On Thursday 6th October, Seven Hills delivered Diversity in Tech, a Tech London Advocates event for 700 members of the capital’s tech community at Here East venue in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The event addressed what many consider to be the biggest issue facing the technology sector – diversity in the workforce.
Business leaders including Twitter’s Martha Lane Fox and Deputy Mayor Rajesh Agrawal discussed their own careers and their recommendations for the sector, while experts from McKinsey, Cisco and Monster produced data and insights on tackling the problem.
London is renowned as a global technology hub, with approximately 328,000 digital jobs and home to 13 tech businesses that are each valued over $1bn, but it is struggling to nurture the talent required to fill an anticipated one million additional positions by 2020. This is despite the fact that many groups remain underrepresented in the industry.
Data released by Tech London Advocates shows that almost half (46%) of the technology companies in London did not feel a diverse workforce was progressive towards a company’s growth. The Diversity in Tech manifesto, released in conjunction with the event, also points out that although 60 per cent of advocates recognised that London’s tech sector does not reflect the diversity of the city, the industry as a whole was failing to improve the situation.
A series of panel debates focused on the underlying issues that cause the uniformity in the tech industry workforce and possible ways to overcome them.
Russ Shaw, Founder of Tech London Advocates, opened the discussion with an impassioned request to address the topic, while Oli Barrett MBE compered it.
The team at Seven Hills worked closely with Tech London Advocates to create a strong media campaign to raise awareness of the event, securing interviews with Sky News and London Live, as well as widespread print and online coverage in the likes of the Guardian and City AM.