The Tech Talent Charter (TTC) and MotherBoard Charter have joined forces to address the motherhood penalty in the tech industry with the launch of a new resource guide aimed at helping businesses to create more inclusive workplaces.
A recent study by TTC found that nearly 40% of women in tech agree that caring commitments influenced their decision to leave their job. This emphasises the damage the motherhood penalty has on the tech industry’s ability to retain female talent. It also highlights the urgent need for businesses to offer meaningful flexible working options if they want to improve diversity in the workforce.
As they return to the office after the holidays, working parents are juggling full-time caring commitments whilst schools and wraparound care are closed, whilst trying to settle children into new school routines. This guide is a powerful tool for businesses to support working mothers, fathers and caregivers off the back of this demanding period.
Despite being one of the most innovative sectors, the tech industry continues to struggle with retaining female talent. A staggering 50% of women leave the tech sector by age 35, correlating with childbearing years. Addressing the complexities of motherhood is crucial for fostering a more inclusive and gender-balanced environment in tech.
The new resource calls on businesses to take ten key steps to tackle the motherhood penalty including flexible working arrangements and supporting women’s career development. By investing in these actions, businesses will create an environment that supports working mothers and helps to retain valuable talent in the UK tech industry.
“The tech industry is at a crossroad”, says Karen Blake, Co-CEO of TTC. “Our research shows the scale at which women leave tech at critical junctures in their lives, often due to the challenges of balancing motherhood and caring responsibilities with career demands. This exodus is a loss for these talented individuals and a significant setback for the industry and UK PLC. That’s why the work of the Tech Talent Charter and the MotherBoard Charter is so important. By tackling the motherhood penalty and creating a more inclusive workplace, we can help to ensure that the tech industry is a place where everyone can thrive. We all have a role in creating a more inclusive tech industry. Employers can start by rethinking their flexible working policies, investing in career development for women, publishing parental leave policies and creating a more empathetic workplace culture. Individuals can also take action by advocating for change in their workplaces and supporting organisations working to make the tech industry more inclusive.”
Sophie Creese, Founder of the MotherBoard Charter, says: “There is a proven link between women leaving their jobs and motherhood. This is especially prominent in male-dominated industries, with tech specifically having one of the poorest attrition rates of all industries in the UK. While there’s a prevailing notion that elevating women to senior roles can address this issue, the stark reality is that without addressing the root cause — the alarming 50% of women that are leaving tech by age 35 — meaningful change remains elusive. Retaining women, by going beyond the basics of maternity leave, is essential to changing the future landscape of the industry. That’s why I am thrilled to be launching this guide with the Tech Talent Charter so that leaders can start to open the dialogue of how they can go beyond policy by taking tangible actions for a more equitable and inclusive future.”
To access the guide, visit https://openplaybook.techtalentcharter.co.uk/parents
About Tech Talent Charter
The Tech Talent Charter (TTC) is a government-supported, industry-led membership group that brings together 700+ Signatory organisations and equips them with the networks and resources to drive their diversity and inclusion efforts. Our broad base of Signatories includes companies and industries of all sizes, non-profit organisations, charities, leading UK educators, and government departments. TTC is preparing to release its highly-anticipated Diversity in Tech report on February 28th. The report will offer fresh insights on diversity in tech, including the latest statistics on women in tech, ethnic diversity, neurodiversity, disability, and social mobility in tech.
For more information, visit techtalentcharter.co.uk or contact [email protected].
MotherBoard is a Business Charter, Community, and Event Series driving tangible change for mums working in the tech industry. We are on a mission to transform the industry to be more inclusive of mothers by tackling stigmas and supporting employers who want to create real change.
For more information, visit motherboardmovement.co.uk or contact [email protected].
MotherBoard, a Bristol-based organisation, has been working towards retaining women in the tech industry since its launch in 2021. The direct link between motherhood and high attrition rates is evident in the fact that 50% of women leave the tech industry before the age of 35. MotherBoard’s mission is to change that.
In their latest annual impact report, MotherBoard revealed that the 29 signatories of their Charter have made significant progress in supporting women and mothers in their organisations. On average, these signatories have improved the gender balance within their tech teams by 10% from 2022.
The MotherBoard Movement has been gaining momentum over the last year and has more than doubled its community reach through events, content, and conferences. Sophie Creese, the Founder of MotherBoard, won the Lead 5050 award for ‘Contribution to Gender Diversity’ for the work she does with MotherBoard.
