In a bid to promote diversity and inclusion within the technology sector, the inaugural West Yorkshire Ethnic Minority Women in Tech roundtable was recently convened at the newly renovated Leeds Media Centre in Chapeltown.
Organized by Unity Enterprise in partnership with Cognizant, Leeds City Council, AD:VENTURE, WiLD Digital, Digital Enterprise, and the Yorkshire Asian Business Association (YABA), the event brought together women from various professional domains to engage in discussions, networking, and the sharing of best practices.
The gathering commenced with brief addresses from prominent figures including Sharon Jandu OBE, Chair of Unity Enterprise and Director of YABA, Eve Roodhouse, Chief Officer for Culture and Economy at Leeds City Council, and Sarah Tulip, Senior Director at Cognizant and founder of WiLD Digital. Attendees then participated in a wide-ranging group discussion, exploring topics relevant to their experiences and aspirations in the tech industry.
Reflecting on the significance of the initiative, Sharon Jandu emphasized, “The West Yorkshire Ethnic Minority Women in Tech initiative offers a platform for women to delve into the realm of technology, facilitating knowledge exchange among industry experts.” She expressed gratitude to partner organizations for their support and highlighted plans for future gatherings, with an anticipated increase in attendance.
Sarah Tulip echoed Jandu’s sentiments, underscoring the importance of collaboration in fostering diversity and providing equitable opportunities. “Through interventions like this, we aim to amplify the voices of under-represented communities and promote inclusivity,” she remarked, expressing enthusiasm for the initiative’s potential impact.
Established in 2000, Unity Enterprise serves as the not-for-profit subsidiary of Unity Homes and Enterprise, a BME housing association operating multiple business centers in Leeds. Cedric Boston, Chief Executive of Unity Homes and Enterprise, commended the success of the inaugural roundtable, emphasizing the importance of creating spaces for dialogue, encouragement, and networking. He expressed confidence in the initiative’s future under Jandu’s leadership, anticipating continued growth and collaboration within the tech community.
The launch of the West Yorkshire Ethnic Minority Women in Tech initiative marks a significant step towards fostering diversity and empowerment within the technology sector, promising opportunities for collaboration, mentorship, and advancement for women from under-represented backgrounds.