Caroline Criado Perez featured

WeAreTechWomen Conference Speaker Spotlight: Caroline Criado Perez OBE

Caroline Criado Perez

WeAreTechWomen speaks to Caroline Criado Perez OBE, Writer, Broadcaster and award winning feminist campaigner, Author of Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, about her career.

Caroline is also one of the keynote speakers at our upcoming WeAreTechWomen: The Future World of Work conference on 22 November. Caroline will be discussing how, in a world largely built for and by men, women are systematically ignored.

Caroline is a writer, broadcaster and award-winning feminist campaigner. She is published across the major national media, and appears in both print and broadcast as a commentator on a wide range of topics.

Her first book, Do it Like a Woman, was published by Portobello in 2015. It was described as “a must-read” by the Sunday Independent and “rousing and immensely readable” by Good Housekeeping who selected it as their “best non-fiction”.Eleanor Marx hailed it in the New Statesman as “an extended and immersive piece of investigative journalism.” Her second book, INVISIBLE WOMEN: exposing data bias in a world designed for men, is published in March 2019 by Chatto in the UK & Abrams in the US.

Caroline has a degree in English language and literature from the University of Oxford, and studied behavioural and feminist economics at the LSE. She was the 2013 recipient of the Liberty Human Rights Campaigner of the Year award, and was named OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2015.

At the conference, Caroline will expose data bias in a world designed for men. She will be discussing how, in a world largely built for and by men, women are systematically ignored.

WeAreTechWomen, the Technology arm of WeAreTheCity, is hosting its fourth full-day conference in London, aimed at over 400 women who are wanting to broaden their technology horizons, learn new skills and build their tech networks.

Our unique conference will include the opportunity for our delegates to learn about a variety of technical topics and get involved in Q&A’s, hands-on activities and interactive workshops. Our aim is to provide an environment where our delegates can upskill and grow their skills/networks for the future.

Can you tell us a little about your background? Where you’ve come from, where you’ve worked, how you got to where you are today?

I took my time figuring out who I was and what I wanted to do. I didn’t go to university till I was 25. It was there, in my second year, that I read a book called Feminism and Linguistic Theory – and everything changed. I had always dismissed feminism and feminists, preferring to see myself as “one of the guys.” But this book made me realise that one of the things I had always dismissed (that so-called generic male words like “he” to mean “he or she” or “man” to mean “humankind” were in fact not generic at all) was absolutely correct. Because it made me realise that I was in fact picturing a man whenever I heard those words. And that completely transformed my world view, in no small part because I was just so shocked that I had been picturing men for 26 years and had never noticed. It made me evangelical about making everyone else see this bias too. And that is what pretty much everything I’ve done since has been about.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Absolutely not! I meandered to where I am today.

What inspired you to get involved with in motivational speaking?

I’m not sure I particularly see myself as a motivational speaker! I am passionate about changing people’s minds about feminism and speaking is one of the ways I try to do that.

Do you have a favourite experience from your career?

When the Scottish government announced that they were setting up a working group on collecting sex and gender disaggregated data in large part because of my book. That was incredible.

What do you think WeAreTechWomen guests will gain from your talk?

They will understand why it’s so important to collect sex-disaggregated data!

What are your top three tips for success?

Do what you’re passionate about.

Don’t worry about people thinking you’re not “nice”: if you’re a woman trying to change things, a lot of people won’t like you.

Get a dog.

What has been your biggest challenge during your career?

All the hate that accompanies any woman with a public profile

Which female role models are you most inspired by?

All the women who fought for our right to vote. They were so gutsy and fierce, and more radical than we can ever imagine being. The sheer effrontery of demanding the vote in the 1800s! I don’t think we can understand how outrageous a demand that was. But they fought all their lives for it against seemingly insurmountable odds – and they won. That gives me hope when I feel hopeless.

In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle for women at work and how can it be overcome?

Women do 75 per cent of the world’s unpaid carework and it has a massively negative impact on their health and their careers. It can be be overcome by governments collecting data on this work (without which everything would fall apart) and creating policy to support it, including policy that encourages men to do their fair share.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?

Free universal childcare.

