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by Dominique Lianos 20.10.21
Akua Opong is a Senior Analyst in the London Stock Exchange Group's Corporate Technology team. She mentors new team members, including interns...
Akua Opong is a Senior Analyst in the London Stock Exchange Group's Corporate Technology team. She mentors new team members, including interns and graduates, and gives technological advice and guidance to her colleagues across the Group.
She is passionate about her role as a STEM Ambassador and the opportunity it gives her to coach and mentor young people, interns, and graduates in the skills they need to build successful careers, as well as increasing the visibility of women in the industry.
Akua is a strong diversity and inclusion advocate, a mental health champion on the LSEG Wellbeing Committee, and the community lead for LSEG's Women's Inspired Network outside of her primary position.
As a neurodiversity champion, Akua collaborates with the Change Ambassador Network at LSEG through the Accessible Network, researching and testing accessibility solutions and raising awareness about creating an inclusive environment for neurodivergent employees. She received the Inspiration CEO Award 2019 at LSEG in recognition of her charity initiatives and contributions and has been shortlisted for the Women in Tech Global Awards 2021.
We had the opportunity to talk with Akua about being a woman in technology and how she goes about taking down barriers and breaking new ground in the technology world.
How did you become interested in working in tech?
When I was growing up I initially wanted to be a paediatrician and then moved onto to looking at working in the army in emergency response but with an IT intelligence role.
I went to study Business Studies with Sociology and Religious Studies/Philosophy, followed by a BSc (Honours) in Computing and IT (Sandwich Course) at the University of Surrey, which really sparked my interest in IT. My first job was in retail, however throughout all my experiences I made up my mind that I wanted a career in tech; I now have over 8 years’ experience working in IT in different industries from hospitality to consulting and financial services.
Can you tell us about your journey into tech as a black woman?
I completed a one-year industrial placement at Rolls-Royce as part of my degree course at university. But then I struggled to get a job in technology; I was informed that I didn't have enough experience or that I needed IT certifications, despite having an IT degree with a year in industry. My first IT position was assisting the Dubai Royal Family across their UK properties, followed by over five years at Rathbones, and now Desktop Services Team within Corporate Technology at LSEG.
In every job I've had, I've been the first or only black woman on the team, which has driven me to want to make a difference and promote diversity and I do that through participating and collaborating with many different initiatives and charities. When I first started out, I didn't see many women in tech jobs, especially black women, which I thought might affect my ability to grow in the future.
If you could go back in time to the beginning of your career in tech and give yourself or any black female entering the tech industry a piece of advice, what would you say?
There are four main areas in which I would give my younger-self advice:
1. Surround yourself with a group of individuals you can trust to be a sounding board for your ideas, to push you, to help you identify and grasp new possibilities as they arise, and to help you advance your career and grow both personally and professionally. This is why I mentor young people in STEM fields to help them advance in their careers - I want to pass on my skills so that others may be their best self as well.
2. Continuous learning: Develop a growth mindset and acquire new abilities, even if it's only 15-30 minutes a day to learn a programming language. To progress, you must have a growth mindset, which is critical in the IT sector.
3. Fear of the unknown: You will encounter numerous obstacles and unfamiliar scenarios, such as hosting, facilitating, or being a panellist in public speaking situation. Some of these situations are unfamiliar, and they are there to push you out of your comfort zone. Take advantage of these opportunities – they indicate progress and the capacity to build and improve your skill set.
4. Be open to multiple possibilities, don’t allow imposter syndrome or a lack of confidence to stop you. Be brave enough to go for it! This also includes looking for role models in the industry and helping to set a benchmark for others. When we see others that look like us in a room, it gives us a chance and makes us feel like we belong. Never stop believing in what you can become in the future.
"For me, becoming isn't about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn't end," Michelle Obama wrote in her memoir Becoming.
I chose this quote as I attended the Becoming book tour at the O2 in London. Michelle Obama is a massive advocate for young girls to be given a chance to succeed regardless of their background. Each person should be given opportunities, in a world that is fair and equal. It is about uplift, empowering and not about competing with each other, but working for each other - for the young girl or woman's voice to be heard.
What can tech companies do to make the industry more inclusive of Black women and other people of colour?
More diversity across the group is a must. The world is a beautiful place because of all the different countries, cultures, communities, networks and religions – that’s why we travel – we want to explore and learn more about other people and places. We need to create an environment that lends itself to learn more about diversity of all kinds.
Secondly, encourage talent from within. Keep training and retaining talent within the firm. There are so many incredible black women that are super talented, give them the space and tools to grow into these wonderful future leaders that we all aspire to become. Host events and webinars for colleagues to discuss important subjects. Create a fair and inclusive environment for women – especially black women - to thrive.
How can we encourage more women, especially minority women, to get into the industry?
To start with, in order for women of colour to join organisations, we must see other women who look like us at all levels of the organisation. What kind of diversity and inclusion networks, as well as mentorship programmes are there? Are there any organisations that promote women of colour? When I was younger, I was constantly looking for role models, and when I wanted to join a company, I looked at their Executive Team and senior leadership teams to see if I could progress.
BYP, Coding Black Females, Black Girls in Tech, CityHive's Talk About Black Mentoring programme, and Tech London Advocates - Black Women in Tech are just a few of the fantastic organisations that constantly showcase the many careers of black women in the sector. These organisations have helped me improve tremendously in the previous year. I've grown so much in the last year, and it's all because of the organisations with which I'm now affiliated.
Can you tell us about a challenge you have faced and how you overcame it?
This year, I found out that I have Dyslexia and ADD. I found a wonderful Neurodiversity coach through Wired Differently and learning skills coach through A2i Dyslexia Association who have helped me to study more efficiently. I am now close to achieving more than 12 certifications for the year including ITIL, Project Management, Prince2, Microsoft and Multi cloud. This demonstrates what you can achieve with the right support. I changed a challenge or obstacle into something very positive.
How have you helped to promote diversity and inclusion in the industry?
I want to help to drive organisations to change structurally and to look at black talent in a different way, to look at female talent in a different way. I want to see words get put into action.
In order to drive initiatives for diversity and inclusion, I have participated in mentoring with both City Hive and Like-Minded Females (LMF) mentoring schemes to help drive change in gender equality and diversity. At LSEG, I have participated in the existing mentoring scheme, Reverse Mentoring, coaching for black employees, unconscious bias training, organised a training session with Show Racism The Red Card and highlighted intersectionality across the business.
What has been your career highlight?
