Interview with Barik Chowdhury, Finance Director of Tech Talent Charter

The Tech Talent Charter (TTC) is a non-profit organisation leading a movement to address inequality in the UK tech sector and drive inclusion and diversity in a practical and uniquely measurable way. The ultimate goal is that the UK tech sector becomes truly inclusive and a reflection of the society which it represents.

The Charter itself is a number of pledges, which signatories commit to in relation to their approach to recruitment and retention. This is vitally important work. We all depend on technology for our day to day lives – if the industry creating this technology is not representative, then whole sectors of society risk being marginalised and left behind. This is even more important as we assess the impacts of Coronavirus. 

Tech Talent Charter devise 2020 plan to make the tech industry more inclusive

Why did you decide to join the organisation?

I have a strong belief in the importance of what the Tech Talent Charter is doing. The tech industry underpins everything we do, it has proven the most resilient during the Coronavirus pandemic and will be fundamental to the economic recovery of the UK.

But it is slow to adapt embrace diversity and inclusion. I am passionate about diversity and education, and for years I’ve spent as much of my spare time as possible volunteering with charities that support educational opportunities for children from BAME backgrounds.

As a ICAEW qualified accountant, I wanted the opportunity to bring that expertise to an organisation committed to such an important goal that will make a positive impact on society. The Tech Talent Charter now has almost 500 signatories, which shows tremendous appetite from tech companies to make the industry more diverse, and I will help ensure our that the organisation is in the best possible financial shape to pursue its mission and drive a real movement for change. 

What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?


The entrepreneurs of today are the corporate leaders of tomorrow. Entrepreneurs have a wonderful opportunity to embed inclusion and diversity in their organisations from the beginning and drive meaningful and sustainable change. There is extensive research which shows the business benefit of diversity – the World Economic Forum last year said the business case for diversity in the workplace is now ‘overwhelming’. We urge companies to focus on inclusion from the start – their teams, their clients and their balance sheets will thank them for it! 


What can we hope to see from Tech Talent Charter in the future?


We have been expanding our focus beyond gender equality to address broader forms of diversity, including racial diversity, social inclusion and disability representation in the UK’s tech sector. Each January the Tech Talent Charter publishes a major report based on diversity data provided by our signatories. In 2021, for the first time, this report will include ethnicity data to track the progress being made in this area. 

We’ve been partnering with advocacy groups and collating insights and best practice which we make available to our signatories to encourage them to adopt inclusive practices. We are also committed to inspiring under-represented groups to consider careers in the tech industry, and later in October are launching a major campaign to highlight non-traditional careers into tech.


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