We talk to Catherine Knivett, Interim Chief Operating Officer of Corsham Institute and Vice Chair of techUK's Skills & Diversity council to find out about her role in pushing forward a diverse and inclusive agenda.
Why did you join the techUK Skills & Diversity Council?
I am really passionate about supporting people to develop their skills and benefit from digital technology - this is a big part of our remit at Corsham Institute. We upskill a range of people including children and young people, parents and teachers, military veterans and other adult learners from underrepresented groups so they are prepared for jobs now and in the future. The fact that we have low diversity in the technology workforce is becoming a really critical issue as tech transforms everything around us. If we don’t do more to bring a wider range of backgrounds, voices and skills into the development of digital technologies we’ll continue to see more problems with bias – tech solutions need to be as inclusive as possible to truly represent the people who use them. That’s why I am really pleased to join the Council as Vice Chair this year, as I want to push this agenda forward and see real progress both inside and outside techUK.
What does diversity mean to you?
Diversity means equal representation to me – ensuring that the world isn’t built in favour of particular groups who have an unfair advantage over others. It means all people are included and given equal consideration and opportunity.
Name a skill you believe will be essential for the next generation
Creativity is one of the most important skills for future generations. It’s a uniquely human skill which will become ever-more important as digital technologies continue to transform the way we live, work and connect to each other. We need creative thinkers to drive forward the Fourth Industrial Revolution, finding ways to do things better and build a stronger, more inclusive society with tech as an enabler, not the final outcome.
Find out more about techUK's Skills & Diversity Council.