“Diversity is not a nice to have” says Shadow Minister for Digital Industries at Socitm women in IT launch

“Diversity is not a nice to have” Chi Onwurah, Shadow Minister for Digital Industries, said  at the Society of Information Technology Management’s (Socitm) women in IT network launch this week.

Socitm launched its new network at an event sponsored by Canon in London.Laughing businesswoman at meeting

The network is the brainchild of the public sector body’s president Nadira Hussain, who also acts as customer services transformation manager at London Borough Tower Hamlets. She set up the network to continue the research and discussion around the benefits of employing a diverse workforce.

The launch event was held to discuss experiences and ideas on how to advance the prospects of women in IT and digital.

Speaking at the launch Onwurah, who recently became the Shadow Minister for Digital Industries under Jeremy Corbyn's new leadership, said: “I’m glad that Socitm are doing this and celebrating women in IT, which is something I have always been passionate about.”

She said if she is asked to speak at a conference with an all-male panel she refuses to take part: “It’s not acceptable anymore. Diversity is not a nice to have, diversity has benefits, and without women in IT we will never know the kind of tech we could really have.

“Technology could be far better and far more humane if more of humanity were working on it. I’m still waiting for the professional bodies to stand up and say technology needs ethics too.”

Onwurah added: “We don’t just need more women in IT, but for more women to understand tech and digital in the home and the workplace so they can make more of a difference.”

During the launch Hussain said she started the network because she “wanted to make a difference and to ensure members had a more diverse make up.

“This is just the start. There really are no boundaries for this network, so it is not just for senior women or those in the public sector. It is not an exclusive group for just women and we want to learn from others too. We have gone for far too long without a forum to share diversity issues.”

Harry Gooding, Associate Director at Mortimer Spinks, spoke of the recruitment company’s women in IT survey, which is conducted annually in partnership with Computer Weekly.

The results for 2015 found that the majority of women are happy with their roles in the tech industry: “If 94% of women are happy to be working in technology then why don’t we have more wanting to join?

“Worryingly, when asked the last time that you heard a conversation at work about diversity the figure only rose 1% from 44% in 2014 to 45% in 2015.”

Vanessa Vallely, founder of WeAreTheCity, said there are 1,500 women’s networks across London “but not enough of them are in tech.”

She spoke of the importance of networking and said: “I realised suddenly that my network used to be who I could see across the office and this needed to change. I also realised that I had also stopped asking for help when I needed and was trying to be superwoman doing everything.”

Aussies add computer coding to national curriculum

Australia has scrapped history and geography as core national curriculum subjects and has replaced them with computer coding.

According to news site the Australian, the announcement was made by one of the country’s education ministers, Christopher Pyne, who revealed that children as young as Year 5 will learn to code and from Year 7 students will learn to program.child-internet

The UK introduced coding into primary schools last year, following successful programmes in the US such a Code.org and Hour of Code.

Australia’s Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull has pushed for a greater focus on coding and science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects in schools from primary level as part of his drive for more focus on innovation and preparing for jobs of the forte.

As part of the announcement the government has pledged to invest $12 million into four Stem initiatives; an innovative maths curriculum, adding computer coding to the curriculum, a P-TECH-style school pilot site and funding for summer schools for underrepresented Stem students.

In a statement Pyne said: “High quality school STEM education is critically important for Australia’s productivity and economy wellbeing, both now and into the future.

“We are restoring the focus on STEM subjects in schools and making sure our teachers get more instruction on STEM during initial teacher training.”

Pyne became the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science yesterday as Turnbull revealed his new team. New South Wales senator Marise Payne also become Australia’s first female defence minister.

National coding week in UK

Australia’s news comes as the UK kicks of National Coding Week. Running from September 21-27 the campaign aims to encourage adults to learn coding and potentially create new career opportunities.

Free sessions will run throughout the week, which will teach the basics of coding alongside other beginners.

Richard Rolfe, co-founder of National Coding Week, said: "The key aims of National Coding Week are to encourage adults of any age to learn an element of computer coding, to encourage digital experts to share their skills, and to collaborate, share, learn and have fun! If I can learn to code at age 51 then anyone can!"

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is supporting the event for the second year: "Coding is a language that is increasingly important for both young people and adults to understand, but it can be an intimidating prospect. National Coding Week will help to make whole generations of Brits more comfortable with coding, allowing them to embrace the business opportunities of the future."

Organisations supporting the 2015 campaign include Decoded, Women Who Code, We Got Coders, Codeclan, Incubus London and International tech conference organisers Future Insights. This year's event is sponsored by JT Group Global.

Results of an Accenture survey last week found that more than half of 12-year old girls in the UK and Ireland find Stem subjects too hard.

