PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is working with social enterprise UKBlackTech to increase the amount of diverse talent choosing to pursue careers in the technology industry.
The two organisations will work together to run events and to give UKBlackTech access to PwC’s network of schools, allowing them to connect with young people through digital skills workshops.
Sunil Patel, chief operating officer (COO) of technology and investments at PwC, said that to improve diversity in the technology industry, businesses should work together to make sure opportunities are provided equally.
“Improving diversity in the tech sector is a no brainer – it provides a wider pool of talent and ideas, ensures the products and services of tomorrow work for everyone, and opens up opportunity to more people,” he said.
“We’re excited to be working with UKBlackTech to help make this happen. Collaboration is key to having more impact. Technology is already central in driving change across all industries and – in order to think differently and thrive – companies need to have the best talent at their table. This means people of all backgrounds – diversity drives innovation.”
It has been suggested that increasing the amount of diversity in an organisation can make teams more innovative and profitable, and creating an inclusive environment helps to retain diverse candidates.
UKBlackTech was set up in 2016 to encourage black and ethnic minority young people in the UK to pursue a career in technology, and was founded by a number of leaders from the tech sector. It provides young people with industry role models, gives them an idea of what technology jobs involve and encourages them to think about pursuing similar career paths.
Through Tech Insight and other networking events, the partnership between UKBlackTech and PwC hopes to expose young people to role models in the technology industry and inspire them to look into a future in the tech sector.
PwC and UKBlackTech will also give young people the opportunity to talk about the types of roles and careers the tech sector has to offer, as well as demonstrate why technology is important for the future of businesses.
Since PwC works on a number of initiatives to encourage young people into the technology industry, such as Tech Degree Apprenticeships and the Tech She Can Charter, PwC will also mentor UKBlackTech on ways to expand the number of young people it can reach.
It has been said by experts that to increase the amount of diversity in the industry, organisations have to make intentional changes to target diverse talent. During Splunk.conf 2018, Antoinette Raines, LMS administrator, global field enablement at Splunk, said the industry needs to intentionally seek out black talent or create pipelines for these individuals to enter the field.
Mark Martin, founder at UK Black Tech, said: “We are on a mission to make the UK technology sector the most diverse in the world, and are excited that PwC want to be a part of this courageous journey. Since launching 18 months ago, UKBlackTech has made a major impact on the tech sector through being visible and signposting opportunities.
“We want to be the agent of change for our future generation and ensure that tech products, services and companies reflect us all. We are positioned perfectly to make this happen because of the connections we have across the sector.”
The first event took place in mid-November 2017, and focused on how data is disrupting various industries, with industry experts from various different backgrounds aiming to encourage people into the industry regardless of their background or level of technical skills.
Written by Claire McDonald