In episode 36 of Talent & Growth, we sat down with Beckie Taylor, who is the Co-Founder of Tech Returners.

They look to provide skilled tech professionals returning to the industry with accessible opportunities to refresh their skills and reignite their career.

We talked about a range of topics, and we’ve highlighted our favourite three areas for you today!

What are the challenges for companies when it comes to recruiting diversely?  

“I think we’ve always started with the word diversity, and then inclusion. But I think we almost need to reframe it the other way around. So, I think any organisation that wants to increase diversity needs to ensure that they’ve got an inclusive culture, because you could do all the work in terms of partnering with initiatives, but if you haven’t got that inclusive culture infrastructure, then they’re not going to stay with you.  

So, I think in terms of any organisation, look at areas in terms of how you can improve your inclusive culture. And, I don’t mean just writing a policy and having a tick box exercise. Think about the real purpose of why you want to do this.  

My frustration is when I speak to organisations all the time, they ask “how can I get more women in the business” and I say tell me why you’re doing that; is that because every other company is saying it? Is it because you read it over social media? Because that won’t work. You need to make sure it all matches up. So, I do believe, inclusion first, and then focus on diversity.” 

What can businesses do internally? 

“I think there are quite a few tools and techniques. I think one of the main ones is making sure people have voices. You might have one idea about what inclusion and diversity mean to you, but the two people sitting next to you might not.  

So again, creating that psychological safe space around people putting forward ideas and suggestions. And I’ve always been a massive advocate of the feedback loop.  

So, a lot of companies do ask for feedback, but then don’t take any action. So I obviously urge people who are going to create that inclusive culture and ask for feedback about what people want, even if you’re not going to take that idea forward, you still need to say why and get them to understand it. 

How do we then tailor our approach to attract more females into our tech teams? 

“Content is key, and having managed talent acquisition teams for many years, I think it’s always been, a difficult one, because you’ve got teams wanting to produce content, but there are barriers – not having time to write a blog, or not wanting their face on social media. You have to bridge those two teams together.  

If you share the why, and what you’re trying to do in terms of the bigger overall picture, the actual reason and purpose and the benefit of doing it, people can be more receptive.  

So, I think definitely content. Also, look at all the initiatives that are out there, and not every initiative will be right for your organisation. Do a market analysis of all the initiatives are going out there, and find what’s right for your organisation.” 

To listen to the full episode, click here. 

On Talent & Growth we speak to talent leaders about the challenges they face and their solutions for attraction and retention. If you’re interested in hearing about how companies are building a more diverse talent pool, how you can attract top people from the big players, ways to create a more inclusive interview process or learn about the latest and greatest automation software to make your life easier, then this is the podcast for you.