Delivering diversity Committing to ethnic diversity in the tech workforce

Foreword | Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, President, techUK

2020 has been a wake up call for many of us about our need to be more proactive in tackling the inequalities and injustices inflicted on our friends and colleagues from ethnic minority backgrounds. As we watch the world demand a level playing field for all, it is no longer enough to be non-racist. This is not a time to be neutral.

This shift in attitude has created positive momentum for organisations to have frank and sometimes uncomfortable conversations about inequality and race. It has accelerated corporate ambitions for meaningful change not least within techUK’s membership organisations.

techUK members have a vast array of programs, initiatives, policies and practices to help increase BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) equity and representation and techUK wants to harness its convening power and networks to ensure practices are shared across the sector to encourage and inspire others to do more within their own teams, businesses and communities.

Learning from each other is the only way to address the societal, moral, and business issue that is racial equality. It is also a way to keep the question of race alive and undiluted from general diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Often the reality of the tech sector’s diversity problem is masked because people characterised as BAME are grouped together. techUK understands this is not a real representation of the different experiences that exist in the industry and BAME may not be totally representative. However, it is useful in ensuring that we leverage meaningful data rather than lose the needs of minority groups whose issues have the potential to get lost in data aggregation. We will work to incorporate wider appropriate language that recognises the complexity of these issues as data becomes more granular.

The most effective approaches from techUK’s membership focus on four things: action in the community to inspire the next generation; attraction and recruitment; getting workplace culture right; and development of diversity. In this document, we showcase how our members are pushing for progress. Effective and sustainable solutions must cover all aspects of a company - the people, its processes, and its culture. John Amaechi says that ‘culture is defined by the worst behaviour it tolerates’, which is where we can play our part in calling out injustice when we see it.

We have an opportunity now to continue our focus on elevating the voices of those around us. By ensuring that people from ethnic backgrounds in senior positions are supported in their roles, and by creating diverse succession plans, we can make this a sustainable pipeline of talent that promotes inclusion and builds a strong digital future.

If we are to thrive in a digital future which includes everybody, we must ensure that we have all of our voices heard when it comes to designing, building and testing technology solutions. If we do not, we risk creating a world which continues to perpetuate biases and a world which does not work for everyone.

To do this, the industry needs to look and think differently.


Debbie Forster MBE, CEO, Tech Talent Charter

The Tech Talent Charter (TTC) champions connecting the dots and not re-inventing the wheel. Key to this is the sharing of best practice, so we welcome this work from techUK and its members.

It is encouraging to see both the number and range of companies who are moving beyond just the #BLM hashtag to real action and also that they are willing to share it for others to learn from. I am proud that techUK supports the TTC Open Playbook, an open-source tool covering the entire pipeline, from creating inclusive cultures, recruiting great diverse talent, growing and retaining great teams and how to make the most of returner and retraining programmes. In it, you can find a range of strategies, tools and resources compiled by our Signatories and D&I professionals that you can use and adapt for your organisation.

During the Tech Talent Charter’s July 2020 Hackathon, subject matter experts were tasked with hacking the topic of how to make organisations inclusive for Black employees. Teams created 4 roadmaps: Education and Allyship, Recruiting Black Employees, Promoting, Developing and Retaining Black Employees and Black Employee Networks. Each roadmap details the high-level menu of the most important actions organisations should consider.

There is so much to do to really move the dial on BAME representation in tech. It’s great to see techUK and its members pushing forward on practical actions. We look forward to continuing to work with techUK and its members on this in the year to come.

Ashleigh Ainsley, co-founder, Colorintech

2020 has been a particularly pertinent year for the Black community. We’ve seen increasing dialogue around issues of racial injustice, punctuated by traumatic events, such as the killing of George Floyd, global protests and the renewed focus from corporates letting us know they believe Black lives matter to them.

More than ever our communities are looking for brands and their stances on the systemic issues which plague our society. Quite bluntly, this is a time of reckoning. Will your organisation be flagged as progressive, innovative, and conscious within the eyes of the Black community, customers and those who are allies for diversity and inclusion? The decision is truly yours, but you are running out of time. Silence is complicit with the status quo, and inaction speaks a thousand words.

