At TechSPARK, September is officially Talent Month. In partnership with our friends at Huboo Technologies, the award-winning order fulfilment service for eCommerce sellers, we’ll be bringing you features and events on all things tech talent in the South West. 

This guest blog is brought to you by ADLIB.

MotherBoard is a series of events, a Charter and a community that has been created to drive positive change throughout the UK Technology and Data sectors. Creating environments that support the inclusion of working mothers offers a significant solution to the shortage of talent across the Technology and Data sectors. We’re here to educate, challenge and create that shift. We’re not here to berate, we’re here to connect, embrace and champion positive change makers.

We are a supportive community built on trust with no judgement, specifically for Mums in Tech and Data. We offer a safe space for the community to talk openly and seek and share advice through connection.

Ultimately, through peer to peer support and through the community and Charter signatories as a collective, we enable more mothers to step into senior & leadership roles, helping to close the pay gap and hold employers accountable to make meaningful change – and we’ve been nominated for a SPARKie this year!

Baby steps to giant leaps, no step forward is too small

Making change isn’t easy, especially on a subject where the results are easily measurable and requires buy in and commitment across the entire business. Commitment is all too often pushed down the list to make way for easier tasks.

However, it’s not that tricky to get the foundations right and to build in time from there, embarking on your unique journey as a business towards your goals. Any change is positive a change and we embrace each and every action.

In short, the Motherboard Charter objectives are to:

  • Improve gender balance within technology and data teams throughout the UK. 
  • Champion part-time and flexible working across all levels of seniority, enabling the advancement of women’s careers in technology and data-led roles.
  • Increase the % of working mothers holding leadership or board level positions.
  • Close the gender pay gap. 
  • Educate organisations on how they can support mothers throughout their careers.
  • Improve maternity and return to work policies.

Business signatories of the MotherBoard Charter commit to a number of pledges relevant to their specific journey. The Pledges form the foundation that they can build on individually for The Charter to collate progress among all signatories on these pledges annually. This data helps to form our annual impact report which is set to inform our community of the strides we have collectively taken to meet our goals.

Starting is a huge step forward. As an employer, your actions speak louder than words, to your employees and to the community and every step counts.

To share just one shining example of a journey, here is Helastel’s story.

A: Why did you become a signatory of the MotherBoard Charter and why does it matter to you?

H: At Helastel we are acutely aware of the gender imbalance and lack of diversity within the technology sector. As a dynamic, innovative and collaborative organisation, we truly believe that diversity is important at all levels and that it takes a diverse workforce to help us to build and develop better solutions for our varied client base.

We understand the benefits of an inclusive environment and the significant improvements this can have to workplace culture. We have signed up to the Motherboard Charter as we want to be at the forefront of change within the industry and this not only holds us accountable but allows us to demonstrate how serious we are about creating a diverse and inclusive workplace.

As a business we’ve taken several steps to ensure that we’re committed to supporting parents who work within the business, commencing from the outset with our recruitment process right the way through to our extensive benefits and flexible/supportive working environment. Most notably we:

  • Implemented an enhanced maternity (and paternity) policy.
  • Conduct regular salary benchmarking reviews to ensure that these are aligned to market rates but also ensuring that there is no gender pay gaps within the business.
  • Effectively train managers around how to support mothers returning to work.
  • We offer a flexible working environment with the opportunity to work a blend of remote/office working to suit the individuals needs.
  • Utilise a gender de-coder to ensure that all job descriptions and adverts are not gender biased.
  • We have a female member of our board who has young children and works part-time and champions an inclusive environment within the business.

As an organisation with ambitious growth plans, we are committed to continuous improvement and will continue to evolve our diversity and inclusion practises to ensure that we attract and retain a diverse workforce. We are challenging ourselves to increase diversity across the business but in signing up to the Motherboard Charter we hope to encourage change across the industry as a whole.

A: Thank you for sharing! An inspirational example of authentic action that will attract and nurture female talent as an employer of choice.

Head here to find out more about MotherBoard, the Charter, the Community, the Events and our Signatories.

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.