UK tech law firm Browne Jacobson will play an important part on an influential steering panel which is encouraging the tech sector to push diversity and review gender imbalance in the industry in order to represent the current mixed landscape of the UK.
The initiative was supported in the Government’s policy paper on the UK Digital Strategy after highlighting that women represented only 17% of the UK’s tech sector workforce and that just 9.5% of students currently taking a computer science related A-Level course are female.
The panel, which is made up of sixteen organisations, was set up by the Tech Talent Charter (TTC), a new employer-based community interest company led by a group of pioneering individuals from the tech industry. Browne Jacobson is the only law firm to be involved in the initiative.
The charter is now officially supported by the Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DDCMS). The TTC already has 30 signatories on board from across the UK including SKY, Eurostar and Nationwide Building Society who have pledged to deliver on four commitments which will result in greater diversity and inclusion into their organisations through recruitment, retaining the best talent from a multitude of backgrounds and collating and sharing their diversity data.
Browne Jacobson’s corporate technology lawyer Jon Snade and Business Development Manager Hayley Josephs will sit on the steering committee. Their roles will see them work with other panel members to promote the charter and encourage their technology client base and contacts to sign up.
Jon, who has been advising the TTC, said:
“The technology and digital sector is currently one of the fastest growing and most innovative industries and so it is imperative that the sector leads the way in transforming the makeup of the UK’s national workforce whilst ensuring the industry employs the best creative talent.
“I am delighted that we have been asked to be part of this important movement, helping to shape the future of the industry. Diversity is very important to Browne Jacobson and our tech practice is truly committed to encouraging our clients to keep diversity a key item on their agenda too.”
TTC CEO Debbie Forster said:
“It’s vital for the industry to come together as a whole to do more to show females that a career in technology is incredibly rewarding, to increase the number of females working within the industry, to attract people who are considering a career change, and to encourage younger generations to consider these careers from the word go.
“One single company can’t do it alone, which is why we’re asking organisations to pledge their support for the Tech Talent Charter and join us on our exciting journey.”
Rt. Hon Matt Hancock MP added:
“A digital gender divide is unacceptable, which is why we’re working with industry to ensure that everyone has access to the exciting employment opportunities within our tech sector.
“To make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a digital business we need the right workforce, and it’s great to see more organisations sign up to the Tech Talent Charter and improve diversity.”
The initiative was officially launched at an event at 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin) and saw representatives from the organisations that are signatories and members of the steering panel turn out to show their support.
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