Black tech professionals still experience racial inequalities in the UK

black tech professional
Sofia Imtiaz Salesforce Consultant
Sofia Imtiaz

According to new data from a study by UK non-profit Colorintech and Meta, there are still gross and persistent racial inequalities in the UK. What’s more the gap is widening between what organisations are saying as opposed to what they are implementing to promote inclusion.

The study found that 60% of Black professionals come across barriers when trying to enter the tech industry. Furthermore 30% of those surveyed said they can’t, and don’t want to be their authentic selves in the workplaces. They feel that they need to be inauthentic as they fear they might not progress, because of this they need to put up the appearance of conformity and override their personal views, values, and attributes to fit in with organisational ones.

Bleaker still is the finding that those who feel they deserve a pay rise after years of loyalty don’t want to ask for it. 56% of those surveyed said they didn’t feel empowered enough to negotiate their salary, so they settle while their colleagues progress.

Other studies found that Black software engineers experience pay gaps of 13%. Findings like these are hoped to bolster tech companies to give better support and options for different ethnicities in the UK.

There has been some advancement for economic and racial inequality for Black and ethnic minority workers, however there is much more to do. A resounding 65% of respondents agreed that they have in the past and still continue to encounter barriers when it comes to getting into their tech career of choice.

The co-founder of Colorintech, Dion McKenzie, said: “The findings show the experiences for Black talent is vastly different from their counterparts. It’s up to companies to be intentional and systematically remove these barriers to ensure they are not limiting their talent pools and recruiting the best people out there.’

Maria Onyango, from Meta, adds: ‘The tech industry should be open to people from all backgrounds, and a place where everyone can belong and thrive. We want to help people feel confident to make the jump. Organisations need to embrace the fact that people need to feel like their true selves at work, and to actively work to make that happen. This research is so important. As a Black woman I feel seen when I read it, and I hope that organisations, including our own, will take action on the insights.’

Want to read more? Here are 8 reasons why diversity and inclusion is key to success.