Technology: Females

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 15th March 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Labour, Portsmouth South

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to increase the number of women who work in the (a) tech and (b) ICT sectors.

Photo of Margot James Margot James The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

This is a critical issue and the government has set an ambition for 50% of students at Ada, the National College for Digital Skills, to be women by 2020.

The £1million Digital Skills Innovation Fund was launched in 2018, specifically aiming to help people from underrepresented groups (such as women) to take up digital roles.

The Institute of Coding consortium will be looking to boost diversity in technology-related education and careers. Government has provided £20 million to help fund this consortium.

We are investing £84m of new funding over the next four years to deliver a comprehensive programme to improve the teaching of the computing curriculum. This includes a pilot of targeted activities to identify effective approaches to improve gender balance in computing and increase the number of girls who take up computer science.

The Digital Skills Partnership, launched in the Digital Strategy, is also tackling diversity on a national and local level, such as in Coventry via the West Midlands Local Digital Skills Partnership, where PWC’s Tech She Can programme are piloting their new Tech We Can lesson plans to attract more girls to STEM subjects and tech careers.

We also support the Tech Talent Charter (TTC) which has over 300 signatories, and gives organisations tangible actions they can adopt to become more gender-diverse and commits signatories to measuring the diversity profile of their UK employees in tech roles.

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