According to TLA (Tech London Advocates), London’s technology scene is lagging behind the FTSE 100 on gender diversity. TLA, which has over 6,000 members, will today (20 Nov) call on the capital’s technology companies to hire more women and ethnic minorities.

Tech London Advocates is holding its London Summit – The Road to One Million – hosted by the City of London Corporation at the prestigious Egyptian Hall in Mansion House. The Road to One Million aims to harness the campaigning power of the tech sector to reach a target of one million London tech jobs by 2023. A key part of this will be to bring women and ethnic minorities into the companies.

TLA will be launching their Three Minute Challenge – creating a new job in London tech every three minutes – by focusing on some key areas:

  • Increasing the diversity of London tech
  • Inspiring young people and home-growth talent to pursue tech careers
  • Keeping London open to international tech talent
  • Improving London’s digital infrastructure

The importance of driving the diversity agenda in the tech sector

Sarah Kaiser 100x100Sarah Kaiser, Fujitsu’s Employee Experience, Diversity & Inclusion Lead in EMEIA, said:

“With the skills gap costing our economy billions a year, more needs to be done to attract a diverse range of talent into tech roles. A shortage of candidates is partly due to a lack of awareness of the opportunities that exist, and the inaccurate perception that some groups, such as women or LGBT+ individuals, do not belong in the tech sector. We also need to recognise that old-fashioned biases are still built into too many organisations and jobs. However, to benefit from a diverse talent pool, we need to consciously create inclusive organisations where everyone can succeed.

“At the end of the day, it is only by engaging a diverse array of people in tech that we can hope to protect the future competitiveness of the UK economy. And from enhancing agility to innovation and customer relationships, Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) programmes are crucial for improving business performance, continued growth and success. “That’s why its incredibly encouraging to hear that the TLA will launch its Road to One Million campaign, in order to not only create a million tech jobs by 2023, but in a bid to bring more women and people from ethnic minority backgrounds into companies. After all, when we get D&I right, everyone – from individuals and teams to the broader business – benefits. And in a progressively diverse and digital world, if we fail to foster a whole group of talent properly it will prevent the UK from seeing a prosperous economy.”

Linda Aiello, Senior Vice President, International Employee Success at Salesforce, said:

“The technology sector, like almost every other industry, faces a diversity gap. This is an issue that’s felt across all organisations and all sectors and it crosses so many threads from gender and race to religion, sexuality and socio-economic backgrounds – each of which contributes to the cognitive diversity of a team. As a result, equality is becoming an increasingly important consideration in how we design our technology products, develop our workforce and educate our future generations. In this new era, leading for business and leading for society will go hand in hand.

“Creating a more diverse business brings with it countless benefits. Having that cognitive diversity can improve a team’s performance by highlighting a range of views on how to assess or solve a challenge. A more diverse workforce also enables companies to better reflect their customers and therefore better understand them.

“To achieve real change across the nation – and to ensure the UK remains a digital and tech powerhouse – more organisations need to be driving the diversity agenda internally. Diversity needs to be an intrinsic part of the living, breathing culture of the organisation. And those businesses that are driving change are those that consider it every day, at every level of the company and throughout their programmes and processes.”

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