Diversity & Inclusion: Sparta at No.1027/09/2018
Sparta Global was recently invited by the Young Black Business Awards to attend the Black Communities and 4IR Roundtable at 10 Downing Street. The roundtable brought together companies vowing to play a bigger part in the UK's diversity and inclusion narrative to reduce youth unemployment in black communities. Representing Sparta Global at the meeting, we asked Operations & People Director Purnima Sen to share a diary of her day…
When I received an invitation from the Special Advisor to The Prime Minister (PM) to discuss diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the UK – and the growth of black communities in tech - I was excited to share the hard work of Sparta Global. My team works tirelessly to spread the important message of D&I – not only through their words, but actions too. Testament to this, people from BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) backgrounds make up 52% of our staff and I can consistently see where our strategy, focus and agenda in the D&I space is bearing fruit.
Ahead of the meeting, I spent time gathering materials, researching and evaluating our strategy to present and share Sparta Global ideas on the day. It can be easy to forget all the hard work we have done over the years in this in space and it was enlightening to familiarise myself with our practices.
Though I regularly attend meetings to discuss our D&I agenda, the gravity of arriving at Whitehall on September 21, bypassing tourists and the big black gates on Downing Street to knock on Number 10 (and meeting Larry, the 10 Downing Street cat!) was not lost on me. Stepping into what was once Margaret Thatcher’s private study and sitting at a table specially commissioned for the G8 summit, I was humbled to be amongst other industry leaders to discuss the important role Sparta is playing in improving diversity in the tech space.
The meeting itself was Chaired by Nero Ughwujabo, Special Adviser to the PM, and attendees included: Young Black Business Awards (YBBA), Color in Tech, OMD and Upskill Digital - all represented by their founders/ co-founders or Directors on the Board. There were also representatives from the Financial Conduct Authority, National Black Women’s Association and the Metropolitan Police Special Branch.
The purpose of the event was to connect thought leaders in D&I with the government bodies that could provide additional support, finding ways for organisations like ours to work with Theresa May’s office in the future. We were also there to discuss the findings of the Race Disparity Audit and address any social injustices that came to fruition with the government audit.
Focusing specifically on black communities, the roundtable detailed the importance of celebrating talent, preparing individuals from different backgrounds for the workplace and how we can work together to shape UK youth for future careers in tech.
Host organisation YBBA described technology and digital, automation and AI as the catalysts for the fifth industrial revolution. They stressed the importance of introducing better education and opportunities at grass root levels for black communities in this sector. Investing in intensive tech training - with the help of companies like Sparta Global and Color in Tech – would help encourage entrepreneurship from a young age and better prepare young people for employment. At Sparta Global we have the training and ability to shape future leaders, while organisations like YBBA are well positioned to help us celebrate and drive these successes.
We understand the current issues around training and education in the technology industry and why it is important job seekers and creators are educated equally to nurture a community that is supportive of everyone. As a provider of both education and employment, Sparta Global is committed to creating and sustaining a diverse and inclusive learning environment where graduates are given the opportunity to use their new knowledge to become future leaders – regardless of their ethnicity.
The meeting concluded with some great ways to move our new programme of action along. We are looking to set up tech learning hubs in socially diverse and underprivileged areas. This would provide Technical and Business Analysis /Project Management training to deserving youths – with the government providing help and support throughout the course of their training. Sparta can technically prepare young people for the workplace in a matter of months, providing job opportunities at the end of training with any one of our prestigious blue-chip clients.
I want to thank YBBA once again for providing Sparta Global with the opportunity to be part of the D&I narrative between government and industry. We look forward to being part of Nero’s future plans and acting as a platform to help the government drastically reduce youth unemployment in black communities. We will continue to be a graduate employer and company that wants to make a difference and we look forward to nurturing an inclusive community with all other attendees.