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

If boys think you’re too loud they are the problem, not you.


SECURE YOUR SEAT

WeAreTechWomen logo featured


TechWomen100 2019 featured

Nominations are now open for the 2019 TechWomen100 Awards

TechWomen100 2019

WeAreTechWomen is proud to announce that the TechWomen100 Awards are now open for nominations.

It is no secret that the technology industry lacks female representation at all levels. Women make up just 19 per cent of the industry. There are some fantastic awards for women working in tech, however, most of these focus on senior women.

Whilst we feel it is extremely necessary to highlight senior and influential women, we also believe the pipeline of female technologists need a platform to shine.

This is why the TechWomen100 Awards were created. Our awards focus solely on women working in tech below director level. We hope that by highlighting the accolades of up-and-coming inspirational female tech talent, we can help to create a new generation of female role models for the industry, and a pipeline of future leaders.

Through the awards, we would also like to recognise a number of senior individuals who are championing up-and-coming women, as well as any organisations that have designed and implemented successful initiatives and programmes in order to attract, retain and develop the female tech talent.

Finally, we applaud the often-voluntary efforts of the women in tech networks that operate across the UK, and again would like to formerly recognise these within our awards.

The TechWomen100 awards are the first of their kind to focus solely on the female tech talent pipeline and recognise the impact of champions, companies and networks that are leading the way.

The 2019 awards are kindly powered by J.P. Morgan, and supported by Accenture, BAE Systems, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Lloyds Banking Group, Oliver Wyman and Worldpay.

NOMINATE NOW

Nominations

Nominations will close after a seven-week period on 20 September.

A shortlist of 200 women from a range of technology disciplines will be chosen in October by an esteemed panel of judges. There will also be a shortlist of three champions, companies and networks.

The shortlist will then be published in November where we will also open the TechWomen100 individual category for public votes of support.

All winners will be announced in December and celebrated at our prestigious award's ceremony in January. There will be 100 winners of the TechWomen100, a Champion of the Year, a Company of the Year and a Network of the Year.

Who should nominate?

  • Self-nominations are encouraged
  • Organisations looking to recognise their emerging talent pool
  • Organisation wishing to obtain recognition for their initiatives
  • Individuals who would like to recognise their efforts of their champions/role models
  • Individuals/colleagues/friends/clients/mentors/sponsors of the nominee

Awards timeline

  • Nominations open – 01 August 2019
  • Nominations close – 20 September 2019
  • Shortlist announced & public vote opens – 18 November 2019
  • Voting closes – 29 November 2019
  • Winners announced – 10 December 2019
  • Winner's celebration event – January 2020

NOMINATE NOW


Sponsored by

TechWomen100 Awards sponsor bubble


WeAreTechWomen & Jobbio featured

WeAreTheCity and WeAreTechWomen launch new job board platform in partnership with Jobbio

WeAreTechWomen & Jobbio

WeAreTheCity and WeAreTechWomen have partnered with Jobbio, to create a digital careers marketplace targeting their four million monthly visitors.

Dating back to 2014, the WeAreTheCity Jobs Board promotes career opportunities to their large and growing female demographic of 120,000 members. As more businesses focus on talent diversity and inclusion to drive innovation and create competitive advantage, this partnership will serve to further support businesses and boost their female pipeline in the technology, financial services, professional services and legal sectors.

vanessa-high-res-watc_1715-tech-site

Vanessa Vallely OBE, Managing Director of WeAreTheCity said “I am extremely excited to begin our partnership with Jobbio."

"The new jobs board platform will enable us to connect our WeAreTechWomen members to companies who are serious about building their pipeline of female tech talent."

"Partnering with Jobbio on the new platform has improved the overall functionality and look of our previous platform."

"We now have the ability to feature more content and create dedicated pages for clients in order to promote their roles and tell their stories!"

"I am looking forward to WeAreTheCityJobs being the conduit between women in tech seeking a career change and firms who will not just recruit them, but who will actively support their career progression."

The job board platform launches today with a focus on jobs in the technology sector. This is to coincide with the launch of WeAreTheCity’s latest resource platform for women working in technology, WeAreTechWomen.com. Additional jobs across a multitude of sectors will be added over the coming weeks.

