Salesforce increases diversity through education and development of young people and returners

Salesforce is focusing its efforts on education and developing young people and returners to increase diversity within the technology sector, says Charlotte Finn, Vice President, Programs-EMEA at

Speaking to WeAreTheCity at the Salesforce World Tour 2016, which took place recently at the London Excel Centre, Finn said: “Salesforce has been focusing on workforce development and education.”Salesforce logo - increasing diversity

“We have been bringing kids into Salesforce tower to experience what working in technology is like and also we have invited the unemployed and those that wish to return to work after a break. Unemployed candidates and returners are being encouraged through Salesforce’s Trailhead path, which is a training course for developers to learn Salesforce at all levels.

“It’s about reminding them of the confidence and getting the Salesforce staff to tell them what’s possible,” Finn added.

“When they come in they get to meet all levels of Salesforce staff including the likes of Andy Lawson, SVP and UK Country Leader at Salesforce, to encourage them to believe that they can do it.”

Finn said there is not a shortage of volunteers at Salesforce willing to sign up for opportunities to support people visiting the Salesforce tower or taking part in programmes that the company supports.

“We have had a 85% take up rate for volunteering which has equated to 500,000 hours globally so far this year. Last year in June we celebrated one million hours of volunteering since the programme’s inception which was 15 years ago,” Finn added.

Salesforce employees have the flexibility to decide when, where and for what cause they volunteer. Employees receive seven days of Volunteer Time Off (VTO) per fiscal year a $1,000 Champion Grant to donate to the nonprofit of their choice once they reach seven days of VTO and access to Team Grants to support employee volunteer activities.

“Volunteers offer a range of skills such as interviewing and mentoring or they support not-for-profits who can’t afford an IT department by offering their expertise. There is a retention correlation of best places to work and opportunities to volunteer. Six out of ten millennials say they want to work for an organisation with a purpose and you are 2.3 times more like to retain an employee that feels engaged.”

Inspirational quotes: Notable women in technology

Despite the technology industry only being made up of 18% females, there are many notable women who have contributed advancing the tech sector.

Below you will find a selection of inspirational quotes from notable women in technology.

“A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are for. Sail out to sea and do new things.”Women in tech awards feature

— Rear Admiral Grace Hopper the US Navy’s oldest active-duty officer at the time of her retirement. She developed the first compiler for a computer programming language and was a developer of UNIVAC I and COBOL. She also coined the terms “computer bug” and “debugging” after she opened her computer to fix it and a moth flew out of it.

“Any girl can be glamorous. All she has to do is stand still and look stupid.”

— Hedy Lamarr, actress, and co-developer of a frequency-hopping/spread spectrum technology based on a player piano. Described as “the most beautiful woman in Europe,” Lamarr never earned a penny from her patent, however after her patent expired, the tech was picked up by the US Navy during the Cuban Missile Crisis in guided torpedoes.

"I think it's very important to get more women into computing. My slogan is: Computing is too important to be left to men."

— Karen Spärck Jones, Professor of Computers and Information at Cambridge Computer Laboratory. Jones introduced the concept of inverse document frequency (IDF) used by most search engines.

 “Be First And Be Lonely.” 

Ginni Rometty, Chairwoman and CEO of IBM is an American business executive. She is noted as the first woman to head IBM. Prior to becoming president and CEO in January 2012 she held the positions of Senior Vice President and Group Executive for Sales, Marketing, and Strategy at IBM.

“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.”

 Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo! Mayer is an American business executive and computer scientist, currently serving as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Yahoo!, a position she has held since July 2012.

“That brain of mine is something more than merely mortal; as time will show.”

— Ada Lovelace was a Mathematician and Computer Scientist. Countess of Lovelace was an English mathematician and writer, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. She is widely reported as being the first female coder.

