30 June 2021

Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging in Tech

Last week, I hosted a panel discussion around the importance of Diversity and Inclusion in Tech, joined by the wonderful Duncan Hart (Co-founder of Deepminer), Fash Fasoro (Data Governance at Homepointr and Project Director at The Data Kirk) and Amber Lawther (BI and Analytics Technician with NHS NSS).

Duncan, Fash and Amber all shared their own experiences and their efforts to raise awareness around the importance of this topic. The audience also asked some very relevant and insightful questions.

The Tech sector is expanding faster than any other area of the UK economy and it is nearly worth £184bn. Diversity remains a key challenge - as only 15% of the tech workforce are from BAME backgrounds and gender diversity is currently sitting at just 19%.

When organisations consist of people all from the same background, they often leave diverse ideas and perspectives behind. While some significant advancements have been made, we all agreed that there is still room for improvement.

Some great organisations, initiatives and groups have been set up to provide advice and guidance on how to improve Diversity and Inclusion in the Tech sector. Organisations like the Data Kirk, Equate Scotland, The Tech Talent Charter and Talent 4.0 have all launched initiatives to tackle the lack of diversity.

For any organisation wanting to improve in this area, our top hints are:

  • 1. Connect with a range of communities: don’t wait for diverse applicants to come to you, organisations need to ensure that they are taking a multifaceted approach when it comes to recruitment.
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  • 2. Look widely and offer flexible working opportunities, to make the workplace more accessible.
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3. Don't underestimate culture: your own inclusivity is a direct reflection of your organisation’s culture. Ensure that everyone understands the importance of diversity and the culture does not only attract people from one background.

We could have spoken for hours about this topic and explored all different types of diversity, but that was not possible! Overall, the consensus was that the more diverse an organisation- the better. A lack of diversity leads to a lack of fresh, new ideas.

If you missed the panel, you can catch up on it here.

Author Bio

author

Bethany (not Beth, it’s never Beth) is Project Manager. Most well known for her work with MBN Academy and The Data Lab, Bethany has led workshops on diversity and inclusion, employability and upskilling across the country. She has a cat and pretty much everyone worth knowing likes cats.