Screen grab for new job board

WeAreTheCity jobs launched with partners such as IBM, Oliver Wyman, Deloitte, C&C Search and DataArt. Clients joining the new job board platform over the coming weeks include Barclays, PwC, Net-A-Porter, Worldpay, Refinitiv, SAP and BNY Mellon, amongst others.

Stephen Quinn, CEO, Jobbio said “This partnership comes at a time when both companies have already established strong company branding platforms."

"At Jobbio we are passionate about the progression of women in the workplace."

"We have worked with WeAreTheCity for a number of years on initiatives such as the Rising Star Awards and our careers fair, Higher."

"Building the new jobs board platform together is a fantastic evolution of our partnership."

"The new platform will bring greater opportunities, such as the ability to distribute relevant client content, such as recruitment videos, staff interviews and articles, all of which have been proven to boost company job applications and enable candidates get a better understanding of company culture."

"Now, using WeAreTheCity’s multiple distribution channels (which include newsletters, job alerts and social media) companies will be able to promote open roles alongside their content, which attracts both job seekers and the passive market."

New partners Jobbio, are headquartered in Dublin, but also have an office in London. A careers marketplace and inbound hiring platform, Jobbio connects the best talent with the most innovative companies. The brand reaches a talent base of over 100 million people and is trusted by 6,000 companies globally. Jobbio will enable companies working with WeAreTheCity to gather applications, and then build a talent pool for immediate or future use.

The job board forms part of WeAreTheCity and WeAreTechWomen, which is predominantly visited by women, however we do encourage job applications from all genders.

To find your next open role, visit here.

To promote your open roles on WeAreTheCity Jobs or to take advantage of our free three month job promotion trial, please contact [email protected]


WeAreTechWomen FEATURED

WeAreTechWomen announces its 2019 Conference - The Future World of Work | 22 November

Tech Women Conference

WeAreTechWomen, the technology arm of WeAreTheCity is hosting its fourth full day conference for female technologists on 22 November 2019 in central London.

This conference is aimed at women working in the tech sector who are looking to broaden their technology horizons, learn new skills and build their technology networks. The theme for this year’s conference is The Future World of Work and how innovation and disruption is driving change within the tech industry.

Our aim is to inspire attendees by delivering bitesize learning sessions for our audience. With the help of our amazing speakers and panellists, we will provide the opportunity for our delegates to learn about a broad range of technology topics as well as interact through panels, hands-on activities and workshops.

The conference will be attended by over 600+ women working in tech and is a 'must-attend' if you wish to drive your career, learn, network with your peers and be inspired.

BOOK HERE TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT

Topics on our conference agenda include AI, cyber, data, ethics, innovation, digital, health tech, regulation, innovation, payments, cloud, transformation, tech mental health, learn to code in Python, robotics, plus more topics to be added.

Panels include innovation and AI, cyber, data and ethics, next generation disruptors as well as a panel with C-suite leaders who will be sharing their tips for career success.

There will be opportunities for delegates to network with other attendees and connect via Blendology’s state of the art tap and connect technology. Delegates will have the opportunity to shape their learning by choosing from 12 different electives sessions with leading experts and speakers. These electives cover all bases from technical, generalist, career and engineering.

The Future World of Work is kindly sponsored and supported by Amazon, BAE Systems, Barclays, EY, J.P. Morgan, Lloyds, PwC, Oliver Wyman, Santander Technology, and Worldpay.

WeAreTechWomen conference sponsors logos


Speakers

Caroline Criado Perez
Image: Rachel Louise Brown

We are proud to be joined by Caroline Criado Perez OBE, Writer, Broadcaster and award winning feminist campaigner, Author of Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men.

Caroline Criado Perez is a writer, broadcaster and award-winning feminist campaigner. She is published across the major national media, and appears in both print and broadcast as a commentator on a wide range of topics.

