist recruiters in the tech industry.

Ascent Group take pride in looking after their staff, and offer incredible flexible working initiatives, family-friendly policies and extensive training and development to the team.

In this article, we get an insight from Ascent Group and get their views on getting women and girls into the tech space, returning to work after having a baby; and advice to their younger selves.

Let’s meet Emily, Head of Search & Senior Appointments at TechNET CxO.

Meet Emily, Head of Search & Senior Appointments, TechNET CxO

Emily is Head of Search & Senior Appointments at TechNET CxO – a home-grown Executive Search agency and sister brand within the Ascent Group. She built CxO from the ground up in 2019, after joining TechNET six years prior.

After starting out at TechNET, Emily decided that her passion lay with Senior Appointments, which is when she made the decision to head to London for a year to gain further experience in Executive Search.

Emily is now a Player Coach, managing a team of eight consultants, whilst still aiming to be top biller herself.

Emily, Ascent Group

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

When thinking about my career plan, I didn’t think I would ever end up in tech recruitment. I originally wanted to be a teacher, and I suppose you could say there are aspects of teaching in my current role, but I decided to head in a different direction and began manifesting my big financial goals. This led me into choosing a more business-focused route.

I started my career working for my mum’s business. I gained direct experience of business growth, franchising, and the inner workings of running a business which really sparked my love for business growth.

I was looking for a career path that I could use the skills that co-running a business gave me, and tech recruitment looked like a good option. I, to this day, absolutely love helping and interacting with others, and have always aspired to work my way up to a senior position, and tech recruitment made this vision a reality for me.

Any opportunities/challenges you’ve faced & overcome?

Having a baby was probably the most difficult, yet wonderful challenge I have faced so far.

Before I went on maternity leave, I was getting started on my management track, my team was building nicely, and revenue was very good. However, once I had taken a step back, I no longer had control of which direction my team was heading in.

This pushed me to return to work pretty quickly – after only three months in fact. In hindsight, my return was rushed, but I was keen to continue navigating my tech career and get back to my team. Whilst only working half days to fit around my little one, I immediately received a promotion and took on a larger team, which was a big transition process.

Balancing work and being a mum proved very tricky, and because I was working part time, I was giving my full self to my daughter or work – I have always been my toughest critic. When you become a mum, your priorities definitely change, and it is common that a woman’s career can become lost. It was crucial for me to have both – the family and the career.

Do you have any career tips?

My main career tip, specifically for women, is to quieten the voice in your head that tells you that you can’t do something, or that it won’t happen for you. So many women in business feel that they’re not good enough – but when that voice is quiet, the possibilities are endless. I would be a completely different person if I had listened to that voice.

How can we encourage more women and girls into the tech industry?

It is important to remember that a lot of steps have been taken already, and we are seeing more and more businesswomen in the tech space – especially here at Ascent Group. The entirety of our senior management team are women, and we have seen so much internal growth across all six of our brands.

However, I think that encouraging girls at school and university to study STEM subjects should continue to be a priority.

I think it is essential to continue providing young women and girls with influential role models too, to lead the way for the future generation of women in tech!

Any tips on those returning to work after a career break?

From my experience, it is really important to have a support system in place that you’re comfortable with, when returning to work. Those around you, whether they are family or friends, need to be on board and understand how important work is for you – which in my case, it was.

Accepting your new way of living is going to help you get used to the new dynamic, and you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself if it doesn’t feel right or doesn’t come together straight away. It can take time to develop a new routine or a new norm. Always remember that you’re allowed to have a career and be a mum – just because others may be doing things differently, doesn’t mean you should feel disheartened.

Finally, I advise that you set clear boundaries with your employers from the beginning. Your company need to understand that there may be times where you have to leave to fit around your child and working at Ascent Group has given me and many others in the business, childcare flexibility, and support to continue thriving.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

If I could go back, I would have taken my time when deciding on my career route out of school. I felt that I went to university for the wrong reasons and perhaps wouldn’t have rushed into it if there wasn’t so much pressure on young people to decide quickly. I feel like you should do what is right for you, not what society tells you to do.

