At The Inclusion Coalition, we believe in working opportunity and acceptance for all. So, to make that happen, we're modelling an inclusive tech industry.
More than that, we're doing so co-operatively. Everyone person and every organisation working within or externally influencing the tech industry is playing their part, as its only through coming together and openly sharing, learning and making progress can we ensure tech is a more diverse and inclusive place to work.
As a co-operative model might suggest, we're a peer-led group, with each and everyone one of us contributing to the creation of a better tech industry. Accountability is important too, with those individuals and organisations involved responsible for the progress made within their own places of work. Fundamentally though, its important to recognise we're in this together. Without safe places to learn, grow and access support, we'll never make the progress needed.
Hence, The Inclusion Coalition.
The Inclusion Coalition is a co-operative, essentially. A broad working group of tech organisations and industry influencers, all together to champion and create a tech industry which sets the standard for diversity and inclusion. Witnessing a conversation that never progresses and opportunities for action that are never taken, a group with interests spanning the education, recruitment and retention of tech talent came together to create that step change.
Born out of a collaboration between Oscar Technology and The Federation, The Inclusion Coalition launched with a series of workshops, exploring the challenges and opportunities apparent as diverse groups of people learn, grow and work within their organisations. Mapping the gaps between existing practise and fuelling our collective potential to move the dial of working opportunity and acceptance, everyone from start-ups to industry bodies, education institutions and digital giants.
Well, because the face of the people working in and creating the future of tech still doesn't reflect the people it serves. The organisations we work in, from tech start-ups to digital empires, aren't always welcoming places for people who are different. Different - uncomfortable as it is to admit - from the young, middle-class, white and able-bodied men who run our industry as its currently stands. Undoubtedly, there's talent in tech, but there's the potential for so much more.
Our collective vision of a truly diverse tech industry is one which reflects society in its make-up. It's inclusive of all classes, races, ages, gender and body abilities, and not just in leadership. We mean true representation in every team and profession across each individual business. Workplaces where difference in celebrated, and not just on the basis of identity. Making our spaces more welcoming and collaborative across a broader spectrum of thought and voice is to the profit of us all.
We have four key objectives we're working towards as a coalition
Fundamentally, The Inclusion Coalition is about cultural change, and that's the responsibility of each individual in every organisation - from the leadership team to the graduate intern - to make happen. Its setting the universal expectation that tech respects, embraces and celebrates difference.
Acceptance is the end goal. It's only through everyone feeling welcome to be themselves that we open up the potential of each person, product and organisation in realising opportunity, both individually and collectively.
Right now, we're in our early stages of establishing The Inclusion Coalition as a formal entity, focusing on understanding what The Inclusion Coalition can open up to the co-operative members to model and inclusive tech industry.
However, we're clear on a few key outputs that can be collectively created in the coming year:
Whilst the intention is to support and influence those organisations that are recruiters of tech talent, we're a wide collective. Educational institutions, industry bodies and expert practitioners are involved as supporters of modelling an inclusive tech industry, as are individuals simply wishing to be ambassadors in creating working opportunity and acceptance for all.
Long-term, we'll be shaping The Inclusion Coalition into a co-operative with membership opportunities across the board, but right now, we're aboard collective of volunteers, working in five key areas to get The Inclusion Coalition off the ground:
We hope that eventually, our community is too big to list on this one page, but initially we’ve received support from:
Sam Mikkelsen for creating the first snowball and Rebecca Rae-Evans for pushing the snowball down a hill. (Respectively Oscar Tech and The Federation for helping out with food, time and venue for the first 3 workshops)
Harry Bailey for helping pull together this website and support the events.
Sally Evans and Kim Farrall, co-founders of Off Grid for the branding and input on online profile design.
Vimla Appadoo, Kim Witten, Lauren Coulman, Emma Grant and Naomi Timperley for helping pull together and deliver those initial workshops and the support of Manchester Digital
Luce Carter, Fay Schofield, Emer Coleman, Anna Holland-Smith, Lou Cordwell, Dina Turner and probably plenty more we’ve missed for your general help and support along the way.
We also already want to thank everyone who’s attended the first three workshops or filled out our survey - that knowledge will help us build something useful (hopefully). Having representatives from some of the following organisations really will help with the outcome: Hyper Island, Code Your Future, Forever Manchester, DWP, University of Salford, Manchester Digital, Co-op Digital, BBC, Future Everything, Coderdojo, Loreto 6th Form, Brother, EY, Sigma, Autotrader, Moneysupermarket, Rental Cars.