Black Tech Fest: Online event will address diversity in UK tech scene

  • Photo: (c) Pexels

    Over 10,000 people are expected to attend a new digital conference honouring black culture and entrepreneurship within the UK’s business and tech industry.

    Running from 13 – 15 October, Black Tech Fest (BTF) will aim to help black professionals expand their network and celebrate their boldest innovations.

    The event is built around three main pillars:

    C:code - Summit for young people (U25’s) to explore career pathways in tech and finding job opportunities

    Showcase - An awards ceremony celebrating technologists and diversity champions

    Belonging – A flagship conference for mid-to-senior level leaders to explore inclusion through technology

    The conference will host roundtables with government, HR Leaders, and venture capital firms to discuss how the entire tech space can use its collective platforms to drive a wider discussion.

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    Ethnic minorities are likely under-represented in venture capital, according to a report by Diversity VC in July 2019. It is estimated by the British Computer Society that the percentage of black and ethnic minority people working in tech within the UK currently stands at 1-2%, but this is not known for sure.

    The Diversity in Tech website reported that since companies with more than 250 employees now need to reveal their gender pay gap, a significant pay gap between ethnic minority and white employees has been revealed.

    Black Tech Fest will discuss such topics but will also celebrate the diversity in tech that is in place, featuring executives from Microsoft, WPP, Adobe, DeepMind and Box. 

    BTF is being organised by Colorintech, a European nonprofit focused on increasing diversity in tech, and Informa Tech, the FTSE 100 media group which operates events and exhibitions across a range of sectors.

    RELATED: Why is diversity in people and talents needed in tech?

    The event's chairman and founder of Colorintech, Dion McKenzie said: “We created Black Tech Fest as we believe that tech has a huge role in both amplifying systemic issues of inequity but creating new innovations to solve it. Traditionally, initiatives around people of colour tend to be internally focussed rather than using their collective platforms to drive a wider discussion. Black Tech Fest will be a huge opportunity to take this conversation global.”

    Existing initiatives that are presently helping those under-represented in UK’s tech scene include Afrotech Fest, UK Black Tech and OneTech, which has been created by Capital enterprise and JP Morgan Chase Foundation to help improve the diversity of London's tech scene. 

    RELATED: Tech firms criticised for reactions to #BlackLivesMatter movement

    Find out more about Black Tech Fest and register interest in the event here

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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