Meet the co-founding sisters of Talent Toute, changing the way to recruit in tech

Meet Sharon Byatt & Mandy Colledge

Sharon and Mandy are the Birmingham-based co-founding sisters of Talent Toute, the talent resourcing platform that claims to be changing the way to recruit IT candidates.

Mandy, Co-founder and Company Director, has over 20 years experience in HR and Recruitment. She is on a mission to create a more equitable playing field for all in recruitment. Mandy is extremely passionate and determined to bring about the long awaited change required in the recruitment industry. Mandy is also a mum of twins.

Sharon, Co-Founder and Company Director, is an entrepreneur having managed several businesses with over 20 years experience. She also has previous sales and client development experience within IBM and JBA Software.

Sharon is passionate about enabling a smarter recruitment process for people to be matched with their skills; and is dedicated to digitalise and change recruitment practices for the better.

Sharon is a mom of 2 grown-up children and a grandson and loves to spend time walking with her cockerpoo, Reggie.

Mandy & Sharon, Talent Toute

We asked them to tell us a bit about themselves, their background and current roles

Sharon explains that “Mandy is the primary founder withs more than 20  years of  experience in recruitment and HR. Some seven years ago, she identified the opportunity for the business whilst working in HR in a Tech SME.”

Then drawing on sister Sharon’s expertise they combined forces with a clear mission to mitigate bias in the talent selection process, particularly at a time when firms clearly want to reach a diverse talent pool of IT professionals.

“Sharon has a diverse business background”, explains Mandy. “She started her career in account management roles at the renowned technology and engineering firms IBM and JBA Consulting, she then went on to set up  two small businesses in Assessments and Healthcare and has also worked in the field of Corporate Development Training.”

Going into business together wasn’t a decision either sister took lightly.  Mandy explains, “but we recognised that we had the same motivation and passion.  There has to be a change.

The same-old, same-old IT recruitment models just won’t cut it. How can firms find the best talent, when age old biases are knowingly – or unknowingly – still being applied?

And yet, every firm will tell you that they are under pressure to hire diverse talent.  It may be because the managers and leaders are wise to the potential to out-perform their peers, or it may be because they are told to do it by their bosses or the Board.  When we realised we were both frustrated and could see a better way, we couldn’t NOT work together!”

They may be sisters but as Sharon points out, “we are very different. We bring different work experiences and we’re very different personalities.”  Mandy is the visionary and strategic thinker and takes the lead from a product development perspective.  Sharon would say I’m the networker.  I create business partnerships and manage the sales and financial aspects and we are both highly driven and passionate about what we are doing.  This combination of skills and contributions explains why they are often referred to as “the dynamic duo 😊”

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

“Not really, we have both always been driven to work in customer-facing roles” explains Mandy. “As independent thinkers, people tell us we each have keen commercial mindsets.  Plus, we have both always felt compelled to work for ourselves.” Combine this with each of their educational journeys in  Business and Finance and you can see how they make a compelling double act.

Sharon picks up the thread to trace this back to their childhood, “ I think I can speak for us both in saying that we both had dreams at a young age whether it be to be a dancer or hockey player, but neither of us really thought it was possible or achievable.  We felt the odds were stacked against us and bias clearly had an impact.  However our ambitions and plans have changed based on our circumstances and how these have evolved over time.  This undoubtedly has played into our Talent Toute vision and driven our passion to succeed both as entrepreneurs and as business women.”

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

Mandy is keen to jump in at this point. “ Oh yes, for sure!, In the world of  HR I have been exposed to a huge variety of workplace disputes and seen biases at a play.  The most prominent one in my experience has been gender, which I have absolutely experienced first-hand. Even that initially created some degree of trepidation when launching our business in what is known to be a male dominated tech industry.  But we soon got over that.

