Black developers tell how the UK tech industry could do better

InfoWorld UK speaks to two Black British software developers about their experience in the industry and how it could do better on diversity and inclusion.

A weary businessman holds hand to forehead at his laptop, surrounded by abstract security concepts.
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As the Black Lives Matter protests and subsequent racial justice movement continue to shine a spotlight on the lack of diversity and inclusion in all corners of society, just how representative is the small but influential software developer community?

There is a distinct lack of statistics at the engineer level of the industry, but the broader picture is shocking, even by the tech industry’s low standards.

In London, the UK’s biggest tech hub, only three percent of technology workers identify as Black, according to data compiled by recruitment firm Hired for its UK Tech Workplace Equality Report. London’s overall population is 13 percent Black/African/Caribbean British, according to the latest census data.

In the startup community, where many software developers get their start, it is a similar story. Atomico’s 2019 State of D&I in Europe report showed 84 percent of all European founders identified as White/Caucasian and less than one percent self-identified as Black/African/Caribbean.

Furthermore, 80 percent of all respondents said they had experienced a form of discrimination in the past 12 months while working in the European tech industry and those who self-identified as Black/African/Caribbean reported they had experienced discrimination on the basis of their ethnicity.

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