“This year has been pivotal for MotherBoard. We’ve spoken at some of the UK’s leading tech events, worked on government-led projects to highlight the importance of motherhood and its link to the skill gap in tech, doubled our community, and revolutionized our operations to encourage tech companies of all sizes to join our mission,” said Sophie Creese, Founder of MotherBoard.
“Although mother inclusion is now firmly on the agenda for most companies, the work is far from done. We must continue to progress and work collectively to create real, tangible change for women and mothers working in tech.
Real change takes time and none of this would have been possible without the continued support of our signatories, sponsors, partners, community, and the MotherBoard team. Therefore, I would like to express my gratitude to all of them,” added Sophie Creese.
MotherBoard is committed to creating a more inclusive tech industry, and their efforts are paying off. With their continued dedication and support, we can hope to see a more diverse and inclusive tech industry in the future.
About The MotherBoard Impact Report
The MotherBoard Impact Report is an annual collation of the work completed by the MotherBoard Movement & MotherBoard Charter signatories in driving tangible change for mums and women working in the tech industry.
You can access the full report via their website: https://motherboardmovement.co.uk/community/motherboard-impact-report-2023
About Sophie Creese (she/her)
Founder of MotherBoard
Sophie Creese is the Founder of mission-led organisations MotherBoard & HeyFlow, which are driving positive change for gender equity at work.
MotherBoard is a not-for-profit Business Charter & Community that is tackling the 50% of women who leave the tech industry by age 35, predominantly due to motherhood.
Beyond MotherBoard, Sophie co-founded HeyFlow earlier this year, a mission-led insights & consultancy start-up that helps employers understand their female workforce better to improve retention. (https://heyflow.co.uk/)
MotherBoard is a Business Charter, Community, and Event Series driving tangible change for mums working in the tech industry. We are on a mission to transform the industry to be more inclusive of women & mothers by tackling stigmas and supporting employers who want to create real change.
Powered by ADLIB (https://www.adlib-recruitment.co.uk/), sponsored by Not On The High Street (https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/).
// 50% of women leave the tech industry before age 35. Let’s change that.
(For context: what are you talking about?)
I’m not worried about AI stealing my job as a content writer. I’m excited about how it will evolve.
AI tools have sky-rocketed my productivity, re-ignited my excitement for work and made me a better writer. Turns out, my pain points were never about a lack of inspiration or creativity. It was the lack of efficiency.
My boss always says, “Just break the white page, get something down and you’ve done the hardest part.”
Also known in the industry as the ‘SFD’ – shitty first draft.
Now, and preferably, forever, AI does the hardest part for me.
Mr Bucket’s original job screwing caps onto toothpaste tubes is content writing before AI.
I think this quote from the film sums up what that was like quite nicely…
“The hours were long, the pay was terrible, and occasionally, there were unexpected surprises.”
In the end, Mr Bucket gets a more interesting, better-paid role at the factory. Fixing and maintaining the robot that took his job.
I much prefer my new job of fixing and maintaining the metaphorical AI toothpaste robot.
Research is easier and more thorough. Article outlines are done for me, giving me an SEO-optimised structure which hits (and improves) my client’s briefs. I have an editor, PA, proofreader, sense-checker, and idea-suggestor, for free, whenever I need them. And we make a damn good team.
AI-written text can be good, but it’s not great. We all know its technical limitations, but its biggest flaw, through no fault of its own, is that it doesn’t care.
It doesn’t build relationships, collaborate with others, or get excited about what you’re trying to achieve. There’s no ‘above and beyond’ with AI.
It’s an out-of-the-box solution for a skill that’s anything but.
Maybe one day it will take my job. But I think the day humans stop writing is the day humans stop reading. In which case we’re all screwed anyway.
I solemnly swear I did not open a single AI tool while writing this article.
But I probably should have. It might have told me it’s not as funny as I think it is. And I wouldn’t have spent half an hour deep-diving the Willy Wonka fandom.
In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie’s dad (William Bucket) lost his job because a new robot did his job more efficiently – and for less money.
In an era where digital innovation is paramount, agencies and brands are constantly vying for the leading edge. Generative Search emerges as the latest beacon of progress, poised to transform online search and, consequently, brand strategy in profound ways. For design agencies, creative teams, and businesses in the B2B realm, understanding and leveraging Generative Search could become a significant part of their branding arsenal. Here’s an uncomplicated rundown of what this means for your brand.
