Where’s the BAME in Tech? – Part 2

This event held on Wednesday 28th November evening at TfL Palestra, Southwark, London. Organised by Dionne Condor-Farrell, Senior Developer at Transport for London (TfL). The purpose was to bring together people in the Tech industry to have an open discussion and highlight the achievements of BAME people in Tech. Introduction by Dionne and host was Leonard Hughes, Technical Delivery Expert TfL.


Simi Awokoya - Founder Witty Careers
Simisola Awokoya Founder Witty Careers


Jazz Garcha – TfL Chief Information Security Officer
Jazz spoke on his background and career development into Technology. Also that he had stayed longest at TfL because it was a good employer.
Ashleigh Ainsley – Co-Founder @Colorintechorg
Ashleigh gave his background in technology and his role in Diversity & Inclusion. ColorinTech recently received a grant from Google to help run their programmes.
Dionne Condor-Farrell – TfL Senior Developer @dionnecf
Dionne gave an honest talk about her journey into Tech and the state of Diversity in Tech with data to back it up. Her presentation also included some of the cohort on the TfL Apprenticeship scheme, who are from minority backgrounds. She gave an inspiring call to action for BAME people in Tech.
Simi Awokoya – Founder @wittycareers
Simi gave a great talk from on how to make AI more inclusive

BAME in Tech Panel


There was a lively debate during the panel discussion moderated by Leonard Hughes.

Panel (L-R) :
Thahrima Haque [TfL Software Developer Apprentice] Russ Shaw [Founder, Tech London Advocates] Seyi Okuyemi-Daniel [Global Head of End user Technology HSBC] Eddie Jaoude [Founder, DashboardHub] Djamila Guernou [TfL Head of Technology Service Operations] Jazz Garcha [TfL Chief Information Security Officer]

…with a Q&A session with questions from the audience.

There was an exchange of views on the panel in relation to various factors;
1. Lack of diversity in tech and the consequences of not addressing it.
2. Conscious and unconscious biases in recruitment processes.
3. How to get more BAME people into tech and managerial positions.
4. The issue of quotas and affirmative action for minority groups.

Insights from Panel Discussion
1. Many entrepreneurs and business owners are aware that diversity helps business growth, but the challenge lies in bridging the gap between intention and implementation.
2. There are many ways tech companies can improve diversity but it has to start at the top. Senior leaders need to create an environment where every employee is comfortable being themselves at work.

Tech London Advocates (TLA): ‘Road to One Million’ campaign
Russ Shaw discussed the TLA ‘Road to One Million’ campaign which was launched last week at Mansion House to have one million digital and tech jobs in the capital by 2023. UKBlackTech, led by Mark Martin, is a key partner to help focus on the BAME community as one of the campaign’s leading objectives.

UKBlackTech Founding Members were present to support the event :
Mark Martin @UrbanTeacher, Rashada Harry @YFYAUK, Ola Otaiku @Xuntos, Dara Kirton @PwCCulture

Organisations will have to start taking diversity seriously and actually do something, or people will start to overlook them as an employer of choice. Also existing BAME staff will end up leaving them to die!

Tfl Job Opportunities:
Recruitment Team were available
Jobsearch and Unleash your potential at Project2030tfl.co.uk

Transport for London Trainee Employees

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