Seeing how my generation is questioning the concept of work/life balance and speaking out against injustice and inequality has been a professional highlight for me. For me, success is spreading awareness about neurodiversity and assisting young women in achieving their STEM aspirations.
A personal career highlight is being featured in the Tech London Advocates book – The Voices in the Shadows. This article showcases black women in technology and gives young girls and women hope for what they might achieve in the future.
Thank you very much to Akua Opong for taking the time to talk with us for this interview. Be sure to grab your copy of The Voices in the Shadows book and if you have the time to vote for Akua for the Global Women Tech Community and Mentor of the Year Awards.
by Alison Moss 19.10.21
Jessie Auguste is a Psychology graduate who transitioned into software engineering early 2021. She was eager to work in software after working in...
Jessie Auguste is a Psychology graduate who transitioned into software engineering early 2021. She was eager to work in software after working in tech for a couple of years at a cyber security start-up, CybSafe, first in marketing and then in customer success.
With the aid of self-study and encouragement from many online groups and her employer, she was able to make the career transition into tech. Outside of work, Jessie is passionate about equality, diversity, and inclusion, and she volunteers with organisations that help underrepresented people break into the tech industry. She assists Coding Black Females with event planning and social media as a part of the leadership team. She's also part of the Black Valley team, an intensive professional mentoring programme that provides support and community to black people working in IT.
How did you become interested in working in tech?
I had no clue I'd end up in technology. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do after a couple of years living overseas and teaching. A recruiter approached me about a position as a Market Development Specialist at CybSafe, and I immediately fell in love with the company's purpose, vision, and team spirit. From then, I acquired insight into the sector, which set off a chain reaction in my IT path.
Tell us about your journey into tech as a black woman?
My journey wasn't very typical, as I hadn't considered it a goal until I was already there. It was just not a place where I could see myself fitting in. I didn't believe it was feasible for me to fit in. I could see myself transitioning into a technical job after being so warmly welcomed by the CybSafe team,
However, after being so welcomed well as the support and growth possibilities offered by groups like Coding Black Females and Black Valley.
If you could go back in time to the beginning of your career in tech and give yourself a piece of advice, what would you say?
Stop doubting yourself!! You do belong there. You will understand those tough concepts and you can become competent. Give yourself the time and space to learn and reflect, don't push yourself too hard. We are all beginners once, and the experience you have in other areas will come back to benefit you in the long run.
What can tech companies do to make the industry more inclusive of black women and other people of colour?
Don't just focus on the statistics and setting hiring incentives. What are you doing to retain and develop your diverse talent? Make sure the black women and people of colour that you have hired, have all the support they need to succeed. You might not know what that support needs to be, and that's ok, but make sure that there is space for that dialogue to happen, ask them what they need and check in!
How can we encourage more women, especially minority, to get into the industry?
I strongly believe that representation matters. It was through communities that I got to see black women in senior technical positions, which made it all seem possible to me. Hiring for entry level roles diversely isn’t enough. Develop diversely! Make sure that there are opportunities for women to attend sessions where they get to ask questions about how you are addressing the inequity and inequality within your organisation.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to black women entering the tech industry?
Find a community for support. It does not always have to be for learning purposes but having a group of people who understand your experience, who can understand you when you don't quite have the words to articulate how you're feeling, can make all the difference.
What’s has been your career highlight?
My biggest career highlight has been being able to give back to the community that inspired and supported me. Leading events and workshops where I am able to teach other black women the things I thought I would never be able to understand.
How do you think diversity and inclusion drive innovation and business growth?
Diversity of people inevitably leads to diversity of thought and ideas. This has an incredible impact on innovation. By fostering values of belonging for all people from all backgrounds, an organisation has the potential to create an environment where everyone feels driven and valued, which will be a massive driver of growth.
by Dafydd Kevis 18.10.21
Esther Ogunmefun is a junior software developer at CompareTheMarket, currently working on the Android mobile team. She has firmly established...
Esther Ogunmefun is a junior software developer at CompareTheMarket, currently working on the Android mobile team.
She has firmly established herself in the IT sector after graduating from the Code First Girls and Makers program; going on to receive the 2021 Software Power List Award for not only doing extraordinary work in tech herself but also motivating, mentoring, and supporting other women. She is a strong advocate for female and black representation in technology, speaking at CTM on Diversity and Inclusion. Esther is dedicated to creating work settings in which individuals can be themselves and feel like they belong, no matter where they are.
Since joining CompareTheMarket she has been keen to help drive and promote Diversity and Inclusion where she can. As someone who took a somewhat ad hoc path into tech, she is there to advise and encourage those who want a career in tech but don't know where to start.
How did you become interested in tech?
That’s an interesting story; when lockdown hit back in 2020, I wasn’t working in tech. It was a very fast career change; and one that was unexpected and not one I was thinking about.
One of my friends forwarded me a link to the CodeFirstGirls web development course. Essentially, I had time on my hands during lockdown as I was working in marketing, and so naturally everything was put on hold. I chose to take the CodeFirstGirls course. One of my mentors observed how quickly I picked up the skills and training and told me about a job opportunity at CompareTheMarket through the Makers Academy. I didn’t think I would get it because obviously, I had no experience in tech. But I did, and as a result, I'm here. I began in September 2020, completed three months of training, and then began working with CompareTheMarket in January 2021.
You're a perfect example of how getting into tech has no expiration date. Tell us about your perspective going into something completely unfamiliar?
Last year, especially during lockdown, it was that time of year when people like to re-evaluate their lives. The opportunity for me with CodeFirstGirls arose, I didn't need to have a tech background and I was thinking that if I'm going to try something new, I should attempt it now or I’ll never try it. It was unexpected, but bittersweet because there was a purpose for the lockdown, but I had plenty of time to think about it and start this new chapter.
Now you've been in the industry for about a year and have a deeper understanding, what would your professional advice be to your younger self pre-tech?
I'd recommend finding a mentor as soon as possible. I had a mentor myself, but looking back, I wish I had had one earlier as having someone with industry knowledge, who can send you in the right direction to the appropriate websites to develop and learn, really does help.
I would have also advised myself at the outset to learn independently outside of CodeFirstGirls and Makers to broaden my knowledge and abilities and ensure that I am always improving. Tech is such a huge field with so much to study that you never truly know what you want to pursue unless you dabble in a few different forms.
So, are you enjoying working in tech now? Do you feel like it's been a positive career change for you?
I love it. I feel like this is always supposed to be. I don't believe I could find another career that would make me feel as fulfilled or as enjoyable every day.
