What UK CIOs can learn from the Black Lives Matter movement

The lack of Black representation at the senior levels of the UK technology industry was the topic of conversation during a recent panel discussion as part of the 2020 CIO Summit.

2020 CIO Summit BLM session
IDG

The lack of Black representation at the most senior levels of the UK's technology sector needs to be urgently addressed if the industry is to learn anything from the Black Lives Matter movement.

That was the message during a virtual roundtable discussion at the CIO Summit in September, where CIO 100 alumni Kevin Gibbs, who is currently Executive Director of Delivery at Bracknell Forest Council, talked frankly about his experiences as a Black man in the technology and public sectors.

He says that it was made very clear to him early in his career that "this level wasn't something I should hope for, given my background."

Referencing the 2020 Colour of Power index, Kevin talked about the lack of Black representation at leadership positions across the UK. Colour of Power found only 52 senior leaders across the public and private sector to be non-white individuals — or just 4.7%, when Britain's Black and ethnic minority counts for 13% of the country's total population.

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