Her first book, Do it Like a Woman, was published by Portobello in 2015. It was described as “a must-read” by the Sunday Independent and “rousing and immensely readable” by Good Housekeeping who selected it as their “best non-fiction”. Eleanor Marx hailed it in the New Statesman as “an extended and immersive piece of investigative journalism,” while Bridget Christie chose it as one of her books of the year in the Guardian, declaring that “young girls and women everywhere should have a copy.” Her second book, INVISIBLE WOMEN: exposing data bias in a world designed for men, is published in March 2019 by Chatto in the UK & Abrams in the US.

Caroline lives in London with her small excitable dog, Poppy, has a degree in English language and literature from the University of Oxford, and studied behavioural and feminist economics at the LSE. She was the 2013 recipient of the Liberty Human Rights Campaigner of the Year award, and was named OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2015.

Other inspirational speakers include:

  • Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, President, techUK, Chair, Digital Leaders board, Non-exec director at Rightmove, Costain and AO
  • Deborah O’Neill, Partner and UK Head of Digital, Oliver Wyman
  • Rob McCargow, Director of AI, PwC
  • Pippa Malmgrem, Founder, H Robotics, Chief Economist and former special assistant to US President, George.W.Bush
  • Dr Ian Levy, Technical Director, NCSC
  • Phillipa Winter, Chief Informatics Officer, Bolton NHS
  • Rachel Dunscombe, CEO, NHS Digital Academy /Visiting Professor Imperial College
  • Dr Jess Wade, Physicist, Imperial College, London
  • Megan Caywood, Global Head of Digital Strategy, Barclays
  • Sheridan Ash, Partner, TechSheCan lead, PwC
  • Meri Williams, CTO, Monzo Bank

Look out for more inspirational speakers being announced over the coming weeks.


We are also delighted to welcome back Kate Russell, Journalist, Tech Reporter and Author, BBC Click, as our conference host and facilitator.

WeAreTechWomen are proud to welcome a number of not for profit tech organisations and campaigners as conference partners. A full list of our supporting partners will be announced shortly.

Early bird tickets to The Future World of Work are £275.00 + VAT

BUY YOUR TICKET NOW

Discover what happened at last year's WeAreTechWomen Conference below:

WeAreTechWomen Conference 2018 - Highlights from WeAreTheCity on Vimeo.

For corporate/education/charity ticket discounts, exhibition space or sponsorship opportunities, please email [email protected].


WeAreTechWomen logo featured

WeAreTheCity launches their brand-new dedicated women in tech website, WeAreTechWomen.com

WeAreTechWomen with strapline

After many weeks of building and researching, we are proud to announce WeAreTheCity’s new Women in Tech website, WeAreTechWomen

WeAreTechWomen.com aims to provide visibility of resources for women working in technology who wish to progress their careers and achieve their true potential.

WeAreTechWomen provides:

Vanessa Vallely, Founder of WeAreTechWomen said “I have wanted to launch a website and platform for women in tech for number of years. The launch of WeAreTechWomen.com is a natural evolution for WeAreTheCity given our passion to progress women in industry, and the success of our WeAreTechWomen conference and TechWomen100 awards."

"My vision was to provide a one stop shop of available resources for women working in tech who want to progress their careers. I wanted our platform to link in to lots of different organisations, not for profits and individuals who were all doing amazing things to progress the careers of women in tech. No platform existed that provided visibility of all women in tech resources in one single place, so we created it! I hope that our new website and platform hits the spot and eliminates hours of googling for female technologist who are seeking both inspiration and sign posting to organisations who can help them grow their careers. I am very excited to watch the site grow and look forward to engaging with future partners and our growing WeAreTechWomen community."

The site contains over 50 links to other organisations, all of which are doing phenomenal things to help women in tech thrive. It is an exciting time to be a female technologist as so many organisations are focused on achieving gender parity within the industry. We are very honoured to be able to feature all of these initiatives on one platform and would like to sincerely thank all of our partners and contributors for helping us to make the WeAreTechWomen platform a reality.

If there are other resources you would like to see featured on WeAreTechWomen, please let us know here. This is your site, and we want it to add value! We are also big believers in collaboration, if you are running a network or an event that is currently not on the site, please let us know. We are also open to partnering on events, publishing your tech blogs and helping you with your own women in tech initiatives - Drop us a line, we’d be happy to support you.