“It is very apparent that the recruitment industry is steeped in traditional practices, many of which are highly subjective. It’s this subjectivity that wrongfully applies biased personal  judgement and this has a huge impact.  So many candidates are unnecessarily eliminated from the  recruitment process. And how can we possibly afford to do that? We’re operating in a time when we need to reach further and fill our digital and tech skills gaps, and anyone who applies these traditional practices immediately shrinks the potential talent pool for their vacancies.”

You co-founded Talent Toute – tell us a bit more about this

Talent Toute is a digital talent marketplace platform designed to showcase a truly diverse range of talent and enables firms to connect with this talent directly.

As Sharon describes the platform model, “Our vision is to achieve an equal world of recruitment that’s simple and without barriers.

Talent Toute has simplicity and innovation at the heart of all of the decisions we make.

We have a direct business model with a public marketplace platform for businesses to sign up to and search for talent.  We’ve embedded functionality that enables hiring managers to connect and chat with candidates directly, taking the rest of the hiring process from there.”

Mandy is keen to expand. “Think of us as a digital recruitment matchmaker, much like a dating website but for hiring. We believe that CV’s are too subjective and largely out of date, so our product focuses on the core skills and qualifications of the candidates. These are most relevant in the early stage of the selection process, and by focusing in on the skills and qualifications, this in turn mitigates  bias, and from the very start.”

“And that’s not all. We feel strongly that prescriptive career paths hinder a company’s ability to see the potential in candidates because all too often they are pigeonholed into specific roles and categories. There are so many candidates out there with great skills and personal attributes that can bring a great deal of value to a business if only the hiring decision makers could be more open to exploring candidates from different career paths.”

In explaining the platform deployment model further, Mandy adds that whilst they set out to service corporates, the business has attracted great interest in public and private sector training academies.  “These academies are adopting the platform as a SaaS model to turn the table and showcase their talent directly to employers.”

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

“Absolutely!” they both cry! Sharon expands saying, “starting a business certainly brings many challenges. You can’t underestimate the challenges of building our MVP (minimal viable product).  We really wanted to build one that is really focused on the needs of our clients, but also one that is scalable, and that takes time, and capital.

We’re delighted to say that our patience paid off and we have just launched our MVP with the help of SuperTech West Midlands and Million Labs which we are extremely excited about.”

Describing themselves as disruptors  in recruitment, Sharon and Mandy have found that gaining trust and changing mindsets has also presented some challenges.  “We have recognised that while there is an appetite to change among some hiring managers, for others there can be an entrenched reluctance to move away from the practices they are familiar with”, says Sharon.

“For many they need to recognise that they have become dependent on traditional practices.  They may believe they work, but  they may not be the most effective way to achieve their aims.”

Not easily deterred, “ for us, it’s all about tenacity and education”, adds Mandy. “We went into this venture with our eyes wide open.

Ask any entrepreneur and they’ll tell you that there are always setbacks and humps in the road, and we’re very driven and tenacious.

We continue to persevere and always manage to keep each other motivated, even when times get tough.”

Do you think the COVID-19 pandemic has revolutionised the recruitment industry (video interviews, flexible working allowing for a greater talent pool etc.)?

“For sure”, confirms Mandy. “ It’s really great to see the amount of flexible working options that are now available to candidates. This is something that has taken a long time to change and the working practices in place during the pandemic have demonstrated that a huge majority of employees are accountable and can work independently.”

Sharon clearly agrees, “The pandemic has shown that if you trust people they will do a great job.

Having said that, I feel that there is still a need for face-to-face time in an office environment and we are seeing more of these blended options take into account personal circumstances and individual preferences.

And Mandy believes this only adds to their argument, “And that’s why understanding and counting in those key attitudes, experiences and competencies really matters. Today more than ever before, these skills  are all so important for organisations, yet so often overlooked in the traditional recruitment process.”

Currently, there is a lot of talk around The Great Resignation – how do you think companies can help to retain their staff? 

