Network Spotlight: Black Women in Science


Tell us a bit about your network

We are the Black Women in Science (BWiS) Network, a network that strives to be a community of women of African and Caribbean heritage in various stages of their scientific careers.  BWiS was founded by Tomi Akingbade in 2018 as a platform to connect black women in science industry, she feels is important to increase our visibility and the existence of a strong network of black women in the scientific industry will normalise the presence of successful black women in the scientific industry. Since its launch in April 2018, BWiS has grown to be a community of 60+ individuals with over 500 followers on social media. The BWiS team (made up of Teteh Champion, Lela Pea, Gabrielle Stapleton, Esther Adebisi and Dr Maria Agusta Aruda) is committed to further growth of the network.

What is your network’s prime objective?

It is no secret that black women face pressures both within and outside the workplace. The BWiS Network believes that everyone should be encouraged to not only pursue careers of their choice but excel in their industry. It is our objective that black women are encouraged to excel in their chosen careers and celebrated for their achievements. BWiS is here to equip black women in science with he tools they need to build successful careers for themselves.

How is your network helping women to progress in the workplace?

BWiS Network is helping black women by increasing the visibility of black women in science, celebrating their successes and giving a platform for their stories. We’re reminding black women that they have as much right to exist in the scientific industry as anyone else.

Tell us about your events?

BWiS is yet to hold any physical events but has plans to hold some in the future. If you want to the first to know about our events be sure to become a member if you’re a black woman in science, otherwise subscribe to our mailing list.

What should we expect if we join?

Currently, the BWiS website hosts a blog section and a private members forum. The blog section of our website keeps our members up-to-date with the latest scientific news, and the members’ forum provides a safe and private place for black women to connect and empower each other.

As a network, our aim is to be what our members’ need us to be, so we are open to taking suggestions from subscribers/members.

How do our members join your network, is there a fee?

Joining BWiS is 100% free! Both subscriptions and memberships are free. For members, all we ask is that they fill out the membership form after signing up to the website. Our team is made up of inspirational black women of science who volunteer their time of energy. The network relies on the generous donations to keep running.

What advice would you give to anyone who is joining a network for the first time?

Jump in and realise that ant network is what you make it. In a sense, what you put in is what you get out. We speak more about this in a post on our blog, The Power of a Network ( The most important thing is that you remain yourself and remember that you’re not alone in whatever you are going through.

Any top tips for new networkers? Why is building your network important?

We believe your network contributes massively to you as an individual. Having a team and community that support you can do wonders for your confidence.

Finally, what’s next for your network?

We believe that the future of the network is bright. Next for BWiS is physical events, more subscribers and more members. Also, in the future, the BWiS Network is keen to be a unified voice, impacting legislation and influencing change so that black women feel comfortable and supported in their careers. As an inclusive network, BWiS is also keen to consult with companies and organisations that wish to better understand the realities of what it is to be an African and/or Caribbean woman in the


networking featured

Progressing your career through your network


By Juliet Eccleston,co-founder of talent crowdsourcing platform, AnyGood?

Despite the constant talk about equality, statistics show that women still remain vastly underrepresented in top roles across the business world.

Figures from 2017 showed that in the UK, female professionals held only 12 per cent of jobs paying £150,000 or more.  It’s clear that traditional routes to progression are preventing a lot of women from attaining their goals. However, by utilising the power of personal networks, I believe women can further their career and bypass the obstacles put in their way.  This is something I’ve learnt from my own experience in over 20 years as a programme director. When hiring professionals for the delivery of large scale projects, my experience of the traditional hiring process was predominantly negative. It was only until I actively turned to my network for hiring that I found my best employees. Secondly, and more recently, I have witnessed first-hand just how well it works by starting my own business which empowers people to capitalise from their own networks.

