Written by: Mica on July 20, 2020
Diversity has been a hot topic lately, with extensive media coverage on how minority groups have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19, particularly the BAME community. The risk of death for black men and women who contract Covid-19 is 1.9 times more likely than white men and women, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The George Floyd murder caused the hashtag #blacklivesmatter to trend worldwide and brought issues of racial equality to the fore. But when these hashtags fade, what are we left with? Is there anything tangible we can progress? How do we keep the sense of urgency and importance generated by the media hype? What can we do as individuals and organisations to keep up the momentum?
Here we outline our pledges as a team and what we’re committing to do long term. We hope it will inspire you to keep Diversity and Inclusion firmly on your agenda too.
Working together to create a more equitable and inclusive society
When you start to consider how to get more diverse people involved in tech, it becomes apparent that there are so many barriers for them. For instance, lack of access to technology and the internet has created huge digital divides during Covid-19 for low-income households. We’re passionate about working together with partners to address these issues, along with ensuring that our programmes are accessible to all, regardless of background or identity.
You can read more about our exploration of diversity over the past few years on our website. Over the past four years we’ve worked with girls from a broad range of backgrounds; including families who are asylum seekers, looked after children, girls in faith schools and girls who identify as non-binary, trans or queer. Our first online cohort was 100% BAME.
We’ve also created some long lasting partnerships with organisations to make our programmes more accessible for all, some of these include:
North Coders – We’ve partnered with them for over 2 years to give bursary places to women that would not otherwise be able to afford a place on their bootcamp. Luisa was our first recipient of this, you can read her story here.
Princes Trust – A partnership that enables us to support young people aged 13-16 to access our online programme, by providing them with devices and dongles. You can also access our free resource on other organisations providing devices here.
Chayn – A BAME led and female-founded organisation which supports women going through domestic abuse, we pledge to donate a percentage of all of our corporate membership revenue to support their cause. Read more about our InnovateHer online here.
Our pledges following #BLM
The InnovateHer team have been exploring and discussing racism over the past few weeks, sharing our experiences as well as confronting our own privilege. Education and learning is core to our business and one of our values is curiosity. So we are all committed to build learning about black heritage and other ethnicities into our everyday lives, both personally and professionally, one step at a time.
As a team we pledge:
What can you do?
If you’re an organisation, it has never been more important to consider your diversity and inclusion efforts in light of the widening gap across all these minority groups. It’s time to redress the balance. Consider the pledges you could make as a team. Every action, no matter how small, counts.
We need your support. Consider donating a place for a girl to access our programme for free. Consider joining our network. We work with organisations to improve their diversity and inclusion. We have 20 members at the moment and we’re looking to grow this.
If you are a parent you can also sign up your daughter on our website. online.innovateher.co.uk
Consider supporting other organisations which benefit minority groups, or which are founded by those from minority groups. Help to amplify their voices too.
Thanks for reading. Team InnovateHer xBack to news and views