Women in London Tech Group, part of Tech London Advocates, is on a mission to increase awareness of the advantages of having a diverse workforce in the tech sector.
Led by Sarah Luxford and Nikki Watkins, the Women in London Tech Group aims to support, develop and promote the benefits of a diverse workforce and address the lack of females in the tech sector.
Short-term goals of the group include sharing best practice in recruiting techniques, raising awareness of the impact of diversity on performance, and to create and execute on measurable actions to demonstrate business value.
The group will also collate its findings and create a charter with guideline and tips to move the gender diversity agenda forward, particularly for companies looking to start in London and the surrounding areas.
Long-term goals of the working group include demonstrating improvements in the way diversity is being handled, particularly at board level, looking at the broader agenda to understand early influence and the education of children. The group plans to submit a whitepaper to the government for consideration to assist in policy-making that directly affects women in the workforce and beyond.
Speaking to Computer Weekly, Sarah Luxford, partner at European Leaders, said: “We focus on five areas – finance, women on boards, best practice in terms of how to recruit new talent, techEd and mentoring.
“We come up with one or two goals per quarter, with a specific outcome needed to ensure things continue to move forward. It’s not so much a roundtable, but more a working group. For example, one action point recently was to come up with a term sheet for finance so everyone can understand the lingo,” she said.
Luxford said the founders realised they needed to start their own network after noticing there were no female CEOs through their training sessions: “That’s when Tech London Advocates heard about our work and that’s how we got involved. We run our meetings like they are events, with about 50 women at each. We’ve been running them since January now.”
Tech London Advocates is made up of an estimated 600 people, with the women’s group being the largest with 95 members.
The coalition was put together by Russ Shaw, angel and venture investor, member of Tech City Advisory Group and non-executive director of a number of high-growth businesses.
Aligned with the government’s goal to turn London into “Europe’s digital capital”, Tech London Advocates works with existing groups and initiatives to accelerate the growth of London’s tech startups through facilitating partnerships with FTSE-250 businesses, international companies and investors.