At Makers, we believe that becoming a top developer should not be a privilege for the chosen few: it should be an option available for everyone. It’s our mission to get those from under-represented backgrounds to join the tech industry.
How are we cultivating an inclusive talent pipeline?
What else are doing as a business?
The coaches at Makers talk about how the ethos of inclusion and equality is shared throughout the company. We’re all aware that things need to change and we all really care about people succeeding. Here, we share some honest insights from Makers staff.
“Thismumcodes is both my new Mumsnet username and my new way of life. Makers Academy is renowned for being both life changing and not for the faint hearted. In our first week, we were asked to raise our hand if we had children. Out of a cohort of 39 people, mine was the lone hand in the air. This did give me pause to wonder whether my choice to do this was insane. A couple of weeks into the course, I’m still wondering, but it’s not putting me off.”
“Having a company made up of people who approach problems differently is a good thing, especially when we’re talking about female-oriented industries. There are some products that borderline only women buy, and thus only they can bring crucial insights for a product or service’s success.”
“I’ve been in tech for 2 years now, and in the beginning years it was extremely apparent to me that I was not in a minority just because I’m a woman, but also because I’m a Muslim and come from an ethnic minority. It’s no secret that the technology industry tends to revolve around booze. Once I went to an event only to find out that my free drink token could only be exchanged for alcohol. I did receive an apology from the event organisers after I kicked up a bit of a fuss, but the damage was done — I felt extremely unwelcome. It was probably an oversight on their part but small things like that are indicative of wider issues. Having a diverse workforce is a good first step to avoid problems like this. Customer bases are diverse and if your staff is diverse then they can tap into the needs and understanding of that customer base.”
Check out Muslamic Makers: a monthly meetup bringing Muslim and non-Muslim makers together to discuss, pitch and share ideas.
A lack of senior female tech leaders is not just a pipeline problem. Here is a blog post we produced with Code First:Girls. It talks about work by researcher Kieran Snyder, who interviewed 716 women who left the technology industry after an average tenure of 7 years. Snyder found that almost all of them said they liked the work itself, but most were unhappy with the work environment.
For our LGBTQ+ students we’ve launched ‘Code_Of_Colour’ — our internal group dedicated to LGBTQ+ support, discussion, welfare and events. We’re going to be looking at opening up Code_Of_Colour to prospective students very soon, so stay tuned for further details!
We see a lot of companies trying to hire technical talent and trying to do that in an inclusive way. Our Head of Enterprise Partnerships Elspeth Coates spoke at Diversity in Tech on how instead of trying to maximise diversity, we should actually be trying to minimise exclusion.