In today’s world, there has been such a big shift of focus on companies trying to embrace and promote diversity and inclusion within the business. How would you encourage more Black Females to get into the industry?
I think, obviously, programs like CodeFirstGirls, Makers, Black Girls in Tech, there's a lot of initiatives and communities that help people get into tech. I was lucky that my friend sent me the link, but if you are lost there are lots of communities in which offer advice and people are there to help. So, for someone that's really new, I would just say find a community that properly suits you, whether you're a black girl, whether you're a female, whether you're a minority, there's communities available for you out there. They're very willing to help, which is the reason they started their communities, even if it's just a few questions. It also can encourage independent learning, because anyone can go on Udemy, or similar websites, just to learn a bit more information as a starting point. It can be overwhelming at first but once you start understanding and developing it can lead to great opportunities.
The connection between having a diverse and innovative workforce is undeniable. But the statistics of females and people of colour within the industry don't reflect that. What do you think tech companies as and in industries, as whole can do to make it more inclusive for promoting a diverse workforce?
I believe it can be difficult for recruiters in these sectors to discover a pool of candidates because, if you simply go via the mainstream process, it's usually the people with the flashy degrees or who have worked their way up in the field that apply or who attract the spotlight. But I often stress that projects like Makers and CodeForGirls are great places to start since they're aimed at individuals who don't have a computer science degree or who don't want to go the traditional route but have the skills and qualifications necessarily for the role. I believe that businesses should recognize that it doesn't take much time to do some research into what organizations help and train people who are the minority.
When companies like CompareTheMarket, Google, and the Financial Times collaborated with Makers, I was delighted since it was such a great opportunity. However, I believe they should do it on a larger scale, because even at CompareTheMarket, there were only two open positions in London and perhaps eight or ten in Peterborough. In a firm of 1000 individuals, that's only ten people, which isn't representative or diversified. I'm an example because, even though I've only been here a short time and came through the Makers Pathway, I've tried my hardest to do my best in the company and make the most of the experience. My degree wasn’t in computer science, but the fact that I've been at here for over a year implies that I'm benefiting the firm in a positive way. Companies need to realise that there are a lot of places you can recruit from and different avenues to go down not just going down the mainstream one and if they do, they can experience the benefits of having a more diverse and inclusive work culture.
Regarding the accolades you mentioned, it's fair to say you've been dominating it in the IT world, winning the 2021 Software Power List Award, which is incredible. Is this a professional high point for you?
It is, without a doubt, a career highlight; I would be lying if I said otherwise. It came out of nowhere; I had no idea I'd been nominated, so it was a great surprise. However, most of my professional highlights have occurred inside my team. It makes me love my job when I feel appreciated and valued by my co-workers. I believe I put in a lot of effort in my position, therefore I enjoy it when it is recognized or rewarded. You can be sent a note on CompareTheMarket with a voucher if you have done something well and I think those moments are always really, lovely.
From working at a company that is trying to obviously move forward, represent and celebrate diversity. How do you think diversity and inclusion drives innovation and business growth?
I believe that having a diverse workforce is one of the most essential aspects in driving innovation and growth. Look around at the world we live in; it is incredibly diverse and full of individuals from all walks of life. Even within a single nation, such as the United Kingdom, we are so varied that the market is always shifting. There are several issues that must be addressed. And there are so many various types of clients that are target customers for businesses, but each one is unique and necessitates a distinct understanding or expertise.
So having a diverse team allows you to truly understand different types of consumers and individuals. You can gain greater insight into things you might not have considered. So, if you recruit employees from diverse backgrounds, individuals of a certain age range, different genders and religions, you can understand the challenges they encounter, as well as issues you may not have considered, such as accessibility, services, or rewards. We live in a multicultural world with a diverse population, so why not reflect that in your workforce. At the same time, you may build a mentality that allows you to break free from your own way of thinking and think about the entire market, open-mindedly and holistically.
Thank you so much to Esther Ogunmefun for taking the time to talk to us in this interview. We wish you all the luck in your future endevours.
by Robyn Trubey 04.10.21
Meet TLA Black Women in Tech’s Flavilla Fongang: The Award-Winning Serial Entrepreneur Changing the Tech Industry. Flavilla Fongang has...
Meet TLA Black Women in Tech’s Flavilla Fongang: The Award-Winning Serial Entrepreneur Changing the Tech Industry.
Flavilla Fongang has established herself as a technology pioneer thanks to her continued dedication to increasing the number of black women in the UK Tech sector. One of the most prominent women on the UK Tech Scene, a world-renowned bilingual keynote speaker and an award-winning serial entrepreneur; Flavilla Fongang is shaping the tech industry whilst advocating for diversity and inclusion. Her acclaimed non-profit organisation, Black Women in Tech, is the 2nd largest organisation of the TLA group and is a global community dedicated to building bridges of opportunities in tech which supports and empowers black women to successfully launch their careers in the industry.
Before founding the BWIT initiative, Fongang created 3 Colours Rule, an award-winning creative branding and marketing agency enabling tech businesses to become market leaders, and is also the author of "99 Customer Acquisition Strategies." She has been the recipient of the ‘She’s Mercedes’ Businesswoman Award by Mercedes Benz, which she shared with Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO. Computer Weekly named her the 2nd Most Influential Women in UK Tech, and Fongang was named the most influential businesswomen by LinkedIn.
But most importantly; Flavilla is extremely passionate about diversity and inclusion in order to ensure equal chances for future generations. In this interview we explore her background and journey into tech, whilst exploring critical issues revolving around diversity and inclusion within the technology industry.
Let's get started at the beginning, you are now one of the most influential black female leaders in the tech industry. But I'm interested to hear about your journey and what the driving force was that got you to where you are today?
It's a very good question. So, I'm going to go back to my birthplace. I was born in Paris, France. And that's interesting because when you and I think about Paris, you probably picture it as glamorous and lovely, with our Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. That was not the case for me. I was raised in a ghetto in Paris by a strong woman, my mother, as part of a family of five children. I came to London with only the intention of improving my English; nevertheless, I quickly fell in love with the city and realised there were many more opportunities. For me, as an ambitious person, Paris at the time was not as entrepreneurial as it is now, so I decided to leave for London.
I worked in the fashion industry, the oil and gas industry, and we were similar to the great hairdressers with bad hair. We take care of the people but not of ourselves. What several industries quickly realised was the need to stay focused; one of the drivers was technology. I recall reading a short story, from a BBC documentary about a young black girl who invented a device that allows students who travelled long distances to school to find their way home if they get lost. It was lovely, and I marvelled at how someone so small could come up with such a brilliant idea that could benefit so many others.