We’ve many organisations, including techUK, move to support the drive for a more equitable tech ecosystem by joining us at Blacktechfest to celebrate product, talent and inclusion and through the lens of culture, brand and technology. We welcome more joining us on the mission over the coming months.

Members of techUK can do more though. Set piece occasions won’t suffice and change needs to be enduring. Systemic action, enduring pledges, and sustainable resources are required and we do implore you to see how many of the members are embarking on this journey. There is an opportunity here to do something truly quite transformational, and those who have done so, reflect fondly on exercising on that vision.

How techUK members continue to drive diversity:

Action in the community (inspiring the next generation)

The next generation of talent is clearly being put off digital education and careers before they even start.

What young people think happens behind the scenes of the UK’s digital sector has been revealed. In a nationwide poll of 1,000 16 – 18 year olds by the Institute of Coding, more than half believe the digital workforce lacks diversity with 70% of youth surveyed thinking the sector is run entirely by those of white, British ethnicity, and over a third (34%) think there are unequal opportunities for women. One in ten admit they are actively discouraged from pursuing digital education and jobs due to the lack of people that represent them. While some of these opinions echo what many people in the industry may already feel, what’s shocking is that these are the perceptions of young people who have yet to set foot in the industry.

The COVID crisis has created a sea change amongst the population with regards to digital. techUK’s survey on changing attitudes towards tech during lockdown, with Ipsos MORI & Cisco, showed that 73% of those aged 16-24 were interested in gaining more digital skills in the next 12 months. Unemployment in this age group is predicted to reach the one million mark by the end of the year by the Resolution Foundation. There is clear appetite across the UK to embrace the opportunity to learn digital skills, as young people look to build a resilient and future-facing career.

How can we now build on this momentum to better create and showcase exciting pathways into tech that are open to all?

techUK explores this very issue in Mediaplanet’s latest Careers in Technology campaign.

EY | 30% target placements for black young people

EY will be offering at least 30% of the work experience places on their Smart Futures and Our Futures programmes to Black young people for the next five years, starting in 2021. EY will set a target to offer entry into EY school leaver pathways to at least 30% of Black young alumni of the Smart Futures and Our Futures programmes, for the next five years. They will also continue to support and fund the EY Foundation, an independent charity in the UK, to conduct a survey of Black young people (18-24 years old) to better understand access to employment opportunities and the challenges they face. This will be published and used to help guide further action the company could take together.

The EY Foundation most recently has been looking at the impact of COVID-19 on the future of young people from low income backgrounds. This crisis will have a disproportionate impact on young people and their prospects in the future. The EY Foundation worked with its Youth Advisory Board to create a digital space to replace its usual face to face support - with mental health, exams and job prospects top of the list of concerns. Online content including employer webinars, career advice, interview skills and life at university were made available to help. This initiative is important to help young people who otherwise might be feeling isolated and anxious and give them a platform to share their concerns and access information and advice about their future work and career options.

IBM | Outreach programmes

IBM believes that progress in social justice and racial equality will come through education, skills and jobs. In 2019 IBM UK partnered with two schools and one college in Leeds to launch the country’s first Pathways in Technology (P-TECH) programme, an inclusive approach to secondary school education established by IBM to prepare future workers with the skillsets needed to be successful. This seeks to address, amongst other issues, low Black representation in the technology industry. In the UK, BAME mentors and guest speakers support the initiative. This programme has globally trained 100,000 students across 18 countries.

Specifically designed for students ages 14-20, initiatives like the P-TECH model show businesses are stepping up and equipping young people with the necessary skills to prepare them for the modern world. Many of these entry-level careers, such as those in areas like cloud computing, cybersecurity and digital design, do not necessarily require a full degree. Apprenticeships and innovative school models like P-TECH, that combine second and tertiary education with applied workplace skills, are proving to be an alternative progression route either into such careers or into university. These routes are often more inclusive, expanding both education and economic opportunity.

