PwC partners with UK Black Tech to bolster diversity in technology

08 November 2018 4 min. read

In order to encourage greater diversity in the technology sector, PwC and UKBlackTech have joined forces to host Tech Insight and networking events across the UK. The series of meetings are part of a drive by the duo to inspire more young people from a range of backgrounds to pursue careers in technology.

As the UK braces for an uncertain economic period, with slow growth, sluggish productivity and the culmination of Brexit making for the perfect storm in coming months, businesses and the Government are hedging their bets on the technology sector as a cure-all for a turbulent future. The UK currently holds a leading position as a top technology hub in the EU, however a skills gap and an ageing population mean action must be taken to encourage more young people toward the sector, from a more diverse range of backgrounds.

In order to ensure a steady supply of digitally savvy labour entering the UK workforce, the Management Consultancies Association called on the Government to prioritise an “education arms race” in the coming years with new funding and resources. To that end, the British Government has since pledged an injection of £2.3 billion in private investment to boost AI talent, including the creation of over 1,600 jobs, and a Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, but more still needs to be done, as representation of women and minorities in the sector still remains sub-par, potentially wasting millions of pounds worth of talent.

Founded in 2016 by a group of technology leaders passionate about increasing black and ethnic representation in  the UK technology industry, UKBlackTech states that its mission is to build an inclusive tech economy which leads to better access, service and results for all. The group helps universities and tech companies connect graduate talent to the tech sector, as well as offering consulting work to digital businesses in strategy, marketing and funding, among other services.

PwC partners with UK Black Tech to bolster diversity in technology

The group has partnered with Big Four professional services giant PwC to host a series of Tech Insight and networking events across the country. The interactive events are open to all, and aim to give attendees real life examples of how technology is key to future business growth. The aim is to inspire young people by giving them access to role models already working in technology, and an opportunity to discuss career opportunities in the sector.

The partnership will see PwC mentor UKBlackTech, advising them on ways to grow their organisation and reach, while allowing the group to use PwC’s existing regional schools network to run a range of digital and business skills workshops with young people across the UK. PwC has a number of other initiatives aimed at widening the future talent pool in technology, including Tech Degree apprenticeships in five cities across the UK and the Tech She Can Charter.

Commenting on the alliance, Sunil Patel, Chief Operating Officer, Technology & Investments at PwC, said, “Improving diversity in the tech sector is a no brainer… Technology is already central in driving change across all industries and, in order to think differently and thrive, companies need to have the best talent at their table. This means people of all backgrounds - diversity drives innovation. In order to improve the diversity of people working in technology, businesses have a responsibility to ensure opportunities are available for all.”

Mark Martin, Founder at UK Black Tech, added, “We want to be the agent of change for our future generation and ensure that tech products, services and companies reflect us all. We are positioned perfectly to make this happen because of the connections we have across the sector. This partnership will be the start of something great and we look forward to travelling around the UK to teach, inspire and connect communities to the digital skills and digital jobs available on their doorstep.”