That's when we decided on a niche, and we went with technology because I felt it was a fantastic opportunity to build a scalable approach to engage with people that are game changers and who want to do things differently. I was used to being the only female or black female in the oil and gas sector, except when I went to African nations, but I realised that couldn't be right. Technology is so dominant in everything we do; we can't have not enough diversity when we are creating policy that affects all of us.
I then met Russ Shaw, the founder of Tech London Advocates, at a private lunch and one of the topics we discussed was how there would be a digital skills shortage. This was confirmed by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who stated that by 2030, there will only be 440,000 unfilled jobs due to a shortage. I knew every company was going to be aggressively looking for talent- but where are they? If we haven’t put them through the pipeline, we are always going to have a shortage of talented black women. This interested me greatly and I decided to develop something to address it. Because I was certain that there were great black women out there, and even though I couldn't see them, I knew they existed. So, I started TLA Black Women in Tech with the intention of growing my network to 40/50 individuals. Fast forward to now, and we have just celebrated our second anniversary, with 1500 members, including both black women and allies, since the goal was not to be exclusive, but inclusive to all.
Well, that's very interesting because it goes to one of my next questions; you've worked in the industry for many years and in a multitude of areas and forms whilst collaborating with a wide variety of organizations. Do you believe businesses are doing enough to promote diversity and inclusion? Do you believe they aren't genuinely educated or scared to act because of the potential backlash?
Well, there's a little bit of both; there are those who are doing something about it, and then there are those who aren't, because they don't consider the commercial element of diversity. For me, I've always seen that because my team is extremely diverse, around 80% are female but from all sorts of background. I believe we've always enjoyed the idea that we all come from various backgrounds, and in the creative industry, we thrive on our diversity. So, in order to come up with great new ideas, it's critical for me that we don't think the same way. However, I believe that in the IT industry, people think in terms of "I need someone who can perform the job," and that is what concerns me. Once they realise that they need to think about diversity, it’s too late and they have hired 200/300 of the same employees. When it comes to diversity in businesses: some people are doing nothing, some people are doing something, some are uneducated, and some do fear backlash and pushback.
What people need to realise is that we all have unconscious biases, and we all need to be able to understand what they are, so we can do better. It's so interesting, I was at an event on Monday, where Hillary Clinton was talking about her journey. She was sharing how, when she was a lawyer in office she would send an email to some of the partners, with just the initials HC, for Hillary Clinton, and even the president responded to it saying "I don't know if you're a man or a woman, but if you are a man, make sure you put a picture of your family on your desk, and if you are a woman take them off."
With men the perception is you are reliable because you have a family and you care about your job but, if you're a woman, it means that you're seeing this as a distraction. How crazy is that? Obviously unconscious bias is what we think about when we hire someone, and that's what we're dealing with in today's society and tech industry. I think that behind Black Lives Matter, some things have changed, but I think people also viewed it as a trend, and have now forgotten about it. A lot of people don't know what to do and need to realise that if you want to attract talent, be more specific in terms of where you look. There's nothing wrong with advertising positions on Indeed and other similar sites, but if you're seeking specific skillsets, check out diversity event networks and initiatives that specialise in identifying diverse talent; these may be quite helpful.
Companies are now realising that having a more diverse workforce is a major driver of creativity and innovation. What do you think in the companies in the tech industry can do to make it more inclusive to black women and other minorities?
It's been shown that companies with a more diverse workforce perform better and have recognised the commercial value of diversity, as opposed to those who haven't figured it out or simply don't care.
It feels like we keep having the same conversation and the answer is: there are many different options in terms of how you present your brand and what you can do internally to not only attract but also retain your diverse employees. As a black woman, I just now realise the number of invisible barriers I've encountered, which not only drove me to create my own company, but also taught me that being brilliant at what you do isn’t enough. For example, when I receive an email stating that someone has been promoted, I think to myself: I wasn’t even considered for the position. You need to be visible, and you need to do more than simply be great at what you do. What motivates you to create a personal brand? Why are you out there trying to build internal relationships with people?
One of the mottos of Black Women in Tech is to ‘inspire, educate, and create opportunities to support female entrepreneurship and mentorship’. Whilst this growing network is having such a big impact there's still a long way to go. How can we encourage more women, especially minorities, to get into the industry?
There are different things. From a company point of view, be vocal about it. Encourage and involve women from diverse backgrounds, but don't hire a black person to represent everything about diversity. Be very transparent about how you do it because I've seen numerous firms do the same thing where they hire diverse candidates purely to tick a box. From a black woman's viewpoint, and as I usually tell them, we've heard so many ‘No’s’ that you stop trying at some point, but I'd say keep persevering and putting yourself out there. Women in general, not just black women, do not boast about their accomplishments enough. I'd advise you to brag a lot about what you do. People will not notice you performing your job until you say anything, and they may take you for granted. So don't be scared to put yourself out there and tell the world what you're up to.
We were doing an event and one of the top senior leaders, a black woman said: “Sometimes, when an opportunity comes to the table, different candidates from within the business put their CV forward and if we look at your CV and don't even know who you are- forget it. You’re not getting the job. Who are you? Who is this person? If they have never heard of you and have no idea who you are- you're never going to get it.”
Developing external relationships outside of your department is just as important as building internal ones if you want to be recognised. I've had a number of chances come my way as a result of individuals speaking up for me when I wasn't invited to the table. That is why I refer to allies as being external. Allies can be black woman, white men, asian women, or anybody else who can help you develop strong relationships with individuals who can speak up for you and say, "I want this person to work on this project for me." This has occurred several times and is quite powerful.
Looking back on your career, you've undoubtedly navigated yourself through many various positions, sectors, and countries. There must have been many highs and a few lows. What is one piece of advice you wish you could have provided to younger Flavilla or the future generation of leaders?
One thing I would recommend is to find a mentor as soon as possible; it makes a huge impact. I had never worked for another agency before starting my own, and I made a lot of mistakes. I usually tell people that you either win or you learn; one or the other. For any person out there, consider where you want to go. I believe that having clarity in terms of where you're going is important, and if you don't know, then explore and be open, be curious, and ask as many questions as you can in terms of where you want to go.
