4th March 2020

Deeson on International Women’s Day 2020

Simon Wakeman
Chief Executive Officer
International Women's Day logo

This Sunday, 8th March 2020, is International Women’s Day (IWD). At Deeson, we’ve been reflecting on our commitment to diversity in our workplace and the progress we’ve made over the past three and a half years since our founder made our first formal diversity commitments.

As a technology business, we recognise that the diversity of our workforce is an important part of ensuring we deliver the best possible work for our clients. 

We know that homogeneity in our team means homogeneity in our thinking - and that’s indisputably a bad thing. But, at the same time, we have faced the same challenges as many of our peers in this sector. 

For example, in technical roles we typically look for a graduate-level qualification in computer science as a qualification. Yet, we know that there are substantially fewer women graduating in this subject than men. 

So, we’ve worked hard with local universities to support undergraduates with work experience opportunities, engagement and advice to help students succeed in their degrees. We’ve prioritised women and other under-represented groups for this kind of support.

We’re also delighted to be welcoming our first undergraduate placement year student - Amy - to the agency in September 2020. 

Over the past few years, we’ve introduced new initiatives such as an enhanced deal for new parents, transparent pay scales and a no-negotiation policy for new hire salaries. Underpinning all these initiatives has been a desire to diversify our team and help us hire the best talent, regardless of who they are and where they’ve come from.

Industry-wide, the tech workforce is made up of 81% men, and 19% women

On IWD 2020, I’m proud that our Deeson workforce has reached 36% women and 64% men, up from a workforce which was 22% female three years ago. But while our work to ensure diversity is far from complete, I think we should celebrate our team being the most gender diverse it’s ever been at Deeson.

Three years ago, our agency leadership team was all men. Now, the leadership team comprises three women and two men - and we’ve recently appointed our first female Managing Director.

I’m particularly encouraged that our recruitment pipeline data shows that we’re receiving around seven times as many applications from women per month in the first two months of 2020 than we did each month in 2019. 

So while we’ve made good progress, our work is far from done. 

Over the next year, we’ll be continuing to champion tech careers for people from a range of under-represented groups in society. We’ll be building on initiatives, such as The Panoply’s Future Leaders scheme that we backed this year, to help young people build tech businesses. 

We’re also committed to continuing looking hard at our own practices and processes to make sure we’re not inadvertently making life at work harder for our team members or embedding unconscious bias into workplace processes.  

I’m optimistic that next year, on IWD 2021, we’ll be celebrating an ever more diverse team at Deeson.