Power of networks

The power of networks is huge and constantly increasing. This can be demonstrated by the recent rise in the use of peer-to-peer recommendations, something that I would attribute to a lack of trust in traditional sources of information, and to the ease at which we can now all stay connected. In early 2018, the Harvard Business Review reported a survey in which fewer than half of participants said they could trust businesses, the media, and government and non-government organisations – including charities. On the other hand, 60 per cent of respondents agreed that you can believe ‘a person like yourself’. What this indicates is that people are far more likely to believe peer appraisals than those with a vested interest. For this reason, recommendations and reviews, such as those on TripAdvisor, and Glassdoor have become a critical way for individuals to decide whether to trust a business, and the star ratings on apps like Airbnb and Uber have become so crucial in individual’s decision making

The same holds true for people

Clearly people are putting more stock into the opinions of others in their networks than ever before. For this same reason, I believe women should take greater advantage of their wider personal networks and use them for career advancement. By calling on those who most intimately know your professional capabilities, this endorsement can help remove any potential bias, allowing you to be promoted or hired based on your own merit alone.

Greater opportunity

Perhaps more importantly, your network has the potential to open up greater opportunities than those you are actively pursuing yourself. In our own company research, we found an overwhelming 95 per cent of people stated that they would be more likely to apply for a role if it was recommended to them by a peer rather than a recruiter. Recommendations made in this way are not only more personal and engender the trust that is so important for women to be given the chance to progress their careers, but also encourage individuals to go for positions they may have deemed beyond their reach.

Why is networking so important

With the potential power of personal networks so easy to demonstrate, this makes actually creating those networks even more significant. The evidence showing the importance of networking is extensive, and certain studies claim that women who avoid this are actively damaging their careers. A study undertaken by the AVTAR Group revealed that women usually begin networking at the age of 42, while men start as early as 17. Another study from the University of Notre Dame shows that more than 75 per cent of women in high ranking positions have a female-dominated inner circle, or strong ties to a few women within their network who they are in frequent contact with. However, while I encourage traditional networking, there are many different approaches to it which are also suitable, even for those who don’t feel they are outgoing enough to do so. Actively reconnecting with your existing network wherever possible is incredibly powerful because you already have a relationship in place. This can be done in a number of ways, be it through picking up the phone, email, or even through social media. Other interesting approaches are ‘career drafting’, asking someone you admire if you can help with any overflow they have. Finding a professional one or two steps ahead in your industry and letting them know you’re prepared to do this is an extremely powerful method of creating connections that could later help you advance your career.

Nothing holding you back

Unfortunately, the barriers to women progressing their career are numerous. There is much evidence to show that men are judged to a more lenient standard than women, and that gender stereotypes and unconscious bias play large roles in hiring decisions.  Furthermore, one McKinsey study found that women tend to undervalue their contributions at work, with 70% of female respondents rating their performance as equivalent to their co-workers, while 70 per cent of men rated themselves higher than their co-workers. This makes tapping into the power of networks even more important, as many women will have highly vocal advocates capable of championing them in a way they may not do themselves. I am firmly of the belief that barriers can be overcome through actively networking, and that despite the challenges, women have more opportunities to network than ever. By building your own strategic network of professional peers and using this network to your advantage, the sky is the limit.

Global Networking pass

WeAreTechWomen are excited to release tickets to join us on our virtual networking platform – 11-13 May

Global Networking pass

ONE TECH WORLD  |  11- 13 MAY 2021

If you cannot make this year’s conference, you don’t have to miss out on the networking. 

If you already have a conference ticket, access to our virtual world is free.

We are opening up our virtual networking platform to individuals who are not attending our flagship conference.  You can join us 6.00am – 7.00am (BST) if you are coming in from a global time zone or 6pm – 7 pm (BST).

Join us in our virtual world and explore areas such as our virtual alpine bar, library, rooftop lounge, cyber world lounge, AI world lounge and our jobseekers’ lounge. Whilst on the platform, you will also have the opportunity to meet our conference sponsors and make those important networking connections.

One Tech World virtual networkingHow the platform works

You can access the platform via your Edge or Chrome browsers.  Once inside the platform, you will become an avatar.  By using the direction keys on your computer you can move your avatar around our various lounges and chill out spaces.  As you walk towards other avatars on the platform, zoom windows appear that enable you to chat with others.  It’s a super cool way to network!  You can join other conversations on the platform wherever you see other avatars.  No personal information is shown other than the name you input when you log in to the platform.

