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July 21, 2016updated 17 Oct 2016 11:54am

London Technology Week supports wider recruitment

By John Oates

The end of last month saw London welcome hundreds of technology entrepreneurs to a week-long celebration of digital industries.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan promised to act as champion to ensure the UK capital keeps its top spot for technology businesses. One pledge is to create a ‘tech talent pipeline’ to improve digital skills training provided to young Londoners to counter the skills shortage. Khan also called on the industry to do a better job of attracting female recruits still under-represented in too many technology firms.

The mayor also promised to do more to reduce London’s ‘not spots’ – areas without adequate broadband provision – he said it was time digital infrastructure was given the same importance as other public utilities.

Recruitment company Monster has launched the TechTalentCharter to help companies achieve these diversity aims.

It will be run with the support of Code First: Girls which runs programming and personal skills clubs for young women. It also bolsters professional development through mentoring and networking activities as well as providing training for corporations wishing to improve their talent management strategies.

This aims to increase the number of women employed in IT companies – currently around 15 per cent.

The Charter calls on companies to follow the ‘Rooney Rule’ – to interview at least one woman for every IT job advertised wherever possible.

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It recommends companies follow best practise in advertising jobs and in recruiting and then retaining the best diverse talent.

This follows criticism that job advertising in the tech sector often contains unconscious bias which reduces applications from female candidates.

It calls on companies to appoint a senior staff member to be responsible for following the Charter’s recommendations.

Signatories should also create a benchmark to measure their own success and make public the improvements they make by releasing an annual report.

Companies should also share their experiences to help others in the industry make similar improvements.

The TechTalentCharter is also supporting longer-term improvements by investing in training and schools programmes aimed at increasing young people’s digital skills as well as helping people returning to the job market.

There are more details available here:

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