mental health featured

Women lead wellbeing in tech

mental health

By Haley McPherson, Global Marketing Director, & Samantha Hackett HR Manager, ProLabs

Working for a company that supports the wellbeing of its employees has really enabled me to grow professionally and develop my career as a woman in the tech industry.

People in the industry, but also in general, do not talk about mental health and wellness enough. From socials to break-out time or through creating open discussion, it is very simple for a company to support and foster wellness in the workplace and so important too!

Working my way up to become a Global Marketing Director of a tech company has not been an easy ride for me. Working in any industry, there are factors which could affect a person’s mental health and their ability to perform at work.  Working in the tech industry, there are certain challenges women in particular face with it being such a male orientated industry. Women can feel pressured or unrecognised in this environment which can affect confidence, mental health and career prospects. Having been a long-term sufferer of severe anxiety and other mental health issues for many years I had a rocky patch in my early career which could have led to two outcomes in my professional life; throw it all away or pull through and give everything I have. Whilst easier said than done, pulling through was the best thing I could have done and it got me to where I am today, leading the marketing of a global tech company at the age of 32. I feel very lucky to have had the support networks around me to help me achieve my career in the tech industry. All in all, this enabled me to find the strength to work hard and continue my passions for marketing and communications. Without this, I would not have been recognised as Marketing Leader of the Year at the recent Tech Marketing and Innovation Awards.

Having felt so grateful for the support networks around me in my earlier career, I have been working with our HR Manager, Samantha Hackett to encourage our tech company ProLabs, to integrate new workplace activities and initiatives to improve wellbeing in the workplace. Working with Samantha, we decided to make this year Wellness 2019 – a year in which we focus on mental health and wellness in the workplace. In doing so, we have educated the business on simple ways to improve personal wellbeing. Both Samantha and I believed that working in an environment which supports the wellbeing of its employees is empowering and I would encourage any company to take small, but simple actions to support workplace wellbeing.

For example, everyone across our company is invited to participate in Fit Fridays which take place once a month, which are hosted by our Office Manager Maggie Abellan-Charlton During Fit Friday everyone is encouraged to take their lunch hour on that Friday to carry out an activity or exercise, whether that be a walk in the Cotswolds, playing basketball in the warehouse, roller blading, using the onsite gym or playing football. Everyone who participates is rewarded with a team healthy buffet after exercise and over the year we have had many fun and exciting activities that have not only helped with personal wellbeing but also encouraged team spirit within the company.

To raise awareness within the company of mental health, we support a mental health charity this year called Twigs Community Gardens which gives people the chance to regain confidence after experiencing mental health problems. We hosted a charity football match to raise funds for a mental health charity whilst simultaneously engaging the team with healthy exercise and team building. We also placed posters and branding in the office which gave tips on improving mental health and wellbeing in the office environment. Samantha developed a presentation on advice and help on wellbeing and she also introduced quarterly massages days to staff to help them relax and eliminate stress. In addition, we relaunched our employee assistance program and Samantha delivered satisfaction surveys to extend the openness and communication across the board from activities and socials to the office which was an effective way of creating wellbeing throughout work. For employees to be recognised for their achievements and successes we also shared Customer First awards to recognise individual performance to encourage morale and positive esteem in the office.

While these things are only small actions to recognise wellbeing, we feel the office environment has seen an improvement since we began our Wellness 2019 year. Employees began to engage in new activities and communication and office morale has improved as well as people’s fitness. So many people suffer in silence and are embarrassed or see mental health problems as a weakness. Whilst speaking about my mental health to colleagues was admittedly tough and not easy to do, everyone at my work was supportive and I am so pleased I did. I would encourage others to do so too and even if they are not experiencing mental health battles personally, I would encourage people to begin wellness initiatives in their workplace as it may bring some relief to someone suffering in silence. All it takes is a few dedicated people to run it and any business of any size can. It just requires some time and effort with very little funding necessary. It’s easy and there’s lots of online forums and tips to help. Doing just one wellness activity in the workplace creates an open working environment for everyone to perform at their best and reach their full potential.

Haley McPhersonAbout the author

Haley McPherson, Global Marketing Leader of ProLabs is an experienced brand expert, marketing strategist and is skilled in: internal communications, analysis, promoting education and communication in the industry and social media.

