STEM Returners has signed up to the national Tech Talent Charter to enhance its ability to help people on a career break return to work.
Since it was launched in 2017, STEM Returners, based near Southampton, has helped more than 450 STEM professionals back to industry. The organisation joins more than 700 other signatories to address the UK’s tech talent shortage and diversity problem.
Last year it was reported there were on average 52,000 unfilled IT jobs in the UK and women make up just 20% of the current tech workforce.
STEM Returners works with leading technology, science and engineering organisations to support professionals who have had a career break by facilitating 12-week paid work placements. These act as a returnship, providing candidates with real work experience and mentoring during their placement, as well as supporting them to seamlessly adjust to life back in work.
“With the UK tech skills and gender gap widening, there is no better time to sign up to the Tech Talent Charter,” said Natalie Desty, Founder and director of STEM Returners. “The importance of unlocking the potential of an inclusive and diverse tech sector cannot be underestimated, and we love the Tech Talent Charter’s action-led engagement based on measurable insights and industry commitment. Collaboration is really important to STEM Returners and the Tech Talent Charter is something we really believe in.
“We are delighted to be lending our voice and expertise to driving diversity and inclusion within tech and supporting talented and dedicated returners back into the industry. We look forward to working with the other organisations who have signed up to the Charter. Only by working together, will we make a positive difference for those returning to the tech industry after a career break and to improve representation across the sector.”
Created in 2015 through collective action, the Charter’s goal is for the UK tech ecosystem to be a diverse and inclusive community where people from all backgrounds are welcomed and valued for their contributions. Co-CEO Debbie Forster, MBE, said: ”The importance of greater diversity and inclusion in tech is, thankfully, no longer up for debate. Sectors and organisations now need to work together to shift the dial – and this will happen faster if we pool our successes, failures, and key learnings to bring about real structural change.
“No group can do it alone, which is why we’re asking organisations to join our 700+ Signatories who are working together to drive diversity and inclusion in tech.”