“Right now it is very much a candidate-led market and this is reinforcing the concept of a war in talent.”, says Sharon. “It seems that a global crisis such as the pandemic has offered a moment of reflection for many employees who have realised that there is a better balance to be had between work and personal lives.”

Mandy agrees, adding, ”Also we have to consider mental health.  When we consider the impact of our individual and combined experiences, this has also led us to conclude that a shift in priorities is key to improved health and wellbeing.  It is good to see that companies are keeping  in close contact with their staff to check in.  You can’t underestimate how important this is from a health and well being perspective and also from an engagement pulse check point of view.  But that said, managers must be equipped to ask the right questions and seek feedback.  And where they see trends in needs and requirements from their teams, they have to respond.”

Sharon concludes that there is also room for better, more focussed talent management practices. “Firms have  to recognise and nurture talent and this changes all the time.  Firms have to be able equally to respond to the differing learning and development needs of each team member.”

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

As Mandy explains, “We are strong advocates for mentoring having both been mentored, most recently in our entrepreneurial journey but also in our corporate in-house roles as well. We are talking to talent all the time, and for us it’s not just about bringing candidates onto the platform, it’s about helping them to showcase their best attributes and that’s where mentoring really makes an immediate impact.”

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?

“Recruitment practices,” says Sharon.  “Practical steps that companies can adopt to demonstrate their commitment to change.

Action goes a lot further than words.

Recruitment is only one stage of the employment lifecycle, but it is a great and important start and goes further to ensuring that a diverse talent pool is considered.”

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

“Don’t procrastinate,” stresses Mandy. “When you see an opportunity, go for it, and with fortitude.”

Sharon agrees, adding, “Have the confidence and self-belief to realise your dreams and make change happen.  Don’t be just a bystander.“

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

“We are looking forward to re-launching our MVP with a refreshed marketing campaign, and to go at scale to make a real impact on the recruitment industry”, explains Sharon

“We are really focused on influencing the ways things are done.” adds Mandy. “ We are very  focused on  gaining trust and belief in a new wave of recruitment practices, one that leverages the power of digital technology and broadens talent pools. We continue to build our pool of incredibly talented candidates, bringing them to the fore.”

“We are really turning recruitment practices on their head, making everything simpler and more effective for companies and job seekers. To be the ‘Bumble or AirBnB of recruitment.“

Can recruitment technologies be used ethically?

Diversity starts with recruitment. Organisations are notoriously bad at it, employing more males than females.

And it gets progressively worse with seniority. Women make up 47% of entry level roles, but only 20% of c-suite leaders. At every promotion step, women, and especially women of color, lose out to men. This is because women’s potential is underestimated. In a hiring scenario where there is just one woman in the hiring pool, her chance of being hired is zero. Compared to this, a man’s chance of being hired when he is the only man is 33%. When humans are making hiring decisions, they are affected by bias.

Can recruitment technologies help? Recruitment technology has time and cost saving benefits, but a potentially more impactful benefit is its ability to minimize the impact of bias in recruitment and progression decision. Unstructured interviews are commonly used in selection, yet interviewers are bad at picking up on job relevant skills and attributes during interviews. Equally, structured interviews and psychometric tests are considered the gold standard for recruitment practices, but they are far less common than they should be in application due to their high financial and time costs. Recruitment technologies make these best practices more cost effective and accessible. What can be done to ensure recruitment technology is used ethically and improves representation?

Is it benefitting job seekers, and benefitting all job seekers equally?

Any adopted technology should have clear benefits for job seekers. This can include a chance to get evaluated fairly, or the opportunity to learn about themselves through meaningful feedback. It can also be tangible benefits like decreasing the workload of job applications.

Can job seekers provide informed consent?

Any transaction with candidates need to be transparent. Candidates need to be informed about how their data is being used, what data is being recorded and who will have access to the data. Informed consent is only meaningful if candidates have a true choice. If women can choose only between recruitment practices that are all biased against them, there is no meaningful choice. Recruitment technologies increase the presence of good choices in the recruitment market: Standardised recruitment processes such as structured interviews used in video interviewing analytics compare favourably in terms of fairness to the common unstructured interview.