One Tech World virtual networking


We hope you will join us to expand your network and make fantastic global connections.


One Tech World Sponsors 2021(1) 

woman smiling while working on laptop, International Women's Day

How to celebrate International Women's Day at work?

woman using a computer, pink background

Women’s equality has made positive gains but the world is still unequal. International Women’s Day celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing global attention on areas requiring further action.

Each year International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on 8th March, with the first day being held in 1911. Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organisations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women’s groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day.

This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge – which looks to celebrate women’s achievement, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality.

Below, we've rounded up a number of ways both you as an employee and your employer can celebrate International Women's Day. Companies and organisations can also find lots of resources to support their International Women's Day activities on the IWD website.

Join a women's network

Like it or not, networking is important for all our careers.

Unless you are a natural extrovert, stepping into a room full of strangers and explaining your business away can often feel daunting. Nevertheless, done the right way, it can also be extremely rewarding both from a commercial and personal development perspective.

Quite simply, any professional with an ounce of ambition regardless of their sector, and across the board, will need to network in some shape or form for the duration of their career if they are to get on in business. For women specifically, networking is often still an intimidating and uncomfortable experience for many, however.

Here at WeAreTechWomen, we have a number of articles and resources for those looking for advice on how to network, where to find networks and how to get the most of it. You can find a small selection of such articles below:

We've also developed our very own Network's Directory, which houses hundreds of different networks across a variety of sectors.

Purchase a ticket for a female team member to attend WeAreTechWomen’s One Tech World Conference on 11-13 May 2021

We have been hosting our women in tech conference for over five years. In fact, we have welcomed over 5,000 diverse women through our doors since 2015. We are not a large media company, we are a passionate organisation that has been championing women in tech for the past 13 years. To us, it’s personal. 17% of women in the industry is not just not enough, it needs to change. For this change to happen, it starts by showing existing women in the industry and those who want to transition in, what that world of future tech really looks like. It also involves encouraging women from all backgrounds to consider tech careers, so that we can build products and systems that are truly inclusive. Our conference will not solve these problems overnight, or even scratch the surface on the journey we need to go on for gender parity in the industry, however it will provide an opportunity for attending to learn about what is innovating and disrupting the industry globally. This will enable them to have a broader understanding of the tech landscape and to think about how they adapt their skill sets and grow their networks for the future.

This year, we are going to be bringing you the very best global virtual learning experience on a state-of-the-art conferencing platform. Our conference will provide ample opportunities to learn about emerging technologies and what is innovating and disrupting the industry. We are blessed to be given time from some of the world’s finest speakers who will be joining us to share their wisdom and knowledge. We will deliver innovative sessions on over 50 different areas of tech, with a side order of career development, fireside chats and ample networking opportunities, both on the day and through our global virtual networking world.

Purchase your ticket before the 31st March and take advantage of our early bird offer.

Donate to a charity or volunteer

Here at WeAreTechWomen, we actively encourage our members to give back to society either by getting involved in charity initiatives or via social responsibility projects.

There are a number of great charities that support women and you could help by donating or volunteering your time.

Discover more charities and ways of giving back here.

Support women returning to work

People have career breaks for many reasons; maternity/paternity, caring for a loved one, sickness or a sabbatical.

Whatever the reason for the time away, it can always be an overwhelming period of time when it comes to returning.

Through no fault of your own, the gremlins circulating in your head will make you question things – has the industry changed? Is going back the right decision? Am I ready? Is my family ready? Can I still do my job?

Self-doubt and conflicting thoughts are natural. Yes, it’s daunting but keep in mind, your company needs you and your experience is valuable.

WeAreTechWomen has lots of resources and articles, with lots of advice about returning to work. You can find out more here.