The P-TECH programme very deliberately seeks to promote social inclusion by focusing on students from minority backgrounds. Creating opportunity at the educational level and creating experiences for students from underrepresented communities provides a bridge to employment. IBM is trying to create more open and equitable pathways for all, regardless of background, to acquire the skills and training that leads to good jobs.

TikTok | Business in the community

TikTok has launched Black History, Black Present, Black Future – an employee-led campaign built by the Black community for the Black community. This was a grassroots campaign built to educate users, employees, and partners on Black history in the UK, inspire creativity and celebrate Black people and Black culture. Their #MyRoots campaign appeared across billboards and the internet, telling the stories of Creators and Artists as they celebrate their Afro-Caribbean roots. TikTok have also encouraged users to talk about their own diverse roots, culture and heritage by posting videos under #MyRoots - reaching 150 million combined views so far. TikTok Lives is a series on the platform to help bring key conversations in the Black community to the forefront, told by those who are leaders in their own right. Over 75,000 people have tuned in to watch these important discussions.

BAE Systems | Apprentice recruitment

BAE Systems’ focus on diversity and inclusion helps them find the best people, engage with them and develop their skills, and assist them in building a successful long-term career with the company. In 2020, BAE has pushed forward with plans to recruit 800 new apprentices, the same intake as 2019, despite defence budget cuts and the coronavirus pandemic. The 800 apprentices have been selected from more than 9,000 applicants and almost three-quarters of them will be based in the North of England. In 2018, BAE Systems employed an above-sector average of 26.3% of apprentices. 28% of graduates and 3.7% of apprentices were female, 23% of graduates were from BAME backgrounds and 15% of apprentices had a disability or learning need. In 2017, 29% of the cohorts came from the 20 poorest wards in England. BAE is working to get BAME representation to a level on par with the population make-up.

Intel | A company’s stance on D&I is almost as important as pay when choosing between job offers

This year Intel commissioned research that found a majority of Gen Z — those aged 18 to 24 — in the UK would be hesitant to take a job from a company that does not have diverse representation in senior leadership roles. In choosing between competing job offers, a company’s stance on diversity and inclusivity is almost as important as the pay offered.

As they work to become more diverse and inclusive, businesses in the UK need to recognise the shift in mindsets that will follow Gen Z into the mainstream workforce. For this rising generation, values and ethics are on a par with financial reward. The UK tech sector is growing at a remarkable rate; this growth also presents significant challenges in terms of accessing and empowering a skilled and diverse pool of talent. Large technology corporations are part of the diversity deficiency, and we collectively have work to do.

When it comes to inclusion, as part of Intel’s 2030 goals, the company is working towards achieving the following:

  • Double the number of women and underrepresented minorities in senior leadership roles
  • Exceed 40% representation of women in technical positions
  • Ensure that inclusive leadership practices and accountability are embedded in our culture globally by creating and adopting an inclusive leader certification program

Attraction and recruitment (fishing in diverse ponds)

Companies must reflect and reach out to attract BAME talent and overcome bias in the recruitment process.

The UK’s tech sector, prior to the pandemic, was growing at six times the rate of the wider economy. Even now, during a global pandemic, there are over 90,000 new job vacancies per week in digital in the UK being advertised. The sector is hungry for talent in order to continue to grow.

How can we ensure we are attracting and recruiting from the widest possible talent pools?

Cisco | Recruiting with support from BAME talent agencies/job boards

As part of their strategy to provide more opportunities to Black talent, Cisco’s EMEAR University Recruitment have partnered with Black Young Professionals to focus on engaging further with those early in their career. Cisco have joined the Black Young Professional Network to advertise roles to broader, more diverse candidate lists. The Network job board focuses exclusively on Black talent because specialist organisations and services are needed to improve diversity across the board.

This year the recruitment for their Degree Apprenticeship Scheme is targeting schools with a high representation of Black students. Cisco makes contact with the careers service at the school, building a calendar of 'virtual' visits to explain the programme, and offering mentoring by an existing Cisco apprentice on things like CV writing and interviewing skills so they have the best chance of succeeding in the recruitment process. The company’s current cohort of Black apprentices said how impactful it was to have the involvement of Black Cisco employees, so this year they are supported by Connected Black Professional members during the recruitment process and events.

