Lucy Cottle, Conference Producer for Diversity in Technology, shares her thoughts on the importance of this conference to increasing diversity and inclusion.
I am really excited to be bringing our Diversity in Technology conference back even bigger and better than before.
We will focus on all the different strands of diversity, connecting and empowering those who don’t fit the status quo by addressing common career barriers and biases.
We will also provide insight into how ground breaking technologies need to be developed with diversity & inclusion at their core, and examine strategies, which enable organisations to build truly diverse and inclusive cultures.
Why are we holding this event?
Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is vital to the progression of the technology sector. Study after study has proven that a more diverse workforce not only makes ethical sense for a company’s culture but also provides real business value, leading to an increased financial performance.
Given that everybody seems to know the statistics (companies in the top quartile for gender, racial and ethnic diversity are 33% more likely to have higher financial returns) (McKinsey & Company, 2018) - why is change happening so slowly? It is evident that industry stereotypes are hindering equality.
Actions speak louder than words and it is clear that we need to address the entire spectrum of diversity. Technology should offer a future to everyone, yet the industry is failing to embrace the notion of diversity and denying those who don’t fit the tech stereotype.
"Advancing diversity means going beyond just saying we need more minority groups involved."
The industry should start highlighting the importance of qualities such as critical thinking and creativity to help combat stereotypes.
Technology events, like this one, are a highly visible face of the tech industry. They are a place where people go to develop their careers and to be exposed to new ideas. It is important for an event of this kind to be inclusive...
"... we welcome all attendees no matter their gender, ethnicity, religion, disability or sexual orientation."
We want to ensure that our attendees truly represent the UK and set them up for success whatever their background.
This event will provide insight and expertise on D&I as a whole and where we are heading in terms of technological advances.
Accessibility is a critical part of this mission – it must become a part of everything we do in the tech industry. Not only is ensuring accessibility important for individuals with disabilities, accessible solutions often use innovative technology and that in itself is driving progress within the tech sector.
"We need to look at taking responsibility and ultimately affecting change towards a fairer industry."
What to expect
You’ll be inspired by the experiences of industry leaders, and be empowered to make a real contribution to D&I within your organisation and technology.
You will hear from a variety of individuals who have forged their careers within the tech industry about cultural transformation, the importance of soft skills and how to design an inclusive world.
If you’re involved in building products and services then you’ll be able to dive into some of the most cutting-edge technologies and understand the influence of D&I on their design and creation.
You will leave the event feeling empowered to encourage all of those who don’t fit the tech stereotype to make their mark and ensure the younger generation won’t think twice about joining the industry.
I am delighted to have Pamela Hutchinson, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Bloomberg who will be initiating the ‘quota conversation’, looking at ways that we can tackle the diversity dilemma. Pamela will share practical solutions and ideas for companies to consider that people should not be seen on the basis of their identity first.
Another highlight is Jacky Wright, Chief Digital and Information Officer at HMRC, participating in our panel that will discuss ‘How to Design an Inclusive World in a Non-Inclusive World’.
We will also hear from Robin Christopherson, Head of Digital Inclusion at AbilityNet, the leading UK tech experts. He will challenge any preconceptions you may have about the power of diverse and inclusive design in both your customers and workforce. Being blind himself, he will provide us with an excellent first-hand example of the everyday choices we can make to embrace diversity whilst prioritising inclusion.
Check out the full agenda here.
Diversity in Technology is taking place on Thursday 24th May 2018 at the Business Design Centre, London.
Join our vibrant community, broaden your connections and share advice!
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