Leeds has stated its commitment to championing diversity within tech and digital employment through signing up to the national Tech Talent Charter.
As the first local authority to join the charter, Leeds City Council joins the likes of Channel 4, Sky and Lloyds and close to 300 other companies that have also signed up and are committed to inclusive recruitment within this sector.
The Tech Talent Charter (TTC) is a Government sponsored initiative which aims to deliver greater diversity in the UK’s tech workforce and work with companies across the UK to ensure this is a nationwide aspiration.
Leeds has transformed in the last decade into a major digital hub, with a sector that has attracted tech giants and innovative starts ups who have in turn flourished, and contributed to a truly dynamic tech scene with unlimited opportunities for business growth, recruitment and investment. The council, will be looking to continue to put a real focus on its own inclusive recruitment practices and also work with the sector in the city to encourage other employers to consider how they can help to deliver diversity across the wider tech and digital workforce.
Signing up to the Charter builds on recent successes for the council such as the award of Digital Council of the Year status by industry body Digital Leaders in July 2019. Earlier in the year the council also launched the Tech Mums programme, as part of the 100% Digital Leeds initiative, which aims to ensure that mums in the city have the opportunity to brush up on and learn new digital skills. Women in Leeds Digital, with support from the council, held a day at this year’s Digital Festival to promote the variety of roles and opportunities in the tech and digital sector to young women considering their future careers, as well as profiling leading women within the sector in the city. The forthcoming Leeds Digital Skills Fair (24th October 2019) will provide another platform for employers in Leeds to showcase the range of tech and digital roles available across a wide variety of organisations.
Councillor James Lewis, deputy leader of Leeds City Council and executive board member for resources said:
“The council is firmly committed to inclusive recruitment practices and we want our workforce to reflect the city as a whole. We take great pride in the fact we are the first local authority in the UK to sign up to the charter and look forward to working with other employers across the city to make even more of a difference going forward.“
Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council said:
“Leeds has a buoyant tech and digital sector and we are seeing around 5% employment growth each year across businesses in this sector. We recognise how valuable these roles are within the economy and how important inclusive recruitment is and should be across the city.”
Talent Tech Charter 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. For more information please go to https://techtalentcharter.co.uk/”
Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, Rt Hon. Margot James said:
“One year on from the launch of the Tech Talent Charter, it's encouraging to see that there's real buy-in to improve the diversity of our workforce.
"However, with only one in five digital tech jobs nationally covered by women there is more work to do to get the balance right.
"Diversity makes good business sense and it's positive to see smaller companies leading the way. I now want more of our larger companies to sign up to the Charter and commit to getting more women into tech jobs."