When you've decided what you want to pursue, identify a key player in the industry and ask them to mentor you. For example, if you want to be a top coder, a top developer, or whatever it is, locate someone who is the greatest in their industry. Although obtaining Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg may be difficult, there are other exceptional individuals in the industry. I'll add that while you shouldn’t offer openly, "Can you be my mentor?” always say, "Can I take you to lunch?" Because everybody loves food! Or, perhaps, “Can I do an interview with you?” which would be a fantastic opportunity for them to get to know you more naturally and give more guidance. When you've established that relationship, you'll be able to ask for mentorship.
What has been the most difficult challenge you've experienced in your career? And how did you overcome it?
It's a very good question. You know, it's funny, I’m often underestimated, but I enjoy it. I love to prove them wrong. I'm lucky that in the job I'm fully fulfilled, and I love what I do. I always say to people, everybody deals with imposter syndrome, we all have it. It's all about how you handle it. I don't look my age, and when I walk into a board meeting with a bunch of white males who are wondering to themselves, "Is she going to make the coffee?" No, you'll be listening to me, which is a lot of fun. I don't mind being underestimated. Probably one of my favourite phrases is “If nobody in the room looks like you, you were supposed to be here”, which I say all the time. Who else is going to change the narrative about what it means to be a woman or a black woman? If nobody's in that room looks like you, you are meant to be there for everybody else who looks like you.
Show them and help them in changing their ideas about how they think and what they believe. And that's critical. I basically have a "I don't give a damn" mentality; I do what I'd do, and if it works, it works; if it doesn't, it doesn't, and I'm not ashamed to share my failures. I believe it is an aspect of learning that occurs every day and in every moment. If you don't face certain obstacles, you'll never grow and evolve as a person.
You've built an award-winning agency, launched a global tech initiative, been a key-note speaker at some of the world's most prominent events, and have won numerous accolades, so I'm sure this question will be tough for you to answer. What has been the pinnacle of your professional career? Is there a specific one, or is it a combination?
Writing a book called "99 Strategies to Get Customers" in my non-native language was definitely my professional highlight, and I'm glad it was well received. The second pinnacle was that when I first started my career as a speaker, one of my marketing team members booked me for an event in Budapest. I forgot to ask how many people will be attending and I didn't confirm which stage I'd be on ahead of time.
They put me on the first stage. I wanted to view the room before but was told: 'No, we'll be coming in five minutes early.' They brme on five minutes before I was due to start, and it's this huge, gigantic movie theatre room. It was so intriguing because when you walk in, you can't see the room until you're already inside. And as I turn around to face the front, there are 5000 people there, and this was just my third talk. It was at that point that I realised I had two options: I could go back to my hotel room and my career as a speaker is over, or I could go ahead and do it.
I had controlled my imposter syndrome and just do what I'm here to do; what’s the worst that can happen. And I did that. And after that, the rest of my career has just been full of great, amazing stories and I've had a lot of fun. I always say to people the most beautiful things in life happen when you step outside of your comfort zone and do things you've never done before. Its imperative to stay curious, and explore fields you've never explored before. At the end you will feel so fulfilled.
Well, this takes me to my final question. I just want to talk to you about the decision to create Black Women in Tech. As a black female in the tech industry, what was your hope when you first started that what you wanted to achieve? And now that it’s grown so exponentially- what does the future hold?
As I already stated, my mother was my sole black female role model when I was growing up. When I initially arrived in London and turned on the television, one of the first shows I saw was EastEnders, which made me believe that anyone can be an actor in this country.
It makes me laugh, and the concept behind it was that my mindset had completely changed as back in France, my main ambition was to be an assistant manager. My guidance counsellor in school had recommended for me to pursue a career as a secretary. Fortunately, I did not listen to her, but today's society leaves young people with a lack of aspiration because they do not see enough individuals who look like them.
I feel that Black Women in Tech evolved naturally as I saw that black women in the industry would progress through their careers with no one listening to their stories. The goal of Black Girls in Tech is for women in the field to be able to share their experiences while also motivating the next generation of black women in technology. We want to concentrate on bringing the technological agenda ahead rather than focusing just on diversity.
It was also to just change the narrative about how black people are perceived in the business by demonstrating that there is opportunity for more of you. When you talk to talented women, they often say things like, "I thought I was a unicorn, but there are more people out there just like me." If you watch Kung Fu Panda, one of my favourite cartoons, you'll notice that when he comes, he thinks he's the last panda left, but he discovers a slew of other pandas. It's amazing and fulfilling to feel like you've finally found a place where you can be yourself and understand yourself from a new viewpoint.
Black Women in Tech was created to provide chances, to develop and build bridges of opportunities, and truly form a technological community and this is because there are so many great people as allies. So, I don't breed black woman, but I can inspire the next generation.
A huge thank you to Flavilla Fongang for dedicating her time to speak to us for this interview. If you were interested in getting involved with TLA Black Women in Tech be sure to check out their website.
by Jasmine Ellis 01.10.21
In the United Kingdom, October is Black History Month; a time to reflect, honour and celebrate Black achievements. At Franklin Fitch, we want...
In the United Kingdom, October is Black History Month; a time to reflect, honour and celebrate Black achievements.
At Franklin Fitch, we want to shine a light on a few of the female Black pioneering leaders in the industry; some just starting their journey and some influentially established. Each of them has a story to share, and we'd like to share it to celebrate some of the most inspiring, influential, and prominent black voices on the UK tech scene.
We know that when it comes to employing minorities, the IT industry is notorious for trailing behind the rest of the labour market. Yes, much progress has been made since the 1900s, but let's face it: when it comes to black women’s representation, equality, and equity in technology, we still have a long way to go. In today’s society there is a clear diversity gap; women and minorities are under-represented with black women only making up 0.7% of the tech workforce in 2020.
This has long prompted appeals for more diversity in the tech industry, not simply for the sake of it, but to ensure that the next generation of diverse talent feels empowered to participate and succeed in the field. We need to encourage more people from minority ethnic backgrounds to pursue careers in technology and improve representation. As a result, there will be more diverse teams, more inclusive innovation, better goods, and better customer experiences, all of which will lead to increased loyalty and profitability. As a result, the bottom line improves.
Companies with high levels of ethnic and cultural diversity were 33% more likely to outperform their competition, according to McKinsey's Diversity Matters study.
Over the last few years, we've seen the emergence of a number of impactful initiatives – from Coding Black Females, which is dedicated to building a thriving community of black female developers, to TLA Black Women in Tech, which is dedicated to enabling black female talents to excel and companies to have access to black women of talent - there have been a number of initiatives and organisations- who have made it their aim to make the UK's IT industry more ethnically diverse.
Over the next month, we'd wanted to highlight a handful of our industry's Black pioneering female leaders, to provide a platform for diverse technologists throughout the industry, and to highlight the inspirational women who are breaking stereotypes in the UK tech sector.
