Diversity is a tech business strategy

Making the UK the most diverse tech sector in the world

Mark Martin Founder, UKBlackTech (UKBT) presented on Making the UK the most diverse tech business sector in the World and offered insights to challenges the tech industry faces.

BeyondTech 2019 conference was held 1-2 May at Code Node and sponsored by Skills Matter, and covered several themes: Responsible AI, Diversity & Inclusivity, Tech for Good & Closing the Skills Gap. It was forum to promote real actions that could be taken to create a diverse and inclusive ecosystem.

Making the UK the most diverse tech sector in the world
Mark Martin aka @Urban_Teacher is recognised around the world for his insight and passion for education and technology. He has taught information technology for over 11 years and has become an expert in helping teachers and schools use technology to improve teaching and learning.

Mark presented the story of UKBT and how they became one of the most Influential diversity groups within the UK. He also shared their unique journey and how they had taken to raise the representation of BAMEs in tech. He discussed the difference between cultural diversity and inclusion

In order to make the UK the most diverse tech sector in the UK, there is a need to consider ethnic diversity and race. Cultural diversity wants inclusivity, so how do we make people feel safe and included? It starts with leadership action and accountability.

BAME is 40% of London population, however there is 0% BAME CEO in Leadership. This situation affects products, organisations and services. There are many benefits of diversity, when we think of ourselves as stakeholders.

Mark highlighted the contributions made by various grassroots intiatives to tacke the issue. For example, UKBT has worked with Lambeth Council in Brixton, to address their digital strategy, and were able to launch an impactful Games industry event in the Town Hall.

“I see talent everywhere but not the opportunities or access“

UKBT Recommendations

UKBT Recommendations
Companies treat diversity as a HR strategy but not a business strategy. This will impact on profit, hence need to marry D&I with your strategic objectives. This requires that we have uncomfortable conversations. Consideration has to be given to what’s happening to home grown talent, especially with traditional jobs being automated.

Recommendations to tackle the problem:
Stakeholder engagement
Race-explicit strategy
Outcomes oriented
Access to opportunities
Systems Analysis

Mark Martin Videocast at BeyondTech VIDEOCAST https://skillsmatter.com/skillscasts/13770-ukbt-presentation-making-the-uk-the-most-diverse-tech-sector-in-the-world

LBAcademy is a UK Business Growth Hub that provides digital skills and talent training to Tech & Creative Startups for high growth.