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.

 

 


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.


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.


woman-stressed-with-a-burnout-featured

Ten techniques to combat stress and anxiety at work

Stressed woman suffering from a burnout

Article provided by Liz Walker, HR Director, Unum

Practice mindfulness

Many of the techniques mentioned involve mindfulness, which is a popular method of combatting anxiety. Mindfulness can stop you worrying by bringing your attention back to the present through acknowledging your worries and letting them go.

Mindfulness allows you to get in touch with your emotions and recognise how you feel.

Take a step back

Viewing thoughts and worries as if they are show or film you're observing can be a good way to disconnect yourself from them and to finally put them out of your mind.

Accept strange thoughts

We all have strange thoughts from time to time, such as 'what if I scream during a presentation?'. These thoughts are natural and will jump out from time to time. When this happens instead of focusing on it, describe it to yourself as the curiosity it is and move on. Remember, our minds are creative with lots of little thoughts floating about.

Recognise false alarms

Everyone has the sudden worry they didn't lock the front door or left the iron on, however rarely do these things actually materialise. When you find yourself thinking along these lines and notice your body responding with a rapid heartbeat, recognise the situation for what it is. Acknowledge the thoughts and sensations but let them pass.

Positive Self Talk

Often, we're far harder on ourselves than we would be on others. Try to talk positively to yourself rather than putting yourself down, like you would if you were talking to a child or friend who was nervous. Telling yourself phrases such as 'this feeling will pass' and 'I will be ok' could help to reassure you and reduce stress or worry.

Set Aside Worry Time

Sometimes worries can niggle at us and prevent us from doing things we should be doing. When this happens jot down the reason you're feeling anxious and resolve to think it through later. By the time you get to doing that it's likely many of the worries you've noted won't be an issue anymore.

Question Your Thoughts

Feeling anxious can make our thoughts spiral out of control and think outlandish things. When you find this happening try to question your thoughts by asking yourself such questions as 'is this worry realistic?' and 'what is the worst possible outcome and would it really be that bad?'.

Learn to Say No

Don't take on too much, if you're overloaded with work and extremely busy but given more work, try to push back. Talking to your boss about the situation will give them a better understanding of your workload and could allow you to push back deadlines or receive some help with a task.

Keep Track

Keep a diary for a week or two to track which situations make you feel most stressed and how you respond to them. Record your thoughts and feelings and what you did as a result; this can help you find out what situations make you stressed and your reactions to it.

Talk About It

Voicing your concerns, worries or feelings to an attentive and trusted listener can feel very cathartic. The person you speak to doesn't have to 'fix' things, just listen to you even if it doesn't change the situation.


finding the right career, applying for jobs featured

Why women shouldn’t let job descriptions hold them back

 Article by Rebecca Roycroft, client services director at tech talent specialist mthree

job application, right careerAccording to research by LinkedIn, women apply to 20% fewer jobs than men and are less likely to apply unless they meet 100% of the job description criteria.

This is paralleled against men who will apply for a job if they meet just 60% of the listed requirements.

This reluctance of women to apply for a job if they don’t meet every requirement is a particular issue for the technology industry. According to the latest figures, women make up just 17% of the tech workforce, while just 56% of tech start-ups have only one woman in an executive role.

So, what can be done to address this gender imbalance? With so many women seemingly not even applying for tech roles, even when they are just as qualified as their male counterparts, scrutinising and breaking down technology job descriptions will be a good place for women applicants to start.

Look for the essential requirements

Identifying the essential requirements of a job description could help more women to determine whether they have the necessary skills to apply for and succeed in a role. Within a job description some requirements are essential, and others are preferred but sometimes this can be unclear. Therefore, women interested in a particular role shouldn’t be afraid to contact a business to differentiate between the two.

In a tech job description, core skills listed are generally those that are essential to performing the job day-to-day. These tend to be technical skills such as coding expertise for software development positions or proficiency in specific programming languages, such as Java and Python, for certain programming jobs.

On the other hand, transferable skills are often non-essential and can be developed on the job. For example, learning how to develop project management skills or acquiring leadership qualities may be more of a desired, rather than essential, requirement.

By understanding which skills are essential, women should be more encouraged to apply for a tech job if they meet the core skills required. It is not essential to possess all of the requirements listed, and transferrable skills can often be achieved once the candidate is placed in a role. Evidencing how you have transferrable skills such as leadership, can be achieved in the interview process and when entering into the job.

Listed experience can be flexible too

Similarly, it is important that women applying for tech roles are not put off by the request for a precise amount of experience.

A specified amount of experience is often desirable rather than essential, and suitability for the role can be successfully communicated in a well-written cover letter and CV.

If a candidate possesses the core skills of content management expertise for the role of a senior internet technical producer, for example, but the job description asks for five years of experience and the applicant only has four, this could be a missed opportunity if the application is not pursued.

Fill in the gaps during the interview process

Once the first hurdle of applying for the job is overcome, many women will find that they are offered an interview. This is the perfect time to address any perceived shortcomings by outlining transferrable skills and experience that can help to address the missing criteria that may have put off women from applying in the first place.

For example, if the listing asks for specific software experience, such as certain CRMs and project management tools, and the applicant doesn’t have experience with these exact programmes, demonstrating how similar software has been used before, will be beneficial. Outlining an understanding of the specified tools in the interview and how current skills are transferrable to the listed requirements, can show flexibility and an ability to learn processes quickly.

If confidence is demonstrated in transferrable skills and experience, then the interviewer will share this confidence too.

With a growing digital skills shortage, tech talent is in high demand. Whilst women should be seizing the opportunity to step outside of their comfort zone and apply for dream jobs that may seem just beyond their reach, businesses are also responsible for how their job descriptions could serve to ‘put off’ potential female candidates. Clearly listing key requirements along with ones that can be developed, could help more women to enter into, and provide meaningful contribution, to an already thriving UK tech industry.

