At just 21 years old, Olivia Hake, Vice-Chairperson, UKI PRIDE, Business Network Group, has been making strides to ensure the safety and inclusion of members of the LGBT community at DXC Technology. She even became vice-chair of their pride community, helping DXC Technology implement diversity and inclusion within the company. Her role in this resulted in her being awarded the Diversity Advocate Award at the Future Stars of Tech Awards 2020.
Olivia’s award-winning work focuses on ensuring LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace. However, it is equally as important for non-LGBTQ+ colleagues to support their colleagues: “It wasn’t clear to me whether being out and proud was the right thing to do. Allyship in the workplace gives safety and security for those of the LGBTQ+ community, and it provides the environment for us to bring our whole self to work. I am grateful to have such a strong group of allies who support me, and I want everyone to have the same experience.
Young woman on the rise
As a young woman whose own ambition and hard work have landed her in a position to make a change, she shares how other young women can do the same.
“We shouldn’t be afraid to take opportunities like this, just like we shouldn’t be afraid to stand out. When I decided to run for Vice-Chair, I thought of all the negative labels that might be associated with a woman holding that position, such as some of the classics like “loud, bossy and arrogant” may become associated with me, too. I was also acutely aware that I had only been at the company for two months at this point, and I wasn’t sure I would be taken seriously.
“Then I thought about everything good that would come with it such as my opportunity to spread the word, support others, encourage people to bring their whole self to work and maybe for my own benefit, the experience and network I could gain. So, I was delighted to become Vice Chair back in February, and I have since taken on events manager on a wider scale working with colleagues across the globe.”
Inclusion for all
However, diversity and inclusion is not limited to the LGBTQ+ community. Olivia says her work will continue to ensure the inclusion of all.
“Being part of my group has greatly improved my confidence and network at this stage in my career, and I plan to ‘pay it forward’ to all my future colleagues who need guidance, and help their careers to progress in the same way others have supported me.
“Diversity and inclusion span further than just LGBTQ+, and I plan to be there for others in just the same way as I am for this group. As a woman, in a male-dominated industry, who is part of the LGBTQ+ community, I really understand that I can offer so much to so many different people through my work in the future.”
On her win, Olivia said: “I’m thrilled and honoured to have won the Future Stars of Tech Award. To have won at such an early stage in my career gives me the courage to keep fighting for diversity in my workplace and gives me the confidence to know that working hard will lead us to big change. I want to use this accolade to grab the attention of senior leaders in my company and start having important conversations about having a more diverse culture. I will not use this purely for my LGBTQ+ group, but I aim to cover all aspects of diversity to help us grow and achieve as a company.
“We need to encourage other tech leaders by giving one another the support and courage to speak out and speak up about diversity and inclusion. We must adapt and evolve, with the next step in our evolution being to include everyone in the narrative.”
The other winners of the Future Stars of Tech were:
Future Star: AI and Machine Learning
Future Star: Automation
Lucy Llewellyn, Sky Betting & Gaming
Future Star: CTO
Future Star: Cyber Security Leader
Laura Blackwell, Simply Business
Future Star: Data
Future Star: Data Science
Future Star: Developer
Future Star: Digital
Future Star: IT Manager
Future Star: Public Sector
Rhiannon Lawson, Government Digital Service
Future Star: Tech Evangelist
Chanelle Pereira, Credit Suisse