Can you achieve diversity and equality as a SME?

Diversity, equality, STEM education and the shortage of digital skills continues to be publicly reported.

Here’s just a few statistics:

In a CIPD report (2017), Dame Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith said, “Every person should be able to fulfil their potential at work, regardless of their background identity or circumstance.”  Going on to say that Black and minority ethic (BME) individuals in the UK are both less likely to get in and get on in the workplace compared with their white counterparts.

According to the UK Commission’s Employer Skills Survey 2013, 43% of vacancies for professionals working in science, research, engineering and technology are hard to fill due to skills shortages (UK Commission for Employment and Skills).

STEM Graduates1 state that 15% of engineering graduates are female, 19% for computer studies and 8% for maths, and 13% of the overall UK STEM workforce is female.

Women make up 24% of those in core STEM industries in the UK, with 61,340 more women working in core STEM in 2017 than in 2016.  There are nearly 11,000 fewer women working as ICT professionals than in 2016, and the number of men has dropped by 15,000. (Wise Campaign).  This widens to STEM education for all, and there are a whole host of organisations such as STEM Learning and the Wise Campaign, not just in the UK but across the world.

There is a gap.  We know there is a gap.  Companies are having to work harder than ever to encourage and entice people to join them.

What about UKCloud?

For UKCloud, and as a SME, it’s about finding the right person for the right role for now and future.  People with the skills who buy into our values and our commitment to the UK Citizen, and who are comfortable with learning and shaping their careers.

Over the past two years 21% of our hires were female.  More females are hired directly than males.  In fact 15% more than their male counterparts in 2016, and 33% more than in 2017.

Our BAME representation is just over 10%, and our age diversity represents:

16-24    17%

25-34    27%

35-44    30%

45-54    22%

55-64    4%

So could we do more?  Probably.  We’ll continue to remain “open” and review people’s experience, skill and potential.  This year, we’ll work more with our UKCloud Foundation partners and our educational links to build on the skills gaps for future generations.  UKCloud is still relatively young and we have the opportunity to grow on what we have built so far.

More discussion around this will happen tonight: https://digileaders.com/events/salon-tech-smes-establish-diverse-workforce/ with Kat Stubbings, Head of Projects, attending.

Juliet Morris HR & Resourcing Consultant

Juliet has had a HR career spanning start-up functions through to established sectors including Cloud, Technology, Retail, Healthcare, and Professional Services.

During her time at UKCloud, Juliet has orchestrated a complete turnaround of talent acquisiton - doubling headcount and scaling the organisation.


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