We wanted to recognize and celebrate some of the inspiring women who are breaking stereotypes in the UK IT sector over the next month. We've put together a series of interviews with some of these incredible voices that we'd want to share with you, and we hope you'll take the time to read and reflect on their experiences as well as the critical industry themes like diversity and inclusion.
Thank you to the remarkable women who have participated in these interviews!
by Leonie Schaefer 13.03.20
Here we finish off our week of female-focused coverage with the inspiring story of Rosie Brown. She is the perfect example of what you can do if...
Here we finish off our week of female-focused coverage with the inspiring story of Rosie Brown. She is the perfect example of what you can do if you seize the opportunity. Don't let anyone ever tell you different....
At 26 years old, Rosie Brown has already done more than many people will do in a lifetime. Just over 18 months ago, she walked into the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) as a graduate and felt immediately at home. The fact that the majority of her colleagues are significantly older than her and the number of men vastly outnumbers the number of females, doesn’t faze her at all. In fact, her colleagues say they wouldn’t be surprised if one day she was running the place!
“I didn’t sleep at all the night before I started as I was so nervous, but when I got here I just felt like this is where I was meant to be,” says Rosie. "It was an incredible feeling.”
Rosie speaks highly of the LSEG. She describes it as an incredible organisation, which despite being a traditional male-dominated financial services environment, is working hard to promote women’s wellbeing and progression with seminars, special events and a great support network.
“I may be the only female in the risk team, but there are other women out there,” she says. “I’m definitely not alone.”
Stepping outside of your confort zone
Being the lone female is nothing new for Rosie. Having grown up with four brothers she is accustomed to being in the minority. She is also used to stepping outside of her comfort zone. During her undergraduate studies in microbiology at Newcastle University, she set up Beauty by the Geeks, a company aimed at demystifying the science behind beauty products. It also had a corporate social responsibility arm which encouraged young girls into technology.
Along with her fellow student entrepreneurs, Rosie attended many science fairs and conventions to promote Beauty by the Geeks, and it was there that she met women working in the technology space who inspired her to change the direction of her career. “They opened my eyes to coding and that was it,” she says. “I was hooked.” Rosie then studied for a Masters in epidemiology at Imperial College London, but now works in risk, which incorporates a lot of programming and statistical analysis.
Who is this woman?
By her own admission Rosie is a very chatty person who is capable of going at 100 miles an hour without stopping. “Men often look at me and say ‘who is this woman’?! I am always ready to share my opinion around innovation which people don’t necessarily expect, but I love taking them by surprise.” Still, even she has to push herself outside of her comfort zone and is very pleased she took a year out to go traveling, when in reality she would have preferred to sit in her room coding.
One issue Rosie has encountered in her male-dominated workplaces – she also interned in the NHS where she ran an IT compliance programme and was the only female on the team - is ‘mansplaining’. This, she says, is when a man basically takes your idea or opinion and claims it for their own. The solution to this, she says, is not clear cut. “Sometimes you have to shrug it off. Other times it’s worth fighting for.”
“There is definitely a sense that you have to keep the boundaries firm,” she says. “If you give them any leeway they will keep pushing.”
No one should encounter barriers
This could happen whatever your gender however and Rosie has always been aware of the importance of inclusivity. Even when she was running her beauty business she was conscious that beauty products were traditionally focused on the female population and that as a result, they were missing out on the other half.
“The key is to make sure that there aren’t any barriers for anyone, whoever they are,” says Rosie. “Diversity and inclusivity is much more on people’s minds these days but we need to ensure it is fully embedded in the corporate world.”
“The most important thing is for everyone, whatever their gender, to be able to be themselves. We are all different and have our own voice. We are not robots. Once companies accept this, they will be able to unlock true potential.”
(Thank you to all the amazing women who have taken the time to share their stories with us this week. We hope that their experiences have gone some way to showing that not only is anything possible, but also that a diverse workforce is a better place for all. #EachforEqual.)
by Claire Shoesmith
by Leonie Schaefer 11.03.20
Today we meet Akua Opong, an inspiring young woman who's breaking new ground in the technology world. Think high-powered doctors...
Today we meet Akua Opong, an inspiring young woman who's breaking new ground in the technology world.
Think high-powered doctors saving the lives of young children in medical dramas such as ER and Greys Anatomy and that is how Akua pictured her future working self whilst growing up. However, the softer side of her personality, and in particular the idea of passing sad news onto families, made her decide a career as a pediatrician wasn’t for her after all.
Instead, she chose computing, believing it to be another area where she would be involved in ground-breaking work and ultimately be able to push the boundaries. During her studies at the University of Surrey, she enjoyed an internship at Rolls Royce and BMW, and has since had a series of technology-related roles in a variety of different organisations, including the London Stock Exchange, Rathbones Brothers Plc and even Carphone Warehouse. Her main focus is client services support and IT project work, where she enjoys the fact that no one day is ever the same and she is constantly learning new things to drive change.
Women are definitely in a minority
“When people think of IT roles they think of men,” says Akua. “I have come across some women but they are definitely in a minority and there’s a feeling that they have to work harder than their male counterparts if they want to progress up the ladder.”
By her own acknowledgement Akua is a bit of a workaholic. She always gives 110% and is happy to go the extra mile, taking on extra tasks and responsibility. Her main focus is always on the needs of the team rather than her own personal development.
“My way of thinking: how will what I do impact on other members of the team, is definitely more of a female approach than male,” she says. “I put a lot of pressure on myself and it’s not always easy.”
Women are equally as capable as men
Still, that said, her experience as a female working in mainly male-dominated environments has generally been good. “Women are equally as capable as men and want to be given the right platform to achieve our very best,” she says.
Akua is a big supporter of programmes to increase the number of women in technology-related roles and is grateful that so many now exist that didn’t when she was starting out. Today she is involved in a range of forums and acts as a mentor to several younger women working in technology roles. “In an IT environment you are constantly learning something new and support from another female in the industry is a great help,” she says. “It is really good to bounce ideas off each other.”
Role models are important
Role models such as Katherine Johnson, the black mathematician whose work helped send the first astronauts to the moon, are important too and while Akua hasn’t become a real-life Arizona Robbins (for those that don’t know, she was the head of pediatric surgery in ABC’s television drama Grey’s Anatomy and held the job that Akua thought she wanted when growing up) she is pleased with where she’s got to. She is confident STEM ambassador programmes and special coding and physics groups for girls will help encourage more females into the technology world and hopes that ultimately women won’t have to work harder than their male colleagues to earn the same pay, respect and career prospects.
