Around 15% of the UK tech workforce are BAME backgrounds, 17% are women, 8% are disabled and 20% are over-50. It’s well known that the tech industry is struggling with a lack of diversity. As the demand for digital skills in the capital grows, more and more tech employers are making diversity and inclusion in their organisation a priority to work towards ensuring that tech companies in London are representative of the diversity in the capital.
Lack of diversity in tech is a big problem not only for the tech sector but for society overall. The problem with having lack of diversity in any sector that creates products and services for society is that those products and services are at risk of being unreflective of diversity in society and therefore not reflective of truth and fairness.
There are many groups and organisations in the capital dedicated to raising awareness of the advantages of diversity in tech and also those that help create opportunities for minority groups to consider and succeed in a career in tech.
Here is a list of some London based groups and organisations to get involved with that are focused on diversity and inclusion in tech:
Having a comprehensive and well thought out diversity and inclusion initiative is high on the list of priorities for hundreds of London based tech companies. It’s one thing to verbally commit to being more diverse and inclusive, but actually putting in place processes and investing time and money in programmes to enable those words to become reality is where that commitment starts to turn into making an impact and driving genuine change.
London based energy company Bulb is an example of how openness about D&I progress in the company can lead to more action to increase diversity. They regularly publish up-to-date diversity data through their public blog which shows how much they care about holding themselves accountable to change and progress. They also care about narrowing the gender pay gap in tech and post regular reports on their gender pay gap. Their open approach works well to keep diversity and inclusion at the forefront of conversation and keep sight of how to consistently make progress.
Boasting a whole host of awards and accolades, tech giant Cisco’s diversity and inclusion initiatives make them a leader in the campaign for increasing diversity in tech. Cisco is in the top 10 in Thomson Reuters top 100 most diverse and inclusive companies globally. Examples of diversity initiatives at Cisco are their Inclusion and Collaboration Community which helps employees to expand on the power of connection, and their Multiplier Effect sponsorship programme, which provides opportunities for sponsors to sponsor one diverse person to advance their skills to the next level and in turn help to build a diverse pipeline of tech talent.
Salesforce is working to build a workforce reflective of society and equality is a core business value that is taken extremely seriously. To ensure consistency and accountability, Salesforce has a dedicated Office of Equality run by a Chief Equality Officer. The way Salesforce view equality as something that really empowers the success of the business is a source of inspiration for other London businesses that work with Salesforce and use their products. Their Equality Groups are an example of how they make inclusion work in practice rather than as a goal to work towards. The groups are employee-led and aimed at supporting underrepresented communities. Everyone in the business is encouraged to participate in a community volunteering scheme to establish themselves as allies, build empathy, and ultimately, stand up for their colleagues.
London is home to the head offices of some huge names in tech, creating over half a million jobs for UK tech professionals. A report by Tech London Advocates recently highlighted some key advantages and methods of increasing diversity in tech in London. One of the points raised in the report was that diversity is about so much more than gender, it’s about the diversity of thought to truly disrupt archaic structures and ways of working to create a more innovative and inclusive future. Companies in London are recognising the responsibility at the top to voice fresh perspectives and work harder to achieve open and diverse hiring processes, and that shared mindset is what’s making London a world leader in increasing diversity in tech.
Click on the links below of these London based tech companies committed to diverse hiring practices and read about what they are doing to create and sustain an inclusive culture in their company:
From caring for employees wellbeing and mental health to tackling gender, race and age inequality, increasing diversity in tech is crucial for the progression of the industry and the quality of talent to continue to establish the UK as an innovative forerunner in the creation of new and advanced tech products and services.
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