28th February 2015
Meet one of LiveLink's development team who is also the founder of Black Girls Tech, Damilola Odelola, told The Voice about the imbalance she has been trying to correct
There's an initiative to get more women in tech, which is absolutely necessary, Odelola says but the industry is blindsiding the fact that there's also not many non-whites in tech. And where there are, they're not usually in high positions.
That's not to say that computer programming and software development are discriminatory environments to work in. They are largely progressive industries and Odelola acknowledges that the support of online tech communities and the generosity of individuals sharing their knowledge.
She's not disheartened. Quite the opposite, it's an opportunity. She says people see what she's doing as a type of activism. She talks about a friend of hers - a black woman who has risen to the position of lead developer in the space of three years - and refers to the hoops she had to jump through. There's admiration in her voice and perhaps a hint of what inspired her to set up her own enterprise. Odelola encourages those who are daunted by the technical aspects of computer programming to shake off those fears.
The only maths I did was GCSE and I only liked algebra, she says. There is a mathematical element to coding but really it's more about creating something from nothing and making the impossible possible. It's about asking ourselves what tools we need to make this web page flash when it's opened in the browser.
She continues: I didn't know I liked tech until I had to make my own website. I want to get old and young black and ethnic minority women enjoying tech.