(Outside of her working role, Akua is part of the Women’s Inspired Network (WIN UK Chapter) and the Wellbeing Forum.)
by Xenia Armbrust 10.03.20
Today's succesful female in the spotlight is Xenia Armbrust, practice manager for Franklin Fitch's Frankfurt office. For Xenia, a...
Today's succesful female in the spotlight is Xenia Armbrust, practice manager for Franklin Fitch's Frankfurt office. For Xenia, a specialist in server and database recruitment, the key to success, particularly as a woman, is resilience.
Since she joined the company as a graduate in December 2014, Xenia has given everything to the role. “It’s not like HR where most of the managers are women,” she says. “Most of the decision makers we deal with are technology managers who are mainly men. You have to give 110% for them to see you as an equal.”
Progress is being made in gender equality
Going that extra mile is a personal choice for Xenia, but the fact that she’s dealing mainly with men isn’t. While progress is being made in gender equality in many industries, the tech sector isn’t one of them. Figures from the UK’s Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that of the 998,000 people working in IT and telecommunications, just one in six are female, whilst the ratio falls to just one in eight when it comes to programmers and software development professionals.
“People just assume that because you’re female you’re not interested in technology and so you have to give it everything you have,” she says.
Women have the chance to go far
For Xenia this is not necessarily a bad thing as she believes it helps show commitment. She also believes that once a woman has proven herself and won the trust and respect of senior males, she has the chance to go far. “You have to work harder to get their attention, but once you have it, you can give them insight which is far more valuable and comes from a totally different perspective,” she says. “This is a great asset to any business.”
Whilst Xenia’s experiences in relation to her gender within the walls of the Franklin Fitch family have been overridingly positive, she has unfortunately encountered a few issues when working with clients. These have however not put her off, and if anything, have made her stronger and even more determined to do a great job.
Believe in your ability
The key to success in recruitment and technology, Xenia believes, is to be confident in what you do. It doesn’t matter whether you’re male or female, you need to be resilient, not over sensitive and make sure you believe in your ability. You need to constantly be open to learning new tasks and ways of doing things, be willing to listen to the advice of your colleagues and superiors and willing to push yourself out of your comfort zone.
“Motivation is key,” she says, adding that it needs to come from you. “It’s the same for ambition and passion. Without it, doing your job will be difficult.”
by Leonie Schaefer 09.03.20
In the week of International Women's Day, we continue our female-focused coverage with the first in a series of profiles featuring women who...
In the week of International Women's Day, we continue our female-focused coverage with the first in a series of profiles featuring women who are succeeding in the technology world. Despite working in what are generally male-dominated environments, they are great models for the future.
Blazing a trail
Claireypoppins is how Claire Gray, a highly experienced leader and technology project manager, has been described by her colleagues. “You come in, you change things, you make it happen and then you disappear into the night.”
And here’s why. Gray’s ability to understand the intricate technicalities and successfully communicate them to a wide range of audiences is a rare find in the tech sector. Traditionally dominated by men, the tech industry is known for its jargon, action and focus on things rather than people.
“Taking time to understand something and explain it is more associated with females than males,” says Gray. “Women tend to think of the bigger picture. They probably even communicate too much, but it means that they’re prepared for every eventuality and as a result, generally not affected by curveballs.”
You don’t need to lose your femininity, but you may need to make adjustments
Gray has spent most of her working life in male-dominated environments. As a self-confessed tomboy and a confident individual this hasn’t been an issue, although there have obviously been moments where the heavily masculine environment has had an impact on the conversation and working atmosphere.
“You don’t need to lose your femininity, but you may need to make adjustments,” she says, adding that the key is to ensure you are good at what you do and can stand your ground. You also shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions.
“There’s no harm in taking a step back and taking time to ensure that everyone understands what’s going on,” says Gray. “Women are often afraid to ask what they think is a stupid question, when in fact there is no such thing as a stupid question. You aren’t going to look stupid if you ask a question that will help you understand something more clearly and do a better job.”
It would be great to have more females to address the balance
Having worked in 12 different, mainly tech-related roles, Gray has encountered a wide range of mainly male-dominated work environments. She has had both positive and negative experiences. In one firm, which she describes as an ‘old boys club’, she recalls being told to “leave it to the boys as she wasn’t techy enough.” She ended up taking the issue to the male CEO, who was horrified, but struggled to change things so she left.
“It’s very much a company by company situation and I’ve worked in lots of organisations where there has been no difference between males and females,” she says, adding that in her current place of work there are five women in a total workforce of almost 60. “There’s a lot of joviality and jokes, but I never feel that anyone is looking down on me because I’m female. It would be great to have more females here though to address the balance.”
For Gray, being female in a male-dominated environment may be easier than for others. She’s at the top of her game and is confident in her ability. The key to success, she believes, is to be yourself and be open. Immerse yourself in the role and (unless you have to) don’t take a job just because it pays the bills – make sure it’s something you’re passionate about.
We are crying out for more women
“It’s a tough world breaking into IT as a female, but we are crying out for more women,” she says, adding that out of 70 applications for an open position in her current firm, only one was from a woman. “We need to get the message out that just because it’s IT it’s not scary”
“It is in fact a gender-neutral industry that has been branded as male-orientated. Everything should be an open opportunity for everyone.”
by David Annable 08.03.20
Today, on International Women’s Day, a celebration which originated more than 100 years ago with the aim of achieving full gender...
Today, on International Women’s Day, a celebration which originated more than 100 years ago with the aim of achieving full gender equality, we start our week of specialist coverage looking at women in the technology and recruiment sectors.
Despite significant progress being made in many areas, women are still in a minority in the technology world. Over the course of this week, we'll look at what can be done to address this issue and also speak to a series of women who are blazing a trail in the technology world. How can we use their experiences to encourage more females into the technology sector and show them and their potential employers that an equal world is an enabled world? #EachforEqual.
It's time for change
The 2020 GB Olympic team is expected to make history in Tokyo this year as the first British team to have more women than men. It may have taken almost 125 years to get there, but if female athletes can do it, then why can’t female technology and IT workers?
Hailed as an historic achievement that will steal the show and change the focus on women’s sport forever, the 380-strong team is expected to have a 55-45 split in favour of women. This compares with the same ratio, but in favour of men, at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
A general shortage of females with technology skills
Unfortunately, it is difficult to replicate this progress in the technology world due to the general lack of females in the industry. As was previously the case with Olympic athletes, there is a shortage of women pursuing, and particularly progressing in, technology careers and as a result, achieving any sort of gender diversity is hard enough, let alone gender equality.