Sarah Wood, Co-CEO of Unruly, and Cassandra Stavrou, Co-Founder of Propercorn, win at Veuve Clicquot awards

Veuve Clicquot awards, champagne

Sarah Wood, Founder and Co-CEO of Unruly and Cassandra Stavrou, Co-Founder and CEO of Propercorn have been crown winners of the 2016 Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award and New Generation Award.

The Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Awards are regarded as the ‘Oscars’ amongst female entrepreneurs and business leaders. The awards were first launched 43 years ago to celebrate entrepreneurial women who are making significant contributions to business life in the UK.

Sarah Wood, Founder and Co-CEO of Unruly

Wood founded the online video service Unruly in 2006. The business has since expanded to 15 offices worldwide with over 200 people employed. Wood was also central to Unruly’s acquisition by NewsCorp in late 2015 in a deal worth £114m.

Today, Unruly works with 90% of AdAge 100 brands to connect them with consumers and has already notched up two trillion views to date including work with Adidas, Dove, T-Mobile, Evian and Renault.

Wood is a champion for diversity in the workplace, wit over 48% of her workforce being female. In addition 46% of Unruly’s management team are women.

Wood is a London Tech Ambassador and is an associate lecturer at the University of Cambridge, where she teaches an MPhil course in “Mash-Ups, Memes and LOLitics: Online Video Culture and the Screen Media Revolution.

She also co-founded a free pop-up university in London’s Tech City called “City Unrulyversity”. Taught by academics from City University London, it pops up every Wednesday night at Unruly HQ.

On receiving her award Wood, said: “As an entrepreneur I know just how important it is to celebrate success, and as a mum of three amazing children I can see first-hand the significance of role models for the next generation of entrepreneurs and female business leaders.

“So it’s brilliant to see Madame Clicquot continuing to inspire female business leaders to this day, and I’m delighted to be attending the ceremony with three exceptionally talented women who have been instrumental to the continuing growth of Unruly’s phenomenal success - Clem Carlisle, Lucy Greggains and Deana Murfitt, I salute you!"

Cassandra Stavrou, Co-founder and CEO of Propercorn

Stavrou told her mother of her plans to start a healthy popcorn business and she reminded her that the last present her father gave her before he passed away was a vintage popcorn maker.

She decided to quit her job and move back home to make Propercorn a reality. After almost two years of seasoning popcorn in a cement mixer, she was at a point where she could bring her idea to life.

Stavrou launched her business by securing a deal to stock Propercorn at Google HQ. It was also featured as a snack at London Fashion Week.

Today Propercorn has a team of 40 based in offices in North London and is available in 10 countries in Europe. Since first launching in October 2011, Propercorn has over 15,000 stockists including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Ocado and Boots and it has emerged as one of the fastest growing brands in the UK.

She recently launched Propercorn Platform, which is open to budding entrepreneurs aged 16-23. The winning business idea receives funding and mentorship to get their company off the ground.

The Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award was set up to celebrate up and coming female entrepreneurial talent in the UK who show a genuine commitment to responsible and sustainable business practices whilst optimising a gap in today’s market.

Stavrou on receiving her award said: “It’s such an honour to receive the New Generation award and to appear alongside such an impressive group of finalists. The awards are an amazing celebration of entrepreneurs from around the world and it’s been inspiring to learn more about Madame Clicquot’s tenacious spirit and legacy of entrepreneurship”

Julie Nollet, Marketing & Communication Director, Moët Hennessy UK, said: “We are thrilled to celebrate two incredible winners who come from such very different sectors, both are incredibly inspiring in not only their approach to business but what they continue to achieve outside their very busy working lives. Both Sarah and Cassandra exhibit those key attributes that Madame Clicquot had in 1805 when she became the first woman to take over a champagne house; those same characteristics that are still so clearly evident today as we celebrate in our winners in 2016.”

The award’s independent judging panel is comprised of business leaders including; Caroline Michel, CEO Peters, Frasers & Dunlop, Carolyn McCall, CEO, Easyjet, Ruth Rogers, River Café, Stephen Quinn, Publishing Director of Vogue, Luke Johnson, Chairman, Risk Capital Partners, as well as Sian Westerman, MD, Rothschild.

