The Black community is significantly under-represented in the Data & Analytics industry. According to our most recent Diversity Report, professionals from a Black background account for just 3% of the industry as a whole. They are also 19 times more likely to hold an entry- or mid-level position than a leadership role, a far greater disparity than found in any other ethnic group.With the fact that diverse teams yield better business results now widely acknowledged, this inequality within the world of Data & Analytics, and Tech as a whole, is something that needs to be addressed.At Harnham, we are committed to working with a diverse pool of candidates and promoting equal opportunities. We are also aware that change needs to be systemic in order to make any real difference across the industry and, for that to happen, we need to recognise where there are currently problems.However, we also feel it is important to celebrate successes and to highlight successful and diverse voice across the industry. So, with Black History Month drawing to a close in the UK, we wanted to take the time to reflect on some of the most influential Black pioneers from the world of Tech:GEORGE R. CARRUTHERS
Born in 1939, African American George Carruthers played a significant role in the engineering and science of space astronomy.Most famously, he is known for his invention of the Far Ultraviolet Electrographic Camera. Developed in 1966, the camera uses ultraviolet light to study both the Earth’s outer-atmosphere and deep space, providing the first-ever global images of the former.KATHERINE JOHNSON
Fans of the film ‘Hidden Figures’ will be familiar with the name Katherine Johnson, due to her portrayal by Taraji P. Henson.Working in the Computing section at NASA, Johnson played a pivotal role in the US’ early attempts to send a man into space, in particular by calculating several equations that would ensure astronaut John Glenn’s safe orbital mission in 1962. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honour by President Barack Obama in 2015. MARC HANNAH
It could be said that Marc Hannah is the man behind the superheroes that dominate our multiplexes today.An electrical engineer and computer graphics designer, Hannah was a co-founder of Silicon Graphics, Inc. He went on to become the company’s principal scientist for a series of pioneering programs that were used to create effects for numerous movies including Jurassic Park and Terminator 2.MARK DEAN
Computer Scientist Mark Dean is internationally lauded for developing a number of landmark technologies at IBM.Holding three of the company’s original nine patents, his most renown inventions include the colour PC monitor and the first gigahertz chip. He was the first African American to be named an IBM Fellow as has been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.MAGGIE ADERIN-POCOCK
Born in London to Nigerian parents, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE is one of Britain’s leading minds in the field of space exploration.One of her most significant contributions is the spectrograph built for the Gemini telescope in Chile, which allow scientists to analyse the light from stars and gain insights into their properties. She also places a large emphasis on educating Black youth in STEM subjects to encourage greater diversity in the field. NIRA CHAMBERLAIN
Birmingham-based Dr Nira Chamberlain is one of Britain’s leading mathematicians and was listed as the “5th Most Influential Black Person in the UK”. Chamberlain has developed several mathematical solutions that have impacted the worlds of aerospace and defence, travel and automotive, and the energy sector. Having been named the World’s Most Interesting Mathematician, he now frequently engages with the charity, Speakers for Schools.KIMBERLY BRYANT
African American electrical engineer Kimberly Bryant is the founder and CEO of Black Girls Who Code, a non-profit focused on increasing the presence of “girls of color ages 7 to 17” in STEM.Having begun her career in Biotech, Bryant noticed a dearth of female African American talent in the STEM arena and blamed lack of access and lack of exposure. Black Girls Who Code is trying to remedy this by introducing programming to a new generation of coders that don’t look identical to the last.Diversity drives innovation and accelerates businesses and enterprises towards their missions. As such, Harnham is committed to increasing diversity and maintaining a progressive and inclusive workplace, both for ourselves and for the organisations we support.If you’re looking to hire a more diverse team, get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out how we can help.If you’re a Data & Analytics professional, from any background, looking for your next opportunity, you can take a look at our latest roles here.