Diversity: women returning to the tech sector

To celebrate International Women’s Day, techUK has today launched its online Returners Hub, a dedicated resource that will act as a one-stop shop for those returning to work in the tech sector after a long absence.

The Hub, which is comprised of four sections aimed at businesses and individuals, addresses the ongoing concerns around the digital skills gap by arming those looking to return to work with the tools they need to confidently re-enter this fast-paced market.

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Research indicates the UK will need 754,000 additional workers with digital skills to meet rising demand from employers between 2013 and 2017. Tech companies in the UK are urgently seeking top tech talent, and an important untapped talent source is returners.

Estimates suggest almost two million women in the UK are currently economically inactive due to caring commitments, and 76% of professional women on career breaks want to return to work.

Many may also be struggling to gain the confidence they need to return to work in the tech industry, feeling that a lot would have changed since they were last in employment.

Resources are scarce for this important segment of the job market and are often scattered across various different websites. The techUK Returners Hub, however, provides a central hub of information for tech returners which features four sections:

1. Tech companies currently running returners programmes;
2. Tech companies who do not run specific returners programmes, but are open to receiving applications from people who have had a career break;
3. Resources for returners, including free courses, training materials, books, and mentorship programmes;
4. Training organisations that can assist tech companies with the diversity agenda and creating a returners programme.

To celebrate the launch of the Returners Hub, Jacqueline de Rojas, techUK President, has said that “It is essential that the UK reinvents itself as a digital nation of significance. To do this, we desperately need greater, and more diverse talent. There is an urgent need to build tech skills and equip our workforce for the digital age – and techUK’s Returners Hub has a key role to play in giving returners the tools they need to re-enter the tech sector.”

>See also: Diversity in cyber security: how to close the gender gap

“This hub will be a great centralised resource for women, and men, who are looking to get back into their careers in tech or reskill into a new technical role. By shining a light on returners, we can attract, retain, and progress more top female tech talent, and continue to move the dial on the issue of diversity in tech.”

Explaining how important it is to source tech talent, Julian David, techUK CEO said: “techUK is committed to increasing diversity in the tech sector, and this is one of our flagship projects this year. To date, returners have often been an overlooked and under-valued talent pool. I am proud to have worked with our committed members to create this comprehensive Returners Hub that showcases exemplar programmes, provides support to businesses looking to attract returners, and to empower them to thrive in the tech sector.”

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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