60% said Stem subjects are too difficult and 47% of the girls questions claimed such disciplines better suited their male counterparts.

Blendoor app aims to take unconscious biasness out of tech recruitment

A blind-recruitment mobile app called Blendoor has launched in a bid to tackle gender and minority imbalances across the tech sector.

Unveiled by CEO and founder Stephanie Lampkin, during Salesforce’s Dreamforce show in San Francisco this week, the app aims to address unconscious biasness within the tech sector’s recruitment process.Multi-ethnic business people in office

The app hides the applicant’s name and photo, to ensure any biasness is removed from the early stage of the recruitment process, and that candidates are selected on skills. The aim is to conceal the applicant’s school, orientation or gender in the early stages of the application process.

Through a series of swipes recruiters can screen potential candidates and job seekers can search through job opportunities. When there is a match between skills required and the candidate’s interest the app enables the recruitment process to move forward. The app is integrated with LinkedIN and Facebook.

The app will also recommend career development opportunities, such as courses and events of interest, to candidates based on their behaviours.

According to Lampkin the app was developed as a response to her own challenges faced working in IT. During her Dreamforce presentation she highlighted that 91% of tech sector workers are white or Asian and 75% of them are male. She noted that Google has 55,000 engineers but only 12 are African American women.

Lampkin has a technical background herself having learnt to code from the age of 13. She went on to study an engineering degree at Stanford University followed by an MBA from MIT. She has worked at several technology companies including Microsoft.

For the first time the Dreamforce conference has dedicated an entire day to women in technology, where CEO Marc Benioff and founder Parker Harris will discuss Salesforce’s efforts around diversity. Talks will also take place from YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and actress and business owner Jessica Alba.

WeAreTheCity Top 50 Rising Star Winners | Announcement

Rising Stars Top 50 winners- bannersWeAreTheCity are proud to announce the winners of their Top 50 Rising Star awards. The Rising Star awards were introduced to showcase the UK pipeline of female talent below management and to create female 50 role models across 10 different industries and professions.  

The awards were entered by 340 individuals were judged by a panel of 14 independent judges. Over 15,000 public votes were received for the 100 shortlisted nominees from across 112 countries.  The awards were kindly sponsored and supported by Morgan Stanley, Societe Generale, BNY Mellon, Newton Investments, Reed Smith, Twenty Recruitment, Ladbrokes, Guardian Women in Leadership, EY, Barclays, Bloomberg, RBS and the Government Equalities Office.

Vanessa Vallely, MD of WeAreTheCity said “It has been a total honour to run this years awards and highlight the achievements of so many amazing women, the calibre of entries was truly phenomenal.  WeAreTheCity is very much about supporting the female pipeline and introducing these awards was a perfect opportunity to showcase the amazing talent of women across the UK.  We are exceptionally proud of our winners and look forward to following their future success.  We wouldn't have been able to launch these awards without the support of so many organisations who took no convincing to support these women and recognise their achievements.  Both myself, my team, our sponsors, judges and supporters are very much looking forward to celebrating with all of our winners at the House of Lords in September”.

Once again, we would like to congratulate all our winners and extend a sincere thanks to our shortlist, judges, sponsors and to everyone who supported Rising Stars 2015.


The winners of each category can be found here

Proudly sponsored by:

Announcing WeAreTheCity’s Top 50 Rising Star Awards “Shining a spotlight on the female talent pipeline”

Rising Stars - Female talent awards

Nominations open 1st June 2015 - click here

WeAreTheCity is delighted to announce the launch of the WATC Top 50 Rising Stars Awards for 2015.  

These new awards are the first to focus on the UK's female talent pipeline below management level and will celebrate 50 female individual contributors that represent the leaders & role models of tomorrow.   We hope that by raising the profile of our short list and winners, we will also encourage organisations to consider how they strengthen the development of their female pipeline in the future.

Recognising that careers for women may follow different timescales, the Top 50 Rising Star awards will not have any age restrictions included within the criteria. We feel we have a responsibility to ensure that female talent regardless of age and background receives the necessary support and skills to transition into key decision-making roles within our organisations.

"The need for more women in senior leadership roles is widely recognised. At Barclays, we want to go further - we believe in cultivating a pipeline of female talent across all levels of the organisation, from the executive assistant right through to the boardroom. These awards recognise the considerable achievements of talented women and our sponsorship reflects our commitment to support the women that come through our ranks to stay until leadership." - Mark McLane, Managing Director, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Barclays PLC

WeAreTheCity will use its extensive reach across the UK & Ireland to find 50 high-achieving women across 10 key industries and professions

The WATC awards will be officially launched on 01 June 2015 with support from organisations such as Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Lloyds, Societe Generale, Reed Smith, Ladbrokes & Twenty Recruitment.

