‘Black Lives Matter’ (BLM) is a decentralised political and social movement protesting against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against black people. This movement was highlighted with the murder of George Floyd in 2020. However, it seems not to be long-lived as 53 per cent of London’s black tech workers feel that the incident hasn’t inspired enough tech companies to take meaningful action around diversity and inclusion.
This has been concluded by a new research by Tech London Advocates, the independent network of 10,000 tech leaders, experts and investors alongside UKBlackTech and the TLA Black Women in Tech Working Group.
Whilst career progression opportunities, salary and training remain the three most important factors for black tech professionals when deciding on a new job, 61 per cent and 57 per cent of the respondents identified diverse representation at senior level and equal opportunities as two deciding factors for choosing an employer. Most importantly, black tech workers think diversity of executive boards requires urgent focus.
As per the respondents, Google, Microsoft and Facebook are the three companies that demonstrated best practice in terms of creating a diverse workforce and culture. Also, Accenture is the highest ranking British business to follow the best workplace culture and diversity.
On the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, UKTN has listed 10 black women who are inspiring other aspirational women to break the stereotypes that exist in the UK tech world.
Flavilla Fongang — Founder of 3 Colours Rule and TLA Black Women in Tech
Flavilla is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of 3 Colours Rule, an award-winning branding and marketing agency. Awarded the ‘She’s Mercedes’ businesswoman award by Mercedes Benz, Flavilla is a respected brand strategist with neuroscience expertise. Also, she is the creator of the ‘Go Beyond’ marketing strategy. Flavilla is the chosen brand advisor for BBC and provides regularly actionable brand strategy advice on TV. She hosts Tech Brains Talk podcast providing insights and advice to entrepreneurs and companies.
Flavilla Fongang, commented, “It isn’t surprising that the most successful tech companies have also been identified as the top companies to showcase best practices to create a diverse workforce and culture. They understand the relevance and importance of diversity at all levels and their success speaks for themselves. Unfortunately, it will take more than the death of George Floyd for other tech companies to live outside their bubble and take the uncomfortable actions required to create an environment that benefits us all. It is maybe time to implement better measures to guide tech companies to act better.”
Adanna Igbokwe — Solutions Engineer at Zoom Video Communications
Adanna is an experienced IT professional specialising in providing solutions in video conferencing and TelePresence. She has experience working as a Technical Consultant for Dell and a Consulting Systems Engineer for Cisco, where she addressed customer issues and provided technical expertise helping partners to evaluate opportunities. Currently, she works as a Solutions Engineer at Zoom.
Penny Ezechie — Product Owner at Deutsche Bank
Penny Ezechie is involved in SDLC Governance Monitoring and Control in Cloud and Platform Technology at Deutsche Bank. With over 20 years of experience in Technology in Banking and Finance, with expertise in Service Delivery, Programme Management and IT Transformation, she is a champion for female and black representation in tech. Penny is committed to creating work environments where people can be themselves and feel like they belong, wherever they may be.
Nina Nduwayo — Senior Data Analyst at Station10
Nina Nduwayo is responsible for overseeing project delivery at Station 10, which ranges from data engineering, statistical analysis, application of machine learning solutions, visualisation and delivering training. She engages with clients throughout the project life cycle working together to ensure they get the most value from their data.
Maryjane Betrand — Director of Operations at Uptitek
Maryjane Betrand is a Co-Founder of Uptitek Limited, an indigenous Software Development company. Maryjane joined Uptitek Ltd as pioneer executive director of the company, overseeing the development and provision of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems to different organisations in the UK and Nigeria. Currently, Maryjane is a visiting lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK where she teaches postgraduate students software engineering practice and experience.
Marion Joseph — Programme and Projects Manager at Royal Holloway, University of London
Marion Joseph is a senior project manager on a £1.3M digital transformation programme at Royal Holloway University, set up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Marion’s work focuses on the implementation of tools including applications, plugins and AV equipped spaces to enable teaching, learning and assessment of 11,000 students. She has extensive experience working on platform mobilisation and stabilisation projects as well as application integration projects following mergers and acquisitions.
Chelsea Maffia — Founder of Edtech Startup, Play Morgan Studios
Chelsea Maffia is the CEO and Founder of Play Morgan Studios, an edtech startup specialising in ‘guilt-free’ educational mobile games and app development. She is also the founder of ‘Sound the Alarm Foundation’, which is a company working to improve the safety of schoolchildren – and studied Business Management at the University of Greenwich.
Denise Lashlley — Senior Front End Developer at ShowX
Jessie Auguste — Software Engineer at CybSafe
Jessie Auguste with over two years of experience at CybSafe, currently works as a Software Engineer. She also volunteers for Coding Black Females – where she leads on events and marketing – and has a Psychology degree from Sheffield University.
Dionne Condor-Farrell — Agile Development Lead, TfL
Dionne Condor-Farrell is a Senior Developer at TfL with a specialisation in Java development and open source technologies. She has developed Java API services for the TfL Oyster project, which keeps the application in sync with the Oyster Online web application. In July 2018, Dionne transitioned into Android App development, creating mobile apps including the TfL Go app. Dionne is passionate about improving diversity in tech, in particular, encouraging more women and people from BAME backgrounds to get into tech and retraining them.