Breaking the barriers: pioneering diversity research to ‘create real change’ in Hackney’s tech sector

Less than one in four Hackney residents believe most people have opportunities to find good jobs in digital tech, according to pioneering new Hackney Council research aiming to break the barriers to Hackney’s thriving technology sector.

The findings have been published in ‘Diversity in Tech: Breaking the Barriers’ – a report by the Council’s Diversity in Tech Commission, which aims to ensure the vast opportunities provided by Hackney’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) industries are available to everyone in the borough.

Across the UK tech industry as a whole, just 2% of employees across the UK are Black, 11% have disabilities, 17% are women and 23% are aged over 50.

With Hackney seeing a huge growth in digital tech, innovation and creative industries over the last two decades, the report identifies the need for more awareness of job opportunities, improved training for people of all backgrounds and alternative career pathways to create a more diverse and inclusive sector in Hackney.

The recommendations are informed by the views of hundreds of Hackney residents through surveys and focus groups, as well as conversations with local employers, community organisations and public sector organisations.

The report was launched at an event at tech and innovation campus Here East, with three of the Council’s digital apprentice ambassadors Atiyyah Rawat, Kashan Heath and Anna Canby Monk – who helped bring the research to life – sharing their experiences.

Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member for Employment, Human Resources and Equalities

Hackney’s Diversity in Tech Commission was established to close the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills gap and understand our diverse community’s intersecting barriers to accessing good jobs in the digital tech economy.

We are inspired by the willingness to participate and hope that the findings contribute to an ongoing conversation about economic opportunity and inclusion among leaders to create real change at the local level.

Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member for Employment, Human Resources and Equalities