London Tech Week 2019 will cover many themes, including inclusivity, artificial intelligence (AI) and the future of work. The event, which is backed by the UK government, will also highlight the need for diversity in the technology industry.
According to a 2018 report from Inclusive Boards, only 14.6% of senior UK tech leaders are women and 70.5% senior executive teams have no black, Asian or minority ethnic members at all. This year’s Tech Week seeks to address this imbalance, with a range of initiatives to make it easier for people of all backgrounds to access careers in tech.
“It’s important that the tech sector reflects the diversity of the capital and so it’s really encouraging to see this emerge as a major theme of this year’s London Tech Week – it’s right that we lead by example in a city as progressive as London,” said Sadiq Khan, mayor of London. “London is Europe’s leading tech hub and our tech sector is a vital source of jobs and growth for the economy. From fintech to artificial intelligence, London companies are leading the way in developing ideas and technologies to change the world.”
This year’s headline partners include Microsoft, which is also backing the call for more diversity in the sector.
“At Microsoft, diversity and inclusion are an inherent part of our mission to empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more,” said Cindy Rose, CEO of Microsoft UK. “As the world around us digitally transforms at pace, we believe everyone should have the opportunity to fully participate and prosper in the future workforce. Whether that is through investments in skills for the future, building diverse and inclusive workforces and workplaces or developing products and services accessible to everyone, our industry has a responsibility to lead the way.
“This is why Microsoft proudly supports London Tech Week and its focus on bringing together UK tech firms, large and small, to tackle these critical topics.”
The event’s Inclusive Innovation lounge will enable partner organisations to share diversity and inclusivity initiatives and the city’s many movements and advocacy groups to come together, including WISE, ColorInTech, Queer in AI and CodeYourFuture, amongst others.
London Tech Week 2019 also includes a Schools Competition, giving year 9 and 10 students (age 13-15) to submit their ideas on how they would use technology to improve the lives of Londoners.
“The 4th Industrial Revolution is well underway transforming business, society and the way we live,” said Carolyn Dawson, managing director of London Tech Week. “The UK continues to innovate as a worldwide cutting-edge tech hub and, as one of the world’s most open and welcoming markets, can lead the global conversation in designing and scaling tech business.
“London Tech Week looks not solely at the technology, but at the opportunities and challenges that are forming around the digitisation of society – tech in a new era of trust, evolving the workforce and developing the UK and international talent pool are issues high on the agenda. The event connects international communities from across the spectrum to address how access to tech for all can have a profoundly positive impact on society and business.”
Find out more or register for the event.
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