Westminster eForum

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Priorities for diversity in the UK tech workforce

Morning, Thursday, 11th January 2024

This conference will examine next steps for increasing the diversity of the workforce in the UK’s tech industries, and the research sector that supports it.

It will be an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to discuss priorities for diversity, as the Government considers recommendations from the Science, Innovation and Technology Committee’s Diversity and Inclusion in STEM report published in March 2023.

Speakers will examine recommendations outlined by the Committee in its report, looking at existing challenges faced by minorities aiming for a career in STEM subjects, and evaluating EDI practices in research and education institutions. Discussion will also consider how to better foster links between higher education and industry in support of inclusion and career pathways for underrepresented groups.

We expect discussion on progress since Sir Paul Nurse’s Independent Review of the UK’s Research, Development and Innovation Organisational Landscape, which highlighted the need to increase the permeability of skills and expertise, and the importance of end-to-end funding to develop STEM projects and education diversity at all levels.

Delegates will discuss developing the STEM offers at school, both within the curriculum and as extracurricular activities, ensuring research institutions are accessible, and committing to better representation across the STEM sector to inspire young students.

Further sessions will examine EDI practices in the tech industry, and how to address existing issues such as prejudice and discrimination.

Discussion will also consider the progression of people with diverse backgrounds in terms of ethnicity, ability, socio-economics and gender within the industry, improving representation in senior leadership in the tech sector, and unlocking the benefits of a diverse workforce.

We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with: Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Chair of the Science, Innovation, and Technology Committee; and Anna Mäkinen, Head of Clear Assured, The Clear Company.

Overall, the agenda includes discussion on:

  • policy and regulation:
    • findings from the Select Committee’s inquiry - exploring latest thinking on strategies to increase diversity in the sector
    • providing adequate resourcing and targeted support for diversity initiatives
  • diversity and inclusion: developing opportunities for underrepresented groups - tackling discrimination in the workplace - increasing EDI practices across the sector
  • recruitment and retention:
    • promoting pathways and professional opportunities for minority profiles - creating inclusive workplace culture
    • encouraging collaboration between higher education, research institutions, professional bodies and industry
  • research landscape: increasing funding for staff and projects - growing sector attractiveness for minority profiles - developing commercial opportunities for research institutions - tackling casualisation
  • STEM subjects: improving take up, from early years foundation through to higher education - developing education and extracurricular learning opportunities
  • leadership:
    • improving diverse representation among senior roles in the UK’s tech sector
    • developing organisational policies - strategies for recruitment, retention and progression for diverse workforces

The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who are due to attend from the Department for the Economy, NI; Department of Education, NI; DfE; GO-Science; ICIBI; MOJ; Ofcom; and the Welsh Government - as well as parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Lords.

Keynote Speakers

Rt Hon Greg Clark MP

Chair, Science, Innovation and Technology Committee

Anna Mäkinen

Head of Clear Assured, The Clear Company

Keynote Speakers

Anna Mäkinen

Head of Clear Assured, The Clear Company

Rt Hon Greg Clark MP

Chair, Science, Innovation and Technology Committee


Kathryn Baddeley

Head of Corporate Responsibility, Cisco

Séverine Trouillet

Chief Executive, STEM Learning

Professor Billy Wong

Director of Research and Evaluation, Institute of Education, University of Reading

Paul Butler

Executive Director and Chief Information Officer, Information and Library Services, University of Greenwich

Alfredo Carpineti

Chair and Founder, Pride in STEM

Colin Williams

Chief Technologist, Networking, Security and Unified Communications, Computacenter

Nimmi Patel

Head of Skills, Talent and Diversity, techUK