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6 Questions on Diversity & Inclusion with Zandra Moore

Co-founded by “Leeds lass born and bred” Zandra Moore, Panintelligence is a Business Intelligence (BI) tool focused on data-driven reporting and predictive analysis. 

Check out our blog on how Diversity and Inclusion Reporting inspires better business here.

Twice nominated and sponsor of the Leeds Digital Festival Awards and once winner of the Technology Innovation award, Zandra and Panintelligence are seasoned attendees.  Panintelligence are sponsoring the Diversity and Inclusion category at this year’s event, a topic very close to Zandra’s heart.

Having been involved in the tech industry her whole career, and with Panintelligence for over a decade, Zandra offers her unique perspective on Leeds’ thriving tech community. A community which needs to harness its influence to enable more diverse and inclusive opportunities on the global stage.

What do Panintelligence offer the tech sector?

Panintelligence is a data analytics, software solution that is used by technology companies, usually SaaS vendors, that have a lot of data at their heart. It helps their customers leverage that data and turn it into useful insights, helping their customers make decisions. Panintelligence is a tool that enables things like real-time visualisations, historic reporting and predictions.

We’re used by technology companies as a faster route to give their customers data insight. We’re often a hidden piece of added value that they give their customers to help them access data.

How are you involved in the tech community here in Leeds?

We’re very involved in the tech sector here in Leeds. We attend events like Leeds Digital Festival, we’re very actively involved in Women in Leeds Digital. I personally run Lean in Leeds, which is a network for gender diversity – we’ve got 900 members in that community.

I also run No Code Lab which is a community that enables the no code sector of the UK to come together and help entrepreneurs build quick MVPs using no code technology. It helps innovation and entrepreneurship accelerate by using no code as an enabler. At the heart of that is diversity and inclusion, because the biggest challenges we have in the digital sector is a lack of skills and talent. Not just generally, but diversity in that talent pool.

You can move that diversity by giving people access to technology that doesn’t require you to have an education, have access to funds or have been already predisposed to the idea that this might be for you. No Code really helps anybody access the digital economy and create new products.

Why is being involved important?

It’s important because, for us to all benefit from technology, everybody needs to be a builder and designer of it. Diversity’s incredibly important in tech entrepreneurship and innovation. If you don’t have diversity at that design and build phase, too often it’s more likely to serve the audience of the people who’ve built and designed that technology. We build better products and better solutions for more people if we have diversity at that stage of technology. 

When it comes to leadership of organisations, there’s a lot of data to show that more diverse boards produce more sustainable and profitable companies. We get products that are built for everyone if we involve more diversity at the design and build phase of innovation, and we get better businesses if we have more diversity in leadership.

If I could fix diversity everywhere, I would. I’d do it in parliaments, I’d do it in local authorities. 

Tech’s a powerful place to start. The future of our economic prosperity as a country, the future of work, is tech driven. All of us are influenced by technology. All human beings on the planet. Very few are not influenced or supported by technology, so it’s not a bad place to start.

Being ethical in our consideration of the companies we build and how we build them, and whether they’re able to self-sustain and sustainably support their communities – diverse teams are more likely to do that than non-diverse teams.

You’re sponsoring the Diversity & Inclusion category at the Leeds Digital Festival Awards. Why have you chosen to support the awards?

I’ve chosen these awards because I’m a Leeds lass born and bred; cut me in half it’ll say Leeds. Many generations of my family live locally; my husband’s a Harehills lad, so I’ve got real heart in the city. 

I have a real belief that we need to level up the UK when it comes to opportunities for all. Leeds has a really burgeoning and vibrate tech ecosystem that needs to be shouted about on the global stage. 

Not just on the UK stage. Let’s not just compete with London, let’s compete with Silicon Valley.

I think Leeds Digital Festival is a great way of putting Leeds on the map, levelling up the north and bringing investment into the region.

What are the challenges for minority groups?

One of the biggest challenges in diversity is minority groups forging away trying to not be the minority. Often therefore, they’re isolated, and in isolation it makes it more difficult to make change happen. By coming together as minority groups, we can support one another and enable each other to make that change happen. 

Meeting another female CEO of a data company at the LDF Awards was incredibly empowering. There’s a huge amount of value in minorities that are trying to push that bar and level the playing field, coming together to support, empower and enable one another.

We’re really looking forward to the event. What are you looking forward to the most?

I’ve been to it many times. I’ve been an award-winner. I was shortlisted and didn’t win once. We were shortlisted and won. We sponsored last time and we’re sponsoring this time. I know this event well, so I’m in it for life now. I’m never going to unpick myself and I wouldn’t want to either. 

At the Awards four years ago, I met Anna Sutton, Sarah Tulip and Deborah Hetherington. As a result of that meeting, I built some incredibly meaningful relationships with other women who are passionate about diversity in tech. It’s been nice to have built a network of other people equally as passionate as I am. 

I’m looking forward to it because I’m hoping to meet another Sarah Tulip, Anna Sutton, and Deborah Hetherington. If I collected three more phenomenal women like I did at the event a few years ago, that’ll be one of the most amazing things to get out of it.

Leeds Digital Festival was a huge enabler for finding people like me that I’ve not found before.

Check out our 5 steps to embedding D&I into your tech business here.

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