International Womens Day: Networking event for women in tech

05/03/2021: #ChooseToChallenge: WeAreTheCity & WeAreTechWomen's International Women's Day Virtual Networking Event

You are invited to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day with WeAreTheCity and WeAreTechWomen

Please join us from 12pm to 13.30pm on 5 March for the biggest virtual networking event in 2021.  Let’s celebrate IWD by making those connections we have all missed and by choosing to challenge!

WeAreTheCity and WeAreTechWomen would like to invite you to a different kind of online networking to celebrate IWD! Join us in our really cool virtual world.

Whilst with us you can:

  • Visit our main stage and hear from some incredible women on why they have chosen to challenge for IWD
  • Visit eight different virtual networking spaces and make connections
  • Join round tables for discussions on Gender Equality, Women supporting Women and the Importance of Male Allies

There is no awkwardness of breaking in to a conversation in our virtual world, you can just rock up to anyone on the platform and say hello.

We hope you will join us for this very special #Choosetochallenge International Women's Day event.

Registration is now closed

Twilio BuildHer Logo featured

Twilio BuildHer

Twilio BuildHer Logo featuredTwilio BuildHer is a network and event series for women and the broader ally community in tech, created by volunteers from the Twilio London office.

We host events that explore the experiences and challenges facing women in our industry through speakers, panels, and fireside chats. Our focus is on bringing honesty and authenticity to topics everyone wrestles with such as balancing passion with the need for a paycheck, imposter syndrome, and navigating career uncertainty.  BuildHer events offer practical advice from diverse industry leaders and creators and conversation is always lively. Join us!



Women in Tech Cymru featured

Women in Tech Cymru

Women in Tech Cymru featuredWe are a network that promotes and supports learning, best practice, and innovation for women working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers in Wales.

As members of Women in Tech Cymru we:

- Create opportunities for each other to learn and develop.

- Keep abreast of industry developments.

- Challenge ourselves and each other to encourage best practice and innovation in our work.

- Support and empower women who see their futures in STEM.

Our history

Women in Tech Cymru was set up in 2017 when a group of four friends met for brunch.

Despite working in very different roles and being at very different stages of our careers, we realised that we were all working in the tech sector.

We also shared the same experience of struggling to find other women to speak to who understood the unique challenges of working in the field.

Find out more


Women in Sustainability logo

Women in Sustainability

Women in Sustainability logoWelcome to Women in Sustainability! Through our in-person and online Network Hub Events and membership of our Online Hub, we create community, enabling you to build valuable relationships, strengthening your network.

We make it easy to access expertise, insights and support, using a coaching led approach that grows your confidence and courage to be a powerful change maker.

Find out more

The Shuri Network logo featured

The Shuri Network

The Shuri Network logoQ: How many times have you seen an all-female and black and ethnic minority (BME) panel talking about health technology?

A: For many in the NHS and care their first time would have been the Shuri Network launch last July.

Who are we ? 

The Shuri Network is the first NHS and social care network of BME women in digital health. We champion diversity, innovation and safety and support women of colour in health tech to develop the skills and confidence to progress into senior leadership positions. We are named after Shuri, the Black Panther film character who is responsible for her country’s technological success.

What do we do? 

  • ​We highlight and showcase the contribution women of colour make to digital innovation and data, and share our powerful stories to inspire others.
  • We work with partners in the NHS and private sector to create opportunities for our members to shadow digital leaders, apply for bursaries to support professional development and build connections.
  • We challenge the health and care system to do better on diversity and inclusion, address the inequalities raised by Covid-19 and deliver the aims of the NHS People Plan.
  • We aim to help our members feel empowered to apply for and succeed in digital roles​.



Coding Black Females featured

Coding Black Females

Coding Black Females

Coding Black Females was established in 2017, we are a non profit organisation with the aim to grow and inspire the community of black female developers. It is the largest network of black female developers in the UK.

We have regular meetups to provide a safe space to learn, have discussions, network, share knowledge and showcase our talents.

We want our members at the beginning of their careers to see that the tech industry is accessible, whilst enabling our experienced members to share their knowledge, use their skills, and provide support/mentorship to other members of the community.



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