Is data being protected and treated confidentially?

Recruitment technology must protect and preserve the confidentiality, anonymity, and data protection of candidates. The access to recruitment data should be limited to required decision makers. However, with recruitment, there is also a case for retaining candidate data, in particular to evaluate diversity performance of recruitment tools.  For example, to monitor whether a selection process is bias free, companies need aggregate level recruitment data. Making this data available is in the interest of job seekers.

Are candidates receiving feedback and an opportunity to increase self-awareness?

It is ethical to return as much information as possible to candidates, whether they are offered a job or not. Organizations should engage with rejected candidates, explaining how they evaluated them, and why their profile was deemed a poor fit with the role. Science-based assessments (with or without AI) allow companies to address candidate concerns in a meaningful way, because they can explain what candidates were evaluated on and how.

Is the technology used explainable?

Explainability is an important features of many AI ethics frameworks. It needs to be applied to any recruitment technology used. Providers should be able to not only show that their technology predicts job performance or achieves desired outcomes, but also explain why it does so. For example, organisations should favour tools that boost their understanding of what someone is like by measuring job relevant skills and competencies, rather than simply predicting that they are the right candidate.

In summary, technology can help organisations implement recruitment best practices in a cost and time effective way. In this sense, they are an important tool for increasing diversity in orgranisations. To ensure that the technology in question will indeed achieve this goal, determine that it is beneficial to all job candidates, allows meaningful consent, protects data and privacy where needed, gives back to candidates through feedback and learning, and is transparent and explainable.

Franziska Kiki LeutnerAbout the author

Franziska Leutner is the co-author of The Future of Recruitment: Using the New Science of Talent Analytics to Get Your Hiring Right by with Reece Akhtar and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic. Out now, published by Emerald, priced £18.99

Understanding the cyber security recruitment pool

cybersecurity, cyber crime

Ipsos MORI and Perspective Economics have been commissioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to undertake research to quantify and provide understanding of the cyber skills recruitment pool in the UK.

The research aims to gain a better understanding of the cyber skills recruitment pool in the UK, its size and geographic location, the types of skills and experience that are prevalent in the pool and recommendations on how employers can effectively recruit from the pool.


Danny Brooks featured

HeForShe: Danny Brooks | Founder & CEO, VHR

Danny Brooks

Danny Brooks is the CEO and Founder of VHR, a technical recruitment firm specialising in compliant and ethical recruitment across 50 countries.

Danny was named Global Director of the Year by the Institute of Directors (IoD) in 2018.

Why do you support the HeForShe campaign? For example – do you have a daughter or have witnessed the benefits that diversity can bring to a workplace?

Recruitment is often considered to have a ‘laddish’ culture dominated by white men. VHR constantly strives to improve diversity and in particular we drive diverse leadership: the two management levels below Board are 60% female, 50% BAME and 20% LGBT. Diversity has made our business stronger and more financially successful – in the past three years we have doubled our workforce and in the past four years almost doubled our turnover, which has coincided with efforts to recruit more women into the team and in management positions.

As a recruiter, I am passionate about spotting the potential in people, whatever it may be, and helping them to harness it and strive for excellence throughout any obstacles that may come in their way. From day one since I started the business in 2003, it’s been vital to me that VHR recognise the value of every employee and we are determined that age, gender, race or background are not barriers to success.

Why do you think it’s important for men to support gender equality in the workplace?

Men make up half the population – if we don’t support gender equality, progress will take much longer. As we hold the majority of senior positions across industries, we have the power to effect change much more quickly and easily, and if we don’t, it’s a wasted opportunity.

How welcome are men in the gender equality conversation currently?

I believe men have increasingly been made welcome in the conversation, as society and businesses are understanding the benefits of gender equality – when women succeed, we all succeed, and it’s our collective responsibility to help each other.

