London tech companies recruiting for new roles in London have been accused of hiring from a narrow pool of predominantly white workers.
The claims come following research carried out by the London daily newspaper, the Evening Standard, which found that only 3 per cent of the technology industry’s employees in the capital are black despite black people accounting for 13 per cent of the city’s population.
Many of the companies are based in areas such as Shoreditch, Hoxton and Stratford, where there have traditionally been large black populations, and these areas also like to project an image of themselves as being on-trend and progressive.
In response to the findings, Tottenham MP David Lammy urged tech leaders to do more to promote diversity in their industry.
He said: “The under-representation of black workers in UK tech is deeply disappointing. Big tech corporations and start-ups must do more to find talent from all backgrounds.
“All levels of government should work to give young people from all ethnicities the skills, opportunities and ambition to get the jobs of the future.”
Ayodele Alakija, a software developer at Deloitte, told the Evening Standard that he believed part of the problem was the lack of role models in the industry for young black people.
He said: “I never did have any black role models in tech. My role model in that situation was and still is Bill Gates.”
Julian Cox, Head of Employment Law at iLaw said: “Employers need to be remember that discrimination laws extend to the recruitment process.
“Cases of discrimination can lead to unlimited compensation being awarded in an employee or candidate’s favour, which could have a significant impact on a business’s finances and reputation.”
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