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05 Mar

Celebrating Equality on International Women’s Day 2020

International Women's Day

International Women’s Day (IWD) falls on Sunday 8th March. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the social, economic and political achievements of women and marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. 

In 1911 the first IWD gathering was supported by more than one million people, and today it belongs to all groups everywhere. It’s not country, group or organisation specific. 

Over a century later, from grassroots activism to worldwide action, the world is entering an exciting period of history where equality is expected. Its absence is noticed and its presence is celebrated. Now is the time. Equality drives a better working world. For that reason, the theme for IWD 2020 is #EachforEqual.

At REPL we believe in the IWD’s ethos that ‘an equal world is an enabled world’ and work hard to forge a gender equal, diverse and inclusive workplace. 

How We Take Action for Gender Equality 

Technology has traditionally been seen as a male-dominated industry. Over the years, REPL’s CEO, Cerys Johnson, has experienced this gender prejudice first-hand. As such, she passionately champions the company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives and is the driving force behind REPL’s approach to workplace equality. One that goes above and beyond what other organisations are doing.

The company’s gender statistics exceed the industry average. The board of directors’ gender split is 57% male / 43% female, compared to the national average for technology firms of 87% male / 13% female.

According to the Office for National Statistics, women currently account for only 16.8% of workers in the UK’s tech sector. The overall REPL gender split is 65% male / 35% female. We recognise there is more work to be done and have a number of initiatives in place to ensure that REPL has a more diverse and gender-balanced environment. 

These include:

  • Putting only essential requirements in job specifications 

We want our recruitment to attract a diverse range of candidates. Research has found that women are often deterred from applying for a role if they don’t meet all criteria, while men will generally apply if they have only a few of the requirements. 

  • Advertising job vacancies within female tech communities 

We advertise job vacancies within female tech communities a week or two ahead of advertising more widely. This helps us to attract more female candidates who may otherwise not see the position. 

  • Challenging unconscious gender bias in recruitment activities 

To ensure a fairer process for all applicants, we put all job advertisements through a gender assessment tool to eliminate gender-biased words. 

  • Funding a recruiter through a gender studies degree

In order to improve its processes down the line and to ensure it strikes a gender balance, REPL fund a recruiter’s gender studies degree. 

  • Creating a Women in REPL support network

REPL ensures that it not only attracts more women through its recruitment initiatives, but also that they want to stay once they’re hired. The Women in REPL support group provides a community for women within the organisation and encourages them to champion each other. Female role models offer advice and guidance for those just starting out. 

The group ensures new joiners feel welcome, have the same access to career progression and opportunities as men, and feel empowered to go for those positions.

  • Educating and inspiring young women in the local community 

We help to inspire and encourage young women to pursue a career in technology through our local education outreach programme. A cross-section of female employees visit local schools, colleges and universities to talk to young women and girls. 

REPL uses this platform to show young women that a career in technology is an exciting and viable path to pursue. 

  • Operating a development programme and buddy scheme

Our development programme and buddy scheme pairs someone with less technical experience with someone technical. 

This helps women gain new skills and ensure they’re not deterred from entering technology roles if they don’t have traditionally technical skills.

  • Championing female-in-tech role models

REPL CEO Cerys Johnson proactively uses her platform to drive change within the industry, not just at a company-level but also at a regional, national and government level. 

Recently elected to the Confederation of British Industry West Midlands Board, Cerys has been included in the 2019 CEO Today Business Woman of the Year accolades and was awarded the West Midlands Woman in Tech Award. 

She uses her voice to champion other inspirational women working in tech, and make a difference for future generations taking up roles in male-dominated sectors.

International Women's Day

Diversity and Inclusion at REPL

Diversity and inclusion are fundamental parts of REPL’s culture. Our diversity and inclusion strategy creates a workforce that champions diversity, has a broad outlook and is actively inclusive. 

As Cerys said: “While encouraging women is a start, businesses must embrace diversity on a much broader scale. A more diverse business is likely to be a richer one. For true diversity to be embraced, there needs to be a seismic shift that facilitates all people to feel empowered and able to move into new roles and industries.”

REPL believes that a truly inclusive environment encourages diversity. We make every effort to ensure that people who join the company are made to feel welcome regardless of their background, race, gender and sexuality. 

Our diversity and inclusion initiatives include:

  • Unconscious bias training

Along with cultivating a culture of feedback, all employees complete unconscious bias training so they’re armed with the knowledge and confidence to challenge bias if they spot it in themselves or within the business. 

  • Graduate training scheme open to all

Understanding the importance of progressing the careers of inspirational, talented individuals from all backgrounds, REPL runs a successful graduate training scheme to help shape future leaders. 

  • Succession planning for diverse employees

Succession planning ensures we have diverse representation in influential roles. 

Mindful that we can’t always offer upwards promotion, or that there might be a wait for a suitable position to become available, we ensure there is diverse representation within groups that feed into employee engagement initiatives, diversity inclusion and learning development. This provides individuals with an influential position in the business. 

  • Cognitive diversity initiative

This initiative sees a representative sample of people with different viewpoints brought together to discuss certain topics. 

By having differing views around one table, REPL reaches richer and more considered answers to questions and problems than with a narrow selection of people. 

Staying on Track

We measure our progress against specific goals. These include factors such as turnover rate, promotion rate, salaries, gender balance, candidate pipeline.

We also track velocity of movements, seeing how long it takes for a candidate to go from being hired to being promoted, and map against gender statistics to assess if we’re offering the same opportunities across the board, and where there is need for improvement. This analysis ensures standards don’t slip after recruitment. 

REPL’s diversity and inclusion strategies ensure all staff members are treated well and enjoy working at the company, which is reflected in our employee surveys and statistics. More than three-quarters (77%) of employees say REPL is a “great place to work”. Employee turnover is low at an average of 2% and average sick days per employee per month is below the UK average. 

In a recent Great Place to Work trust index survey, REPL received a diversity score of 87%. 94% of employees say people are treated fairly regardless of their race or ethnic origin and 96% say that they are treated fairly regardless of their sexual orientation.

Celebrating Equality

REPL is proactively helping to forge a gender-equal world and is striving to create an inclusive environment that embraces employees from all walks of life.

Join our celebration by tweeting, posting, or otherwise sharing your International Women’s Day and what gender equality means to you using the hashtags #IWD2020 #EachforEqual.

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