Learning from OneTech: Recommendations for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives in Tech, created with Dr Angela Martinez-Dy of Loughborough University London,
We, at OneTech, are dedicated to impact. We believe in an inclusive knowledge economy whereby gained insights become open-source — so that our learnings as OneTech become our learnings as a community and wider ecosystem.
This policy brief, created in collaboration with Dr Angela Martinez Dy of Loughborough University London, approaches OneTech as a case study to illustrate and explore how good policy and practice for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives can be facilitated in the tech and startup ecosystem.
The policy brief is based on a longitudinal, critical realist action research project evaluation of the initial two years of OneTech (Summer 2018-Summer 2020). As a newly established initiative designed to diversify London’s tech entrepreneurship ecosystem, we have experienced a number of achievements and challenges, which this policy interrogates to unearth key learnings such as:
– Programmes attracted a wide range of participants with differing needs, this prompted the need for more appropriate measurements of impact.
– Programmes act as educational spaces, so clear learning outcomes are important to manage expectations. Plus, beware of the Matthew Effect.
– Diverse founders require diverse leadership. EDI initiatives must be open to alternative approaches and share support resources to foster collaboration.
– Don’t “jump on the bandwagon” with shallow initiatives. Users are great potential advocates, so offer meaningful support and transparent communication.
– Be aware of what cultural norms or ways of working are being reproduced, and what must be challenged in your organisational culture.
Each of the learnings above are further discussed within the full brief, alongside a set of reflection questions, insightful recommendations and a Good Practice Checklist — all for the benefit of our community of change-makers.
Special thanks to Dr Angel Martinez Dy of Loughborough University London, Digital Women UK and Dr Chris Carter of Nottingham University Business School, Ben Cole of LU London Future Space, Renaisi, and all the participants, mentors, project funders and partners who made this research possible.
For more information about the research or this brief, please contact Dr Angela Martinez Dy, Loughborough University London: A.Dy@lboro.ac.uk