Many congratulations on your finalist position.
Please tell us a little who you and a little about your role at Computacenter
I grew up in the UK but have been living in Berlin for the last 15 years with my wife and 2 daughters, and I now proudly have dual citizenship.
My role in Computacenter is to lead an inspiring and hard-working team who deliver the largest and most complex customer transition projects in the Group - while not the largest team in Computacenter I'd argue we are the most diverse team of this size, whether you look at gender, age, nationality, language, religion, sexual orientation, social economic background, neuro diversity, learning difficulties... oh and not forgetting pets, we have a lot of pets in the team!
You’ve been shortlisted for Diversity Champion of the Year 2022 What does this nomination mean to you?
Firstly, it makes me feel very proud indeed.
But more importantly this is an award for the team, their contribution, and for embracing diversity 100%. I am thrilled to represent Computacenter in an IT industry award and champion the progress Computacenter has made in diversity and inclusion … and encourage the company to do more of course.
What excites you the most about your job?
Right now, it's about watching what we can achieve next as a team, a company and an industry. The team have always been recognised as high achievers - in my opinion because of our diversity.
Having just spent time with my team again after a long period of forced Covid distancing, the energy, enthusiasm, ambition, and fun we have in doing the job by supporting each other has no limits.
I'm particularly excited to see each and every one of the team grow and shine a light on the diversity of the team, to set a benchmark for other teams.
What would you say to others considering a career in tech?
It's not like it used to be!
When I joined 25 years ago the tech industry was male dominated, macho and homogenous. We've made huge advances to attract people from diverse backgrounds to feel welcome, accepted and happy at work.
Come and see for yourself!
In relation to your nomination what motivates you in your job?
My motivation now is to make wider and faster progress - I'm unapologetically impatient about this!
I believe we shouldn't put the weight of diversity and inclusion promotion on minority groups; I feel I have a role to play as a "middle aged white male" to role-model success in diversity:
- by explaining why it matters to create greater diversity in our industry
- showing other leaders how they can start making changes now
- Laying a pathway for others to follow
- Normalising this behaviour
How can we ensure that the industry is accessible to all?
Wow! there are so many small and big things everyone can start doing immediately. Here are a few examples:
- Run cultural awareness courses as part of standard onboarding
- ask for CVs to be anonymised (no name, age, gender, etc) to help reduce unconscious bias
- create entry level roles without a need for higher education or IT experience
- role-model return to work policies for parents (I did)
- celebrate religious and cultural events - learn, respect and have fun
- don't limit team activities to drinking and sport
- don’t encourage females to imitate "normal" male behaviours
- take pride in differentiation
If everyone could adopt these kinds of behaviours, just think how quickly we could continue to make the industry more accessible?
I'm excited to see the changes accelerate over the coming years.