Aged just 31, Haley has created a new era for vendor ProLabs, implementing and leading a complete global rebrand just six months after assuming the role in 2017, and has significantly improved internal communications and brand confidence, shifting ProLabs’ position in the market from an “average compatibles vendor” to a “high quality connectivity expert vendor”. The new messaging and positioning introduced by Haley challenges industry norms by looking to disrupt the OEM market by creating a new tier of expertise, quality and value.

While she excels at marketing and communications, she’s a keen advocate of promoting ProLabs’ people and team’s expertise and has pushed Thought Leadership as a key PR tactic, along with creating the CHOICE concept. Broken up into two segments: ‘CHO’ refers to the simple fact that they should “Choose ProLabs”, while “ICE” represents ProLabs as the “Intelligent Connectivity Experts” that they are.

Haley has worked in the industry for almost ten years across intelligence, cyber security, media and TV, where she has gained key skills and has kept in touch with everyone who has ever worked with her. A keen advocate for internal communications and a “happy workplace”, she knows the importance of a happy work place to encourage motivation and continued learning for staff morale.


WeAreVirtual, WeAreTechWomen, Dell Technologies webinars 1

WeAreTechWomen & WeAreVirtual, in partnership with DELL Technologies, introduce FREE tech webinars

WeAreVirtual, WeAreTechWomen, Dell Technologies webinars

WeAreTechWomen & WeAreVirtual, in partnership with Dell Technologies, introduce FREE tech webinars

WeAreTechWomen and WeAreVirtual, in partnership with Dell Technologies, are proud to introduce a series of tech webinars for FREE.

WeAreVirtual is WeAreTechWomen’s new initiative to pay it forward and support the ongoing development of our community. Together with our sponsors and supporters, we will want to bolster your learning by providing more content through our websites and social channels, as well as opportunities to learn and engage online.

With the support of Dell Technologies, we will be bringing you webinars focused on how technology can help you to navigate these uncertain times. Held every three weeks via Zoom, each session will be 45 minutes of educational tips and tricks and will include a Q&A.

Topics will include:

  1. Recovering from a cyber-attack – Lessons learnt and looking towards the future
  2. Building business resilience in times of change – Insights from Business Leaders
  3. Understanding, preparing for and mitigating cyber threats
  4. Augmented working and the future of work in this new reality
  5. Making the most of cloud technologies in a multi-cloud era
  6. Making sustainable technology choices

Dayne TurbittSpeaking about the partnership, Dayne Turbitt, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Dell Technologies UK, said, “We share a goal to increase diversity and female representation, from our engineering teams through to our fields sales team.”

“Diversity, inclusion and belonging are core to our values and we are proud to support WeAreTechWomen.

“We wholeheartedly believe in the importance of creating, nurturing and empowering talented females in technology.”

Vanessa Vallely, Managing Director, WeAreTechWomen added, “We are incredibly excited to be working with DELL Technologies and to be bringing our members this fantastic webinar series.”

“In these challenging times, we have to adapt and change and these webinars are a perfect example of such. We hope our technology community will use this new initiative to support their ongoing development and learning.”

You will be able to register for the DELL webinars via the WeAreTechWomen website. Stay tuned for more information.

 

 


Inspirational Woman: Jung-Kyu McCann | General Counsel, Druva

Jung-Kyu McCannJung-Kyu McCann brings more than 20 years of legal expertise to Druva, having represented public and private companies of all sizes.

She joined Druva from Broadcom, where she served as Associate General Counsel, focusing on corporate matters and strategic transactions.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I am a first generation Korean-American - my mother and father are both from South Korea. My mum studied chemical engineering in Korea and immigrated to the United States on a scholarship to the University of Iowa, where she was one of the first women to graduate with a Ph.D. in chemical engineering. My mum has worked as a chemical engineer for as long as I can remember, so I grew up in a family where women were expected to pursue their own successful careers.

