News

OVERCOMING THE MOTHERHOOD PENALTY: TECH TALENT CHARTER X MOTHERBOARD

10th January 2024

New collaboration between Tech Talent Charter and MotherBoard Charter to tackle the ‘motherhood penalty’ in UK tech, as 1 in 3 women plan to leave their tech jobs.

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].

About MotherBoard

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].

Member

About ADLIB

We are a Recruitment Agency with purpose. Proudly B Corp certified and employee-owned. Our mission and impact go far beyond recruitment. We immerse ourselves in the worlds we operate in. A trusted partner, supporting growth and success at pace since 2001.

Related articles

A sign of the times – why PR changes so frequently

A sign of the times – why PR changes so frequently

LAUNCHING ADLIB’S EDI DIRECTORY

LAUNCHING ADLIB’S EDI DIRECTORY

Paws for thought: Final call for artists to join Gromit Unleashed 2025!

Paws for thought: Final call for artists to join Gromit Unleashed 2025!