Skills for Londoners - at computer

GLA Group Commits to Tech Talent Charter

25 October 2018

The GLA Group has signed up to the Tech Talent Charter (TTC) - a commitment to a series of pledges that aim to improve diversity in the UK tech workforce, one that better reflects the make-up of the population.

What is the GLA Group?

The GLA Group is made up of Transport for London (TfL), the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), London Fire Brigade (LFB), Old Oak and Park Royal Redevelopment Corporation (OPDC), London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC). 

Why do we need a charter?

The issues of diversity in the tech sector are well documented.

This year, the Tech Nation report revealed that only 19% of the digital tech workforce is female, compared to 49% if you look at all UK jobs. This flags a diversity dilemma in tech, reinforcing the current groundswell of industry activity to address inclusion and equality in digital companies. Similarly, BAME employees account for just 15% of digital tech workers.

The Mayor’s £7million Digital Talent Programme looks to address this imbalance by funding digital skills training that will inspire and prepare young Londoners for the industry, plus improve London’s digital talent pool. 

However, it’s increasingly important that organisations – both public and private sector – make a commitment to diversifying their own tech workforce through a series of tangible actions. That’s why the Tech Talent Charter is an important first step.

Upon signing the charter, signatories undertake to:

  • support attraction, recruitment and retention practices that are designed to increase the diversity of their workforce
  • define their own timetable for change and implement the strategy that is right for their organisation (acknowledging that all signatories will have different starting points)
  • measure the diversity profile of their UK employees and share this data for (anonymous) collective publication.

The 5 pledges

The Charter is made up of 5 pledges that signatories must adhere to:

  1. have a senior-level, named representative with responsibility for Charter commitments
  2. adopt inclusive attraction and recruitment processes, work towards a goal that, wherever possible, women are included on the shortlist for interviews and diverse talent is actively encouraged to apply for roles
  3. ensure you have employment policies and practices that support the development and retention of an inclusive and diverse workforce
  4. work collectively with other signatories to develop, share and implement protocols and best practice for the practical implementation of the aims of this Charter
  5. contribute employment diversity data to a common central anonymised database for sharing among signatories twice a year, and for publishing publicly in an annual report

Already on the case

The good news is that the GLA Group was already committed to a number of these pledges through our work on improving equality and diversity. The Mayor is also passionate about gender equality, demonstrating his commitment through the #BehindEveryGreatCity campaign, and the launch of Our Time, a mentorship programme to increase workplace progression. 

The next step is to get the rest of London on board – businesses and councils alike. Through collaboration, data sharing, transparency, and willingness, we will be able to start making tangible changes in key issues of diversity.