I have been a lawyer for more than 20 years, representing public and private companies of all sizes. Before Druva, I focused on corporate matters and strategic transactions at Broadcom, including its attempted hostile takeover of Qualcomm and CA Technologies acquisition. I also spent time at Apple, focusing on corporate finance and treasury matters and building its corporate governance framework. I started my legal career with more than a decade at Shearman & Sterling in New York and California.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

From a young age, I knew I would either go to law school or medical school. Even though both of my parents are chemical engineers, I knew I would not pursue that path. After growing up mixing foul-smelling thick liquids in my bathtub, while my mum discussed viscosity and pH levels, I knew chemical engineering was not for me. Law school served as my default choice since I was also squeamish around blood (still am today). My oldest brother also went to law school and I always looked up to him, so my path was pretty clear.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

A law firm is a very fast moving, competitive environment, full of ambitious motivated people. I had three children while working at the law firm, and each time I returned to work, I felt a sense of surprise (especially after my third child) as partners assumed that I was no longer committed to long days, late nights and long-term constant travel. I started to realise that I was being sidelined from the high profile (aka more desirable) projects that often lead to more visibility, career progression and promotions.

After years of moving up the ladder, it felt like I had to prove myself all over again each time I returned from maternity leave. I had to work harder and longer than my peers to prove I was still very much interested in my own career progression and being part of the competitive law firm environment.

The reality is this is still the case for many women, not only in law firms but in tech companies too.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

I’ve been blessed with opportunities to work on deals that make headlines and cover stories in the newspapers. However, my most rewarding achievement is building relationships that last a lifetime. Over the years, I have built teams that eventually move on to other jobs, but then seek to work together again in the same place . These people are very capable and have achieved success in their careers, and yet they continue to want to work together. The collaboration and camaraderie - that feeling of choosing the people you want to be in a fox hole with - without a doubt it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but also the thing I’m most proud of.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

The ability to build genuine lasting relationships. That includes the senior executives who have mentored me, and the junior colleagues I’ve had the opportunity to mentor. Spending time and effort nurturing relationships has had a huge impact on my career - these people recommended me for new jobs and vouched for my character and integrity. As I became more senior, my credentials and technical skills were largely assumed. I’ve found that companies focus on “cultural fit” and that is when your network - the people you’ve spent years with nurturing relationships - support you, often leading to new opportunities.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

Firstly, find your passion - what technology are you most passionate about? Next, find a role that gives you an opportunity to learn and grow, including a well-respected manager who will give you opportunities to learn new things within a supportive team. But don’t depend entirely on others to learn. Dedicate time to learning on your own, because business moves quickly and technologies evolve constantly. If you show initiative, that you can lead a project and run with it, then you’ll find more opportunities coming your way.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

The biggest barrier to success for women in tech is the lack of women in tech. Companies can expand where they are looking for talent and hire more women into technical roles. There is a plethora of organisations that support diverse female candidates for technical and non-technical roles in tech companies, such as Grace Hopper and various Women in Tech initiatives. Companies can also encourage their female employees to form affinity groups that can sponsor outside speakers or create other initiatives that facilitate the recruitment, development and retention of women at their organisations.

It is also important for companies to support STEM programmes in schools, such as Girls Who Code, in order to create a robust pipeline of women who are passionate about technology and see themselves succeeding in tech companies.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology?

Companies can offer opportunities for their employees to have more direct interaction with senior leadership. For example, a few senior leaders may offer to have a small group lunch once a month with female employees. I think supporting women in tech involves men and women - that is what I see at Druva. Companies can bring various speakers (male and female) to talk about their careers in tech, particularly speakers that may have faced challenges or taken non-traditional career paths.

There is currently only 17% of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

I think it’s very interesting to consider instituting something like the “Rooney Rule”. The Rooney Rule is a National Football League (American football) policy that requires league teams to interview at least one ethnic-minority candidate for head coaching and senior football operation jobs. I don’t like the idea of hiring quotas, because I think it comes with an assumption that candidates are less qualified, but the Rooney Rule gives individuals an opportunity - a foot in the door. It’s then up to each individual to prove themself and earn the position.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

Creativity Inc. by Amy Wallace and Edwin Catmull - my favorite book on leadership because it emphasises that everyone is always learning and should be open to feedback from all levels.

