Ofcom and UK telcos commit to bring more women to tech roles

UK media and telecom regulator Ofcom has teamed up with the UK’s biggest telecoms companies to sign a new pledge, committing to help get more women build technology careers across the industry.

Dame Melanie Dawes

Noting that the telecoms sector has been historically male-dominated, Ofcom together with BT Group, Openreach, Sky, TalkTalk, Three, Virgin Media O2 and Vodafone have signed the pledge committing to improve representation for women.

Each of the organisations have agreed to take action to increase senior representation of women in technology-based roles over the next three years, as well have more women in their workforces more generally.

The organisations will commit to attracting and retaining more women, while creating more inclusive working environments. They will share good practice, as well as publishing information on the impact of their work to achieve better representation for women – including performance against their organisation’s own diversity and inclusion strategies.

These commitments have been developed by Ofcom, with support of the seven companies in the first phase of this initiative. Ofcom said hopes further companies from across the telecoms sector will join and support this initiative – playing their part in helping to make the sector more diverse and inclusive.

“Having a diverse workforce is crucial to the success of any organisation. It drives creativity, innovation and ensures we as employers attract the skills we need from the widest possible pool. But for too many women, climbing that career ladder in a male-dominated industry can be a real challenge. We want the telecoms industry, including us at Ofcom, to lead the way in changing that. So it’s great to see so many companies getting behind this pledge, and committing to helping more women launch long-lasting and rewarding technology careers. We look forward to working together to achieve this,” said Dame Melanie Dawes, Ofcom CEO.

“A more inclusive tech industry is fundamental to a thriving UK tech sector, and critical to realising the full potential of innovation. But to achieve wide-scale progress, industry collaboration is key. We’re delighted to be partnering with our industry peers to increase the representation of women in technology-based roles in telecommunications, building on our longstanding work in this area. Since 2017, we have almost doubled female representation in our technology team so we are looking forward to working with partners to drive this at an industry level,” said Stephen van Rooyen, CEO, Sky UK Ireland and chief commercial officer, Sky Group

“TalkTalk and I couldn’t be more supportive of this initiative. We’re passionate about increasing the numbers of women in tech, from inspiring young girls into STEM subjects through to mentoring, supporting and promoting women into leadership positions. As the creators of the North West Women in Tech awards, we celebrate and champion the many incredible achievements that women in our sector make every day,” said Tristia Harrison, CEO of TalkTalk Group

“Virgin Media O2 is proud to join Ofcom’s Diversity and Inclusion Pledge to support more women into our industry, which builds on our commitment to become a more inclusive and equitable company.

“This includes our ambitions to increase representation of women across our organisation; a series of best-in-class leave policies – from enhanced maternity and adoption leave, to paid carer’s leave; and our support of various programmes that encourage more women into STEM roles, with the aim of creating allyship across our business to ensure we attract and retain the best female talent,” said Lutz Schüler, CEO of Virgin Media O2.

The initiative was also endorsed by the leadership of BT, Openreach, Three and Vodafone.


Read Next