As the CEO of one of the UK’s most ethical digital agencies and, with 30 years of experience championing the business case for diversity, I want to employ the very best people. People with different life experiences who bring diversity of thought to problem solving and innovation.
As a company, we do as much as we can to break down barriers in recruitment while recognising there is always more we can do to tackle unconscious bias. However, if there are barriers that are preventing talented people from joining the tech workforce in the first place then no matter how good our recruitment process is we won’t be able to employ them.
Of course, talent and ability isn’t spread equally amongst everyone, however, it is not determined by skin colour or gender – so if 13% of the London workforce is Black and 45% are women then the London Tech workforce should be similar – but only 3% of the tech workforce is Black and 19% women.
Employers can take Positive Action when groups are underrepresented and Fat Beehive has ambitious plans to support more women and Black people into tech.
This issue of Black marginalisation in our sector was highlighted in the recent report “Voices of the underrepresented”. This research, conducted by the Runnymede Trust, was commissioned by the Greater London Authority (GLA) to illustrate to employers the obstacles that stop young Black men in the workplace, and how they can address them. It focuses on the digital sector which sees significant underrepresentation of young Black men. They are clear that employers in London’s digital sector can play a central role in challenging the fundamental inequalities that divide our city. They want us to break down the structural barriers that make it harder for young Black men to join the workforce, and more difficult to progress once they’re part of it.