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How Young Black Engineers Are Advocating For Employment In Berlin

Kave Bulambo, founder of Black in Tech Berlin speaks with other members of the tech group via video call in the conference room of the public co-working space where she often works in Berlin, Germany, Aug. 21, 2020. Berlin is considered one of the main hotspots for start-ups and technology companies in Europe. Kave Bulambo originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo but grew up in South Africa before moving to Berlin, founded a group for Black professionals in the technology sector in the German capital and hopes that her group can be a step towards a more inclusive technology sector in the German capital. (AP Photo/Jona Kallgren)

The black engineers in Berlin known as the “Black in Tech Berlin” have started a group to promote diversity in the Berlin’s sector, this is because the employees feel the sector aren’t fair enough to them as they have been underrepresented and neglected over the years prior to the fact that they are blacks.

Berlin has been tagged as one of Europe’s biggest tech in hubs, but it is overwhelmingly white, which the blacks aren’t taking it fair on their part.

Senait Isaac, a member of Black in Tech Berlin, said that she feels undervalued in the industry.

“I feel like has taken five steps back. It’s so unfortunate I feel I’ve worked extremely hard to get to the point where I’m at, but a lot of the companies here in Germany really tend to undervalue my experiences, my skillset, my education, it is just a constant battle, whether it is during interviews, or during the negotiation process. Everyone is really trying me”.

Ansela Manful, another member of the group, who moved to Berlin from Ghana, says she is always aware of her race when she is applying for positions.

“There are times I ask myself; did I not get that job because of my skin colour? That thought still crosses my mind, but in dealing with it, I try to sharpen my skills, I mean, upskill myself, so that when I get that opportunity I can show them what I’m made of and I do excellent work.”

A report that polled 1,200 European founders of tech companies has found that 84% self-identified as white and only 0.9% identified as Black.

The engineers in Berlin have made their point and they want a change in the industry where black people could be fully represented and regarded well as every other person in the sector.

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