Deloitte and PwC have signed up to the Tech Talent Charter, aiming to increase the number of women involved in the technology industry
The initiative was launched two years ago with intentions of addressing gender inequality within the industry. However, it has since expanded beyond tech with companies from different industries becoming signatories.
The two Big Four firms join 88 other signatories, which include the likes of the BBC, HP, Dell, Lloyds Bank and Nationwide Building Society.
For Deloitte, joining the initiative is a continuation of their efforts at improving diversity and inclusion. Earlier this month, the firm joined the Women in Finance Charter.
Deloitte managing partner for talent Emma Codd said that helping women to succeed at the firm was a business priority, as a diverse workforce was critical to its long-term success, especially considering it had an increasing number of people working in technology-related roles.
PwC technology and investments director Sheridan Ash, who launched the Women in Tech initiative in 2014, said the firm was “delighted” to join the Tech Talent Charter.
“We want to see a world where women play an equal part in creating our future [and] we believe we can only achieve this if we work together with organisations that share our passion,” she said.
Research from PwC highlighted the importance of promoting the tech industry as an inclusive industry, with only 27% of female students saying they would consider a career in tech, compared to 62% of males.
Despite not joining, KPMG said the initiative was a “great way” to get Britain’s tech industry to reflect society, with a spokesperson adding that, “The aims of the initiative mirror our business values”.
“We have been calling for faces of UK tech to change with initiatives like KPMG’s IT’s Her Future but there is a lot that we and the industry can do to achieve diversity in the workforce,” the spokesperson added.
Yesterday, the scheme gained support from the government, obtaining funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) – which also signed the charter.
“You can’t catch all the fish if you only fish in half the pool. Yet our tech industry is still too male dominated, in fact and in culture,” said digital minister Matt Hancock.
“We want to see equal opportunities for men and women in one of the fastest growing areas of life, and we want to see Britain’s tech industry using the talents of the whole nation.”
Hancock said the initiative was funded to help bridge the gender divide in tech jobs.
“The charter gives organisations tangible actions and principles they can adopt and I encourage all organisations employing tech specialists to sign up,” he added.
Tech Talent Charter chief executive Debbie Forster said it was vital for the industry to come together “to show females that a career in technology is incredibly rewarding, to increase the number of females working within the industry, to attract those considering a career change, and to inspire younger generations”.
The subject of gender inequality within tech has been under the spotlight for the past few years.
In August, an analysis from KPMG showed that only 12% of young women had considered applying for a graduate in technology.