GFT partners with Code to Work to bridge IT skills gap

23 June 2015

Business and technology consulting firm GFT has partnered up with Code to Work, a non-profit company that aims at closing the IT skills gap, to address the growing demand for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) demand in the banking industry in the US by setting up a training programme, with candidates mentored by GFT employees.

Code to Work
Code to Work is a US-based not-for-profit employer-led initiative that focuses on “closing the IT skills gap by sourcing and prequalifying diverse technical talent from non-traditional sources for large companies.” As financial services and technology firms have for many years hired employees from the same top-ranked colleges and universities, a broader source of talent might be overlooked. The company uses a skills-based approach to identify, train and hire talent. In addition, Code to Work aims at raising the standards on skills development by partnering with employers and universities.

In line with its ambition to help close the IT skills gap in the US and address the growing national demand for STEM talent, consulting firm GFT decided to partner with Code to Work. Under the partnership, Code to Work will work to identify a firm’s hiring needs, after which it will assess and test potential candidates on their technical and verbal skills, as well as their strategic thinking. Qualified students will subsequently be placed into a training programme and mentored by GFT employees. The candidates will not only learn technical and analytical skills required within financial services industries, but will also receive real-world tips and insights and learn about interviewing, networking skills, and corporate culture.

GFT partners with Code to Work

Commenting on the partnership, Sonia Whang, Head of Business Development - Capital Markets for GFT US, says: “There is an alternative system to finding and hiring top IT talent. By casting a wide net to ‘non-traditional’ sources of talent, the diversity of the pool increases to include more candidates from underrepresented groups in IT. Together with Code to Work, we can strengthen our ties with the local community and share information around the talent requirements of larger employers. Our ability to bridge hiring information between companies and local universities can provide employers access to un-tapped talent, and provide universities necessary insight to tailor curriculums that better train students for jobs and skills that are in high demand.”

Barbara Chang, Founder & CEO, Code to Work, adds: “GFT is helping us shine a spotlight on the talent pipeline by creating more opportunities for younger generations of diversified backgrounds to enter into the world of finance and technology. We are proud to partner with GFT in making this a positive change and standard in the industry.”

Bridging the IT skills gap
GFT is not the only consulting firm agreeing to partnerships in an effort to bridge the IT skills gap in the tech sector. Accenture has partnered up with Girls Who Code and is a supporter of the Girl Geeks Campus, while Mace signed up as a corporate member of the WISE Campaign.


Women remain underrepresented in UK's hospitality industry leadership

12 April 2019

Female engagement at the top level of the UK hospitality industry is still lagging, with the vast majority of decision-making roles continue to be held by men. Only 7% of the industry’s FTSE 350 CEOs are women; however, the pay gap in hospitality and leisure is far better than in other industries, at a median of approximately 7%.

The hospitality, travel and leisure (HTL) sector is one of the UK’s largest employers, with 3.2 million people working in its segments. Despite a poor 2018 in terms of tightening consumer spending, the industry is still one of the top sectors in terms of economic activity, hitting £130 billion last year – besting the UK’s automotive, pharmaceutical and aeronautical sectors’ combined activities.

While the industry is one of the country’s largest employers, it still faces considerable issues around diversity at the top. New analysis from PwC has explored the matter, as well what initiatives the industry has engaged to open up its top ranks to a more diverse background.

Female representation at board level for UK companies and HTLs

According to a survey of CEOs, Chairs or HR Directors of over 100 of the most significant leisure businesses across the UK, the hospitality industry has a relatively male-dominated top level. This lags behind the FTSE 100, where companies have female board level representation at 32.2%. Meanwhile, the figure for the combined executive committee and direct reports stands at 28%. This is well above FTSE 250 levels, where female board level representation stands at 22.4% and executive committee & direct reports stand at 27.8%.

For the hospitality industry as a whole, board level representation came in at 23.6%, with FTSE 350 for the industry performing slightly better at 25.1%, while non-listed companies performed considerably worse at 18.2%. The firm notes that the figures hide that while some companies are making strides to improve equality, others are not moving forward – with the positive result reflecting more often the good work of some, while others are not taking the issue seriously in their agenda setting.

Blind spot

The study states, however, that while the overall numbers are relatively strong, the industry has a number of acute weaknesses. These include CEO numbers, with only 7% of HTL FTSE 350 companies helmed by women and 11% of non-listed companies led by female CEOs. Meanwhile, female chairs at FTSE 350 companies for the sector stand at zero. In terms of wider diversity representation, only 1 in 33 leaders at industry companies is from a BAME background.

Pay gap for HTL and hospitality

The report noted discrepancies between FTSE 100 companies and FTSE 250 in terms of improving the number of women at executive level. The majority have met the Hampton-Alexander Review target of 33% women at board level, up from around 25% in 2016. However, the remaining ~40% are not on target, and are unlikely to meet the target by 2020. A similar trend is noted when it comes to executive committee and direct reporting numbers.

Jon Terry, Diversity & Inclusion Consulting Leader at PwC, said, "To make real progress in diversity and inclusion, businesses need to elevate it onto the CEO’s agenda and align diversity & inclusion strategy to the fundamentals of the business."

Tracking progress FTSE 250 level

However, one area where hospitality travel and leisure companies are outperforming other companies in the wider UK economy, is the mean and median pay gap between men and women. PwC found that the median of the wider UK economy comes is approximately 14% – with upper quartile companies noted for a gap of low 20%, and lower quartile companies noted for differences of around 2%.

The median pay gap for HTL comes in at well below 7%, with the median close to parity. There are considerable differences, however, with hospitality at 7%, while travel comes in considerably higher, at 22%. The latter figure reflects fewer women in higher paid pilot and technical positions within the industry.