Why we’re committed to improving diversity
As International Women’s Day approaches, we are taking stock of our diversity and inclusion (D&I) policies across the business and reflecting on its importance for us as we grow.
Our VP of People, Becky Read, talks about the ongoing diversity issue in the technology sector and how FocalPoint are stepping up to ensure we attract and retain a talented workforce.
Equity vs equality
This years International Women’s Day theme is #EmbraceEquity which recognises and celebrates the fact we are all different and may require different levels of resources and opportunities to our colleagues, friends or family. Equity acknowledges that people don't begin life in the same place, and that circumstances can make it more difficult for people to achieve the same goals.
The tech sector and diversity
There’s no denying there’s still a disproportionate level of men in tech roles vs women - in fact according to WISE, just 23% of the people working in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) roles across the UK are female - and only 5% of leadership positions in the technology industry are held by women.
At FocalPoint we have a wonderfully diverse team in terms of nationality, age, interests, skill sets and are proud that a third of our workforce are female (above the industry average). Yes we’ve got some work to do to close the gender gap, but we’re working on implementing an appropriate D&I strategy.
But when I think about diversity (and equity) we of course need to keep the pace on raising awareness about the amazing career opportunities in our field. The tech sector, broadly, is aware but naturally slow at embedding change. Early intervention, whilst at school and role models are so important to making a significant impact. It’s therefore important to shine a light on great firms that are paving the way for an equitable future.
In the UK alone, talent vacancies in the tech sector in May 2022 were up 191% from 2020. This underscores the importance of investing in a more diverse talent pool. Only by training and recruiting people from different, underrepresented backgrounds can businesses address inequality, make better products, and tackle the skill gap crisis.
We know the technology sector has historically always been male-dominated and it’s fantastic to see the increase in awareness and steps businesses are taking to challenge this stereotype.
I think sometimes, there can be a fear when it comes to changing industries or joining a technology team. My View? If you have the transferable skills and can demonstrate a real passion for the business you want to work for and articulate the value you can bring to the hiring team, it does not matter what background you come from.
There are no ‘quick-wins’ or silver bullet solutions to fixing gender equity. That being said, it does require strong, authentic leadership and this has to be championed from all corners of the business. Leadership sets an expectation of awareness, education and importance on such topics. And by having this foundational knowledge, a leadership team can start to influence values and behaviours which ultimately shape the culture through a range of change initiatives.
Improving diversity across the company is not just a moral imperative, but rather a requirement for the whole business as it looks to grow and scale across 2023.
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We talk to Principal Engineer, Maria about her impressive career journey on IWD 2023 - read more here.
Interested in what we’re doing here at FocalPoint? You can follow us on LinkedIn or take a look at our jobs board.