The Innovators by Walter Isaacson - this book reminds me that it is more fun when success is not guaranteed. It is more rewarding when we are forced to take chances, live with the consequences, and move forward.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi - if we could all live and die as gracefully as he did. . .

I don’t really listen to podcasts. I am surrounded by words, talking and listening, all day. When I’m driving, I usually enjoy silence.


Tech role models featured

It’s mind over matter when it comes to working in a man’s world

By Jurgita Andrijauskaite, eProcurement consultant, Wax Digital

tech role modelsToday, we’re seeing increasing numbers of women thrive in traditionally male-dominated industries. This is inspiring to see, especially for young female students and graduates thinking about careers in the STEM sectors.

In spite of a host of positive female role models taking on high profile roles, frustratingly it’s still not uncommon to hear tales of women being overlooked for certain jobs or feel they have to prove themselves more than their male counterparts.

In my role, I help businesses resolve their procurement challenges using technology. I work for a software company which is 85% male, and with procurement leads, many of whom are men too. However, fortunately for me, I’ve never experienced any prejudice or unfair treatment as a woman working in a heavily male dominated sector and think women should believe in their own ability to perform a role just as well, if not better than a man.

Any issues I have faced in my career have little to do with these male dominated environments, in fact my biggest challenge has always been my own self-limiting beliefs. I always used to struggle with self-promotion, asserting myself and taking credit for my achievements. The fear of being judged on ‘Who does she think she is?’ seemed very real when I was starting out.

I think men can get ahead more quickly and easily than women in business because they tend to have the confidence to seize opportunities when they arise, take credit for their successes more readily and are not shy to ask for what they want. I think overcoming feelings of doubt is what sets successful women apart. This certainly changed the way I view myself and others.

When I was younger, I feared that I may not be taken seriously and that people in senior positions would not be interested in hearing what I have to say. As I became more experienced and confident in what I do, this fear has faded. I think it is important to realise that powerful men in expensive suits are human beings too and that equality means trusting and treating yourself equally to the way you treat others.

During my career I have been lucky to have been supported by both male and female mentors who have offered me their honest feedback, support and encouragement. They also helped me to understand what both genders have to offer and learned to appreciate the value of diverse teams. Looking at the bigger picture, taking more risks and not letting perfection get in the way of progress are a few of the valuable lessons that I can attribute to my male role models and I am thankful for them.

My advice to any woman who suddenly finds herself working in a male-dominated environment would be to go for it, and not to try and act like a man! If you ever feel that you’re being left out of the ‘boys club’, think where that feeling might be coming from. Trust that there are ways to build strong professional relationships with men without having to pretend that you like football or drinking beer. You can add a lot of value by tapping into your femininity - your strength lies not in being the same, but in being different. Ask yourself what you are truly passionate about and try to bring that to your work. For me it is the human factor – working with people first, technology second. I’m passionate about helping people, understanding human behaviour and nurturing relationships. It takes great people to build technology, make decisions, apply and manage it to get the desired results. Technology is shaped by human interaction, not the other way around. It is people driven.

To more encourage woman into male-dominated professions, I’d like to see more women support each other. The sisterhood can bring about a positive change in gender equality. Women should empower each other, and we should be proud of our unique skills such as flexibility, an empathetic approach, creativity, intuition to name just a few.

Jurgita AndrijauskaiteAbout the author

Jurgita (Gita) is an eProcurement consultant at Wax Digital, an integrated Source to Pay software provider. Prior to joining Wax, Gita worked in global procurement for CEVA Logistics.


Rebecca Saw featured

Inspirational Woman: Rebecca Saw | Freelance Developer & XR Designer

Rebecca SawRebecca is looking to create never-before-seen interactive story-telling that will mix linear television and gaming to provide viewers with a dynamic blended reality. 

She recently worked on Traitor, a VR-live theatre thriller that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I’m a freelance developer - I code Virtual Reality experiences as well as Android and iOS apps.

With the Sky Women in Tech Scholarship I’m creating a proof of concept for a piece of Interactive Television. I’m using emerging technology to create a new form of storytelling, that encourages rewatchability, increases engagement and sparks discussion after viewing.