Advanced | Removing bias in recruitment

Advanced is renowned for its innovative recruitment process, which seeks to eradicate bias – unconscious or otherwise – when hiring. It is easy to make symbolic gestures and say the right thing, but Advanced want to get to the heart of the matter and make systematic change. By using this process, they are creating a team of individuals who are selected purely on merit, aptitude and potential - bringing powerful teamwork, ingenious problem solving and creative solutions to their business.

In Advanced’s recruitment, they use tools that give them additional insight into intellect using two tests which assess and profile the candidate. They assess aptitude and attitude but also profile a candidate for specific functions against the common characteristics required for roles in sales, support, marketing, finance. This helps to identify behaviour patterns and intelligence that they know make people suitable for different role types at the organisation – regardless of their background and previous experience.

Advanced’s management fundamentals training, which 750 managers have already completed, dedicates a whole day to the idea that everyone has bias - even if they are unaware of it. They provide tools to help managers understand this, and to support them in making appropriate decisions going forward.

Fujitsu | Testing aligned to real experiences

Fujitsu is committed to nurturing diverse talent across all levels of the organisation and creating a high-performing workplace culture. They have found that better diversity leads to a 50% increase in employee engagement and are 83% more likely to develop innovative solutions for customers.

Fujitsu focused on the ethnic diversity of their graduate scheme and found that in 2013 it was not representative of their customers or the communities they work in. In 2013, they found that 40% of BAME people were not completing the online assessment tests. Research tells us that the attainment gap between BAME students and white students achieving a 2:1 or above in university is 16%. To make the graduate recruitment process more ethnically diverse, Fujitsu has amended the assessment process of their graduate programme to include a new bespoke situational judgement test which aligns to real graduate experiences. This would help overcome the high drop-out rates of BAME candidates.

They also trained all graduate assessors in unconscious bias which is repeated each year. This is a two-hour recruitment special and includes how personal characteristics such as someone’s ethnicity can impact hiring decisions. This is delivered just before graduate assessments to ensure it is still fresh in assessor’s minds—they know this works because during the assessment centres they have heard assessors checking each others bias. The results were that in 2018, 28% of their graduate cohort came from a BAME background, an increase from 13% in 2016. Furthermore, 91% of BAME applicants completed their online assessment tests meaning they had more BAME candidates at the interview stage.

FDM | Working with key partners

FDM works with key university partners and recruit throughout the year to provide springboard opportunities for tech talent at the start of their career. Their attraction and recruitment strategy is based on identifying attitude, aptitude and potential with entirely strengths-based interviewing and a dedicated recruiter throughout the process. They monitor the success of candidates throughout the process to identify and remove potential barriers and to ensure their approach to inclusion continues to evolve.

In 2021, FDM will be further developing the partnerships with universities and looking at better ways to work with societies on all aspects relating to equality, inclusion and intersectionality. This approach results in above average representation across many areas of diversity, including ethnicity, in comparison to economically active populations, which they report on an annual basis. In 2019, of those who completed an equal opportunities form 53% of the graduate Consultant intake identified as BAME.

Vodafone | Role Models (If you can’t see it, you can’t be it)

CIPD outlined that a lack of role models can inhibit the professional development of BAME talent. Unless a group of people get to see people like them at the top of organisations, there is less belief among that group that it is achievable. Role models are fundamental to inspire the next generation.

Kathy Quashie, Vodafone’s Head of Partnership and Alliances, has been named in EMpower’s Ethnic Minority Role Model List for 2020 in recognition of her professional achievements and her tireless championing of ethnic minority people inside and outside the workplace. The EMpower 100 Ethnic Minority Future Leaders list celebrates inspirational people of colour who are not senior in their organisations but are making a significant contribution to ethnic minority people at work.

