James Blackman

Doug Woodburn
clock • 1 min read
James Blackman

James Blackman

Director, AMD

Why is diversity and inclusion so important for the IT channel?

As a business leader, and as an individual, I strongly believe in diversity, belonging and inclusion. There are many studies that demonstrate that team diversity drives creativity and innovative thinking, which are character traits of the highest performing teams.   

How much progress do you believe the industry has made in diversity since you started working in IT? 

I have been fortunate to work in the IT channel since the early 1990s and have seen lots of change, but we can always do more. The biggest change has been an increased acceptance, which has been driven by knowledge and understanding. Continued education and awareness allows us all to not be threatened by ‘different', and enables everyone to better embrace it.  

How did you first get into the IT industry?

My first job in the IT industry was with Ideal Hardware Distribution, a company that had its own, unique culture, driven by three inspirational leaders - James Wickes, Kevin Harper and Simon Barker. They rewarded hard work and loyalty and provided everyone with the opportunity to develop and achieve, whatever level they aspired to. This company shaped me, it taught me to be professional, work hard and be courageous with my ambitions.       

Who have been your biggest role models in your professional life, and how have they helped you to succeed?

This is my 10th year working for AMD. I am proud of their inclusive approach, which is ‘People First'; fostering a workplace where all voices are heard, welcomed and valued, encouraging a culture of respect and belonging.

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