Majority of ethnic minority tech workers experience prejudice, report finds

tech minority Image credit: Jacob Lund via Shutterstock

A government-backed report has revealed an alarming prevalence of ethnic minority discrimination in the tech sector.

According to new research, backed by the UK’s tech department, 61% of ethnic minorities in the UK tech sector said they have experienced discrimination in the last 24 months.

The report also found that 79% of minority ethnic workers in tech believe they had been offered a lower salary than they had expected.

“It’s my mission to ensure the exciting careers on offer in our thriving tech industry are available to everyone, no matter their background,” said Paul Scully, parliamentary under-secretary of state for tech and the digital economy.

The research has supported the development of a business toolkit that aims to improve the opportunities for a diverse tech workforce. The Department for Science Innovation and Technology (DSIT)-commissioned toolkit was unveiled at the Colorintech event in London.

“I strongly encourage tech businesses to use this toolkit to help them attract and retain a diverse range of tech talent which will generate innovation and benefits for all,” added Scully.

Ashleigh Ainsley, co-founder of talent network Colorintech, said: “This is a truly groundbreaking moment where we’re able to present the first research of its kind, commissioned by the DSIT, that looks into how to enable better pathways for ethnic minorities in tech.”

The research findings have prompted suggestions including greater pay transparency through salary banding, tackling prejudice when it is seen in the workplace, and encouraging supportive relationships with line managers.

“Creating a more diverse and inclusive tech workforce starts with recognising and addressing the barriers that prevent ethnic minorities from entering and thriving in the industry,” added Ainsley.

“Importantly we need to equip corporations to do so with actionable recommendations. It’s not just about ticking boxes for diversity – it’s about unlocking the untapped potential and talent that exists in every town and city.”