Diversity and inclusion in tech: the next 10 years

In this video from Computer Weekly’s annual technology diversity and inclusion event, in association with Spinks, panel members discuss the past 10 years of D&I in UK technology, how it has progressed and how we ensure improvements over the next 10 years.

The discussion and movement around diversity, fairness and inclusion in the UK tech sector has continued, and while there are many initiatives underway both within and outside organizations that aim to change the dial, it has not changed a lot in the last 10 years.

That said, we now understand much more about the importance of diversity in the industry, and as people become more aware of the issues surrounding a lack of diversity in technology, the conversation is moving forward.

In this panel discussion, panel members who have been a part of the tech industry for a long time talk about how they have seen diversity grow in the tech industry and the attitude we should adopt to drive more diversity in the future. .

Panel members:

  • Gillian Arnold, MD, Tectre
  • Russ shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates and Global Tech Advocates
  • Andrea Palmer, manager of business change and digital transformation; BCS Scholar; chair, BCS Women

Some of the questions asked and advice given:

Each of you has been involved in the technology sector for a long time. What notable changes have you seen when it comes to diversity in technology? What is going well and what is not?

  • There has been a positive change and Shaw says: “The good news is that there is much more awareness of the importance of this problem.”
  • Most organizations now seem to have at least an awareness of the problem.
  • There is a general feeling of “Are we not doing enough?”
  • The dial moves very slowly because change is left to underrepresented groups and, in many cases, top brass are not involved in D&I initiatives.
  • More male ally is needed

While white men in senior positions in companies who are in a position to help drive change are often mentioned during these discussions, what are we asking them to do?

  • Be aware of hiring practices and job descriptions – what will attract a man to a position will not necessarily attract a woman.
  • Advocate for high-performing women within your teams who may not be running for positions; tell them they have the skills, change the job description, give them feedback. As Palmer points out, “Men generally ask for feedback, women don’t.”
  • Lead by example and interact with these topics and initiatives.
  • Empower agencies for a more diverse candidate pool

What do we do if a leader says they always hire the best person for the job, and if that was a woman they would hire her, but they just can’t get women to apply?

  • Try harder
  • Know that it will take some time
  • Make sure to also focus on retention in the organization, as well as the current work environment and staff.
  • Seek to improve and retrain, as well as recruit new people

In organizations where the diversity divide is starting to equalize, how do you ensure that this continues?

  • D&I initiatives are part of a process, they should not be seen as a one-size-fits-all scenario.

Are there standards for unconscious biased training? Who should it be available to?

  • Currently there are no standards for the training of unconscious biases
  • Training on unconscious biases should be available to everyone at all levels of a company.

Technology is part of everyone’s life: what are the consequences of the lack of women building these technologies?

Are we going to have this same conversation in another 10 years?

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