If you would like to be kept informed of new content, opportunities, networks and events being promoted on WeAreTechWomen, you can sign up to be a member of WeAreTechWomen here.

Help us spread the word!

If you like what we have built and believe that WeAreTechWomen may help another woman in tech, please feel free to share via your networks, communities and social media channels. We’d love to hear your thoughts, please drop us a tweet @watc_WeAreTech #WeAreTechWomen– we are very grateful your support.

For all WeAreTechWomen enquiries, please contact us on [email protected] or via contact on the website.

OUR 2019 TECH CONFERENCE IS NOW LIVE! HAVE YOU BOOKED YOUR EARLY BIRD TICKETS?

Tech Women Conference

Check out the website and amazing line up of sponsors and speakers here.


Jacqueline de Rojas featured

Inspirational Woman: Jacqueline de Rojas CBE | President, techUK

Jacqueline de Rojas
Image Credit: Gareth Cattermole, Getty Images

Jacqueline is the President of techUK and the President of the Digital Leaders board.

She sits as a Non-Executive Director on the board of UK technology business Rightmove plc; on the board of Costain plc, which is committed to solving the nation’s Infrastructure problems; and is also on the board of the online retailer AO World plc. An advisor to fast moving tech businesses and a business mentor at Merryck offering board and executive level coaching. She is the co-chair at the Institute of Coding, advises the board of Accelerate-Her and is especially delighted to lend her support to the Girlguiding Association for technology transformation. Passionate about diversity and inclusion which informs where she places her support.

In 2016 she entered the @Computerweekly Hall of Fame after being voted Computer Weekly's Most Influential Woman in IT 2015; she was listed on Debretts 2016 500 People of Influence – Digital & Social and named in Europe’s Inspiring Fifty most inspiring female role models for 2017. She was presented with the 2017 Catherine Variety award for Science and Technology and the 2018 Women in Tech Award for Advocate of the Year acknowledging her contribution to diversity. 2018 brought a nugget of acknowledgements including @womenoffuture Fifty #KindLeaders; 2018 @Inclusiveboards 100 BAME Leaders; 2018 Faces of Vibrant Digital Economy; 2018 @Computerweekly Most Influential People in UK IT.

Jacqueline was awarded CBE for Services to International Trade in Technology in the Queen's New Year Honours list 2018.

Happily married to Roger Andrews, they have three children and a new baby grandson.

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

My background is as a trouble shooter to blue chip enterprise software companies.  I have had a thirty-year career as an executive in the software industry but these days I have a portfolio career wearing many different hats. Current plc roles include non-executive director positions at Rightmove, Costain and ao.com.

I am also fortunate enough to be able to donate my time to industry bodies such as techUK as its president, Digital Leaders also as its president and to the Institute of Coding as co-chair alongside Professor Bernie Morley.

I believe in mentoring as a way to unlock potential and am a mentor at the Merryck Group, which focuses on mentoring the leadership teams of global organisations.

To my mind, there is no doubt that diversity can help to safeguard the future of our technology industry by creating a world that works for everyone, I also believe that diversity and inclusion creates more profitable outcomes and am passionate about the importance of boardroom equality and empowering young women to enter, remain and lead from the front in the digital sector.

On a personal note I was born in Folkestone in 1962 to a Chinese father and British mother. Their relationship was not one of equals and we moved away to Swindon where my mother raised my brother and I alone until she remarried some years later. We didn’t have much of anything, family life was not picture perfect by any means but if it taught me anything, it taught me resilience, to become self-sufficient and extremely resourceful. I personally found great solace in the structure and rewards of school life; To this day education and opportunity remain important to me as I have raised and guided our own children.

