Boosting diversity and inclusion to drive tech skilling

Team members who vary in age, gender, and even disability benefit from each other's perspectives. [iStockphoto]

At the most fundamental human level, encouraging diversity is a moral imperative; it is simply the right thing to do.

Even for organisations that only consider their bottom line, diversity has been shown to improve revenues. According to a 2018 study by the Boston Consulting Group, the revenues of businesses with more diverse management teams were up to 19 per cent higher than those without.

Businesses benefit from diversity. Bringing people together from a wide range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds fosters innovation and creativity by allowing people to share their experiences and opinions.

Team members who vary in age, gender, and even disability benefit from each other's perspectives, making it more likely that products and solutions will resonate with a wider market.

Being intentional in addressing diversity and inclusion requires us to broaden our talent pipeline.

This necessitates a shift in who we consider qualified for the profession, as well as broadening the net to include a diverse range of people from all backgrounds.

At the Africa Development Centre, our efforts to grow the tech talent pool have diversity and inclusion at its core. We are casting a wide net from a young age to create a strong talent pipeline that will supply the tech talent pool in the future.

We are attracting younger children to technology careers, for example, through our Game of Learners Junior initiative.

DigiGirlz, on the other hand, focuses on girls in primary and secondary schools to mentor them as they pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related courses.

At the university level, we have the Game of Learners competition, which brings students from all backgrounds together to learn and build solutions to real-world problems.

We also have a mentorship programme in the early stages of their careers.