Without revealing too much, it’s a piece that the viewer watches on their TV, interacting with their remote control. It’s not ‘Choose A or B’, instead it’s something which is designed to feel a lot more natural to the traditional TV viewing experience.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Not really! Once I knew I wanted to create a piece of interactive television, I wrote a list of steps to get the project funded, things like getting advice on the project and researching funding opportunities. The Sky Scholarship was actually the first funding opportunity I applied to!

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

I’ve struggled with imposter syndrome. One of my first jobs after uni was in an office where everyone was male and older than me. It felt like what I was working on was easy compared to what they were doing. I found the best way to overcome imposter syndrome is to talk about it - those negative thoughts lose a lot of their power when you take them out of your brain and can see them for what they are.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

I was the Assistant Developer on Traitor VR - a live theatre, mixed reality escape room by Pilot Theatre. We took the piece to the Tribeca Film Festival in 2019 which was a fantastic experience - I was very fortunate to work on such an exciting project, and with a brilliant team that I learned a lot from.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

I’ve got a really clear vision for what I want my project to be. I genuinely believe that storytelling will adapt with new technology in a dramatic way in the next ten years, and I want to be one of the people carving that path.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in Technology?

Be bold, and think bigger! It’s great to have loads of ideas, but pursue the one you can’t go a day without thinking about.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

There can be barriers, but I think generally now is a great time to be a woman in tech. Mentorship and role models are great ways to support women starting out in the tech sector.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology?

There’s loads of companies that do this really well. Mentorships schemes where younger women can learn from people of all genders in senior roles can be incredibly valuable. Encouraging creativity and development opportunities is also great for everyone.

There is currently only 17% of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

Media representation of the tech industry tends to be skewed very young, white and male. I’d love to see more TV shows or other media showing a more diverse range of people represented.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

Code First: Girls do great work in increasing the number of women in tech. They offer free coding lessons for women and non-binary people at Universities across the UK. If you’re already in tech, they have a range of volunteering roles which is a great way to support other women and build a network of contacts.


Joanne Storey featured

Inspirational Woman: Joanne Storey | Research and Development Lead, James Cropper

Joanne Storey

I’m a 29-year-old scientist working as programme leader for the research and development team at James Cropper.

James Cropper is a 175-year-old prestige papermaker based in England’s Lake District. I actually grew up in the Lake District, so feel very lucky to be working in a rewarding job, right near home.

I’ve worked at James Cropper for almost four years, first starting as a technical graduate and now leading the research and development team. It’s hard to describe what we do in just a few words as our day-to-day tasks can be really varied, but to put it simply; we research, innovate and create beautiful paper and packaging solutions with sustainability a cornerstone of everything we do.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I never sat down to plan out my career, but I knew university wasn’t for me. I did, however, want to further my education and develop the problem-solving skills I had enjoyed nurturing in chemistry and mathematics during my A-Levels.

With this in mind, at the age of 18, I undertook a science apprenticeship through distance learning while working full-time in a research and development (R&D) laboratory within the energy sector. This meant that from very early on in my career, I was gaining practical knowledge while learning and earning a wage.

Once I had established myself in the field of R&D, I was asked to become an assessor for future apprentices. I really enjoyed teaching and watching others progress by sharing advice based on my own experiences.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

After seven years in the energy sector, I felt that I needed a change. One of the challenges at this point in my career was not having a mentor – I definitely think I could have benefitted from some guidance during this period. I’ve learned that mentors are hard to come by, let alone those who have spare time to give thorough advice!

Thankfully, I made the decision to move into further education, teaching applied chemistry at Furness College in Barrow-in-Furness, which has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my career so far.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

My biggest career achievement to date has been earning my current role at James Cropper as R&D programme leader.

Having worked in R&D for over 10 years, I’m now leading a programme of projects that directly contributes to the future success of the business. That’s always a good feeling! My role is to help maintain the company’s position as experts in fibre and colour; constantly driving to innovate beautiful, sustainable solutions for paper.

I’m also enjoying supervising our two graduates in James Cropper’s technical department, who are in the midst of a research project looking at the global sustainability movement and effects and challenges for the paper industry. Guiding the graduates through this research project has been really rewarding.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Having grown up on a working farm in the Lake District, my work ethic has been engrained in me since I was very young. A thirst for knowledge combined with my practical problem-solving nature has really helped me in my career progression.