My husband is incredibly talented and creative. He came from the tech industry but retrained as a yoga teacher and encourages me to be consistent with my practice of yoga and meditation - that is where I get my balance and strength. We have three kids, a grandson, two dogs and a very happy balance of family life and love.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

My career aspiration was originally to be a newscaster for the BBC. However, as I returned from a degree in European Business from Germany in 1986, I needed to earn money reasonably quickly, so when I was offered a job by my brother-in-law to join his company as a recruitment consultant in a very young but burgeoning technology sector, I grasped it with both hands and very much enjoyed it. I stayed there for a couple of years and was invited to join my largest client, a technology company called Synon (AS/400 application development). They had an international operation that needed a German-speaking leader, so having graduated with a degree in European Business and lived in Germany for some time, the combination of my language and business skills made me invaluable to manage their partner channel internationally! Did I choose technology? I rather feel it chose me…

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

I do recall a tricky moment when being introduced to one of my clients as the new managing director by one of my team. He had his back to me, and as he turned around with great excitement and anticipation only to be entirely disappointed when he saw me. He couldn’t stop himself exclaiming: “Oh my God, you’re a woman!” to which I replied with a smile on my face: “Oh my goodness, I didn’t realise I needed a penis to make a decision! But let’s discuss that over lunch…” I have always found that humour has helped me to diffuse awkward scenarios and often use it to counter what could escalate into unnecessarily difficult outcomes.

I would say that the biggest challenge has been promoting the case for women to be viewed as equals in the workplace and being promoted based on performance. There is a toxic combination of unequal opportunity and unequal pay, which creates a downward spiral. Add to that the lack of affordable child care and inflexible working hours and the playing field is definitely stacked against women

Female representation on FTSE 100 boards has increased from 12.5% in 2011 to 23.5% in 2015 and is growing as a result of the data and recommendations emanating from the Hampton-Alexander Report. At the time of writing there are still companies in the FTSE 100 which do not yet have any women on their boards. So, whilst things are changing, you could argue that sexism is still holding back over 50% of the population from reaching the very top and that is not to mention all other minority groups that are severely under-represented in tech.

Given the slow increase in the diversity of the talent pool and the increasing use of algorithms that dictate whether you get that university place, that mortgage or even that job interview, we must strive to have minority voices in the design, testing and implementation teams when building our digital world. I believe we must ALWAYS take the opportunity to ask, “Where are the others?”

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

There have been so many things to celebrate throughout my career. I have so many people in my life that I am grateful for and so much support to be thankful for. I rather think that being nominated for a Queen’s honour in 2018 was my major highlight.

I recall an official letter arriving on the doormat and as I sat with my husband going through the post (Yes, we still receive post!), he showed me a very serious-looking envelope, which I waved away and told him to open. I honestly wasn’t paying much attention as he opened the letter because I was busy focusing on the rest of the mail. And then as he paused and gasped, he said that I should read the letter….

At this point I went to my default position of ‘something terrible must have happened’. Roger had tears in his eyes, and I couldn’t bring myself to read it, so he did it for me. It was such a mind-blowing and unexpected moment as well as an enormous honour to be recognised for my work in the technology industry in promoting international trade. To be honest it only became real when we went to Buckingham Palace to receive my CBE in March 2018.

We had great fun getting ready for the occasion; new outfits, practising my curtsey and wondering who would bestow the honour that day. All the children were there – it was incredibly formal but also beautifully executed by the team at the palace and needless to say Prince William was charming, as you would expect a prince to be…

Jacqueline de Rojas

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

One of my life lessons came when crossing the chasm from manager to leader – I wish I had known earlier in my career that I didn’t need to be an alphazilla to make it. There are probably people out there who wished they hadn’t worked for me back then and I take this opportunity to apologise to anyone who found my leadership style aggressive! I guess I was trying to ‘fit in’ with the very male dominated culture that existed then and convinced myself that I had to behave like a man to make it.

Only when I realised that authentic leadership comes from knowing my values, sharing my vulnerabilities and creating space for others to be realise their potential could I transition into a leadership position where I felt the team could scale with infinite possibilities and where a culture existed of inclusion and tolerance.

That really set me free and I realise today that My job is simply to give them permission to be the best that they can be. And they rarely disappoint. Give people space to be amazing – they rarely disappoint.

It is something I often use when coaching others in leadership roles today. Values really matter and not all the great ideas come from the top!

