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The Lack of BAME in TechIsn’t it strange that the percentage of BAME employees in the British techindustry is not known? It can only be estimated by the British ComputerSociety that it stands at 1-2%. With the tech industry growing so rapidly andbeing the largest sector to contribute to the economy, you’d think it wouldbegin to mirror the people it serves. Even Teresa May has stated that peoplewho work in the tech industry are ‘at the forefront of a great British successstory’, however, women and people from a BAME background are yet to have astory.The lack of BAME in tech can be down to reasons in which we have no controlover, but tech companies do. It is frequent that when tech companies do hireindividuals from a BAME background, they struggle to retain them. Workcultures and stereotyping are the main reasons why people leave the industryalong with pay and unequal opportunities. Since it has become apparent thatcompanies with more than 250 employees will need to reveal their gender paygap, it has been discovered that there is a significant pay gap between ethnicminority and white employees. PwC have revealed that they pay their ethnicdiverse employees 13% less than other workers in the country. Using the samemethod that the government have provided for the gender pay gap, PwC havecalculated that the BAME pay gap is 12.8% and the BAME bonus gap is 35.4%.Although they claim that their pay gap is driven by the fact there are morenon BAME staff in senior positions, the figures are still disappointing.Many companies aren’t making diversity a priority, they just effectively hirequickly and then struggle to retain. Research has also shown that there is alack of people from a BAME background in UK tech boardrooms. Only 4 placeswere filled by individuals from a BAME background out of 152 board positionssurveyed in 16 of the UKS top tech companies. It is believed that to resolvethe diversity problem in tech we need to take a bottom up approach and promotetechnology to those who are still in school. Although this is true and canhave an impact on the tech industry’s future, it can also be beneficial tolook at those who are in senior positions. It will be valuable for techcompanies to implement strategies that will help increase BAME employees atsenior levels to resolve the diversity issue.There are existing initiatives that highlight the desire and need to createnetworks for those who are not represented in the tech sector such as AfrotechFest and UK Black Tech. These diversity initiatives are designed to help thosefrom a BAME background have access to the tech sector and provide supportiveinformation. The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has also launched a digitaltalent programme to inspire BAME Londoners to get into technology. Theinitiative provides free digital skills training in sectors such as code, webdevelopment etc. and provides funding for projects around London which solelyfocus on STEM subjects. Another large and new diversity initiative, OneTech,has been created by Capital enterprise and JP Morgan Chase Foundation to helpimprove the diversity of London tech scene. The programme will providementorships for founders by matching them with entrepreneurs to give advice onhow to get early stage funding. Hopefully they will be able to give those of aBAME background enough courage to go ahead with their tech start up. Their aimis to double the number of female and BAME founders by 2020.