Children lose interest in tech in late teens, finds survey

children learning to use computer with parent
Children lose interest in careers in technology as they reach their late teenage years, according to a survey from Nominet and Parent Zone.

The study found that 77% of children aged 11 to 12 are more likely to be inspired by a career in IT, as opposed to 63% of 17 to 18 year olds.

Children aged 11 to 18 were found to be most interested in development careers, with almost a quarter stating they wanted to be a games developer. 13% said they wanted a career in apps development and 12.6% said they aspired to be a web developer.

Only a quarter of girls claimed they wanted to work in an IT department, compared to 43% of boys. However, 12.3% of girls said they would like a career in games development and 11.5% said they wanted to be an entrepreneur.

Vicki Shotbolt, CEO of Parent Zone, said children, particularly young women, can be put off of careers in technology if their parents advise them otherwise: “It’s easy for parents to slip into the trap of being negative about technology, but it’s important they try to see it through their children’s eyes and remember that technology is likely to feature in their careers when they leave school.

"There are lots of resources available to parents when it comes to cultivating their children’s interests in IT, so they should know that help is available if they need it.”

The majority of girls aged between 11 and 18 said they wanted a career in fashion design (13%). The top career for boys in this age group was games development (36.5%).

Shotbolt added: “Young women are strongly influenced by their school years, what they learn and the role models they look up to. These influences can clearly make a difference to the choices they make later in life, so it’s paramount we do all we can now to ensure the success of our future IT workforce.”

Russell Haworth, CEO of Nominet, said a collaborated effort between the IT industry and the education sector could help to ensure more young people are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to pursue a technology career.

Haworth said: “We’re putting the future of our digital economy at risk if we recruit from only half of the talent pool and fail to encourage more girls into IT. It appears that sustained collaboration between schools and the IT industry is what’s required to ignite girls’ interest and to develop their skills.”

Nominations open for WISE Awards 2016 | New men’s category

Kayleigh Bateman

Nominations are now open for the WISE Awards 2016, which focuses on showcasing women in the science, technology and engineering sectors.

WISE Awards 2016The nominations are now open and the deadline for submissions is 9:00am on Friday 8 July 2016.

WISE has launched a new “WISE Man of the Year Award”, which is jointly sponsored by McKinsey and the Royal Academy of Engineering.

WISE describe the category as: “Recognising the crucial role men play in championing diversity and recognise their power to change workplace cultures and influence perceptions in order to make a bigger difference.”

Last year Her Royal Highness (HRH) The Princess Royal, Patron of WISE, presented the winners with their trophies. She said: “We want to show every girl in this country and her family that she could have a wonderful future in science and engineering.”

Previous winners include Anna Shaw, Laboratory Analyst Apprentice, GlaxoSmithKline and winner of the WISE Apprentice Award 2014.

She said: “I chose the apprenticeship route because I enjoy having a full time job but wanted to really develop myself technically too. The Award means a lot to me because I was never pushed forward by teachers at school. I want to make it possible for all the younger generation of people who follow to do the same thing.”

The WISE Awards 2016 categories and sponsors are listed below:

WISE Rising Star Award – sponsored by Intel
For a girl or young woman studying or training in science, technology, engineering or mathematics whose achievements and passion have inspired others to follow in her footsteps. (Replaces WISE Girl and WISE Apprentice Awards)

WISE Hero Award – sponsored by Babcock
To celebrate the inspirational story of a woman using science, technology or engineering to make the world a better place.

WISE Health & Safety Award – sponsored by BAM Nuttall
For a woman who has improved health and safety within a science, technology, engineering, manufacturing or construction environment.

WISE Research Award – sponsored by Winton Capital
Celebrating cutting edge research in science, technology, engineering or mathematics - to show the contributions women are making to advances in scientific or other technical fields.

