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Target audienceDigital skills for the labour force.
Digital technology / specialisationDigital skills
The DiversIT Charter is a 3-tier certification aimed at reducing gender disparity in IT roles. It serves as both a recognition of a company’s efforts in advancing gender equality in tech, and as inspiration for further diversity and inclusion policies.
Get to know the initative
The DiversIT Charter was developed by the CEPIS Women in ICT expert group, with the aim to reduce gender disparity in IT and tech roles. It is a certification which moves through three levels of attainment: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each level has a focus on attraction and retention, asking applicants to showcase their initiatives and policies for increasing gender diversity in ICT professions.
- Bronze is meant for organisations who are just beginning their journey towards making their tech workplace more gender-equal.
- Applicants for the Silver level will have already taken significant steps towards gender equality, with internal and external initiatives implemented and planned.
- Gold level certificate is granted to organisations where (gender) equality in tech has been among priorities for some time, and who have implemented many best practices both internally and externally.
The assessment for the Charter certifications is carried out twice a year, with the certificates being granted in May and in November.
Why is this initiative necessary?
Lack of women in tech has been a priority for CEPIS for a long time. Not to mention that nowadays, almost 50% of companies in Europe struggle to recruit people with the right ICT skills, while (EU average) less than 20% of ICT professionals in Europe are women. The benefits for companies with diverse executives are numerous: they can outperform on profitability by as much as 48%, diverse teams increase productivity and innovation potential, equality creates a stable and dedicated workforce.
While a lot is being done for attraction of women to the technical professions, less is done in the equally important field of retention. Often the reasons for women leaving tech careers are related to unfavourable workplace culture, and it is workplaces themselves who have to drive the change. Therefore, DiversIT has decided to develop an initiative that would help incentivise workplaces to work towards creating a work environment that would be attractive to women professionals.
Who can benefit from this initiative?
With the DiversIT Certification, companies benefit by showing that they have the right values and sensibilities, thus attracting higher-level candidates, demonstrating their compliance with workplace diversity standards, show their alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, more particularly, the SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Thus, making their workplace better and more inclusive and becoming a part of an ever-growing, international community of diversity-conscious businesses. Furthermore, the Charter application process also serves as a source of ideas for more initiatives and policies to increase gender equality, and the international high-level assessment team is always happy to give tailored guidance.
The Charter also benefits women who want to work in tech – by seeing that a company holds the Charter certification, they will know that it has the right values and practices, and will therefore be encouraged to apply.
Why is this a good practice?
The DiversIT Charter can easily be applied to other forms of diversity and inclusion policies – age, race, sexual orientation, ability etc. In long term, the DiversIT Charter will aim to include all forms of diversity. For now, due to limited resources, they focus on women in tech, as women are the biggest ‘untapped talent pool’ for closing the IT skills demand gap. The Charter plans to asses more companies and also establish guidance for other international organizations to replicate best practices. They also aim to have a national Charter ambassador in all European countries, thus expanding their reach beyond the countries represented in CEPIS.
At DiversIT they plan to continue certifying companies across Europe, financed partly by CEPIS, partly by the assessment fees paid by applicants. Also, they are working to find partner organisations in European countries that would serve as ‘ambassadors’, while they already have one in Iceland: promoting the Charter and encouraging companies in their country to apply. Their assessment team are volunteers; they initially rely on volunteer work for the assessments, but may consider remunerated assessors in the future.