Outside Vodafone, Kathy has been a key member of ‘women in tech’ programmes, as well as coaching and mentoring people from other companies. She has also supported discussion panels for the Black British Business Awards and International Women’s Day #BalanceforBetter initiative, as well as teaching young adults how to interview for jobs. She also co-chairs Vodafone’s Multicultural Inclusion Network.

Now, more than ever, giving a platform and space to voices from marginalised communities, and visibility to their leaders, are fundamentally important to driving change.

Retention (getting workplace culture right)

Companies need to build a culture that aligns with people’s values.

According to research by LinkedIn, the top reason why people left their old job was because they were concerned about the lack of opportunities for advancement. Clarity and direction are also key to retaining tech talent. As a technology leader, it is in your company’s interest to provide your workforce with career growth.

It’s also about getting the workplace culture right. Our work and personal lives have merged almost instantaneously amidst a global pandemic. To maintain a diverse and inclusive workforce, senior leadership teams need to understand their workforce, both in terms of their development requirements and requirements outside of work – maternity and paternity leave and flexible working around home school and care commitments for example. To best understand these needs, future leadership must be composed of people from all walks of life, with different gender, ethnic and sexual identities. Successful future leadership must invest, listen to, and represent their workforce.

How can companies retain their tech talent?

Deloitte | Ensuring equity of performance management and pay

Deloitte responded to the Black Lives Matter movement by hosting a series of listening sessions for its people across all parts of the firm. These sessions included hearing from and understanding the experiences of Black colleagues. A firmwide working group was formed to work closely with the leadership and develop a Black Action Plan which includes five key commitments aligned to the firm’s global shared values of fostering inclusion and taking care of each other.

From this, the company committed to measuring and reporting on targets and outcomes: Deloitte is committing to 12% of ethnic minority and 3% of Black partners by 2025 and has voluntarily been measuring and reporting on ethnicity pay gap since 2017.

CGI | People Analytics

CGI had a series of listening sessions with their staff over the summer of 2020 and agreed to produce a BAME pay gap report in the same format as for the gender pay gap. This has driven updates to HR systems and a campaign to voluntarily gather the necessary data against the government definitions and CGI will produce their first report this month. This will drive action plans in the same way that they found the gender pay gap report has driven action. The intention is to publish externally both pay gaps together from next year.

Spotlight on Ethnicity Pay reporting

techUK welcomes the UK Government’s efforts to promote greater diversity whether through support for initiatives such as the Tech Talent Charter to help measure diversity or gender pay gap reporting. Ethnicity pay gap reporting could be another tool to help increase diversity. Shedding a light on disparities where they exist is the first step to understanding the problem and raising awareness of an issue. However, tech companies know how important good data is in driving decisions and encouraging change and there are some real challenges that will need to be addressed to ensure that ethnicity pay gap reporting leads to the generation of good, accurate and actionable data.

Whilst transparency can aid understanding, it must be rooted in robust data that can paint an accurate picture. Developing a model for mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting that generates robust and actionable data will be difficult. It is essential that time and care is taken to create a system that works and overcomes challenges companies faced initially with gender pay gap reporting. Getting it wrong would not only produce misleading data but could lead to the development of misguided action plans and negative unintended consequences.

Collecting, analysing, and reporting ethnicity pay gaps is an important first step for an organisation but reporting on its own will not drive change. As techUK’s work on gender pay reporting shows while the numbers stated in the report are obviously important, to have truly effective reporting companies should take the opportunity to create a narrative. Explain what has contributed to your pay disparities and other extenuating factors which may impact your final numbers, for example the demographic of the pipeline of talent into the sector and what is being done to remedy this. In doing so organisations can be more action oriented. They can gain a better understanding of what their workforce looks like and whether they are reaching out to and benefiting from the diverse talent pool in their local communities.

Read techUK’s submission to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Race Disparity Unit on Ethnicity Pay reporting consultation in January 2019. A number of techUK members voluntarily publish their ethnicity pay gaps including: Baker McKenzie, EY, Deloitte, KPMG, PwC and more.

