Black Tech Matters – David McQueen
OK so now I have got your attention, let me explain why I think that it is important to have a platform for black and minority involved in tech in the UK. Why it matters to have a space where we highlight the experiences and achievements of those already carving niches in this space. Why it matters to have a signpost to students in schools, colleges and universities of possibilities in this space.
Part of my work as a youth speaker allows me to go to schools around the UK. If I mentioned Mark Zuckerberg most kids would know who I am talking about. If I said Ursula Burns most kids wouldn’t have a clue. Now granted there is a big difference between say Facebook and Xerox in current culture but both have been instrumental in shaping the direction of tech, albeit in different sub sectors.
Widening the pool of the talent that is either already in place is essential. Not only for more representation from the BME community but as part of building a UK tech legacy. On a personal note it will be a joy to see engineers, business leaders and designers at edtech, fintech and other tech conferences where for many of us we are a huge exception. The only one or two in the room. To see BME contributions to product development in companies where we are part of a huge user base. Yes Twitter I am looking at you.
We have excellent examples of programmes like Code2040 in America. We can learn from the attitudes of companies like BRCK in Kenya. Harnessing and learning from these communities outside our shores and adopting best practice here in the UK is what excites me about being part of the community.
I consider it a privilege to be part of this movement from the get go and plan to be here for a long time to come.
By David McQueen – Narratively Ltd