Why diversity in tech is key to equality
Wiley Edge (part of Wiley – NYSE) is a global emerging talent and reskill training partner that bridges the skills gap in technology, banking and business by connecting education to the working world.
Via its industry-leading Academy, it helps build pipelines of diverse, custom-trained talent, complementing traditional hiring strategies like internal graduate programmes and reactive recruitment.
Used by more than 40 government agencies, tier-one investment banks, and fintech businesses, Wiley Edge’s ‘hire-train-deploy model’ places graduates into a client’s team for 12 to 24 months, after which they can be converted to full-time employees. Its ‘Reskill’ offering creates custom retention training for existing employees.
The overall communication objectives of the Diversity in Tech campaign were three-fold.
- To raise awareness of the lack of diversity in the tech industry, in the UK, US and Canada.
- To raise Wiley Edge’s brand awareness with ambitious graduates, showcasing the great career opportunities that tech offers.
- To raise Wiley Edge’s brand awareness with blue-chip end-users and draw attention to the fact that, by identifying talented graduates from a wide range of social and academic backgrounds, Wiley Edge has established itself as the ‘go- to’ source of talent for businesses seeking to overcome the skills gap and build a more representative and ultimately more successful workforce.
Objectives that when broken down sought to:
- Secure positive, high-quality coverage and links in key national, broadcast, finance, recruitment/HR, vertical sector trade and business media.
- Position Wiley Edge as an authoritative thought leader in its key industries.
- Drive traffic to the Wiley Edge website to increase leads and aid in customer acquisition.
As well as raising awareness with hiring managers, procurement, chief information officers, program managers, operations managers, director/MD of tech, production support managers, HR, E-trading, the campaign was also aimed at top-tier graduates from a wide range of backgrounds.
We uncovered evidence of the tech industry offering some of the best career prospects, both in the short term amid the chaos wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic, and in the long term. We also explored the importance of establishing a pipeline of diverse junior tech talent now in order to tackle the persistent lack of board diversity in the future.
Having shown why building more diverse tech teams has a role to play in achieving greater social equality, we then identified the barriers that are currently preventing a broader range of young people from pursuing tech careers, why some young people are less likely to consider a career in tech than others, and whether there are specific misconceptions or concerns surrounding careers in the industry. We also found that the experiences of those already working in the industry vary greatly across different demographics.
We then looked at what businesses are currently doing to help to improve the diversity of their workforce. We established which diversity and inclusion strategies and anti-bias hiring practices are the most commonplace, and which need to be implemented more broadly. We also found that many businesses are not conscious of the differing needs of young people from different educational and social backgrounds, and that more need to have specific support in place to ensure they have as good a chance at success as their peers and improve their employee retention rates.
We then collated our findings to produce the Diversity in Tech report, which you can read here.
List all the key P/E/S/O activities that you will undertake or have undertaken
We launched the research through a broadcast day featuring Dragon’s Den’s Piers Linney, a passionate diversity and inclusion champion with a background in technology. Alongside Becs Roycroft, a senior director at Wiley Edge, and Sheb Cudi, a Wiley Edge graduate, Piers discussed the findings of the research in segments in a series of interviews, including ITV News, Sky News and Jazz FM.
The research was then also used to create a series of hard-hitting press releases, as well as the basis for thought leadership features, comments, and targeted LinkedIn marketing campaigns.
‘40% of 18–24-year-olds feel they were encouraged to consider a career in technology or IT by their school. Disappointingly, this figure drops to just 35% of females, compared with 46% of males.’
‘15% of men surveyed stated that they would like to pursue a career in tech, compared to just 7% of women.’
‘When asked if they had ever felt uncomfortable in a tech-related role because of their gender/ethnicity/socio-economic background or neurodevelopmental condition, almost three quarters (71%) said yes.’
Measurement & insights:
In total the campaign attracted:
- 28 TV and radio interviews, including Sky News, ITV News.
- 785 other pieces of broadcast coverage across 194 radio stations. and editorial coverage in key titles across the UK and US including Computer Weekly, IT Pro, Fortune, and Fast Company
- The average domain authority for online coverage was 60.
The impact of the campaign with our target audiences was immediate and impressive:
- More than 200 qualified leads
- Organic traffic up 120% YoY
- Brand awareness up 45% on the previous period
- 200 qualified leads via LinkedIn
Impact and Learning
- The UK report proved so successful that we replicated with a US and Canadian version
- Thought leadership report used by Wiley Edge sales as a powerful sales tool to draw attention to the wide range of diversity recruitment challenges they help clients overcome
Relevant, creative and challenging the Wiley Edge campaign shone a clear light on current attitudes to diversity within tech from both young person’s and business leader’s perspective.
It also gave us the perfect opportunity to share these findings with a keen and curious media.
As importantly, it gave Wiley Edge a position of insight from which to share the many innovative ways that it helps its clients tackle the important talent and diversity challenges they face.