BT Group | Accelerating diversity within

BT Group already have bold and ambitious plans and they continue to support each of their ten diversity networks across the organisation. However, they plan to go further, faster to implement a plan that captures the energy of the current wave of protest and debate and challenges all of us to be better. Designed to kick-off decisive action throughout BT Group, the plan is deliberately selective to ensure that they move fast and deliver meaningfully – and they understand it’s not a statement of everything that needs to be done to tackle systemic discrimination.

BT intend to create a new fast-stream for high potential people from ethnic minority backgrounds, all of whom will be personally mentored by one of their Senior Leadership Team. They will also have diverse shortlists for every senior management role and will introduce a new programme of mandatory race awareness training for everyone in the company. It will be immersive, offer guidance, champion diversity and it will support managers to tackle these critical issues.

FDM Group - Employee voice & safe spaces

More than ever it is time for the people at the top to start by simply listening. After the initial Black Lives Matter protests, LEAD (Leading, Educating and Aspiring Diversity) network, FDM’s employee network representing and celebrating FDM’s BAME community, organised a virtual webinar to explain the significance of the Black Lives Matter movement. It also provided Black employees the opportunity to voice their daily experiences and communicate their story. Hundreds of employees tuned in to what was a very moving and empowering event, and it gave those in the LEAD network a chance to really be heard. The focus of the network has been on employee voice, education/raising awareness and wellbeing with different initiatives that are employee led and global, where possible, in nature.

Development (developing diversity/climbing the ladder)

Progression of those from an ethnic minority background to senior positions is low.

Inclusive Boards research has found that 75% of Boards in the tech sector had no BAME members and that BAME people made up just 8.5% of senior leaders (directors and executives) in the sector. BAME IT professionals are also less likely to be in positions of responsibility than those of white ethnicity according to research by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. The boardrooms of Britain’s leading companies currently do not reflect the ethnic diversity of either the UK or their key stakeholders that are critical to success of their businesses. Leadership has a role in changing this and, to do this, those leading this change need to be supported.

How can we develop talent in our organisations?

Accenture | Career progression strategies

Accenture are actively mentoring, coaching and sponsoring the career progression of their African and Caribbean colleagues across all career levels through the introduction of a Sponsorship programme to provide additional support to their African & Caribbean community to enable career growth and build a progression pipeline. This will have regular touchpoints through career counsellor networks and sponsors to ensure individuals have the right role, right project and right client to align with their career aspirations. Accenture also plan to complete reviews on a 6 monthly basis of all employees to consider suitability for promotion and to ensure additional performance support can be introduced if required, and have launched Thrive Guide events through their Graduate African & Caribbean Network to provide guidance on how to navigate difficult situations or conversations individuals may encounter in the workplace.

During Accenture’s 2019 Black History Month event six of their people took to the stage to tell their personal stories about what being Black meant to them. These films are part of Black Is, a six-film series where their people tell their stories at this crucial time. Through Black Is, members of Accenture’s African and Caribbean Network have teamed up with Black filmmakers, animators and crew from the creative industry to capture their experiences. Each film conveys the uniqueness of their individual spirit and backgrounds while illuminating moments that unite us all.

Oracle | Network building & reverse mentoring

Oracle’s Cultural Harmony Network launched in Oracle UK in October 2019 and already has 290 members passionate about wider representation who all want to play a part in creating a workplace reflective of a diverse society. This Network is committed to bringing people together by promoting the benefits of cultural diversity, reducing discrimination, and addressing cultural misconceptions in the pursuit of all things equality; to celebrate the differences that makes us all the same. Born of the BAME initiative and their commitment to Race Equity and Cultural Diversity, Oracle ensures that all cultural backgrounds and ethnicity are welcome to discuss and push for wider representation for all.

They have partnered with Business In the Community to help get the network up and running and learn best practices from other organisations succeeding in this area. As part of developing inclusive culture within Oracle, they are supported at Country Leadership Level by their Country Leader and Senior Vice President for Technology at Oracle.