I think a lot of men have historically felt that gender equality isn’t really their problem, regardless of how women’s rights have been positioned – many men I’ve worked with don’t or didn’t see a problem, because they aren’t negatively affected. Thankfully, however, this has changed significantly in the past few years. Younger male recruiters in particular now seem more supportive of gender equality and are more engaged with the importance of diversity in all forms.

Do you think groups/networks that include the words “women in…” or “females in…” make men feel like gender equality isn’t really their problem or something they need to help with?

Personally, I feel that whilst anything titled ‘women in…’ is absolutely correct and does not exclude men from the conversation, men are probably more likely to remain on the peripheries of these groups than networks that are not specifically focused on gender, simply because they might not feel they have a right to be included.

I think men are often unaware of the benefits they too can receive from getting involved in gender equality. Small changes to groups or initiatives could help to reframe the issue and highlight the negative impacts of gender roles on both men and women, which could help raise awareness amongst men who are currently disengaged or who worry about their place in the conversation.

What can businesses do to encourage more men to feel welcome enough to get involved in the gender debate?

Change in business comes from the top down: CEOs and Boards must publicly show their support for gender equality and communicate this consistently across the organisation. If male employees see male managers and leaders getting involved, they will feel more encouraged to get involved and more secure in their place in the debate. Promoting the success of both men and women who get involved in initiatives such as workshops and mentoring programmes will ensure all employees know their contribution is desired and valuable.

Do you currently mentor any women or have you in the past?

I have acted as a mentor for several female Apprentices in the past. Rebecca Fagan joined VHR straight from school six years ago – since then she has consistently been the top performer in her entire department. We have promoted Rebecca four times so far and she now leads the VHR Academy, helping to train up other Apprentice-level recruiters.

In September 2019 VHR announced our new long-term partnership with Youth Employment UK. The not-for-profit organisation supports more than 70,000 young people per month with free careers and skills information, and practical help to start rewarding careers. I and my team of recruitment consultants are starting to share our own career experiences and give advice to young people looking for their first jobs.

Have you noticed any difference in mentoring women – for example, are women less likely to put themselves forward for jobs that are out of their comfort zones or are women less likely to identify senior roles that they would be suited for?

In many ways, women are often held to the same behavioural standards as men in recruitment – it’s quite a loud, competitive and traditionally masculine environment, and I have known many female recruiters who adapt to this way of being and working and have become very successful because of it.

Since running my own business and becoming a manager, I have noticed that women are far less likely to put themselves forward for promotions or ask for pay rises. Male employees have historically seemed more confident in pushing for more benefits or more responsibility, but I think that as we continue to invest in the development of female leaders at VHR this will change.

Women in tech earn 9% less than male counterparts, Hired report finds

The median salary of women in the tech sector is 9% lower than the men they work alongside – the equivalent of £5,000 per year – according to a new report.

Recruitment agency Hired pulled the data from an analysis of more than 10,000 offers across approximately 3,000 candidates and 750 companies.Cash In Hand 3

The data found that the UK is the worst tech-hub offender with a 9% gap, followed by the US coming closely behind at 8%. Australia had the lowest gap at 5%, followed by Canada at 7%.

Marta Krupinska, Co-Founder and GM of Azimo, said: “The fact that a £5,000 pay gap exists in the tech sector is unacceptable. We're far behind the US, Australia and Canada in terms of equal pay and that shows that there's a fundamental issue that needs to be addressed.

“Our tech sector is a world-leader because of its creativity and innovation – and women are a vital part of this. Research has proven that gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to perform above the industry average, so it's crucial that UK tech companies take responsibility and eliminate any pay gaps, otherwise the future of our sector is at risk.”

Hired’s data also analysed women in the fields of software engineering and tech sales, finding that women working in technology sales are offered roles with a median salary of 5% less than their male counterparts. Furthermore, in software engineering women are offered 9% less than their male colleagues.