Generative Search is akin to an astute, AI-driven alchemist that turns simple queries into gold—providing bespoke responses crafted uniquely for each user. It utilises advanced AI not just to trawl through existing content but to understand and generate the precise piece of information a user seeks, thus revolutionising the user experience and the approach to B2B branding.
Keyword Strategy Evolves: In Generative Search, the need for agencies to laser-focus on keywords gives way to a broader, more fluid approach. Brand strategy now must encompass a wider understanding of themes and user intents that B2B clients articulate.
Generative Search presents an exhilarating prospect for agencies focused on branding, brand strategy, and B2B relationships. It promises to deliver a more intuitive and customised digital experience, vital for businesses seeking to distinguish their brand in a saturated market. As this technology matures, it could well become an indispensable tool in the creative and strategic arsenal of every forward-thinking design agency. Embracing this shift could well set the stage for the next chapter in digital brand evolution.
Find out more about Halo Labs
In less than 12 months, AI has taken the world by storm, marking what is arguably the most significant technological development since the birth of the internet.
ChatGPT has become the poster child of this technological eruption, with a userbase increase of 9,990% in the first 60 days of launch. At the time of writing, it has more than 180.5 million users.
Of course, this meteoric rise has been far from subtle. In what seems like the blink of an eye, AI technology has transitioned from a point of post-pint speculation to workplace reality, embedding itself across industries. From initial research and conceptualisation to data analysis, time management and content creation, marketers worldwide are unveiling innovative uses for these powerful tools.
The danger with such a rapid adoption of new technology is that unstable dependencies are formed. SEO professionals everywhere are jumping head-first into the world of AI, for fear of falling behind.
The question, therefore, is not ‘will AI change SEO forever’, but to what extent has it already?
If you were to ask a room full of marketing professionals what they thought of AI, it’s likely their answers would vary significantly. On one side of the fence are the utopians, with their boundless optimism for the technology’s endless capabilities. On the other, are the doomsayers, to whom AI tools mark the first step towards a dystopian Terminator-esque future. End of days stuff.
At Superb Digital, we’re somewhere between the two.
As far as research, data collection, analysis and reporting are concerned, AI tools are brimming with potential. They can streamline processes, smash through monotonous tasks and massively improve overall efficiency. But, don’t believe the hype; AI can’t do everything and the quality of its output is wholly dictated by the information it is provided.
Working with, and getting the most from, AI requires a clear understanding of objectives and best practices. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the ways in which AI tools are actually being implemented by marketers at ground level.
The role of AI technology within a digital marketing and SEO context is, of course, nuanced. Where its usefulness ends and its limitations begin is frequently debated among professionals. That said, its capabilities with regards to research, data collection and analysis are undisputable.
As far as research and analysis is concerned, AI is more than capable of scouring live sites and retrieving key information such as page structures, meta data, content styles. Where necessary, this research and data can be stored and presented, for use in later stages of a campaign.
The above methodology is useful, but basic. The full potential of AI can only be realised with the correct combination of input and instruction. If, for example, AI tools are fed specific documentation and reference points, such as Google’s Helpful Content guidelines, they are able to learn from the information provided and proceed from a point of task-specific understanding. As is the case with most AI technology, well-engineered human-led prompting is essential.
You don’t have to spend long working with AI to understand its planning capabilities. After all, heavy lifting and monotonous task management is where tools like ChatGPT really come into their own.
AI can be of great use when generating content plans, brief outlines and structures, but this technology is limited by the efficacy of its instructor (there’s a theme developing here…). Generic, poorly structured prompts will lead to equally useless content.
From our own experience, working with AI requires a clear understanding of two things:
Simply instructing ChatGPT to ‘create a plan’ based upon a topic or title is sure to lead to bang-average results. Whereas, feeding the programme clear examples of high-quality work will provide insight as to the results you want to achieve. Whether this is a website quality report or long-form article outline, it is crucial that such examples are well-crafted and reflective of the results you wish to attain. This type of activity has already garnered a name: “prompt engineering”.
Now, this is where opinions begin to differ. While some AI evangelists will claim that its content creating abilities are on par with those of a human, this is simply not true. AI is capable of many things, but crafting and writing high-quality, insightful content is not one of them. If you’re looking for content that meets Google’s Helpful Content guidelines and actually reflects your brand, ethos and personality, you need a person.
But, this is not to say that AI has no place in the content creation process. As discussed above, this technology can prove endlessly useful during the ideation, research and planning phases. Here at Superb Digital, we often use AI tools for transcription and summation purposes. This allows us to extract key points from client interviews and collate research much faster. As far as the writing is concerned though, that’s all us.