WISE International Open Source Award – sponsored by Bloomberg
This is an international award for female contributors to open source software projects, reflecting the global nature of the open source community and the tech sector at large. Finalists will be asked to commit to an activity that helps get girls and women excited about careers in technology.

WISE Tech Start-Up Award – sponsored by Goldman Sachs
For a woman who has used technology to set up, or helped set up, a successful business.We are looking for innovation in the business model, product or service, business model, or the way in which technology is used in the business.

WISE Employer Award – sponsored by AWE
For an employer who has adopted the Ten Steps or a similar framework and can demonstrate a positive impact on the recruitment, retention and progression of women in their organisation, through their supply chain and/or the wider industry.

WISE Impact Award – sponsored by Thales
For a project, campaign or initiative which has significantly increased the number of girls or women in science, technology, engineering or mathematics in the UK and could be replicated by others. We are looking for evidence of sustained change.

WISE Woman of the Year Award – sponsored by Rolls-Royce PLC
Celebrating the achievements of a woman in a leadership role in a science, technology or engineering industry.

WISE Man of the Year Award – jointly sponsored by McKinsey & The Royal Academy of Engineering
To recognise men who are championing gender diversity, using their influence to drive change in their own organisation and amongst their peers.

WeAreTheCity's Rising Star Shortlist 2016 announcement

Rising Star awards-shortlist 2016-banner

We are extremely proud to announce our shortlist for WeAreTheCity’s Top 100 Rising Star Awards 2016.

The calibre of entries across all categories was extremely high this year and a true testament to the amazing amount of female talent within the pipeline across the UK and Northern Ireland.

On behalf of Barclays and our supporting sponsors, we would like to extend our sincere thanks to everyone who nominated their Rising Stars for this year’s awards. We received over 950 nominations spanning 260 companies from across the UK and Northern Ireland, which was treble the amount of entries received last year.

We are very much looking forward to celebrating our shortlisted individuals’ achievements at an event kindly sponsored by Bloomberg on the 17 May 2016.

The shortlist will now be judged by an additional set of expert judges, and the winners of our Rising Star awards for 2016 will be announced on 6 June and celebrated at our winner’s event at Barclays on 30 June.

To view the 2016 shortlist, please visit here

We would like to personally thank our shortlist judges: Paul Sesay, Simone Roche, Jo Gaglani, Mairi McHaffie, Nicola Horlick, Helene Reardon-Bond, Duncan McRae and Yvonne Thompson.  They all gave their valuable time to assemble our shortlist and to help WeAreTheCity to recognise the fantastic achievements of all of our amazing nominees.

Supporters of our nominees are now able to show our shortlisted nominees their support by casting their votes. The vote count does not determine the winners.  Please note there is no public voting for our Champions category.  Votes can be cast via the shortlist pages.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish our shortlisted nominees the very best of luck in the final round of judging.

For more detail about the awards, please visit here

Rising Star awards Shortlist - vote now

Tech Partnership launches My Tech Future campaign to encourage girls into IT industry

The Tech Partnership has launched a campaign to encourage more girls to take up careers in technology, called My Tech Future.

My Tech Future campaign The Tech Partnership is a growing network of employers that are working together to create skills for the digital economy.

The campaign targets girls aged 9-18 and encourages them into the tech industry through employer-led interventions. The campaign is being sponsored by BT, HP Enterprise and TCS.

My Tech Future will launch with a piece of research, surveying young people, parents and teachers. The research aims to shed light on girls’ attitudes, aspirations and concerns, and will also identify and test potential solutions.

The results of the research will be published during Tech Week taking place July 4-8. Tech Week involves employers opening up their offices and workplaces to young people.

BT’s Emer Timmons, who accompanied Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Women, Equalities and Family Justice Caroline Dinenage MP to the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women in March, said: “Women need and deserve the opportunity to make the most of their abilities in meaningful and worthwhile work. Through My Tech Future, BT is supporting girls’ aspirations and helping inspire them about the many exciting digital roles that are available to them.”

