Women In Technology 2017- Scotland #WinTec17

Women In Technology 2017- Scotland #WinTec17

 

Nine Twenty were lucky enough to secure tickets to the Women In Technology event hosted by Maddox Events.  Now the dust has settled what better time than International Women’s Day to put thoughts down on paper and share what we learned about the day. We asked our employees Rachael and Emma about their experience on the day:

What was your reason for wanting to attend the day?

Rachael: As a Technology recruiter I have a good sense of what’s happening in the industry in terms of recruiting trends and I’m able to map out the candidate community but generally speaking, as recruiters, we are still on the outskirts of the industry. I wanted to head along to really immerse myself into the industry and use this opportunity to learn, share knowledge and network.

Emma: Working in Digital Marketing for Nine Twenty, I was more interested in really learning as much as possible about women in tech, how companies are promoting themselves in line with new diversity challenges, and how we can apply this both to Nine Twenty personally and also how we can advise clients when we work with them on employer branding. In addition, I am always looking for ways to continually develop my knowledge especially within the digital space so I was hoping to hear from some strong female role models on the day.

Who would you say were the stand out speakers?

Emma: We were both in agreement that all the speakers were particularly strong at this event and the mix of individual speakers and panel discussions made for a great day that was genuinely thought provoking. My personal favourite was probably Karen Stilman from Sky who took more of a personal approach to the event and introduced her talk by sharing a story about her own daughter’s experience at school. Unfortunately despite Karen’s own successful career in tech, she realised that her high school age daughter was not interested in choosing computer science at school. After some more questioning, it was clear that she didn’t understand what the subject was, wasn’t able to relate this to her own life and make the connection between technology and a career. Worse still, because most other girls were in this situation, the school would run Home Economics classes at the same time as Computing Science meaning that this ‘unconscious bias’ was fuelling even more of a gender diversity issue. Fortunately after discussion, Karen’s daughter ultimately decided to take Computer Science as a subject, a decision she made on her own but WITH the knowledge required to make an informed choice- something everyone should be entitled to.

*Karen Stilman at Sky

*STEM statistics

Rachael: For me, I loved hearing from Lan O’Connor, formerly of CapGemini. She started her presentation by addressing the room with ‘Congratulations, you are in demand,’ something that really struck a chord with me. I have worked in tech recruitment for 5 years and I can honestly say that female technology candidates have never been more in demand and sadly there are just not enough. Lan is a great example of the different routes in Technology and also the huge variety of roles within the sector; technology doesn’t mean the stereotypical image of an antisocial coder sitting with headphones in, there are so many other opportunities out there. Lan works in a Business Transformation role and while she is fully immersed in the tech market, she is not a typical ‘techie.’

*Lan O’Connor

*Lan’s presentation on technology career paths

Emma: We both also loved hearing from JP Morgan where we were introduced to strong females in tech all at different stages of their careers and it was interesting to hear about the growth of their diversity programmes internally. I think the quote of the day came from Marnie at JP Morgan who told the crowd ‘The face of technology no longer has a beard.’

*Part of Marnie McCormack of JP Morgan’s presentation

 

What did you take away from the event?

Rachael: I think it’s fair to say we both left the event feeling genuinely inspired and really keen to learn more about how we can contribute to positive change. Since the event, we have certainly started a conversation internally both about how we can improve diversity in our business as well as how we can best advise our clients. We are currently looking into ways we can act as female role models and provide guidance to schools and universities and how we can advise our clients to get involved too. If nothing else, we now have a deeper understanding of the challenges around gender diversity within the industry and it is really positive to see events like this which are designed to educate as well as suggesting ways for improvement.

 

Do you need support with diversity in your workplace or simply want to talk about ways in which you could make a positive impact and support women in tech? Contact Rachael Baxter for more details on 0141 231 1260 or email rbaxter@weareninetwenty.com