Scottish Government to hold ‘unconference’ on increasing diversity in the digital sector

Written by Jenni Davidson on 9 February 2017 in News

The Scottish Government will also look at setting up a cross-sector network on diversity in digital

Gender diversity - Image credit: Fotolia

The Scottish Government is to hold an ‘unconference’ on increasing diversity in the digital sector.

An unconference is a conference without an advance agenda, where attendees put forward topics for discussion and everyone votes on them.  

The conference, to take place next month with participants from across the public, private and third sectors invited to attend, is one of three ideas that staff in the Scottish Government’s digital directorate have proposed to work towards creating a more diverse technology workforce.


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Also to be explored is the idea of setting up a cross private, public and third sector network on diversity in the digital sphere.

And thirdly, the Scottish Government’s digital directorate will release its diversity data as a benchmark to improve upon and with the aim of encouraging others in the public and private sectors to do the same.

The ideas are outlined in a blog post by Sarah Davidson, the Scottish Government’s Director General Communities and its diversity champion, who notes that recent research carried out for them by Napier University found that only around 18 per cent of those in digital technology roles in Scotland are women.

She adds that it is not just a gender issue, 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.

In the blog Davidson says: “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?”

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