Cofounder of Colorintech.
Ashleigh cofounded colorintech.org, a non profit looking to provide ethnic minorities with access, awareness, and opportunity in the technology industry. Its mission is to make Europe the most inclusive tech hub in the world.
Ashleigh is also a technology consultant working in London. Having worked for tech companies such as Google and Qubit, and consulted on innovation for organisation such as Unilever and Fannie Maw, he now works across a number of specialisms in technology.
What does diversity mean to you?
Diversity is more than just a range of different people in a room. Diversity should encompass inclusion and belonging. “Diversity is being invited to the party, Inclusion is being invited to dance at the party, belonging is being asked to play some music at the party.”
How can we build more inclusive communities?
Firstly, do not just champion a specific group. Focusing on narrow subsets of diversity as discrete problems will lead to failure. Focusing on the label of gender, sexuality, or ethnicity alone often backfires. This approach reinforces exclusion in other groups as much as it drives inclusion for the targeted groups. Diversity-based issues are embedded in society and reductionist methods alone won’t explain them.
Focus on creating environments for discussion, challenge, and testing. No pathway will be without challenges but working on a culture which is open to true learning will offer faster results.
To create this culture, a business needs to get involved at every level, and everyone needs to take responsibility. If inclusion is not championed consistently throughout the organisation it will not happen.
Shouldering responsibility should occur from the highest level of our organisations and governments, such as the board and senior leadership teams, down to those who are on the front-line of talent attraction and solution delivery.
What is your advice to a young person starting their career or entrepreneurial journey?
Build your network early. You never know when people may be able to help you on your journey. Go to events and stay in touch with those you meet. It is worth cultivating relationships with your colleagues, peers and mentors early, and enabling them to flourish.