Oracle are also currently piloting their Reverse Mentoring program where members from their BAME demographic of employees will mentor senior managers to share and highlight their professional and personal experiences. The mentee (managers) will benefit from having greater cultural understanding of differences, the impact this has on their employees and a greater sense of awareness of sensitive aspects when it comes to developing the organisations culture of inclusivity.

This also leads to greater dialogue when it comes to conversation on Diversity in the workplace and greater considerations regarding employee engagements.

Atos | Sponsorship Programme

The Together Network, Atos’ multi-cultural diversity network, is proud to launch their first sponsorship program, ‘Pathway: A Future Leaders Program’. The network strives to ensure that every single employee, regardless of their cultural background or beliefs, can thrive and reach their full potential. The program will identify Atos employees with high potential from a BAME background and pair them with senior leaders, creating a sponsorship relationship. The sponsor will act as a mentor, providing direction and support to promote the employees’ skills within Atos.

The pilot program will run for six months, with an ambition of leading to a wider reaching programme in the future, across all networks. The mentoring programme for BAME employees pairs employees from multi-cultural backgrounds with senior employees in the business with the aim to support and champion their careers. Employees get the opportunity to network whilst also learning from the experience of people in more senior positions. This allows them to build confidence to apply for new roles and progress within the business. In the past Atos have also run a hugely successful reverse mentoring programme, where their executive team are paired with a junior BAME employee so they can learn about the lived experiences of people from minority ethnic backgrounds. This in turn has supported Atos executives understanding and commitment to ensuring equity at all levels in the business.

Atos' Allies programme allows all employees in the UK&I to boost their involvement in D&I activities. Allies sign up to the programme and commit to stand for inclusion and equality, rejecting discrimination or prejudices and supporting each other as colleagues and valued members of the Atos family. To support the programme the Together Network is developing a series of resources to support allies in their learning around anti-racism, including an anti-racist toolkit and a webinar on how to be an ally to people from different backgrounds.

Further actions for companies

Whilst this report has provided an overview of key actions that companies can take to foster diversity and inclusion, techUK would like to further highlight the work and initiatives of organisations dedicated to challenging the status quo and aiming to progress ethnic diversity in tech which you as an individual or organisation can support. This catalogue of good practice is a guide to what the industry is doing and is only the beginning of a conversation, not the end, which we hope to add to and expand as more members and partners get involved.


Founded in 2016, Colorintech was started with the belief that a more inclusive tech industry is better for products, innovation, and employees and leads to a larger generational impact when it comes to wealth creation and closing opportunity gaps.

Feeling frustrated with being one of a few Black individuals in tech, Silicon Valley tech executive Dion McKenzie and ex-Googler Ashleigh Ainsley teamed up to create a non-profit that would help to increase the number of ethnic minorities entering the UK tech workforce and inspire thousands of past and future leaders to join the movement.

Colorintech has been focused on one mission - to make Europe the most inclusive tech hub in the world. They do this by building programs that create access to some of the world’s most innovative companies for ethnic minorities. They have 30k people in their community and 1200 graduates from programs that support people throughout their career from students to entrepreneurs to experienced professionals. Colorintech has fostered a community that allows people to support each other, build a network and access opportunities in tech. Find out more.

Tech Talent Charter

The Tech Talent Charter (TTC) is a commitment by organisations to a set of undertakings that aim to deliver greater diversity in the UK’s tech workforce. Signatories of the charter make a number of pledges in relation to their approach to the recruitment, promotion and retention of a diverse workforce. Although it is very much an employer-led initiative, the TTC is supported by the UK Government's Digital Strategy.

Importantly, the Charter states that all signatories must provide data on their own workforce each year so that we can measure success and make more impactful, measurable changes as an industry for the future. The TTC now has over 460 members. techUK is a strategic partner of the TTC and a founding signatory. Becoming a Signatory of the TTC is free, find out more here.

ADB Support Foundation

The ADB Support Foundation is a charitable organisation founded by Eunice Olumide to eradicate the economic and social disparities suffered by the African Diaspora living in Lambeth, London.

Despite significant historical contributions they continue to be one of the most marginalised groups within the United Kingdom. As such we need to ensure that this community, who helped to build and shape our nation, are given the necessary opportunities to achieve economic independence and excellence.

