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Mayor of Bristol calls for IT industry to be more representative of society

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Written by: Hannah Baker | Posted 30 November 2017 16:14

Mayor of Bristol calls for IT industry to be more representative of society

Minority groups, women, people over 50 and those with disabilities are all vastly underrepresented in the IT profession, according to a new report on diversity published by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees, who spoke at the launch of the report in Bristol, said: “The IT and tech sector is a huge part of Bristol’s success, as well as the national picture.

"We know that this industry will continue to grow, but the challenge we face is to make sure the benefits of this growth are spread across all of society.

Part of achieving this will be through making sure that the sector represents the UK as a whole to realise the potential of those from all backgrounds. 

“The IT profession is integral to the country’s success and prosperity both today and in our future.

Everyone, including employers, policy-makers and professional bodies, has a responsibility to face the challenges highlighted in this report.”

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Rebecca George OBE, public sector lead at Deloitte, added: “This report shows that despite IT being a relatively new sector - where someone’s ability should be the only barrier to entry, the figures make depressing reading."

The report reveals that woman are underrepresented by 30 percentage points and when it comes to older people and those with disabilities, the sector employs proportionately fewer than the total workforce in every UK region.

According to the research, people in the minority groups analysed are less likely to be in full-time, paid work than their non-minority counterparts.

And woman and people with a disability are likely to be paid 15 per cent and 16 per cent less respectively than non-minority counterparts.

She added: “Whatever actions that have been taken so far to make a difference, simply aren’t having the marked and imperative change that we need.

“There are lots of examples where simple, organisational changes can be made to alter the status quo - but it will require a myriad of changes, sustained focus and collaboration across organisations, employers, Government, schools and community groups.

"That’s why, with the publication of this report, BCS is calling for each and everyone of us to make a simple pledge to take one action to make that difference.” 

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