Digital directorate aims to make sector more diverse

The Scottish Government’s digital directorate is exploring ways to create a more diverse digitally skilled workforce. Writing in a blog post, Sarah Davidson, the Scottish Government’s director general for communities and its diversity champion, said that recent research carried out for them by Napier University found that only around 18% of those in digital technology roles in Scotland are women.

She added that digital diversity is about much more than just gender, and although it is difficult to get data from across the digital sector of people’s ethnic background, sexuality and whether or not they have a disability, it “would not be surprising” if the representation of ethnic minority and disabled employees was lower than the average in Scotland as whole.

To try and address the problem the directorate will hold an ‘unconference’ in March, explore the potential of a private/public/third sector network on diversity in the digital sector and release data on the Scottish Government’s digital directorate to “create a benchmark which can be improved”.

“We’ll be encouraging other public and private sector organisations that we’re working with to do the same,” said Davidson.

“As the use of digital technologies and the reliance on skills to use them continues to grow, the Scottish Government wants to encourage as many people as possible to consider a career in digital.

“New public sector opportunities will be emerging as public services evolve in a digital world. Shouldn’t we grasp this opportunity to try and ensure that the new workforce is significantly more diverse than it is at present?”