DWP Digital is changing the way public service works to become a leading example of agile delivery. They are building a team of digital specialists to make simpler, clearer, faster services that put the people who use them first. It’s a huge challenge. DWP Digital services touch the lives of almost everyone in the UK at some point. Their IT systems manage 7.35 million benefit claims each year, paying £165 billion in benefits and pensions. Almost everyone in the UK will be a customer at some point, so it is only right that their workforce represents the people they are serving. At Techmeetups, we are glad to announce that the team will be joining again us for the London Tech Job Fair.
The company has signed up to the Tech Talent Charter (TTC) and in doing so they are pledging to do better to reflect the diversity of the population in our tech workforce.
The TTC is an initiative, supported by the government’s policy paper on the UK Digital Strategy, to redress the gender balance in tech roles. By signing up, DWP Digital is joining a number of other government departments as well as some of the biggest leaders in the tech industry such as KPMG, PWC and Sky.
DWP Digital is at the forefront of changing the services DWP offers customers. And diversity and inclusion are at the heart of how they do this. DWP is the largest government employer of women with over two thirds of our workforce female. But they are aware that in tech roles women are still under-represented: it’s estimated that only 27% of digital roles are held by women. So the team is committed to redressing the gender balance. They have an ambitious goal to achieve a 50% increase in female representation across the organisation by 2020.
The company also holds the role of gender champion for DWP and is committed to creating a workplace where everyone feels included and able to be themselves. In an evolving workplace, diversity allows challenge to ‘traditional’ ways of working.
They’ve signed the charter to demonstrate commitment to achieving diversity in the digital ecosystem.
The charter outlines a number of pledges – here’s what they are doing to meet those promises:
Inclusive recruitment processes
So many factors influence a woman’s career decisions: from gendered toys in childhood to subtle messaging through education that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects are for boys.
We’re using research and insights about recruitment with the aim of removing bias from hiring. For example, we know that including certain words in job descriptions can put women off applying for roles. And we’re constantly improving our processes to remove gender bias. Right now we’re trailing new software that uses behavioural science to remove bias and improve predictive validity in hiring – to make it fairer for everybody.
Employment policies and practices that support the development and retention of an inclusive and diverse workforce
We also have a number of networks for people with minority characteristics with the aim of developing these colleagues in their careers. They provide excellent networking and training opportunities that help build confidence and engagement skills.
We know the value of having female role models in the workplace. So we’re leading the way as pioneers of a Digital Voices programme; a ground-breaking, 5-month agenda of activities to help women develop their digital skills and knowledge, while building the confidence to be more vocal – whether that’s on social media or through speaker opportunities.
Lin, one of our Digital Voices
DWP is the biggest government department and we’re on an exciting digital transformation journey. The opportunities to develop a career here and build new skills are huge. We’ve got excellent career pathways and professional communities where you can share knowledge and best practice.
Sharing best practice
We already work collaboratively across industry, but we’ll be working collectively with other signatories to further develop and share best practice. For example, our annual Women in Digital event brings together a range of voices from across the digital sector and digital government – and it keeps getting bigger and better! It’s a chance for women to network, collaborate and take away knowledge and tools to help them in their digital role.
Discussing gender issues
Contributing employment diversity data
We’ll work with colleagues across the Civil Service to collect robust data so that we can begin to understand any tech specific issues. We’re using our annual People Survey to collect data on diversity and we’re collecting data on application and recruitment activity. We’re also encouraging individuals to safely and anonymously share their diversity characteristics.
By collecting better qualitative and quantitative data, we can better understand the specific issues that affect our professions and work out where we need to improve to build a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
Every person matters
Research shows employees are more productive when they feel engaged and engagement increases when employees feel valued. A more inclusive digital service will allow our employees to feel more valued. Working together we’re taking steps to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to participate in developing themselves regardless of their characteristics providing equal opportunities for everyone.
See you in London!
Whether you are looking for a job, your next co-founder or recruiting your tech talent, London Tech Job Fair is an event to attend on 26th September 2019 . Visit for more information about the events and how you can get more out of the experience and also get yourself a ticket to an event!
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