The ADB Support Foundation is tackling this head on by providing Black entrepreneurs with much-needed human, intellectual, physical, financial and technological resources.

“It’s about giving those who know what’s best for themselves and their community the capacity to capitalise on their skills and ingenuity and help their whole community flourish.” Eunice Olumide.

Currently, Afro-Caribbean ownership is hugely underrepresented. 9% of small businesses in Lambeth are owned by Black entrepreneurs, yet that same group makes up 30% of the population. But entrepreneurs like Stella and Patrick are bucking the trend and championing positive change in their communities through business, despite the setbacks they face. See their incredible stories here.

What’s more, the recent pandemic has shone a light on the extent of the problem. The Black community are at greater risk of being infected and dying from COVID-19. But more precisely it has exacerbated the impact of existing pressures, such as gentrification and lack of resources and support. As a result, the viability of the few Black enterprises that do exist – pillars in the community – are under serious economic threat, further impacting their mental health and wellbeing.

In response to this, ADBSF has partnered with online healthcare service Doctor Care Anywhere to support our entrepreneurs and their businesses throughout this pandemic and beyond. But we need more support from companies like them who can offer their services, products or the financing to keep these communal lifelines running and flourishing. Without it, disparities are sure to increase. Find out how you can help.

YSYS Community Advocates

The UK start-up ecosystem needs to do more to support diverse communities; fewer than 24% of VCs are from ethnic backgrounds, only 1p of every pound invested goes to female founders and over 48% of diverse founders are ineligible for government grants. However, over the past three years, YSYS have provided access to opportunities in tech for over 10,000 diverse individuals through their employment and entrepreneurial programmes. This has been made possible by the collective effort of their team, partners, members, and allies, who have been committed to campaigning against the exclusion of diverse communities within the start-up ecosystem.

YSYS Community Advocates are launching the #KnowYourData campaign calling on the UK start-up and VC ecosystem to commit to collecting diversity data of their employees and investees. Alongside the campaign they have curated a Diversity Data Centre with resources, templates and a list of commitments which organisations can hold themselves accountable to. The #KnowYourData Campaign is about bringing communities together to help all those who have position, privilege, and societal equity and really want to be part of the change be able to move past empty gestures and contribute towards a baseline understanding of the true state of diversity and inclusion in their ecosystems.


UKBlackTech is an innovation group that is on a mission to make the UK the most ethnically diverse tech ecosystem in the world. To make this happen we need to see equity, transparency and representation at decision making level in tech. Their 100 year plan aims to showcase tech professionals & digital businesses in mainstream media and events, help individuals and digital businesses to become self-sustainable through long term growth & consistency, build a community that collaborates, partners and shares resources, and to increase the numbers of BAME people at all levels in tech.

Race at Work Charter

The Race at Work Charter is designed to foster a public commitment to improving outcomes of BAME employees in the workplace. It consists of five principles to ensure organisations address the barriers to BAME recruitment and progression. Organisations that sign up to the charter are publicly committing to:

1. Appoint an Executive Sponsor for race

Executive Sponsors for race provide visible leadership on race and ethnicity in their organisation and can drive actions such as setting targets for ethnic minority representation, briefing recruitment agencies and supporting mentoring and sponsorship.

2. Capture ethnicity data and publicise progress

Capturing ethnicity data is important for establishing a baseline and measuring progress. It is a crucial step towards an organisation reporting on ethnicity pay differentials.

3. Commit at board level to zero tolerance of harassment and bullying

The Race at Work Survey revealed that 25% of ethnic minority employees reported that they had witnessed or experienced racial harassment or bullying from managers. Commitment from the top is needed to achieve change.

4. Make clear that supporting equality in the workplace is the responsibility of all leaders and managers

Actions can include ensuring that performance objectives for leaders and managers cover their responsibilities to support fairness for all staff.

5. Take action that supports ethnic minority career progression

Actions can include embedding mentoring, reverse mentoring and sponsorship in their organisations.