Tom Castley, VP EMEA of Xactly said: “In sales roles, this gap stands at 5%. This is a serious business problem for our sector. Businesses failing to suitably reward their staff, regardless of gender, will ultimately fail to gain the most from their employees and will be limited in their success. Eradicating the gender pay gap should be a priority for every UK business. To tackle this, the way we pay employees must fundamentally evolve with the digital age.

“As a country, we must move away from the old-fashioned salary economy to the performance economy. Rather than paying people based on their position and tenure, employees must be rewarded for their output. Empirically linking pay and performance, using data, will ensure that both women and men are being rewarded fairly for what they do. Tech is a vital sector for the UK economy, and only by moving beyond the outdated gender pay gap can we secure its success for the future.”

The gender pay gap was found to be worst at mid-sized companies. Companies with 200 or less employees or more than 1000 employees were found to have a wage gap that is near or less than the industry average of 9%, while companies that have between 201-1000 employees were found to have nearly double that, at 17%.

You can join in the conversation at #letsclosethegap.

29% of Facebook new senior leadership roles filled by women but overall diversity figures struggle to move

Over the last year 29% of Facebook’s new hires into senior leadership roles have been women, according to figures released by the social media giant.

In addition, 9% of Facebook’s new hires in senior leadership roles were filled by Black candidates and 5% were Hispanic.

senior leadership facebook

However, the company’s efforts to diversify its largely white male workforce have not been as successful overall with only 4% of its US employees being Hispanic and 2% Black - the same as the two prior years. Previously Facebook’s workforce was made up of 55% men, which now stands at 52%. However, Facebook’s Asian employees went up from 36% to 38% this year.

In 2014 women were found to make up 31% of Facebook’s overall workforce, a figure that has risen slightly to 33%.

Two years ago, in a bid to increase the number of women and minority candidates, the social media giant said it would award its inhouse recruiters as part of a point system. Recruiters were awarded one point for every new hire considered a “diversity hire”, however this was later upped to 1.5 points. Last year Facebook increased this to two points for a minority hire. More points meant stronger performance reviews and potentially larger bonuses.

At the time Facebook said it wanted its workforce to better reflect the diversity of its 1.7 billion monthly users.

Facebook also recently released data from its voluntary sexual orientation and gender identity survey. Of the 61% of respondents, 7% identified as LGBTQA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or asexual).

Monster calls on IT industry to sign TechTalent Charter to increase diversity in sector

Recruitment firm Monster has unveiled the TechTalent Charter along with the support of several industry partners, in a bid to encourage tech companies to sign up and increase the amount of diverse talent within the sector.

Initially the Charter aims to address the challenges of equality in tech roles, with a long term plan of addressing wider issues surrounding diversity in the tech sector.Female Graduate in technology

Currently there is a requirement in the UK for 745,000 tech workers by 2017 and one million by 2020 and only 17% of tech and telco workers in the UK are currently women.

With today’s launch businesses are being called upon to sign the Charter as founding signatories.

The Charter has also established six workstreams to provide support, information and guidelines to help organisations implement protocols: Best Practice in Recruitment; Best Practice in Retention; Marketing & Promotion; Annual Reporting & Measurement; Eco-system & Policy and Education & Talent Pipeline.

Sinead Bunting, Marketing Director UK & Ireland at, said: ‘With a looming digital skills gap that is critical for our economy’s growth, we need to show young people, current professionals and in particular, females, who are worryingly underrepresented in the tech workforce, that tech skills are increasingly essential to jobs and careers. We also need to highlight and remind industry that a diverse workforce will deliver tech solutions and services that will meet  their customer base needs much better and as such not only be more representative of the UK population, but more commercially successful.

“There are so many excellent initiatives and organisations working in and around this area to raise awareness and make progress, but we recognise that to truly move the dial and effect change we are stronger working as a unified collective. We have a need and an opportunity to build a dynamic, representative and commercially successful tech workforce. However we do need to rethink and change how we build our talent pipelines, how we recruit and how we retain our tech staff. The Tech Talent Charter is a way we can all work together to make that happen and that is something we at Monster and in the Tech Talent Charter steering group are incredibly excited about. Please join us to make that change a reality. We really need your participation.”

