International Women’s Day 2022 (part 2)
7 March 2022
58% of our team is female, and 47% of our Change Makers podcast guests have been women. Breaking the bias is something we strive to tackle in our day-to-day work but there is still so much more to do, as our guests below make very clear. And we continue to learn – please get in touch if you have something you’d like to add to the conversation about gender parity and breaking the bias in 2022 and beyond: @ChangeMakers_SH
How to level the playing field for future leaders
Izzy Obeng is on a mission to change the global face of entrepreneurship. She launched Foundervine in 2018 to increase access to entrepreneurship for young leaders from under-represented backgrounds, and amplify both their potential and their achievements. She and her team have since helped more than 2,000 future leaders from diverse backgrounds – 62% of them female – create, test and accelerate digital ventures. In her Change Makers episode Izzy shared the experiences that drove her, the importance of ensuring all communities have a voice, and why she believes business is the fastest route to social change.
Izzy is a Non-Executive Director for Capital Enterprise, a body that has raised £814.7m for UK start-ups and a former trustee for Parkrun. In 2019, she was named by Tech Nation as one of the 50 most influential black voices in UK tech. “The UK is special in that it is a true melting pot of people. It has a very particular history that has allowed its cultural make-up to manifest in this way, and it has a responsibility towards the communities that are now part of it…” she told Michael. When it comes to levelling the playing field, “there is still so much work to do”.
How to demand more
If we want to break the bias “it’s not about being passive and hoping that things will get better; it’s about being very specific about the changes we need to see”. Sheree Atcheson’s debut book, Demanding More – described by The FT as ‘necessary reading for anyone who is alive in the 21st century’ – explains why diversity and inclusion don’t happen, and what we can do about it. Listed as one of the UK’s most influential women in tech, and a multi-award winner for her services to diversity and inclusion in industry, Sheree is the Global Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Valtech. Her approach to diversity and inclusion, she explained to Michael, has always been data-driven; we need to