Here’s wishing you a happy Pride in London 2018 from everyone at buzzmove!

We’re all looking forward to tomorrow’s midday parade, which starts at Portland Place, passes down Regent Street, through Piccadilly Circus – a stone’s throw away from our Soho offices – before moving on to Pall Mall and beyond.

In anticipation of the weekend’s festivities, we’ve been thinking about diversity both within tech and more generally.

It is startling just how much remains to be done to combat homophobia, transphobia and other forms of discrimination in the workplace. Take this for example: in over half of US states, it remains legal, in 2018, to fire people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

There have been signs of a turning tide over the past decade, with a growing number of business leaders in the tech world “breaking the glass closet”. To give you a few examples: Megan Smith (formerly a Google X VP and 3rd White House CTO), Peter Thiel (Co-Founder of PayPal and Palantir Technologies) and of course Apple’s Tim Cook, who became the first openly gay Fortune 500 CEO in 2014.

While “Big Tech” is clearly – and publicly – moving in the right direction, anecdotal evidence suggests that attitudes on the ground often lag behind the tech sector’s official line.

For example, the route into tech for LGBT entrepreneurs is often through Venture Capital (VC), a circuit traditionally dominated by straight, white men. So “positive bias” in the VC world can have a disproportionate impact on the diversity of the tech industry as a whole.

We believe that this situation is slowly changing, but more gay and trans role models and advocates are needed not just within tech but in industry as a whole – and here the world needs to remember that diversity is not just better for people, it’s also better business:

Any organisation that blinds itself to the potential of any group of individuals is putting itself at a clear competitive disadvantage, regardless of whether that group is defined by race, religion, class, gender or sexual orientation.

We have a strong commitment to maintain a wealth of different perspectives and experiences at buzzmove, all the more so given the fast-changing needs of our customers and the constant evolution of the technologies we deploy.

So, we’re proud to say that our small – but rapidly expanding! – team already boasts 9 different nationalities: British, Irish, Canadian, Australian, New Zealander, Dutch, Italian, Polish and Portuguese.

On top of that, a cursory, late-morning prowl round the office uncovered 16 different languages other than English represented among our staff base.

Gender equality in the tech world is a concern particularly close to our heart – as a women-founded start-up we are a relative rarity in a world where, in 2017, female founders received only 2% of VC dollars.

We wanted to do something concrete about this imbalance, so we recently launched the #Buzzingfor50 initiative with the pledge to achieve a 50/50 gender balance across our company by the end of 2019. We’re currently at 3/8 on senior management, so we look forward to updating you on our progress.

It looks like we’ve got a sweltering weekend ahead – so make sure you bring a bottle of water and we look forward to seeing you tomorrow for plenty of live music, street food and bright colours!