In June of 2020 we formed Amplitude’s Black employee resource group (ERG), Black Leaders at Amplitude Creating Change (BLACC). Our vision is to elevate the experience of Black individuals at Amplitude and within the technology community. We strive to build an inclusive culture to ensure that as we increase Black representation within the company, the environment is one where there is still a strong sense of belonging.
To further this mission, we’re revisiting our ERG spotlight series, and highlighting Black voices in our London office, as part of Black History Month in the U.K.
Next up in the series: Catherine Adeniran, Engagement Manager, EMEA
Here in the U.K., October is a month where the Black British community celebrate Black culture and heritage, as well as honour our past and ancestors who helped to shape our future. With Catherine based in the UK, this spotlight is to amplify her voice as a Black British woman.
What’s your work background?
I’ve been working in the IT industry for the whole of my professional career. After graduating with a computer information systems design degree, I worked for various companies starting in IT training then pivoted into consulting, technical consulting and project/programme management. The last five years introduced me to collaborating with and partnering with companies like Medallia and Qualtrics. I noted the energetic, fast-paced environment which was so memorable that I wanted to join that world. This experience led me to Amplitude.
What’s your role at Amplitude?
I am an engagement manager at Amplitude. I work with our customers to define value creation opportunities, evangelize the adoption of product analytics and provide ideas on how to integrate Amplitude into their organisation’s business workflow and data flow.
What does it mean to you to be Black in the tech space?
My journey in the tech space started when I decided to study a degree in the IT discipline. My family were not initially receptive as it was not deemed to be a recognised or traditional career path to follow after graduation. But I was so determined to take the risk even though it was a relatively new industry. I have subsequently worked in a number of large and small tech organisations and I have always been the only Black woman in my department. This is something that is so stark that I am always cognisant of. This has to change.
I think that the first steps that can be taken to address this imbalance is to encourage young Black women to pursue careers in the tech industry. It would be inspiring for these young women to see women who look like them who have achieved successful, fulfilling careers despite the barriers and challenges. This is one of the reasons why I got involved in an amazing book project called Voices in the Shadows, run by the TLA (Tech London Associates) Black Women in Tech group. The book will present 51 Black women who are doing great things in tech and shining a light on them. I am going to be one of the women featured in the book with my story. It will be distributed in schools throughout the U.K. with the aim of inspiring young Black girls. They can read about how Black women who look like them have succeeded. My hope is this book will garner more interest by the younger generation to consider pursuing a career in tech as they can read about amazing Black women who are excelling.
What do you think the tech industry can do to be more inclusive?
There are two key areas where I think the tech industry can start to be more diverse and inclusive. The first area is recruitment. As part of the recruitment sourcing process, internal HR departments and hiring managers need to include a diverse range of people from different backgrounds and races to go through the interview process so that it is an even playing field.
The second area is the retention of Black and ethnic minority group employees. It’s important that we feel that our workplace is also our safe space; a space where we are able to freely express ourselves without fear of losing our jobs or credibility within the organisation. To me, working in an environment that nurtures a safe space enables me to give full dedication to my job and eventual loyalty to the company.
What advice would you give to people aspiring for success in your field?
When I first started my career in tech, I had not always brought my full self to work. I felt that I had to conform to being someone that I was inherently not, just for the sake of fitting in. I realised that it was important for me to embrace and celebrate what made me different. I was then able to allow my work colleagues to appreciate me as a whole.
My advice is to always bring your full self to work and don’t feel that you have to conform to being someone you are not for the sake of fitting in.
Learn more about working at Amplitude by visiting our careers page.