The nominations process opens on 01 June 2015 for all categories and will take place online at wearethecity.com.   A shortlist of 10 for each category will be judged by WeAreTheCity and published during July. Judging of the final 5 winners for each category will take place with the category sponsors & independent judges during August. The 50 winners will be announced in September where they will be invited to celebrate their awards at a champagne reception.

  • Rising Stars in Banking
  • Rising Stars in Consulting
  • Rising Stars in Investment Management
  • Rising Stars in Law
  • Rising Stars in Technology
  • Rising Stars in Insurance
  • Rising Stars in Media & Journalism
  • Rising Stars Personal & Exec Assistants
  • Rising Stars in Recruitment & HR
  • Rising Stars in Sport

Sponsors of each category will be announced on the 1st of June

Criteria for entries
  • Open to all women regardless of age
  • Nominees must be below management
  • Nominees must be working within the industry of the category they are nominated for
  • Individuals can nominate themselves
How we define a rising star
  • Someone who is making a difference in their industry
  • Someone who demonstrates passion and drive
  • Someone who gives back or inspires others
  • Someone who is recognised by others as having the potential to become a future leader in their industry
The Process
  • 01 June: Nominations open for all categories
  • 26 June: Nominations close for all categories
  • 20 July: Top 10 short list from each category announced/public voting opens for all shortlisted nominees
  • 31 July: Public voting closes for all shortlisted nominees
  • 01 September: Top 5 Rising Stars for each category announced
  • Sept TBC: Top 50 Rising Stars drinks reception and awards for winners, guests and sponsors
Don't delay, visit us to nominate your rising star on the 1st of June

Rising Stars logo

WeAreTheCity are proud to support Future First and their Inspiring City Role Models project


Charter school-featured

Ladies, our youth needs you!  It is time to give back and to help build the pipeline of future City workers.

Future First are working with the City of London Corporation to inspire students in the city-fringe boroughs to aim high. Through the 'Inspiring City Role Models' project we aim to get 1,500 city workers signed up to their former school's alumni network. We want to provide state school students with relatable role models who work in the square mile.

We are looking for City workers like you, who attended a state secondary school or college in the UK, to sign up to your former school’s alumni network.

If you’re interested, please take five minutes to sign up for this opportunity here: City Role Models Go Back to School or pass on to a friend or colleague who might.

As well as making a crucial difference to the young people they worked with, 87% of volunteers taking part in Future First’s Employers Programme last year found that taking part enhanced their own job satisfaction and motivation.

Together we can make a difference.  There are 27,000 members of WeAreTheCity, so let’s do our bit to help Future First reach their target and really make a difference to these young people.

To find out more, click here

60 Seconds with... Kate Russell, BBC Click presenter and technology journalist

kate russell BBC Click By Adam LeachWe caught up with Kate Russell at the recent Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Women Talk IT: event and asked her to share her top career tips in just 60 seconds.  A tall order, but she managed it! 

These 60 second career clips are normally reserved for our careers club members, however, as a special treat we decided to share Kate’s clip for the benefit of all WeAreTheCity members.

60 Seconds with.. are a series of short videos exclusively on WeAreTheCity Careers Club. To see more and find out more about joining Careers Club, click here

Kate Russell is a journalist, reporter, and author who has been writing about gaming, technology and the Internet since 1995. Best known for weekly appearances on the BBC’s technology programme she frequently appears on TV radio and in magazines as a technology expert, and also has regular columns in National Geographic Traveller and the BBC’s Focus magazines. She is the author of two books; Working the Cloud, a guide to using the internet in business; and Elite: Mostly Harmless, Kate’s debut science fiction novel set in the gaming world of Elite, which achieved over 400% of its funding goal on Kickstarter. In addition, Kate speaks regularly at technology events and conferences, and in schools and universities, inspiring the next generation of technologists. She is also very involved in UK and global policy meetings to help shape the way the internet is governed.

To find out more click here

Follow Kate on Twitter here

Inspirational Woman: Professor Dame Carol Robinson | L’Oreal For Women in Science Awards

Women in room with paintingsProfessor Dame Carol Robinson is making her mark in history having created a new scientific field, gas phase structural biology. Her breakthrough has secured her a global honour at L'ORÉAL-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards.

For 17 years, women in the science industry have been celebrated for their incredible efforts and contributions to the research field, from curing diseases to protecting the environment, and the award makes Professor Dame Carol Robinson the fifth British Scientist to have ever won.

In this inspiring video she talks about balancing her career in science with a demanding home life, what it means to be awarded the European Laureate award and the importance of the For Women In Science programme in supporting future generations of women entering scientific vocations.