For example, at James Cropper, we are constantly on the lookout for new technologies and innovations that can help provide environmentally responsible solutions. This requires a lot of patience as well as a love for learning and problem-solving.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

I would encourage anyone who wants to work in technology to explore all entry points. University is not the only option; there are apprenticeships available at various levels in varying sectors, and it’s just a case of exploring what’s out there.

For me personally, I felt that going down the apprenticeship route and continuing further education in the workplace suited my character, learning style and personality. By looking at the opportunities available and pairing these with your unique skillset, you will find a role that you can excel in.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

One of the barriers which I think is hindering young women from entering the tech industry is a lack of visible female role models.

It’s so important for young women to see female leaders in this industry who are driving change and having their achievements shouted about. If we can make our voices louder and highlight these women, we could make a real difference and inspire the future generation of women in tech.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology?

To support their female staff, companies should strive to have role models at every level who can share their experiences and support team members. I think that leading by example and making positive changes for the future generation is key, while also providing mentors and coaches to encourage everyone to reach their full potential in the workplace.

There is currently only 17% of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

If I could wave a magic wand, I would eliminate any preconceived ideas of what the skillset of women is limited to.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech, e.g. Podcasts, networking events, books, conferences, websites etc.?

Having a supportive network around you is crucial. Luckily for us, with social networking sites such as LinkedIn, we have access to likeminded professionals around the globe, at our fingertips. My advice is to utilise the networking functions on these sites; connect with others, share stories, shout about the achievements of others. Build others up and they will do the same for you.


WeAreTechWomen Virtual Conference

WeAreTechWomen are excited to announce the largest virtual women in tech conference for 2020 | Disrupt. Innovate. Lead | 26 June

tw conference 2020 banner1 - DIL

For the past four years WeAreTechWomen have hosted their flagship annual conference in London.

This event has enabled over 2,500 women to network with their peers and learn about what is innovating and disrupting the tech industry.

In light of the pandemic, we are proud to be doing some disrupting and innovating of our own! This year’s conference (now moved to 26 June) will be hosted virtually.

These are challenging times for all, and there is little an organisation like ours can do to make it easier. However, we will do what we do best and continue to keep you connected. Our intention is to deliver an exceptional learning experience that will inspire you, expand your industry knowledge and motivate you over the coming months.

Disrupt. Innovate. Lead won’t be like any other virtual event you may have experienced in the past. We are using a state of the art platform to bring you four stages of inspiring content from LIVE keynotes, webinars, recorded content, Q&A panels as well as the opportunity to meet some of our speakers and sponsors in our virtual exhibition hall. Yes, we will have a virtual exhibition hall!

WeAreTechWomen virtual conference montage

Hear from some of the greatest names in tech

On our stages are some of the greatest names in tech, Martha Lane Fox CBE, Dame Stephanie Shirley, Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, Professor Sue Black OBE, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, Debbie Forster MBE, Kate Russell to name a few.

Click the images below to read more about these amazing individuals:

Anne-Marie Imafidon Inspirational Quote

Jacqueline de Rojas Inspirational QuoteEverything tech

We will be sharing insights and covering everything from Tech trends, Cyber, Artificial Intelligence, Data, Ethics, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Robotics, Drones, GreenTech, HealthTech, Payments, Cloud, Agile, DevOps, Fintech, 5G, Entrepreneurship and Block Chain.

Everything recovery

We have heaps of panels that discuss the impact of the pandemic on the world of tech and how companies pivoted their businesses, worked collaboratively and rose the challenge of super speed engineering.

You can see our full list of speakers here and here for the agenda 

Book your ticket today

 

Agenda WeAreTechWomen Virtual Conference

Thanks to the financial support of our amazing sponsors, we are able to offer you this fantastic day of learning for just £99.00 plus VAT.

Given our extensive agenda, we know that some of you won’t be able to attend every session available on the day. Not to worry, as your ticket also includes a 30 DAY platform content licence which will enable you to watch all of the sessions up until 26 July.