For women themselves, having confidence in their abilities, being aware of their transferable skills and learning to look beyond intimidating lists of requirements, can help to pave the way for the next generation of diverse and inspirational female technology leaders.

Rebecca RoycroftAbout the author

Rebecca is responsible for delivering a seamless end to end experience for mthree’s clients across EMEA. Her prior experience spans MSP, RPO, SOW and Emerging Talent solutions such as graduate and apprenticeship programmes. Rebecca is an innovative and passionate leader, who has driven transformation and change within multiple organisations. She has been instrumental in creating successful and high performing teams across sales, client engagement and business operations.


Working mum

Yes, you CAN do it all: making motherhood and a career work for you

Working mum I think the idea that women often have to choose between a career and being a good and present mother is definitely a myth.

There’s still an established perception that we’ve inherited from previous generations, a bias in fact, that being successful within your career will, and even sometimes should, be in direct conflict with motherhood. This is especially true within professions like management, and stems from the archaic belief that women shouldn’t pursue a career or work, as this will have a negative impact on their children or family.

There are strong social expectations and standards around ‘good mothering’, which we have built from an inherited story. Unfortunately, this story has still not been reconciled to reflect the lives of successful, working women who are mothers, too. I have heard startup investors boast about being “the one responsible for most divorces”, or claiming that you need to put everything at risk - including your family - to succeed. Although these are statements you will not hear every day, it shows that there is still a certain attitude or culture that exists that can be frightening to women who have or want families. I believe it has an adverse impact on women’s beliefs about whether or not they can have “both”. I also believe we need to put this culture to a stop, once and for all.

There’s no magic shoe that will fit all women in this situation, for a start. We need to acknowledge that every woman is different when it comes to her career needs and her family balance and that’s fine! What’s important is making sure that there’s no shame about motherhood or balancing it with a career. Personally, I am fortuitous enough to be married to a man who supports and encourages my career - it’s always good to have someone cheering you on! However, the key thing is about finding a balance that works for you personally and being clear and open about the boundaries you need to set in order to make sure that your role as a mother and your role as an employee are complementary to each other, rather than in conflict. Letting work govern and swamp your life is not the recipe for success!

Here are a few top tips to keep motherhood and work manageable:

  • Acquire the balance that works for you - Some women will want a focus on their career, whilst others will want to maintain a focus on family. Both of these are perfectly acceptable results, and it’s likely that women will swing between the two depending on their aims and family demands. Find a balance that works for you and don’t be scared to adjust it when your circumstances or desires change.
  • Educate yourself and others - Understand, retain and sometimes even re-educate your peers that this balance, including motherhood, is a central part of your success. That finding this balance you will thrive as a person, including in your career. Not everyone will have family demands or a knowledge of the toll they can take on you - make sure they are aware so that they can better understand and support your ways of working.
  • Recognise societal boundaries - Be aware that the story of motherhood is based on history and inherited perceptions, as well as an established bias - something we can refer to as the maternal wall. You need to recognise these boundaries, as they may be something you come up against in your career. Equally, remember that ‘motherhood’ is a story and that you are writing your own version of it - it is up to you how you live your role as a working parent, and no-one else.

About the author

Solfrid Sagstad, Executive Markets Manager at age-tech startup, Motitech (www.motitech.co.uk). Solfrid is also a mother to two children: Tobias, age nine and Lisa-Maria, age six. Before joining Motitech, Solfrid was working in research and education. She has a PhD in Biomedical research.


Elderly man using Grandpad, technology

TechSilver launches GrandPad to help the elderly connect with their loved ones

Elderly man using Grandpad, technology

TechSilver, the leading technology retailer for seniors, has launched GrandPad, an easy-to-use digital tablet specifically designed to help the older generation stay in touch with their loved ones wherever they are in the world.

With the current coronavirus pandemic spreading across the globe, now more than ever it is important to stay connected with others that might be feeling isolated or alone, such as grandparents or people who live on their own.

Launching in the UK and Ireland, the latest addition to their range of products aimed at seniors, TechSilver have been working with California-based GrandPad for more than three years to ensure the tablet meets the needs of the elderly and their caregivers in the UK.

Miles Waghorn, CEO and founder of TechSilver feels strongly that although many elderly people have not grown up with technology, there is no need for them to be excluded from its benefits if care and attention is paid to their specific needs.

Speaking about the product, Waghorn said, “Loneliness and isolation are damaging not just to physical health, but also mental wellbeing."

"Simple to use technology enables seniors to enjoy a better quality of life through keeping connected with loved ones and the outside world.”

GrandPad launched in the UK

The tablet and monthly service comes complete with custom-designed apps for seniors that use large, clearly labeled icons for video and voice calls, photos, email, music, games, news, weather, and online search. The included personalised support means there is someone available 24/7 at the touch of a button to offer advice. There is also a free ‘companion app’ which creates a private social network for family and friends to easily have video calls and share photos directly with the GrandPad, meaning their elderly loved one doesn’t miss out on family moments.

The GrandPad system also has an optional ‘auto answer’ feature that allows calls from trusted family members within the network to automatically ring through to their older family member, reducing the need for seniors to fumble with a device to answer.

Miles Waghorn established TechSilver five years ago after realising the elderly were missing out on the safety and connectivity that modern technology brings.

He continued, “GrandPad is a natural fit for the company’s carefully curated senior-friendly products including GPS watches, fall detectors, products for the sight and hearing impaired, simple smartphones and more."

"Our partnership with GrandPad will help deliver a timely solution to socially and digitally disconnected seniors at a time when they and the world need it most.”