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

My top tip would be to go through a period of self-reflection. Early in my career, I was so swamped with trying to keep up with everybody else. I won’t deny that I suffered from imposter syndrome and self-doubt, all compounded by being a mother to a small child, being half-Chinese and a woman in a management position in the very male-dominated software industry. I needed to find the shortest route to success, and I realised that it was not going to be found by doing it the same way as everybody else. So, I asked myself a simple question: ‘What am I good at?’ And when I stripped it down to the basics, I realised that my core skill is that I am good at solving problems and more than that I have the ability to ‘spot friction’ in the system. So, with that in mind, I branded myself as a trouble-shooter to large enterprise software companies.  Once I had done that I never looked back. In fact, once LinkedIn became ‘a thing’ (Because, of course, the internet and the mobile phone did not exist for businesses until late in my career), I never looked for a job again. They came looking for me….

Top tip then would be: Know what your core skill is and brand yourself that way.

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

Isn’t it bizarre that, as Chairman Mao once said, ‘women hold up half the sky’ in so many ways; economically, domestically and emotionally? We are often seen as a source of strength and backbone under pressure and yet barriers still exist when it comes to opportunities in tech and especially in leadership.

Jacqueline de Rojas

The question is ‘what can we do about it?’ and I am afraid to say that there is probably no silver bullet here; the cavalry is simply not coming. So, it falls to each and every one of us to play our part.

There are so many initiatives which campion not only the cause of women but all forms of diversity and inclusion for underrepresented minorities in tech.

The Tech Talent Charter run by Debbie Forster who advocates precisely how companies can make diversity a priority, ColorInTech which promotes BAME inclusion in tech via research and learning, Founders4Schools founded by Sherry Coutu CBE and which supplies schools across the country with business mentors and role models (Please sign up as a mentor!), the WISE Campaign headed by Helen Wollaston which runs the PeopleLikeMe programme supported by the diversity and skills council at techUK chaired by Sarah Atkinson.

We are so blessed to have incredible momentum created by individuals who just wake up every morning wanting to equal the playing field and I honour the work done by Vanessa Vallelly OBE here at WATC alongside others like the Stemmettes run by Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, Code First Girls run by Amali de Alwis MBE,  techmums by Sue Black OBE, the returners programme sponsored by Sheila Flavell COO at FDM, TechPixies by Joy Foster and to Jack Parsons who leads the way to improve the odds for young people every day. This is a small snapshot of the incredible work of what we refer to as the #Sisterhood and our amazing #Manbassadors in UK Tech.

I was privileged to meet the Dalai Lama once and he reminded me that ‘if you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito’.

With that in mind, the question to ask is ‘are you a bystander or are you a participant?’

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

Join hundreds of other companies in the UK and sign the Tech Talent Charter! Supported by government and advocating simple steps for companies to make a difference to a diverse workforce. Find out more here

Jacqueline de Rojas, Tech Talent Charter launch

There is currently only 15 per cent 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 ask us all to consider one simple question every time we are in a position of influence or challenge: ‘WHERE ARE THE OTHERS?’ If we ask this question at every meeting and every opportunity where it is clear that diversity and inclusion is missing, I am sure we can create momentum for change

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

Probably the single thing that separates the UK tech sector from any other tech community on the world is the fact that we have an extremely strong and nurturing network that is actively looking to inspire, recruit and retain diverse talent into the industry.

There is no doubt that we stand on the shoulders of each other and I am grateful for all of the effort and resources within this network to help and support others become successful in their journeys. We are all role models whether we choose to be or not and I believe we lead by example in our sector to create opportunity for all.

The great thing about tech is that there are no barriers to entry so check out your local network via WATC for example, as an individual join Digital Leaders for access to networking and online learning and sharing, join techUK if you are an SME or a large tech business to ensure that your voice is heard when forming government policy, check out TechNations amazing online learning resources for entrepreneurs and start ups and check out the Institute of Coding for courses that can increase your learning in new areas of technology.

As the author of Sapiens, Homo Deus and 21 Lessons for the 21st century, Yuval Noah Harari says: ‘It is not the robots you should worry about, it is how you are going to reskill yourself every ten years or less…’

Lifelong learning is a personal responsibility it seems. I make a personal commitment to learn something new every year!

Also I love a good podcast!