Rawpixel.com - Fotolia

London IT firms trying to increase worker diversity

IT firms in London need to do more to reduce a gender bias and increase diversity in the workplace, says research

Nearly half of London-based IT companies have human resources (HR) policies that are designed to increase the diversity of staff, but a lack of diversity and a gender bias remains an “Achilles heel” to the sector.

Research of 210 London-based companies by SurveyMonkey for Tech London Advocates (TLA), a network of thousands of tech experts that promote London, found that around 46% of them have such a recruitment strategy.

The same survey also found that just over 49% of companies think the industry is actively biased against women. 

According to the findings, the companies surveyed are more focused on attributes such as professional expertise (41%) and cross-sector professional expertise (30%) rather than gender diversity (6%) and multicultural diversity (9.4%).

“Enough is enough – more tech companies must demand better for the future,” said Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates.

“Peel back a layer of tech entrepreneurialism and disappointment is revealed – a lack of diversity and gender bias that remains the industry’s Achilles heel.

“Whether it be opening up immigration policy, increasing access to digital skills or empowering women to succeed in technology, we must unite to ensure world-class talent finds a home in London’s tech sector, regardless of race, age or gender,” he said.

Sarah Luxford, co-founder of TLA WomenINTech, said diversity translates into profits.

“Companies that are more gender and ethnically diverse perform better financially. Most leaders recognise this fact yet this is not translating into systematic change linking talent attraction, development and retention.”

TLA WomenINTech is a network of 1,000 entrepreneurs, IT industry executives, venture capitalists and government officials from across the globe that promote policies to remove the gender bias in the IT industry.

Read more on IT jobs and recruitment