On 24 November, Croydon College welcomed a wide range of employers, entrepreneurs, and local support organisations to meet with the Digital Skills Hub team and current Level 3 IT students in a discussion around equality, diversity, and inclusion in the digital and tech sector.
Local business leaders Sarah Luxford, of Gatenby Sanderson and TLA Women in Tech, and Craig Constantinides, of Go 2 Games, shared their first-hand knowledge and experience, providing plenty of advice and guidance to the group.
Craig explained how, as a growing SME (small to medium-sized enterprise), his business took the deliberate decision to prioritise engaging its workforce from the Croydon area and targeting initiatives which engage with hard-to-reach members of the community. Sarah talked about the importance of using data and explained how business should be using this to drill down into the facts and see what changes need to be made.
A lively round table discussion followed in which attendees continued with their own ideas, building up a long list of suggestions.
Two common themes to come out were the importance of identifying and celebrating BAME leaders in the digital sector, and to keep discussions around equality, diversion and inclusion (ED&I) going in the future as much work is still needed.
To close the morning, the college’s Head of HR, Helen Langford, updated everyone on the college’s own progress with the National Centre for Diversity and the embedding of the FREDIE framework. Recent closing of pay gaps between groups was a great example of the use of data to draw attention to, and work on, ED&I. Digital Skills Hub coordinator, Mike Davies, wrapped up the morning by presenting the GLA’s WIN toolkit, specially designed to assist businesses in the tech and digital sectors to improve ED&I in their organisations.