On the evening of Wednesday 30th October, WhiteHat in partnership with Tandem Bank, put on an event taking an intersectional look at the experiences of young people from underrepresented groups entering sectors like tech and finance. The event was delivered by the WhiteHat Apprentices themselves as they are championing this topic everyday as young, diverse talent, challenging perceptions and breaking down barriers across London’s most exciting companies.

The first panel discussion focussed on how to ensure underrepresented groups have access to the best careers, hosted by Zaynah Din (Facebook Digital Marketing apprentice), featuring panelists: Kitty Stevenson (Tandem Bank); Chioma Etienne (Generation UK); Roury Hinds (WhiteHat); Matthew Bolton (Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment) and Daniel Sintim (Government Digital Services). Roury Hinds, spoke about wanting to provide the support he wished he’d had through his work as Talent & Progressions Manager at WhiteHat and the challenges and importance of ensuring that there are more women in tech roles. Daniel Sintim delivered some insight on how the government are recognising the need to recruit a diverse workforce because they’re designing services for the public, and the public is diverse. These sentiments were reflected across both talks where all panelists at some point referenced diversity being good for business because companies with a more diverse workforce make more money.

The second talk focussed on how to create an inclusive workplace, hosted by Imah (Tandem Bank IT Apprentice), featuring panelists: Daniel Aherne (Adjust); Sareeka Linton (Spill app), Benn Moore (Tandem Bank); Zandile Nkhata (Investec Bank) and Hannah Christian (Media Zoo). The panel discussed the need for employers to put a lot of extra work into hiring to achieve a diverse workforce and the importance of creating a culture of belonging for everyone so people have the confidence to be aspirational in applying for roles, as well as going for opportunities to progress inside an organisation.

The room was packed out with WhiteHat apprentices and people from a wide range of roles, across sectors, who discussed how to get senior staff to embrace and deliver on diversity. The event wrapped up with a bit of networking between apprentices and senior staff from a wide range of organisations wanting to know how they can make the organisations they work for more inclusive and representative through apprenticeships.