Kayisha Payne, Associate Scientist at MedImmune and founder of BBSTEM, has today been announced as one of the top 100 most influential Black, Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) leaders in the UK tech sector. The list will be released today at the House of Commons as part of the official launch of the Inclusive Tech Alliance.
The Alliance has been set up in response to new research by the agency 'Inclusive Boards', that will show the sector is significantly lagging behind others on diversity within senior leadership. The founder of the Inclusive Tech Alliance (ITA), Samuel Kasumu, who is also a member of the Prime Minister's Race Disparity Advisory Board said:
“Technology is increasingly playing an important role in driving our economy and there is a great need to ensure that everyone can fully participate in the jobs and opportunities technology brings. Kayisha Payne and others featured in this list today are role models that will inspire the next generation, and hopefully help to improve diversity within the sector.”
Kayisha is an Associate Scientist at MedImmune, AstraZeneca's global biologics research and development arm. Realising the lack of representation of black individuals in STEM from education right through to industry she founded a non-profit organisation in January 2018 named BBSTEM, Black British Professionals in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. The aims of BBSTEM are to encourage, enable, and energise individuals in education and industry to widen the participation and contribution of Black individuals in STEM. Since launch, BBSTEM has engaged with over 100 professionals at different stages of their careers across a range of industries. They have already impacted over 300 secondary school students by their outreach and engagement programme. Recently opening up their doors to university students, there are plans to build a support structure in to facilitate their transition from university into industry.
It’s a great honour to be recognised as one of the Top 100 BAME leaders in Diversity and Tech. It’s a great reminder and motivation that someone out there is recognising and appreciating the work we’re doing to support Black individuals in the STEM arena. BBSTEM is proud to be a Founding Member of ITA. We joined because the Alliance represents all of our core values; inspire, educate and collaborate. We are dedicated and committed to diversity in the tech industry. To be part of an alliance with organisations who share a similar vision is a much needed and exciting phenomenon. I trust that BBSTEM and other members of the alliance will work together in an effort to create a huge paradigm shift impacting the tech industry.
Those featured in the top 100 include senior leaders from Facebook, LinkedIn, IBM, Twitter and financial services firm EY. Judges include Tim Sawyer CBE (COO, Innovate UK), Sandra Kerr OBE (Race Equality Director, Business in the Community), and Catherine Muirden (Director of HR, Co-Op Foods).
The Inclusive Tech Alliance is a new membership body dedicated to increasing diversity in the UK Tech Sector. Members include Global IT solutions firm Larsen & Toubro Infotech and owners of Candy Crush – King. Attendees at the launch will include Ministers, Parliamentarians, as well as senior leaders representing members of the Alliance.