Jacqui Ferguson, SVP & General Manager at HP Enterprise Services UK&I and MEMA, said: “The digital economy has opened the door to a wide range of career options in what is a rapidly evolving marketplace. Hewlett Packard Enterprise is committed to inspiring more girls to develop their digital skills and consider further education or a career in technology.

“As such, we are delighted to be supporting My Tech Future and see it as a natural supplement to our sponsorship of TechFuture Girls, the after-school clubs for girls between 9-14 years old aiming to enhance learning in IT.”

Yogesh Chauhan, Director of Corporate Sustainability at TCS, said: “A diverse workforce is important to TCS and the tech sector more generally, so we need to get behind initiatives like My Tech Future and ensure that we’re not losing out on a huge untapped resource of female talent. TCS is proud to support this work, alongside our sponsorship of TechFuture Ambassadors, who work directly with schools to inspire students.”

Karen Price, CEO of the Tech Partnership said: “Tech Partnership employers are excited about giving school students, and particularly girls, an opportunity to see first-hand their fascinating work and stimulating environments.

“Other organisations who’d like to join them in inspiring girls about careers in tech by taking part in Tech Week would be more than welcome – it’s a chance to disperse any preconceptions and show kids directly what an adventure the digital world can offer.”

Computer Weekly’s 2016 Most Influential Women in UK IT nominations close this week

computer weekly'sNominations for Computer Weekly's 2016 list of the 50 most influential women in UK technology close this week.

The deadline for submission of nominations to Computer Weekly's awards is 5.00pm on Friday 22 April 2016, which means there is not long left to submit!

This is the fifth year the programme has been run. It aims to recognise and reward female leaders and role models who are making a difference to the IT industry landscape.

A panel of industry judges will be whittling the nominations to a shortlist of 50 based on the achievements, potential, leadership skills and influence of each nominee.

Judges of this year’s awards include:

  • Kayleigh Bateman, head of digital content and business development at WeAreTheCity.
  • Andrea Palmer, performance lead in IT&S at BP and treasurer of BCSWomen.
  • Sharon Clews, director of people and talent management at TechUK.
  • Maggie Berry, founder of Women in Technology.
  • Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates.
  • Rubi Kaur, senior technical architect at Vodafone Group and BCS council member.
  • Clare McDonald, business editor of Computer Weekly.
  • Bryan Glick, editor-in-chief of Computer Weekly

Computer Weekly readers are then invited to vote in an online poll for who they think should be crowned Most Influential Woman in UK IT 2016.

The final order of the top 50 and the winner of the award will be announced at a special event in London on 23 June as part of this year’s London Technology Week.

Last year’s winner was Last year’s winner was TechUK president and Citrix area vice-president for northern Europe Jacqueline de Rojas.

You can submit your entry here.

Those chosen for Computer Weekly’s most influential women in UK IT list will also be added to the nominations for UKtech50, our annual search for the most influential people in the UK technology scene.

Women 6.0 | Being a Tech Role Model | A Morgan Stanley & WeAreTheCity event | In Words

Women across the technology sector gathered to join, celebrate and learn about becoming a tech role model during the Women 6.0 event last week.
Mona Niknafs, Technical Associate, Morgan Stanley - Talking Tech role models
Mona Niknafs, Technical Associate, Morgan Stanley - Talking Tech role models

For the fourth consecutive year, Morgan Stanley and WeAreTheCity presented an innovative event, which heard from inspiring speakers such as Maggie Philbin and the next generation of tech; as well as showcasing not-for-profit organisations supporting the growth of women entering the technology industry.

Opening the night, Vanessa Vallely, founder of WeAreTheCity said, “It is humbling to see so many women who want to give back to technology.”

Continuing Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, Gerard Hester said, “It is extremely inspiring to see so many female technologists passionate about shaping the pipeline of women coming into technology. Whether you feel comfortable speaking at a school assembly, running an after-school club, sharing expertise via Skype or mentoring a fellow female technologist, we hope to offer something for all aspiring role models tonight.”

