​Originally posted on The Memo

“The people building the internet, the services we all use, are overwhelmingly men.”

Baroness Martha Lane-Fox

A lack of diversity is no laughing matter.

No one type of person should have the privilege of working in technology, one of the most exciting and inspiring industries today.

Snapchat's racist Bob Marley filter

Snapchat’s racist Bob Marley filter

Homogeny is bad for business

Look around you at the next event you attend. (Hopefully you’re not at a sexist after party for “attractive females and models”).

There’s nothing inherently wrong with droves of white men working in tech. But like any individual, a white man will always be limited by his own experiences.

Time and time again we’ve seen products launched that lack function because an all-male team didn’t ask a female colleague for their input.

Likewise, it’s not just the Apples and Snapchats of the world that unintentionally fuel prejudice against black people. There are many, many, racist games and apps.

Blind ultra marathon runner Simon Wheatcroft

Blind ultra marathon runner Simon Wheatcroft

Online dating services frequently fail to cater for LGBT people, or people who don’t fit in with ideas of ‘traditional’ relationships, genders or sexualities.

Yes, we’ve seen fantastic technologies improving life for blind people, the elderly, or people with Parkinson’s. But still, too often, people with disabilities are routinely overlooked.

The homogenous workplace doesn’t just hurt the people it blocks out: We all suffer.

Melina Jacovou, Propel

Melina Jacovou, Propel

Diversity fuels creativity

Big brands like Twitter may be plighted by sexist and racist trolling, but the company’s decision to bring Martha Lane Fox on board marks progress.

Hiring companies like Propel are also setting out to help improve diversity across the technology industry compiling many key reports on workplace culture.

“The importance of understanding the makeup of your team cannot be overlooked” says CEO, Melina Jacovou.

“Companies should be aware of the differences in people’s outlooks and opinions during the hiring processes as it is these that facilitate innovation and growth.”

Slack developers champion diversity in tech. Pic: TechCrunch

Slack developers champion diversity in tech. Pic: TechCrunch

A bright future

Already leading digital up-starts are setting out with the right foot forward.

Slack, for example, sent four black women developers to represent the company at a major industry awards ceremony.

Day by day, the scene is changing.

One photographer Helena Price is capturing the shift in attitude in Silicon Valley through a series of Techie portraits that celebrates diversity.

She’s adding to this all the time.

Will you be making a bigger case for diversity in your business?