Candy Crush Saga developer King is the first UK games studio to sign up to the Tech Talent Charter (TTC), a pledge that aims to deliver greater diversity in the tech workforce of the UK, and one that better reflects the make-up of the population.
According to the charter, just 17% of Tech/ICT workers in the UK are female, and only one in ten females are currently taking A-Level computer studies, an issue further compounded by a looming digital skills gap where the UK needs one million more tech workers by 2020. While the UK games industry fares a little better with 19 per cent of its workforce identifying as female, it nonetheless falls short of the national average of 45 per cent.
"Half the population cannot be ignored, and nor should it be, if there is to be a more diverse, inclusive, fairer and commercially successful tech workforce and industry", the charter states.
The TTC was founded in March 2017. To contribute - and make meaningful change - signatories promise to appoint a senior representative as responsible for the Charter commitments, adopt inclusive recruitment processes, ensure all employment policies and practices support the development and retention of an inclusive and diverse workforce, work collectively with other signatories to develop and share best practice, and contribute their employment diversity data into a central anonymised database for publishing publicly in an annual report.
"We are so proud to become the first games company to sign up to the Tech Talent Charter," said King's global diversity and inclusion director, Joyce Adeluwoye-Adams. "This new commitment enables us to work alongside other like-minded organisations to drive meaningful change and shift the dial on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. It's important for the sustainability of our industry that we collectively encourage more diverse talent to consider a career in the industry, in a supportive environment, with opportunities to succeed.
"This is just one part of King's ongoing commitment to increasing and fostering diversity. Ultimately, our vision is to have a diverse, inclusive and equal workplace where all our employees can thrive and feel proud to belong."