On May 30, the Greater Memphis Chamber hosted a Diversity in Technology Roundtable with members of the British Consulate-General Atlanta, local technology business leaders and diversity advocates. In an effort to understand the city and region’s technical capabilities and strengths, the Consulate’s team members spoke directly with industry experts on Memphis’ unique position as the nation’s number one source of diverse technical talent in terms of both race and gender. Organizations such as CodeCrew, CSforAll and Black Girls CODE had representatives in attendance.
Business leaders cited Memphis’ existing diverse population as an inherent reason for the city’s diverse IT talent pool. Local institutions, too, have shaped the city’s tech ecosystem. The University of Memphis and its associated research center, UMRF, have served as tech resource pipelines, delivering IT talent to the larger Memphis market. Non-academic institutions such as CodeCrew create similar pipelines in large part through bootcamps, which rigorously prepare adults of all ages for entry-level positions in software engineering and related IT fields.
Throughout the roundtable discussion, industry leaders brought attention to the interconnectivity of Memphis’ tech community, which facilitates support and collaboration among both tech novices and seasoned professionals. This tight-knit network of technologists encourages the sharing of employment opportunities and strategies for breaking into the industry. To enhance diversity, participants suggested the removal of degree requirements for IT jobs, particularly entry-level ones, as well as the amplification of minorities’ success stories in the industry.
Industry Experts and UK Consulate Talk Memphis’ Economy, Identify Opportunity
On May 31, the Greater Memphis Chamber hosted a Trade Policy Roundtable for the British Consulate’s economic development team, local entrepreneurs and seasoned businesspeople. Companies represented included Ace Pump, Cigna, Dunavant, Mueller and Optum Health. The Consulate’s team sought to gain insight into Memphis’ economic strengths and opportunities by asking leaders in attendance about the local market, trade policies and the unique characteristics that distinguish Memphis from other cities.
Trade underpins the British Consulate’s presence in the Southeast US. Serving as an industry liaison between companies in the States and the UK, the Consulate fosters economic expansion on both sides of the pond by advising parties interested in growing their offshore markets. To properly advocate for specific cities or regions when working with investors and companies in the UK, the Consulate’s representatives strive to understand the industrial strengths of its territories and metropolitan areas. The Consulate’s consulting services have been and will remain free of charge.
Companies can easily overlook Memphis, and the Southeast region as a whole, given the hype surrounding global hubs like Los Angeles or New York. This discussion in large part consisted of pinpointing the qualities that make Memphis desirable from a business perspective, characteristics that the Consulate can communicate to prospective clients.
Attendees cited Memphis’ supply chain prowess, low cost of living compared to the national average and absence of state income tax, developed manufacturing and healthcare/medical device industries, market maturity and diverse population as enticing features. Participants noted another potential draw: companies that establish a presence in Memphis now will have a hand in shaping its profitable future.BACK