We are also offering a percentage of free tickets to those who have lost their jobs due to the crisis and students. If you are individual in this position, please email us here (tickets are not guaranteed and offered on a first come, first served basis). There will also be discounted tickets priced at £75.00 plus VAT for those working in the not for profit sector, charities or entrepreneurs running small businesses. We are actively encouraging corporate organisations to fund groups of tickets to continue to develop their teams during this time.  To encourage organisations, we have special offers for corporates who wish to book 10 or more tickets. If you are interested in bulk bookings, contact us on info@wearethecity.com.

So what are you waiting for?

If you are free on the 26 June and you are keen to learn, be inspired and expand your knowledge of tech, then join us, we promise you won’t be disappointed.

This invitation is open to all.

BOOK HERE TO SECURE YOUR TICKET


Automation versus humans – why we should work side-by-side

Diana Rowatt, client services director at marketing automation platform Force24

artificial intelligenceThe evolution of martech means workforces are equipped with vast capabilities that can transform their company’s efficiency – and bottom line.

But, despite the popularity of such innovation, some sectors are still questioning exactly how smart machines can effectively fit it into their staffing – and what role they will take on. There has been the additional fear for some industries that advanced technology means replacing employees, but for these systems to work, humans must be involved.

Yes, automation provides enterprises with incredible qualities – from enhanced efficiency to saving humans time and commercial resources – and often proves to be a commercially-savvy investment, when utilised correctly.

However, people will always be at the heart of an organisation’s success, no matter the level of tech it can boast. After all, employees are the ones building the machines to make everyone’s lives easier – and it’s their creativity and innovation that enables this modernisation of their offering.

Understanding where automation and employees complement one another

It’s important to address how smart tools can fit into enterprises, and what role humans play in their success.

Ultimately, marketing automation can be a powerful force when it comes to gathering learnings. Revolutionary machines are able to glean critical information in seconds – that could take workers weeks to dissect – and present the information back at an equally rapid rate.

They’re capable of forecasting business landscapes, and understand ever-evolving online behaviours. They can also deliver crucial detail for marketing and sales departments, to help build relationships and convert leads.

But it’s the employee who applies this data and therefore determines how to harness the insight effectively. With intuitive information, savvy employees can learn how their customers prefer to be communicated with, and they can then tailor engaging online comms that fall in line with a prospect’s interests. Alongside all this comes brand loyalty and an all-important competitive edge.

Empowering employees to use insight and drive business growth

Martech is impressive because it delivers the commercial detail that can determine how a business reacts and performs, but there’s no question how important the human touch is. If an enterprise can utilise the data in a way which positively impacts a company’s bottom line, it can become vital for an enterprise’s long-term strategy.

With a great team, equipped with the training to understand how best to manage marketing automation, organisations put themselves in the best possible position to not only understand what their customers need, but how their interests evolve.

It’s crucial for companies to not only consider how machines can revolutionise their online comms and business strategy, but also to build the best team to deliver that killer content and understanding. This combination will deliver the goods and develop long-standing online relationships.

Diana RowattAbout the author

Diana Rowatt is a Client Services Director at Force24 – and provides advice and support to clients, marketing automation demos, and making sure targets are hit each month. She’s been part of Force24 since the very beginning and so has seen how it’s grown, and adapted – as well as provided – technological options to business to help them reach customers easier.


Crown Commercial Service featured

Vacancy Spotlight: Non-Executive Director | Crown Commercial Service

Crown Commercial Service

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) plays a vital role in helping the public sector buy goods and services to deliver maximum value for the taxpayer.

Using their commercial expertise, CCS helps thousands of public and third sector buyers in the UK to purchase everything from locum doctors and laptops to police cars and electricity. It is the biggest public procurement organisation in the UK and the collective purchasing power of its customers, combined with its first-class procurement knowledge, means it can get the best commercial deals in the interests of taxpayers.

An opportunity exists to appoint a new Non-Executive Director to the Board of CCS. Led by the Non- Executive Chair, Tony Van Kralingen, the CCS Board is responsible for oversight of the organisation, with emphasis on its strategic direction, management control, and corporate governance. Non-Executive Directors make decisions covering the strategy and direction of the organisation, adding value by offering counsel, advice, and challenge.

