As you may know – since last October. I have had the opportunity. To volunteer to lead the diversity and inclusion steering group at the MPA. This has been a non paid role on my own time. As the MPA is a not-for-profit association. That represents the digital and creative business of Greater Manchester.
Why do this?
As the MPA is the largest association of its type in Europe. With over 2000 members. And growing…. Find out more at www.MPA.org.uk. In its 100th year, its chairman and board knew it had to do something. About the lack of diversity and inclusion in its members. And its members’ businesses. Especially after some great work on this two years ago – which spurred my interest in helping them.
So last year, with Your FLOCK starting out, and championing diversity and inclusion in technology. I wanted to do something. So I got together with 15 or so other people. All from diverse backgrounds we launched #TheBigIDEA.
The BIG IDEA.
The Big IDEA being:
– And Action
Were key for 2021. And so in 2020 we:
– created a hashtag,
– made a brand,
– collated together some top tips,
– did a talk or two
– and then even gained a mention on the radio and several podcasts.
The Big IDEA being to highlight some of the best practices and top tips. From diverse people about how businesses could become more diverse and inclusive. We created marketing materials and went on talks. And then on shows. And did all sorts – with the hashtag being seen by thousands of people on social media.
“I hope in some way – we might have planted some seeds. Inspired a few people. And I know we did. So that’s great news.” Dan Sodergren.
And many members of the group have gone on to do amazing things for their communities and the sector. I wish I had done more…. BUT…
All the above took time to do and I was happy to volunteer my time. As Your FLOCK was starting out and I could help this worthy cause.
However, with Your FLOCK growing and needing my time more and more. It’s time to pass on the mantle to a great man – who has been a champion of the cause continually from the outset.
(If you would like a job as a product developer or senior coder do email me on dan@YourFLOCK.co.uk)
Kai – has been at every meeting. Done the talks with me and has been sharing the hashtag and passing on his wisdom from the start.
He is the epitome of what #TheBigIDEA was all about. A successful Managing Director at Planisware for the UK and Ireland region. With 20 years’ experience in the technology sector and possessing experience. Working in corporate, SME and entrepreneurial businesses. With responsibility for operational and strategic objectives.
He is MBA qualified with international experience. Including managing programme delivery operations delivering to the US and Japan.
He is an experienced and passionate ‘customer advocate’. With a proven track record of delivering value to customers. But also passionate about helping fellow diverse backgrounds enter tech and the creative and digital industries.
How do I know this – as he is championing this in the business in which he works. He continually is asking questions at management level and above about recruitment and best practice. And is really changing Planisware not just in the UK but internationally.
His experience includes management of all
– customer facing delivery teams,
– management of product development teams,
– delivery of strategic pre-sales,
– sales/account management engagements
– as well as general business operations.
And he is now taking over the team management of the MPA steering committee. Using YourFLOCK to develop it’s values.
We first used Your FLOCK to make sure we “recruited” the right team. And as this team grew that we brought in people with the right “values fit” – that were culturally diverse – but that shared the values of the team.
Knowing a bit about The BigIDEA it shouldn’t be surprised that Kai will be leading a group of people where their core values are:
For a team that is interested in social change and impact. Has worked completely remotely from the start. And is a series of people that love self and personal development.
As part of this personal development the group is also changing. Not just growing in size with two new key members Ziara Siddique and Belinda Peach but also in a new direction. To more reflect the desire of the team.
A New Direction:
Kai will be leading the MPA diversity and inclusion group. In a new direction with his experience with young people and his desire to change this part of the sector.
As he says:
“We need to really rally round the black minorities in the sector and showcase their work to the industry and the generation that are coming up. Especially for the younger generation, they need to see representation.”
This emphasis is shared among the group with many of our new members. And do it will be interesting to see what they do from now.
As Kai says:
“We want to get into schools as early and as often as possible. I have two daughters (mixed heritage) and my heart aches at some of the stories they tell me from school. Young girls need to see themselves represented in as many fields as possible. To show them there is a wider playing field for women than most educational/historical systems portray – sometimes unknowingly.”
If I had more time – or YourFLOCK was slightly older – I would love to give my time to this as I have a young mixed raced daughter myself. But for now – my role at the MPA steering group is to support rather than lead.
So over to you Kai – I am sure you will do an amazing job. And of course, please feel free to use Your FLOCK to help your remote team develop over time. It’s another way we at Your FLOCK can show our commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Your FLOCK is growing. So if you would like a job as a product developer or senior coder do email me on dan@YourFLOCK.co.uk.
And I can get you to the job description.
Of course, we are:
– fully remote work ready,
– flexible with async working,
– globally minded,
– multicultural as standard
– with no central office so #workingfromhome
– with more than 50% of our board that are women
– and more than 20% of our employees as people of colour
– and we have #diversityandinclusion at the core of our business.
But who doesn’t now a days…..
Ooooo – perhaps you SHOULD work with us at www.YourFLOCK.co.uk to change the future of work for the world.
Just like Kai will do with the MPA and the Diversity and Inclusion Group.