What Diversity in the Technology Industry Means to Me

We recently had a conversation with Chris, a Strategic Partner Leader on IBM’s Consulting team, where we spoke about his passion for working in technology, why it’s shaping our future, and the need for diversity within the industry.


Tell us why working in the Technology industry is a great place to be?

First, technology is shaping society in a massive way. Think of anything you do, or see, every day, and tech will surely have a part to play in it. And in the future, this will be even more true. When I think about the potential of artificial intelligence (AI), it’s going to truly influence and impact how society and business operate and are managed going forward. People in technology are true creators of the future!

Second, technology is exciting as a profession. It’s a tool that can be used in an ethical and responsible way for good in the world. The power of diverse thought, created by having an inclusive and diverse workforce, is integral to having an innovative and agile workplace. Tech is an amazing place to be right now, where we can innovate and solve for both business and societal challenges.


Do you think there’s enough diversity in the technology industry?

Currently, in the tech industry, I do feel there is a lack of diversity, both from a gender and a race and ethnicity point of view.

At an event I spoke at last year, Black Business Week, it was fantastic to see the number of attendees at the talks geared towards black females. It was standing room only, with many bringing their children along! It was wonderful to see the interest and enthusiasm from everyone in the room.

What this clearly demonstrated to me was there’s not necessarily a lack of interest out there, but the challenge is on companies, to reach out and provide the careers and flexibility to ensure success.

I am proud that IBM offers a flexible, hybrid working environment, which should be attractive to potential talent in the industry. In addition, we have strong sponsorship and mentorship support, as well as a very active Black Employee Network, which is just one of our employee networks that we call a Business Resource Group. These help our employees expand their support, grow their skills, and shape their careers.


What are some technology projects you’ve worked on that you’re most proud of?

I have worked on several amazing projects at IBM, but my favorite, by far, has been IBM’s innovative Call for Code initiative. This looks at how we can address the biggest societal issues through open-source projects.

One stream in Call for Code looked at how we use technology to address systemic racism. In the UK, we led an initiative, and put together a team, to create Ask Miss Parks, a chatbot built on IBM tech, whose purpose is to educate and drive awareness of the black employee experience and help create allies within the organization. This helped others to understand the actions they can take to be more inclusive and empathetic.

We also have been working on technology that helps people report critical incidents and emergencies as they’re happening in real-time, which are then fed back to emergency services. Analytics are laid over the top to find risk areas and trends, allowing proactive measures to be put in place. This technology has increased the responsiveness of the service and has acted as a true, safeguarding mechanism.


Your future career in tech

IBM is on a journey to prioritize skills over degrees in our hiring, and to create more equitable pathways for people to acquire skills and secure family-sustaining jobs.

IBM recently pledged to skill 30 million people, globally, by 2030, and equip individuals with new skills needed for the jobs of tomorrow. Initiatives like SkillsBuild, P-TECH, Accelerate, and our investment in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) all help achieve this goal.

If you‘re interested in a career at IBM, please visit our careers website.

If you don’t see a role that aligns with your skills and interests at this time, consider joining our Talent Network to stay up to date on the latest IBM news, events, and career opportunities.