Progress and innovation in any industry or sector are driven by its leaders. They are the individuals that shape organisational culture, drive sales, and develop their employees. what your boardroom looks like can be inspiring for those just starting in tech.
Why diverse leadership is important
For businesses to grow and succeed, particularly in the digital space, innovation and creative thinking are necessary. There have been multiple studies that measure the relationship between diversity and performance. The business case for diversity in your leadership team It’s strong. Diverse leadership increases the ability to drive change and influence culture.
Who are the main players in the digital space that inspire individuals from underrepresented ethnic groups?
American-born Herb Kim is the founder and CEO of thinking digital Limited. He is behind the thinking digital conference which celebrates innovation in technology Since its launch in 2008. He has also started various Ted X programs throughout the UK aimed at bringing ideas to local communities. Undoubtedly a powerful role model.
Named in the top 1 BAM0 BAME influencers in tech by the FT in 2018 followed by honours of the MBE medal in 2020 for contributions to diversity in tech, Andy is a powerful leader inspiring ethnic minorities in the digital space.
London-born Jackie right relocated to the USA when she was a teenager. She has been an advocate for diversity and technology in the workplace through her roles at BP, General Electric and Anderson consulting. Until recently she was best known as the chief Digital Officer at Microsoft US. In September 2022, McKinsey announced her as their first-ever chief technology and platform officer to lead McKinsey’s overall technology portfolio and strategy.
Muslim Women in Technology was founded in 2016 to offer women opportunities and skills to empower themselves in the digital age. Fiona is the chairperson of this organisation and leads initiatives for economic empowerment and community development. An International Finance practitioner, Fiona Kirubi has networks across Africa, Asia, and Europe.
The influence of the visibility of individuals such as these cannot be understated. Their leadership demonstrates what is possible for younger individuals from the BAME community aspiring to work in tech careers. Great leaders inspire others to change. They demonstrate a deep belief and passion for what they do and this models behaviour that others want to emanate. They encourage and persuade through a combination of positive attitudes, behaviour, and the way that they communicate with those around them.
Seeing inspiring leaders as role models is just one part of the change. A shift in culture alongside an active commitment to implement a diversity recruitment strategy must exist. This must be driven by the leadership team therefore change at the exec level is the first step towards increasing diversity and inclusivity in tech. To innovate and inspire the next generation, employees must see that there is clear career progression and that organisations demonstrate an ongoing commitment to training and investment in their staff.