For July, we will be casting a spotlight on the lack of diversity in tech with a series of articles on race, gender, sexuality, class, and their intersections.
There’s a staggering lack of diversity in the tech industry. It’s a very real fact that affects the lives of many people – whether that’s yourself or your colleague who (used to) sit next to you.
It’s important to speak up and do more than just post a company statement that falls into the social media void.
The infographic below highlights some of the stark differences: BAME employees make up just a fraction of the UK tech workforce, and this is something that is replicated across the globe. Minority groups are paid less, made to feel uncomfortable in their working environments and feel as though they have a glass ceiling hanging over them.
White privilege is very real in the tech industry, and it’s time we all opened our eyes to it.
Why Diversity Month?
At Adzooma, we want to go further to truly highlight the lack of diversity in tech.
Therefore we’ve decided to dedicate the whole of July to Diversity on the Adzooma Blog where we’ll be focusing largely on Black experiences in the MarTech world. But we’ll also be discussing topics such as race, gender, sexuality, and class, and their various intersections.
Please keep up with what we’re doing this month, keep momentum in the Black Lives Matter movement and get involved with the fight for change.
To kick off Diversity Month, let’s have a quick look at why it needs to exist.
- There are more CEOs called Steve than there are from ethnical minority backgrounds in the FTSE 100.
- Even the tech we’re developing suffers at the hands of our prejudice as facial recognition software has been proven to be racist.
- Tech advertising is dominated by White males. As is the stock imagery we use.
- Minorities ‘whiten’ their job applications to get more replies as those with White names are twice as likely to get an interview.
- A report in 2017 showed that many people of colour felt they had been unfairly passed over for a promotion or faced stereotyping.
Often data that is a few years old holds less weight, but we know for a fact that the tech industry hasn’t changed. The promises big tech companies made haven’t been followed through; the number of Black people employed by Google, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft has barely changed in 5 years.
What White people can do better
When confronted, many people will violently defend themselves as not racist. But it’s no longer enough to be ‘not racist’ – you must be anti-racist. And use your White privilege in this industry to stand against what is wrong.
You might feel as though there is nothing you can do. There is: use your voice. Take time to educate yourself with well-researched articles such this one on White privilege.
Every day, microaggressions fly around the workplace. People will say racist things and act as though you’re overreacting when you pull them up on it. But think about how awful it is for those people who face that prejudice in every aspect of their lives?
Black people exist in a world that fights against them simply for the colour of their skin. Society is broken, so it takes everyone to fix it.
White privilege and racism in the tech industry are real, but there’s a general ignorance in acknowledging their presence.
That’s where we need to start.