The Enterprise Awards 2017 - A Shocking Lack Of Diversity

Posted 2017-06-15T Posted by Tom

The Pivigo team attended the Enterprise Awards on Wednesday night, excited to be part of an industry specific event which promised to recognise the best talent in our field. Unfortunately, what should have been a celebration of entrepreneurial talent was overshadowed by a disappointing lack of diversity in almost every aspect of the event. The archaic patriarchal organisation and delivery of the awards could not be ignored and we feel we cannot remain silent on this issue.

From the almost entirely white-male judging panel to the lack of female representation in the finalists and winners, the narrowness of the event could not be escaped. Dragged down further by ‘jokes’ that perpetuated some distasteful stereotypes from the entertainer, we were truly disappointed to have been in attendance. The inappropriate and significantly outdated approach to the evening seemed thoroughly out of step with the diverse nature of the UK tech industry as we see it. The only award that women were shortlisted for was the award that only women can win - Female Entrepreneur Award(!). The values that Pivigo passionately encourages such as inclusion, collaboration and interaction of talent of all types seem to have been entirely dismissed by the organisers of the event.

We believe that the organisers of the Enterprise Awards need to take a serious look at their approach to diversity if they consider themselves to be the authority on UK tech achievements. And while we champion many diversity campaigns - including #womenintech, and the Mayor of London’s ‘#LondonIsOpen’ initiative, clearly we all need to do more to address diversity in general, and in tech in particular. We should promote the inclusion of all talent in this field, irrespective of gender, race, background or ethnicity and industry events should lead the way on this.

We’ve undertaken studies to understand the impact of diversity, and highlighted why diverse leadership is so hugely beneficial to startup businesses ; something McKinsey have also discovered. Through diversity, businesses thrive and the industry develops. It’s disappointing that the organisers of the Enterprise Awards, the sponsors - including Sage and Natwest - haven’t recognised this. There should be no room for inequality in our field and we argue that individuals from diverse backgrounds should be encouraged, welcomed and celebrated with vigour and enthusiasm.

On their website, the Enterprise Awards proudly proclaim themselves to be “the Oscars of the tech industry". On this basis, the only parallels between these Enterprise Awards and the Academy Awards is the shocking lack of diversity and minority representation in the judging panel and in the nominees. It is the responsibility of everyone to take action in order to improve the inclusion, empowerment and involvement of talent in our field, irrespective of their differences.

At Pivigo, we’re passionate about equal opportunities and industry integrity. Sadly, these are values that were not well reflected at the Enterprise Awards and were sorely missed.

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