Within the UK's digital industry, only 16% of IT specialists are women and only 11% of IT Directors are from a BAME background. A scary number when we’re talking about an industry that’s shaping tomorrow’s world.

Our challenge from the Institute of Coding (IoC) was to inspire a more diverse cross-section of young people to enter the tech sector and pursue digital careers – and ultimately start that journey by signing up to one of its many university courses.

How we helped do the right thing

Barriers to entry for young people were high. Thanks to the industry’s ongoing underrepresentation of a diverse society, they included a lack of awareness of available positions, inaccessible role models and peer pressure from friends.

However, rather than scare our audience by highlighting an obvious problem, our solution was to develop a campaign that showcased the real people inciting change in the industry – ultimately showcasing their roles as a point of inspiration and empowering young people to speed past the barriers that are holding them back.

Using an audience-first approach, we developed a creative platform called ‘CTRL Your Future’. Under this banner, the campaign saw us develop a series of partnerships and collaborations with relevant digital innovators that would take our message and embed it in four pillars our audience cares about; fashion, design, gaming and activism.

What happened next

The campaign was launched with a piece of research that explored the perceptions of the digital industry among young people, calling out the need for more diversity in digital and fresh talent to reboot the system.

We also used this to announce our four hero collaborations with DIGI-GXL, London Gaymers, Stemettes and The Digital Fairy, acting as our brand ambassadors to call the next generation to get involved.


Although in the early stages, the work has exceeded expectations:

• 41 pieces of coverage (so far!) across national, consumer & regional press
• 4.4m in social media reach so far
• 775% increase in visits to the course catalogue in November, just one month into the campaign
• 60 pieces of influencer content
• 496 Twitter mentions since campaign launch


increase in visits to the course catalogue