Creating change in the tech industry: | NTT DATA

Wed, 08 December 2021

Creating change in the tech industry:

Why it is so important to support women in tech

At NTT DATA UK, diversity and inclusion is an integral value for us all.

It is part of the fabric of our company’s policies and the driving force in our mission of creating exceptional together. Everyone, regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation, deserves the chance to experience the wonderful benefits that technology can offer us, particularly in this day and age of innovation.

In June this year, we partnered with route2work to uplift and support 30 women who wanted to start a career in tech. These women, who came from a wide range of backgrounds, were given scholarships to enroll in one of four digital academies to learn highly sought-after Microsoft skills. Each academy focused on an in-demand Microsoft skill and delivered the specialty skill through a programme. The programmes provided training in Microsoft Azure Cloud, DevOps, Power Platform and Data Engineering.

Our aim with this initiative was to enrich candidates with the necessary expertise and skills needed to enter and succeed in the tech industry. And so, it is with great enthusiasm and pride, that we announce that the women who entered the digital skills training scheme months ago have now successfully graduated.

We are delighted with this news and believe that this milestone marks the perfect opportunity for reflection on the diversity and inclusion work that NTT DATA have done. Many lives have been transformed due to the amazing resources granted through the schemes that we provide. It is important to celebrate the journeys of the route2work candidates to reach this stage, but also necessary to remember why schemes like this exist in the first place.

Addressing the imbalance

Unfortunately, women remain under-represented in many industries, but there is a stark gender imbalance when it comes to the tech. Women make up only 19% of the tech workforce in the UK,  and this figure is greatly reduced for black and Hispanic women who make up a mere 3%. There are also alarming disparities between job roles in tech too. Over three quarters (77%) of tech director roles are filled by men, making it transparently clear that more work needs to be done to support women in taking the step into both the workforce and more senior positions.

For that reason alone, NTT DATA has been devoted to building a better future for the tech industry. The data shows that the gender gap is not exclusive to tech professions; only 15.8% of the UK’s current engineering and technology undergraduates are women. As a result, NTT DATA are driven to creating impactful change through a variety of means. On an internal level, we reward our staff based on performance. Our incentive payment plans have therefore improved the mean and median pay-outs for women in our organisation. We also have an employee ran group called “Women Inspiring NTT DATA” (WIN), that enables NTT DATA’s female employees across the globe to empower each other and collaborate towards building a more female-friendly working environment.

Accordingly, the success of the route2work scheme shows our external contribution in building a more inclusive industry. It, alongside our other partnerships with the likes of The Girl’s Network, have played a monumental role in helping women to realise their potential and to make the transition into the industry more attainable.

The stories of the route2work scheme graduates paints a picture that details the difficult transition into the tech industry. Many of the candidates who were involved in the scheme were working in another sector while training to make the move into the tech.

While they all walked different paths to reach their graduation, a lot of the cohorts had similar experiences of overcoming multiple hurdles on their journey to completing the scheme. At NTT DATA, we take pride in amplifying the voices of those who have a story to tell. Here are some incredible stories of our recent graduates.

19%

Women make up only 19% of the tech workforce in the UK

15.8.%

The gender gap is not exclusive to tech professions; only 15.8% of the UK’s current engineering and technology undergraduates are women.

83%

83% of female millennials stating that they actively seek out employers with a strong record on diversity and inclusion

Amplified voices

Quite a few participants had to balance the studying and working, often using their spare time to work towards building IT skills. An example is seen through the experience of a candidate who was widowed mother of four. She worked on the London Underground while she taught herself fundamental IT skills that would make it possible for her to better support her family. Another participant worked in a restaurant and similarly had used her spare time to study. She focused on developing her understanding of programming languages, which allowed her to gain an additional income by taking on clients as a freelance website developer.

One candidate, who worked as a casino croupier, also took an interest to the Data Engineer programme. She qualified for the programme using self-taught skills after studying data engineering in her spare time.

The candidates of the programme have come from different walks of life, but they all have found liberation and transformative opportunities through the route2work scheme. Their experiences highlight why it is so important for businesses to offer a helping hand to the people in their communities. Consequently, our efforts will not end here with the extraordinary graduates of the route2work scheme. After graduating from the course, candidates will be given an interview offer with NTT DATA, with the potential of starting a new career in technology within our company.

Our next steps

Our research has shown that 63% of women agree that diversity initiatives have a key role to play in making the tech sector more welcoming for women. Diversity and inclusion is critical to securing a healthy culture and enhancing the quality of innovative ideas that come out of the workplace. With 83% of female millennials stating that they actively seek out employers with a strong record on diversity and inclusion, the workplaces of the future must prioritise an investment into inclusivity. 

NTT DATA UK has always recognised this. Named as a Diversity Leader by the Financial Times, our diversity and inclusion endeavours will not stop here. Not until both society and the workplaces are equal. We have a duty to continue to make a difference in society: that is what it means to be a people business. 

That is what it means to be exceptional together. And that, is what makes us NTT DATA UK.

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