Diversity in UK tech on the rise, but not for senior leadership
The sixth annual report from Tech Talent Charter (TTC) has revealed that while companies in the UK are making progress toward improving diversity in their overall workforce, there is still a significant lack of diversity among senior technology leaders.
The not-for-profit charity, which focuses on tracking diversity in technology, compiled its report using data from 649 signatory companies, including Global, HP, Lloyds Banking Group, Nominet, PwC and CWJobs. The 210,245 employees included in the data set are estimated to represent around 16% of the UK’s technology workforce.
The Tech Talent Charter is free to sign — the only obligation signatories are required to meet is sharing their data with the charity when requested. It is only mandatory for signatories to share gender and ethnicity data but this year’s report represents the first time the TTC has started to track other aspects of diversity, including age, disability, sexual orientation, religion and neurodiversity.
The aim of collecting this data set is to try to understand what is actually happening at the coalface of diversity and inclusion in tech, since not being able to fill shortages in the tech talent market costs the UK economy about £63 billion a year, according to Tech Talent Charter COO Lexie Papaspyrou.
Commenting on the report’s key takeaways, Papaspyrou said that while it’s heartening to see that 28% of tech workers are gender minorities and 25% are from minority ethnic backgrounds, when those figures are compared to the percentage currently holding senior leadership positions, the drop-off is alarming.
The data collected by TTC found that 22% of senior tech roles are held by gender minorities, a figure that is 6% lower when compared to tech roles overall, while ethnic diversity almost halves in senior roles, dropping from 25% to 13%.