We decided to find out more;

"The work life balance issue is a difficult one. I think there are times in your career when your outside life has to come first."

Women at computerHow did your interest in science originate? At what point in your life did you know you wanted to be a scientist?

Through an inspirational teacher but there was no conscious plan to become a scientist – my scientific career evolved with me.

I can remember being fascinated by the periodic table from a very early age. I loved patterns that it held and realised the enormity of what I was looking at. Recognising, or looking for, patterns in my research is still very exciting for me.

What were the biggest challenges you faced in pursuing a career in science? How did you resolve them?

The work life balance issue is a difficult one. I think there are times in your career when your outside life has to come first. As a scientist the enormous flexibility that goes with the job is really a bonus. I didn't miss out on any important school events, sports days, nativity plays etc. Now my children are working all over the world. I am totally free to pick up the pace on my research. My advice would be to take advantage of the flexibility of your career and to remember that there will be periods when you can’t devote as much time to your work as you would like. Be confident that these will pass and then you will be grateful that you maintained your position in academic research.

women at computerWhen you were named as the first female Professor of Chemistry at both Oxford and Cambridge, how did you feel?

I remember feeling quite daunted. It felt as though I was an experiment and that my colleagues would be watching to see how I did – could a woman take on this role? I also felt that it was quite sad that many amazing women before me had not been given the chance to be Professors - they clearly deserved to be.

"I think it is a great idea that L’Oreal-UNESCO is highlighting women scientists in this way."

What has been your proudest moment as a scientist?

I remember the day, almost 25 years ago, when I saw my first protein assemblies fly through the gas phase. This excited me, particularly as these experiments were not predicted to work. Theoretical calculations had suggested that proteins would turn inside out in the gas phase. The fact that they stayed together and we later showed that they had the correct shape really launched my whole career.

Do you think that programmes like this help to encourage young women into the industry?

I think it is a great idea that L’Oreal-UNESCO is highlighting women scientists in this way. I hope it has a very positive effect on young women considering a career in science.

Carol RobinsonHow do you perceive the cause of women in science?

There are some great women scientists – getting them to believe in themselves, recognizing their potential and getting others to do so if perhaps the greatest challenge.

"You can have a great career if you really enjoy science. It is important to follow your passion and to be committed."

As a role model, what would you recommend to girls or young adults who are considering a career in science?

You can have a great career if you really enjoy science. It is important to follow your passion and to be committed. Being an academic is a very flexible career, particularly if you have outside commitments. There are times when I have worked incredibly hard - less so when my children were young. Now that they have all left home I am totally free to work at my own pace again. There are so many positives about being a scientist. Don’t think of it as being stuck in the lab all day. The opportunities to present your research, to interact at conferences and to carry out collaborations across the world are tremendously exciting. It is also very rewarding working with bright young students, watching them develop and take up their own careers. It really is a great career choice.

Watch Dame Carol Robinson discuss her career in this inspiring video


For more information please visit: www.womeninscience.co.uk

Thomson Reuters partner with WeAreTheCity Jobs

Thomson Reuters Logo
We are proud to announce the beginning of a new partnership between Thomson Reuters and  WeAreTheCity Jobs (formally Careers City).

Thomson Reuters is the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. They combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial and risk, legal, tax and accounting, intellectual property and science and media markets, powered by the world's most trusted news organization.

With employees in more than 100 countries serving seven industries, we offer opportunities as boundless as the world. Below, is a list of countries with the largest number of employees. No matter which country you work in, you’ll collaborate with experts across diverse fields, backgrounds and cultures, expanding your knowledge and helping you realize your full potential. Bring your global perspective and discover career opportunities without boundaries.

To view career opportunities at Thomson Reuters, please visit here


Women 5.0 Event | In pictures

On the 26th February 2015, 200 female technologists from all sectors attended the Morgan Stanley & WeAreTheCity Women 5.0 'The Changing Face of Women in Technology'
Women 5.0 Auditorium
Morgan Stanley Auditorium

With fantastic, inspiring and engaging speeches from;

  • Dame Stephanie Shirley, Technology Icon, British Businesswoman and Philanthropist
  • India Gary-Martin, Ex-Chief Operating Officer, Technology & Ops, Entrepreneur
  • Ulla Harker, Morgan Stanley, Executive Director

Panelists and Facilitation

  • Gerard Hester, Morgan Stanley, Managing Director
  • Vanessa Vallely, Managing Director, WeAreTheCity
  • Amina Elderfield, Morgan Stanley, Executive Director

We would also like to thank all of our guests for their engagement as well as the logistic teams at Morgan Stanley and WeAreTheCity.   We look forward to seeing you at Women 6.0 next year.

See below for pictures of this fantastic event;