By Zak Atom-Ra, Commercial Account Manager, Amplitude

Today, the UK is poised to become a leading tech hub, with innovation and growth at the forefront. However, lack of diversity still remains a key issue despite being fundamental to the sector’s continued success.

In light of this, I’d like to share my personal experiences as a black woman in the tech space, discuss how the industry can foster inclusivity, and share some advice for incoming black talent.

Embrace a non-linear path and champion diversity

There’s no one-size-fits-all route into the tech industry. My academic background is in biomedical sciences, quite a bit different from my current role! Before Amplitude, I worked at a legal tech company, serving as a senior account executive before becoming the head of sales development management. Doing so allowed me to build on my skills and experience, which drove me to Amplitude, a leading digital analytics company. In my current role, I build and nurture our customer relationships, ultimately helping them to build better products. Doing so means understanding their unique needs and objectives, and identifying opportunities to maximise the value they can gain from our solutions.

Pivoting into a new field can be challenging, and the lack of diversity within tech makes this even harder. Inclusivity within the industry has historically been low, and little progress has been made over the years. Recent research found that, in the UK, black representation in tech is estimated to be around 2%. In the US, the number is ever so slightly higher, sitting at just 8%. Figures like these can play a huge role in a black person’s decision to pursue a career in tech. This cycle must be broken if the industry wants to feature more black talent.

The tech sector has the power to enable inclusivity by making it the fabric of its culture. Companies must embrace varied perspectives if they want to drive innovation and become leaders in their respective spaces. They should also promote equal opportunities and put their money where their mouth is by investing in education and mentorship rates. Transparency is also vital. Businesses must measure diversity comprehensively, including retention and hiring rates, and display these both internally and externally. Doing so ensures genuine commitment to progress, leaving no room for empty words or superficial metrics.

Guide and support the next generation

It’s crucial to discuss how the tech sector can enable inclusivity, as well as how to amplify existing black voices within the industry. Showcasing the experiences of what it means to be black in tech offers representation to incoming talent, particularly those of younger generations. It communicates that there is space in this industry for every single person who wishes to be a part of it — and most importantly to succeed within it.

To me, being black in the tech space means breaking barriers, shattering stereotypes, and paving the way for others. I’m helping to carry the torch of innovation and excellence and light the path for other black young people to follow. My presence in this space is bigger than myself; it isn’t just an opportunity. It’s my responsibility to inspire, mentor, and create opportunities for the next generation.

To those who aspire to be successful in my role, or in any area of the tech industry, my best advice is to pursue relentless learning and adaptability. Embrace your curiosity, sharpen your negotiation skills, and build genuine relationships. Build resilience to keep pushing ahead in the face of setbacks, and never stop seeking growth opportunities. My role isn’t about transactions, but rather about developing solid relationships and adding value — and the same can be said across the industry.

About the author

Zak Atom-Ra is a commercial account manager at Amplitude. She works closely with customers to understand their unique needs and objectives and identifies opportunities to maximise product and service value. Zak has held previous positions at vLex Global Markets and is passionate about diversity in tech.

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