As a young, black woman working in a senior technology role, it would always amaze me that there were no women of colour making important decisions beside me. Having amassed a wealth of experience throughout my career, I now feel I am able to use my experience to help provoke change.
Today, I am a strong advocate for African, Caribbean and Dual Heritage (ACDH) women working in the technology sector, and I am passionate about forming strategic alliances with those who share my vision of supporting people from all backgrounds to further their careers.
In today’s corporate world, requirements for equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) are essential; especially in the technology sector where there is an acute shortage of talent coming through.
Last year, the UK’s technology sector saw vacancies nearly double compared to 2020, which highlights the importance of hiring and investing in talent from diverse backgrounds. Only by nurturing and recruiting people from different cultures can companies truly focus on filling the gaps in diversity.
For over 25 years I have been developing software for use in the UK and across Africa; and for most of that time I have been working within the built environment sector. The company I founded, De Graft Management (DGM), develops property, asset and waste management software that uses Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Internet of Things capabilities. Our clients include financial services, property companies and recycling organisations.
My work in this area led to the company winning a competition called Urban Links Africa, run by Innovate UK and Connected Places Catapult, to apply human centred design techniques to develop waste management software in use in Kenya.
Throughout my software development career, I have never met another black, female colleague in a more senior management role. This situation urgently needs to change as the technology sector continues to miss out on the added value that a diverse senior workforce brings.