Racism exists. It’s a fact. It impacts every part of the lives of people affected by it.
As an organisation of influence within our sector, it is our responsibility – and our moral duty – to use our position to campaign for change wherever it is needed.
Fact The average white worker in the US makes 28% more than the average black worker.
In 2014, the major tech players (inc. Google, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft) started publishing diversity reports.
The highest level of representation of black employees was 6% (Apple).
Fast forward to 2018 and there was little sign of real progress. 6% was still the highest level of representation, again at Apple. Facebook and Google saw increases from 1% to 2%, and Microsoft reported an increase in representation of black employees from 2% to 3%.
We see similar trends in the UK.
The British Computer Society estimates that only 1-2% of tech employees are from a BAME background. And only 4 out of 152 board members at 16 of the UK’s top tech companies are filled by individuals from a BAME background.
So …. LET US NOT PRETEND OTHERWISE.
Racism, whether structural, institutional or at an individual level, is a problem in our sector. And it is why there are so few black people in our teams.
This is the uncomfortable truth.
Women in Identity is not just about bringing women together. It is about building a community that can join forces and stand up for the rights of everyone to play an active and valued role in our industry, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, social status, disability or age.
Because diversity ultimately makes us, our products, our industry and our impact… better.
What can we do?
Stand up, be an ally.
It’s not good enough to be silently non-racist.
Now is the time to be actively and vocally anti-racist.
We need to push back against all acts of racism and actively support our black colleagues.
- Educate yourself. There are plenty of great online resources and literature including the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
- Check in on your black colleagues, suppliers, friends and family – don’t assume they are ‘OK’.
- Ask what they need. This isn’t about you and what you can do so be prepared to listen and act only when asked to.
- Challenge those organisations that you follow to speak up about black issues. It isn’t enough to be a silent supporter.
- If you can (and haven’t already) donate to funds supporting those protesting peacefully across the US.
About Karyn Bright
I’ve been working in Tech Marketing & Communications since the 1990s and I absolutely love the way data allows us to tell stories abut the world we live in.
I’m an instinctive collaborator and I love bringing ideas to life through the natural creativity, individual strengths and vision of teams across our sector. Whether it’s a communications campaign to change perception or a product launch to drive revenue, I tend to look at how real people - in all their diverse individuality – will be affected. It’s why I love Women in Identity and its campaign for maximum inclusion. No matter how technologically advanced or sophisticated the solution, at the end of the day there is always a unique human at its heart.