CCS is seeking an exceptional individual to join their Board as a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Technology and Digital Transformation Committee to support progression of the organisation’s transformation journey. Providing scrutiny, governance and strategic leadership grounded in board level experience, he/she will bring a successful track record of leadership in demanding, customer- focused environments. To complement their existing Board, CCS are particularly interested in hearing from individuals who bring recent experience in leading large-scale digital transformation in complex organisations.

CCS is committed to diversity throughout the organisation, and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates.

The closing date for applications is 23:59, Sunday 17 May 2020.

CCS has retained Russell Reynolds Associates to advise on this appointment.

For further information and to apply, click here.


Colleen Wong featured

Inspirational Woman: Colleen Wong | Founder, My Gator Watch

Colleen WongWith no technical experience Colleen set-up the successful My Gator Watch for children and seniors.

Now, the inspirational mother of two plans to evolve the product from a tracker for kids, to a wearable mobile device for seniors that can track location and detect falls, to help the elderly maintain independence

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

My idea for My Gator Watch came to me almost four years ago when I was with my two babies, then aged 4 months and 18 months old. I saw a fellow mum running around looking for her young child and my first thought was ‘how can we be more connected to our younger children so we don’t lose their minds.’ A few weeks later, Techsixtyfour was born.

My Gator Watch is a mobile phone and GPS/WIFI tracker made for children between the ages of 5-11. It does not have access to the Internet, social media or games. The watch is designed to offer peace of mind to parents who have a child too young for a smartphone but old enough to want some independence. My Gator Watch is pre-installed with a sim, mic and speaker and can be used almost anywhere in the world.

I raised £200k in July 2017 through crowdfunding which allowed me to build a team and focus on marketing. I now have a team of 13 flexible working staff, most of whom are mums of young children. I strongly believe in the flexible work culture because so many mums and dads just want to put their children first but can’t or feel guilty doing it. I tell my team to put their family and health above work and the productivity is the best I have ever seen. I hope to build the first technology brand which hires only flexible working staff.

I have now put together a world class team to build a wearable for the ageing and dementia market. We are building Freedom G, a wearable tracker and mobile phone that has the world’s most accurate location tracking (sub 1m) both indoors and outdoors. We have focused on making it extremely simple, useful and affordable.

We have listened to hundreds of people tell their stories about living with dementia and we believe we have a revolutionary solution that can track, protect and communicate with our loved ones while giving us peace of mind.

Before starting Techsixtyfour, I was a stay at home mum for 18 months (hardest job in the world) and before that, I was a VP in sales in investment banking.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

No. I never ‘planned’ a career in technology. I just had an idea which could solve a big problem amongst parents. I took everything day by day. I do plan the business strategy in advance now but I am always agile and ready to pivot and adapt accordingly.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

Every day is a challenge. I overcome challenges by talking to others who can share a different perspective. I learn a lot about the issue which is challenging me and find a way to ‘beat it’ and I also go to the gym a lot. It clears my head which makes me approach challenges with a clearer mind.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

Building my team. I have built a team of flexible working staff and each and every one are passionate and dedicated about the journey we are all on together. The culture I have created is family and health first, then work and this has proven to be extremely productive.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success? 

I have built some incredible relationships with people through simply just being honest, confident and supportive.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?       

Listen and learn from people who know more than you. Be humble. Have some fun! Being serious and focused all the time doesn’t build long lasting relationships!

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

I personally think barriers are only there because of the lack of knowledge which leads to lack of confidence. The more you can learn and understand, the lower the barriers will become.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology?

Offer courses not just in technology but in other subject areas such as finance and marketing as it is important to always see the bigger picture in anything that we do. I also think that companies should be supportive of women who need a career break to have children and who want to return with a flexible role. When a working mother can put her children first without feeling guilty, this leads to productivity and loyalty.

There is currently only 17% of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

I would use my magic wand to make more TV shows which show women doing amazing things in technology and not just programmers or computer scientists but roles which people can relate to which involve technology. I would also use the same wand to remove reality shows as I find a lot of those shows don't encourage young women in positive ways.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

I am a big fan of networking events as I love talking to people and learning from them. I think building long lasting relationships is key to success and so any resources that allows you to meet new and amazing people