“We find that a lot of our clients are keen to redress the gender imbalance, but that unfortunately more often than not, those candidates don’t exist because for many years not enough women have entered the technology market,” says Steven Ewer, director of Franklin Fitch’s UK and US operations. “What we need is to find ways of encouraging more women to pursue a career in technology and in time, hopefully, this will filter up the chain.”
Erika Percival, founder and CEO of specialist corporate governance advisors Beyond Governance, agrees. “Part of the issue is the pipeline,” she says. “Over time that will change but for that to happen the dynamics of life and work also need to change. More needs to be done around flexible working to enable women to really get involved.”
The tech sector is lagging behind
According to the UK’s Office of National Statistics (ONS), just over half of the 6.5 million Britons working in professional occupations are women. However, among the 998,000 working in IT and telecommunications, the ratio falls to just one in six, and just one in eight of the UK’s 338,000 programmers and software development professionals are women.
While these figures show that progress on gender equality is being made in some areas, others, and in particular the tech sector, are lagging behind. So, what can be done to address this? Should businesses be using quotas and targets to fill roles with certain types of candidates, and if so, do they work and are they fair? Would it help to have more female role models and better press coverage of their achievements?
Here we look at what businesses can do to address this issue:
Increase flexible working options
According to a study by part-time recruitment specialist Capability Jane, 80% of women and 52% of men want flexibility in their next role, while 30% would prefer flexible working to a pay rise. Unfortunately, however, it also found that fewer than 10% of advertised jobs openly offer flexibility, deterring a large number of women in particular from applying.
Introduce returner programmes
Returnships are a simple way for employers to help women easily transition back into work - and even take on more senior roles - after a career break. A report by PwC released in 2018, suggested that if the majority of women on a career break returned to work, UK GDP could see a potential boost of £1.7bn, so it’s win-win for all.
Reduce the gender pay gap
A 2018 report by the UK government found that around 78% of large organisations admitted to having a gender pay gap in technology, with males earning more than females. A separate report also found that women earn up to 28% less than their male colleagues in the same tech roles. Removing this gap is an easy step to addressing the inequality and encouraging more females into the industry.
Improve education, remove bias in job adverts and utilise role models
A study by PwC carried out in 2017 found that more than a quarter of female students were put off a career in tech due to the perceived male domination of the sector. This needs to be changed, and the earlier that girls are exposed to the STEM (science, technology engineering and maths) subjects the better. Role models, both in the wider world and within the senior ranks of your own company, can play a big part in changing this perception. (The high-profile successes of athletes such as Serena Williams, Jessica Ennis-Hill and the UK women’s national football and hockey teams are believed to have played a major part in increasing the number of girls taking up sport and progressing to professional levels.)
The way adverts are worded can make also have a big impact on who applies for a job and is something that should be considered carefully. (We will return to this in a future blog post.)
Use of targets or quotas
While some people are critical of introducing quotas and targets in a bid to increase gender diversity, many believe that it is the only way forward. After all, we set targets for most things we are serious about achieving in our lives, including revenue growth, so why not do the same for the gender make-up of the business. In reality it doesn’t mean you will achieve them, but you should be showing that you’re serious about the goal and have a strategy that demonstrates you’re doing everything in your power to realise it.
Benefits of a diverse workforce
Whatever your business, there is no doubting the benefits of a diverse workforce. While International Women’s Day and other such campaigns are a big help when it comes to profile-raising, the time has come for organisations to stop just paying lip service and start acting on their words.
“Improving diversity and inclusion is not just a box-ticking exercise,” says Steven. “It requires a fundamental culture change in the way businesses hire, communicate, and ultimately operate.”
To find out more about Franklin Fitch's own diversity campign, click Inclusive Infrastructure.
by Leonie Schaefer 24.02.20
Franklin Fitch has confirmed its commitment to inclusion and diversity by joining the UK’s Tech Talent Charter (TTC). The TTC is a...
Franklin Fitch has confirmed its commitment to inclusion and diversity by joining the UK’s Tech Talent Charter (TTC).
The TTC is a non-profit organisation which addresses inequality in the UK technology sector and seeks to drive inclusion and diversity. The group’s aim is to ensure the UK tech sector is truly inclusive and a reflection of the society it represents. “We focus on the how, not just the why of inclusion and we bring communities together and support the underrepresented,” the TTC says on its website.
For Franklin Fitch, this is another example of our commitment to inclusion and diversity. We are already members of Women in Recruitment in the UK and support the CYBERWOMEN platform in Germany. We believe strongly in the importance of equality and the benefits it can bring to a business, and are in no doubt that a diverse workforce is more productive and better placed to face today’s challenges. Internally within our own business we have a 60-40 male-female split and externally when recruiting for clients, we are focused on ensuring our job adverts are fully inclusive with the aim of hiring the best person for the role.
“This is yet another example of our commitment to diversity and inclusion,” says David Annable, Franklin Fitch’s founder. “It is something that matters to me as a leader and I’m very keen to share this philosophy with my employees.”
The TCC is supported by the UK government and is aiming to have 600 signatories by the end of 2020. Its members are spread across all sectors - from recruitment and technology through to banking and entertainment, and all sizes of organisation - from small start-ups to large multinationals.
by Leonie Schaefer 20.06.19
Diversity and inclusion are very important topics for businesses across all industries. We want to shine a light on the topic specifically for those...
Diversity and inclusion are very important topics for businesses across all industries. We want to shine a light on the topic specifically for those working within IT Infrastructure.
We’ve seen a lot of women in tech initiatives over the years yet still only 10% of participants in this market and skills report were female. Although we were hoping that this is not a representative number, day to day conversations with industry specialist show a similar result.
We are supporting events like CYBERWOMEN 2019 in Germany and hope that initiatives like these will give women and girls the confidence to take on a career in IT Infrastructure.
Although we are huge fans of initiatives encouraging women and girls in tech, we think that this is not enough. Diversity & Inclusion is not only about the female-male divide. It is about tackling biases based on gender, race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual preference and age (just to name a few) and ending discrimination completely.
We would like to provide a platform for those working within or interested in IT Infrastructure to share their experiences with us and to come up with possible solutions together.
We are conducting interviews with industry experts who are willing to give us their opinions and insights on diversity and inclusion within IT Infrastructure.
Interested? Contact Leonie Schaefer for more information +44 203 696 7950, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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