After Jeremy Hunt’s Budget announcement of a 10-year programme to invest £2.5bn in quantum computing to keep the country at the forefront of a global industry, The Inclusion Initiative at LSE released a briefing which describes how firms can make sure that they embrace both Diversity & Inclusion for the betterment of their business.
The quantum sector is at the forefront of technology, dealing with some of the world’s most pressing issues, such as energy provision and supply chain logistics. It relies on its workforce to be innovative and creative. However, diversity is lacking: only 1 in 54 applicants for quantum roles are female, while 80% of quantum companies do not have a senior female figure, according to search firm Quantum Futures.
The City Quantum Summit briefing, by Cecily Josten, Dr Grace Lordan and Karina Robinson, calls for the importance of debiasing search and hiring, encouraging task-based assessments to overcome affinity-based hiring from over-relying on interviews. It also asks that Diversity & Inclusion is treated like any other major business priority. Finally, the briefing states that the quantum sector needs to invest in upskilling leaders in inclusive leadership, so that every leader ensures that all colleagues get equal opportunities, visibility and voice.
Karina Robinson, Founder of The City Quantum Summit and Senior Advisor to Multiverse Computing, said: “The future of inclusion in quantum comes down to collaboration – measuring success, measuring failure – and sharing that with other firms to learn from each other. Without that, we are likely to repeat the mistakes of the past.”
Dr Grace Lordan, Director of the Inclusion Initiative and author of Think Big, said: “Quantum computing will play a big role in shaping our world in the future. It is important that the world is shaped by people with different perspectives and backgrounds. Women are few and far between in the sector right now: we need to change this.”
Cecily Josten, TII Researcher, said: “The quantum industry is missing out on talent, innovation and productivity without diverse hiring and being inclusive employers.”
whurley, Founder of Strangeworks, said: “Providing equal access and equal opportunities will make the difference between humanity’s future being diverse or dystopian.”
Denise Ruffner, President of DiviQ: “This study is a great summary of the problems and solutions to bring diversity into the quantum industry.”
Denise Wilson OBE, CEO at FTSE Women Leaders Review, said: “D&I must be owned and held accountable at Board level.”
This briefing paves the way for The Inclusion Initiative’s future research focus on Diversity & Inclusion in a quantum sector forecast to be worth up to $10 billion by 2027.
Read the report here: The-City-Quantum-Summit-TII-Report.pdf (lse.ac.uk)