bunq teams up with Next Level to support more diversity in tech
Europe’s 2nd largest neobank made a €100,000 donation to Amsterdam-based initiative Next Level. bunq’s funding supports the non-profit’s aim to raise international awareness around opportunities for young women and marginalised groups in the traditionally homogeneous tech industry.
Representing the new future of tech
Advances in technology underpin many facets of our daily life and have the potential to solve the world’s biggest challenges. However, in order to realise effective and lasting solutions, the tech industry needs to attract more diversity in terms of gender, ethnic, and racial background.
Launched by the leading entrepreneurs behind CapitalT, Tomtom, and Media.Monks, Next Level is a non-profit initiative that aims to inspire young women and people of racial/ethnic minorities to pursue a career in the technology. The project centres on a TV series portraying a group of young people aged 16 to 28 navigating all the challenges, setbacks, successes and excitement faced by tech entrepreneurs in today's environment.
The TV series is set to be released at the end of 2023, and will be accompanied by an interactive platform and online magazine to further disseminate knowledge on both the biases and opportunities that exist in the tech industry. bunq’s donation will allow Next Level to create additional content to build international awareness of the upcoming series. Of the collaboration, bunq CEO and founder Ali Niknam says, “We are extremely proud to support Next Level. Because bunq was founded to provide the financial sector with more diversity, it is a logical step for us to join forces in this great initiative.”
Addressing an industry that needs to change
According to a recent McKinsey study, women occupy only 22% of all tech roles across European companies. For ethnic minorities that number is even lower. In 2022, the State of European Tech’s survey found that 40% of Black, African, and Caribbean respondents, 37% of women, and 39% of non-binary respondents had experienced outright discrimination in the past year. This is compared to 12% of male respondents.
While these shortcomings are reported, the industry has been slow to change. According to Media.Monks’ Victor Knaap, representing what a more inclusive future could look like is the first step to changing the status quo: "Increasing visibility is essential when it comes to improving diversity within the tech sector. As a digital-first company, Media.Monks is proud to collaborate with Next Level and the many partners we work with to push for more women in digital and tech."