Amali de Alwis, CEO of Code First Girls said: “Encouraging talented individuals to enter the technology sector, whether as graduates or at a later stage in their career, is something I believe passionately in, and is very much at the heart of the work we do at Code First Girls. Vital technology skills, whether in coding, data science, data security or UX/UI, now play a critical role in the way we live and work. With the UK looking at a needing further one million tech workers by 2020, we all have to take a serious look at how we manage talent in our companies and update restricting incumbent behaviour which are holding us back from continued success.

“This is the reason I became so heavily involved with the Tech Talent Charter. We need to ensure we are doing all we can to support all our businesses, whilst giving the candidates themselves the confidence to get involved in this dynamic and fast growing sector. I look forward to having you all join us on that journey, and working together to drive change in UK Business to supports our continued status and a global leader in tech, innovation and talent."

Debbie Forster, Co CEO of  Apps for Good, said: “It’s no secret that there is a digital skills gap in the UK, and ensuring young people and in particular women are playing a part in helping to fill this is crucial if we are to maintain our position as a leader in the digital and technology space.

“An important aspect of achieving this is thinking carefully about how we build the talent pipeline by working with schools and businesses to ensure we are encouraging and educating girls and boys from the word go, looking at how we engage and communicate the messaging around technology careers and how we are presenting the options available to them. The Tech Talent Charter is an important document to help guide businesses through this and I’m really excited about watching the movement grow, and help shape it as more organisations get involved.”

Businesses can support the TechTalent Charter at



Mortimer Spinks Technology Industry Survey 2016 launches

The Mortimer Spinks Technology Industry Survey 2016 is now open. The survey reveals how people who work in the technology industry think and feel about a whole host of issues.woman with laptop and coffee in hand

Every year recruitment consultant Mortimer Spinks runs a technology industry survey to find out insights in to businesses technology strategies. The survey results are offered to individuals as a career guide and to businesses to support their technology choices and technology talent management.

Mortimer Spinks conducts the annual survey in partnership with Computer Weekly.

Last year the survey saw over 3,000 share their views on topics such as how cautious they are with their personal data to how they feel about their current employer and what really keeps them happy at work.

For 2015 key themes included online privacy, start-up culture, technology dependence, e-mail addiction, crypto currencies, women in technology and innovation. You can read the results from last year’s survey here to gain insights into industry analysis and the tech trends of right now.

You can take the 2016 survey here.

High performing companies devote best talent to digital, says McKinsey survey

Leadership and talent are the biggest hurdles to business success, a survey from McKinsey has revealed.

The Cracking the Digital Code: McKinsey Global Survey found overall that the most successful UK businesses are reshaping their strategies more often than others, devoting more of their best people to digital and making an effort to keep their employees engaged.shaking hand

High performing companies were found to be dedicating the best people to digital and were keeping them engaged through cutting edge and exciting work. High performing companies were also found to be more than twice as likely to allocate their best people to digital. 47% said working on cutting-edge digital projects helps to attract and retain digital talent. The culture, energy and morale within a company also placed high on respondents’ lists.

The survey of almost 1,000 respondents found that 31% of all businesses struggle to find internal leadership, both functional and technical, for digital projects.

Companies found to be outperforming others had more active digital agendas, with three quarters saying their business activities are in a digital nature.

High performing companies more often reported having strong digital leadership, true ownership for initiatives and a clear career path for digital employees.

In addition, successful companies said speed plays an important factor in their business, with 43% saying digital initiatives take less than six months to go from idea to implementation.

Two-thirds of high performing companies CEOs were found to be personally sponsoring digital initiatives within their businesses and that companies with more involved boards were more successful as a result. 35% of high performers said their boards sponsor digital initiatives compared to 16% of their peers.