As powerful as AI tools may appear, it doesn’t take a top-tier developer to understand their current limitations. Yes, this technology is cutting edge, and getting better by the day, but it is not infallible. As is the case with any software, AI language is capable of making mistakes.
Take ChatGPT, for example. The language model’s achilles heel is the pool from which it draws information. As of this point in time, ChatGPT is only trained on information up to January 2022. This means that, without the use of plugins and beta tools, it cannot retrieve up to date information from search engines.
Moreover, one of the most obvious flaws that arises when working with AI is the way in which it receives information. There is, understandably, a dissonance between the language model’s method of processing and our own human cognition. In other words, it cannot always recognise actions as we do.
It goes without saying that over reliance on this technology can be dangerous. Rather than becoming overly-confident in the abilities of AI, it is important to adopt a cohesive approach. By all means, use these tools to assist, streamline, cut down and create, but beware of leaning too heavily on their independent capabilities.
The million dollar question: what next? AI technology has already transformed the digital marketing industry, impacting the ways in which user data is gathered, analysis is carried out and optimised content is created. If this continues, what will be left of human jobs?
The reality is that SEO is, and always has been, evolving. This industry is built on the ever-changing foundations of internet algorithms and technological advancements. Keeping up is just as important as getting ahead.
As AI technologies develop and cement themselves in our personal and professional lives, emphasis will be placed on certain skills. In particular, prompt engineering. As capable as these tools may be, they require precise and focussed instruction to achieve above-average results.
Additionally, it is worth noting the impact that AI has, and will continue to have on the ways in which individuals search for products and services. If AI assisted search tools, such as Google’s Bard, are transforming the means through which consumers browse the internet, so will the ways in which businesses and marketing experts target them. It is difficult to say exactly what this change will look like, but an increased focus on the ways in which AI platforms search for information will become a necessity.
Here at Superb Digital, AI tools are swiftly becoming an integral part of our arsenal. That said, certain processes simply cannot be replicated by computers; we place great emphasis on the value of real human input.
Yes, these tools will continue to evolve and improve. But our focus must remain on the knowledge and experience of human experts. Prompt engineering, quality control, copywriting and strategy are among the many areas of SEO that cannot, and should not, be replaced by Artificial Intelligence technologies.
Wow, what a response! Our latest project, dubbii broke the Top 20 on the App Store and Google Play charts on launch weekend, with over 25,000 active users.
Partnering with the fabulous Rich & Rox, social media influencers of ADHD Love fame, dubbii is a body doubling app to help ADHD people with their household tasks.
We were incredibly excited to work with ADHD Love on a different kind of self-help app and as their ongoing tech partner, we’re in it for the long haul.
We’re committed to staying engaged with the community to find out exactly what the audience wants and how best to provide it.
Watch the recording of this webinar now
As part of Bristol Technology Festival 2023, our founder Harry explores the ins and outs of UX design, and why a user-centric approach is absolutely crucial.
In this webinar he explains why UX design is so much more than just wireframing, and how it should be seen as a process rather than a solution. Harry also uncovers how a clear UX-led strategy can lead to a long term competitive advantage.
We’re delighted to announce Gravitywell’s rebrand.
Delivered by the superb team at Seon Creative, our new identity emphasises our status as Bristol’s Venture Studio.
A Venture Studio deploys its expertise, resources and infrastructure to generate and validate startup ideas, then build and launch them into the market.
At Gravitywell, we do this by offering a full suite of hard and soft services to validate, fund, design, build and launch PoC, prototypes and MVP software products.
“This is a long overdue alignment of the brand with Gravitywell’s mission. I’m thrilled to be part of this exciting vision and proud to support a bold position in the tech startup industry.”
— Simon Bos, Founder, Gravitywell
Like it or not, the digital age is built around search engines. They’re the beating heart of information sharing online. The visibility and potential success of your digital business relies on them – and nowhere is this more prevalent than with your keyword strategy.
Through keywords, information can be categorised correctly by search engines and other algorithms, for audiences to subsequently find and consume information online. Get it right, and watch as your search rankings climb the proverbial ladder towards greater exposure and readership over time. Fail to focus on your critical keywords, however, and – well, have you ever searched on page three of Google?
Of these keywords, long-tail can often be the most effective to deploy. But what exactly are long-tail keywords and why should you care about them?
There are three types of keywords: short-tail, mid-tail and long-tail.
Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keywords or phrases used in search engines. These are search terms that users and visitors are much more likely to use when they are closer to a point of purchase. Or, when they are using voice search.
Generally, a long-tail keyword is around three to five words. The longer the keyword, the more targeted it can be.
For example, a short-tail keyword or ‘head term’ could be ‘pizza’. This would have an extremely high search volume and potentially answer a wide search intent. However, it’s also an extremely broad keyword and is unlikely to give you the specific answers you’re looking for (unless you just want to know the dictionary definition of pizza…and who doesn’t know that, right?)
A mid-tail keyword would be ‘gluten-free pizza’. This is more specific. It would see a reduction in search volume, but increased engagement due to its specificity.
Long-tail keywords are even more detailed. This would be ‘Best gluten-free pizza recipes for vegetarians.’ This is a highly tailored and specific keyword designed to better reflect how search engine users make queries.
So why the term ‘long-tail? Because if you were to plot out the search terms from any given month on a graph, it would create a left-to-right curve moving down and across, like an animal’s long tail.
Targeted search phrases match search intent. So, with highly specific and targeted long-tail keywords, you are better at presenting yourself and your business to new audiences and customers.
In the highly competitive keyword ranking ecosystem, the more you can match search intent, the better. This will mean that search engine users can better find your business and your content, over that of your competition.
By using longer, less competitive keywords, businesses can boost their chances of appearing higher up on search engine results pages. This can drive traffic to your website in greater volumes, leading to customer interactions and potential conversions.
If you are unaware of the term ‘matching search’, think of it in the context of user experience.
In shaping and implementing an effective long-tail keyword strategy you are creating an enhanced user experience for your potential customers. This is an indirect user experience, but it can be hugely effective when deployed correctly
Think back to a time when you used a search engine to find a new product or service. Did your location combine with a top-of-page result that immediately matched what you were looking for?
If so, that business has used long-tail keywords to match your search intent, attract your attention, direct you to their website and potentially convert your intent into a sale or a conversation.
This kind of SEO strategy has become even more important, following some core updates from Google.
In March 2023, Google released a core update that furthered the search engine giant’s commitment to returning relevant results from searches.
In short, it resulted in previously top-ranking pages and results taking a significant hit. By leveraging more long-tail keywords, businesses can either re-build their SERP strategy to regain their pole positions, or they can use them to usurp the positions of competitors that have fallen down the rankings.
Long-tail keywords almost always have less traffic, but don’t be fooled into thinking this makes them less effective.
In having less traffic, they are less competitive and will usually come with a much higher conversion rate. Think of this in the same way as your sales and marketing funnel,
– those at the end of the journey are more likely to make a purchase than those at the start.
Mentor Digital has successfully completed a major contract to design and develop a cutting-edge CMS and website to effectively assist NGA’s vast community of 75,000 members. This comprehensive project encompasses a fresh information architecture and website design, accompanied by enhanced user experience (UX) and optimised user journeys throughout the site.
The primary objective was to ensure an exceptional experience for members throughout the site as well as encouraging membership renewal and the utilisation of the wide array of excellent services provided by NGA.
The website was designed by Mentor’s award-winning creative team, and includes immaculate attention to detail throughout the site, incorporating micro-animations and a seamless user experience. The site includes a complex tagging, search and filtering system which is all powered by the CMS (Umbraco V10).
In addition to developing the new website, Mentor Digital completely re-branded NGA, including a new logo, brand guidelines, and on and offline materials, all whilst creating a visual identity that effectively embodies their distinctive approach. To gain valuable insights, Mentor conducted a series of interviews with key members of NGA, as well as the board members, to gauge their perspectives on the existing branding and the envisioned direction.
Additionally, Mentor organised workshops with the project team, to assess their current standing and identify their desired future positioning. These collaborative sessions served as the foundation for generating multiple concepts to further evolve the new brand.
Click here to view a case study on the NGA re-brand.
Collaborating closely with NGA, Mentor Digital facilitated the commissioning of copywriting services to enhance the communication of their core brand and services. NGA were presented with a range of options for descriptors, statements, and straplines for the main NGA brand to aid the launch of a more confident brand positioning.
If your organisation is looking for a digital agency to work on a new or existing project, you get in touch with the team at Mentor Digital, who would love to hear about your plans.
To see more of Mentor Digital’s case studies, you can visit the website here.
To find out more about Mentor Digital’s web design and development work for Membership Organisations, click here.