Tech journalist, former presenter of Tomorrow’s World and CEO of TeenTech, Maggie Philbin inspired the audience with her own journey into the tech industry.

She said, “I loved science at school and I thought that being a vet was my only option – and in many instances young girls still face this today.”

“It doesn’t matter what age you are, you are potentially a role model who can make a difference. Never underestimate the difference you can make as an individual.”

Further highlighting the need to promote and encourage more women to become tech role models, three young speakers spoke about their personal need to have a female influence when pursuing technology.

Ella Rosa, 12, spoke of the need to have a more in-depth technology curriculum and to ‘hear from adults who have fun tech careers’. She also did not want to be the only girl in a classroom of boys. Mohima Ahmed, Imperial College Student and AppsForGood graduate, encouraged attendees to say, ‘so what if I’m a girl’.

She continued, “This is the kind of generation we are so close to building. If you are interested in something, you can continue to be so.”

Mona Niknafs, Technical Associate at Morgan Stanley spoke of the need to promote women into the technology sector and encourage mentoring among them. She said, “In my experience, having a mentor has been extremely beneficial and I think others in my position will appreciate having one to help find their unique path in technology. As the network grows, there will be more members and therefore more mentors and so our cycle can continue.”

Over the course of the evening, attendees were given the opportunity to learn about each enterprise’s initiative and how they could get involved or inspire others to pursue a career in technology. Amongst the organisations were Stemettes, AppsForGood, #techMums and Code Club.

To view all the photos from the Women 6.0 event, click here.


25/05/2016: You are not an Imposter: How to Beat Imposter Syndrome

You are not an imposter event.png NEW
FULLY BOOKED: You are not an imposter: Getting ahead isn’t just about being the best, it’s about believing it.

To realise your full potential you not only need to have the skills, you need to be confident in them – to not only succeed, but to take ownership for this success. And yet, for the 70% of people that suffer from Imposter Syndrome this is much easier said than done.

“I am not a writer. I’ve been fooling myself and other people,” John Steinbeck wrote in his diary in 1938. 

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has said, "There are still days when I wake up feeling like a fraud."

On Wednesday the 25th of May in partnership with WeAreTheCityHuddle will host an interactive evening aimed at conquering Imposter Syndrome.

Lead by Executive and Board-level coach, Deena Gornick, and featuring a panel of business leaders, attendees will learn how to increase confidence and better celebrate their success. Guests will leave feeling empowered and able to properly take credit for and acknowledge their achievements.

Please join us for an evening of presentations, workshops, networking and refreshments. All are welcome at this free event, we encourage both men and women to join however space is limited so register early! THIS EVENT IS NOW FULLY BOOKED

When: Wednesday, 25th May, registration at 6:15pm

Where: Huddle Offices

2 Leman Street
2nd Floor Aldgate Tower
London, E1 8FA

Our Speaker:

Deena Gornick

Executive and Board-level coach Deena has over 20 years’ experience in coaching both men and women to help them with confidence, presence and communication. Deena will give a short introduction to the subject of the Imposter Syndrome, then she will run 3 sessions that have the aim of enabling attendees to stand by their achievements and to be able to articulate them to others clearly without feeling like a fraud.


To be confirmed, stay tuned for updates!


Registration & Refreshments from 6:15pm - 6:40pm

Start &Welcome: 6:40pm - 6:50pm

Deena Gornick Avoiding Imposter Syndrome: 6:50pm - 8:00pm

Panel Discussion: 8:00pm - 8:30pm

Close: 8:30pm - 8:35pm

Network & Refreshments: 8:35pm – 9:00pm


When: Wednesday, May 25, 2016 from 6:15 PM to 9:00 PM (BST) - Add to Calendar

Where: 2 Leman Street 2nd Floor Aldgate Tower, London E1 8FA, United Kingdom - View Map

**Huddle is the most trusted solution for secure collaboration and project management.