30 Nov 2017. WeAreTechWomen, the technology arm of WeAreTheCity, hosted its second full-day conference for female technologists at Plexal, London.

The conference, proudly sponsored and supported by BP, saw over 300 attendees from across the technology sector and a range of companies including Santander, Barclays, Amazon, SAP, Verizon, Deloitte, PwC, Oliver Wyman, Bloomberg, BAE Systems, Worldpay, Excellion and EY.

The conference was aimed at women in the tech sector who were looking to broaden their technology horizons, learn new skills and build their technology networks.

Facilitator Kate Russell, BBC Click presenter, journalist and author, kicked off the day and welcomed all the delegates. The opening address was delivered by our headline sponsor, Diana Kennedy VP, Strategy, Architecture and Planning, ITS&S, BP, who started the day with some inspiring thoughts for delegates to take away, saying, “Imagine what would be possible if there was equal representation with men and women in our industry.”

She concluded her keynote, saying, “If you’re offered a seat on the rocket ship – don’t ask what seat, just get on.”

The morning began with a number of keynotes from speakers such as Claire Cockerton, CEO, Founder of Plexal; Carole Layzell, Digital Eagle and Proactive Engagement Director, Barclays; and Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, Founder of STEMettes.

Imafidon took the stage to talk about the future of coding and apps, and how STEMettes is helping to introduce STEM careers to young girls. She said, “Digital literacy is the ‘fourth literacy”, after reading, writing and maths and instilled that organisations need to have digital literacy at the front of the curriculum.

Concluding her talk, Imafidon said, “Digital is constantly changing, don’t be afraid – it’s an opportunity to keep learning.”

WeAreTechWomen Conference

Across the day, delegates enjoyed listening to a number of high-profile speakers including Ayman Assaf, CIO, Compliance, Regulatory, Risk and Finance, BP Supply & Trading; Julia Streets, CEO, Streets Consulting; Lauren Riley, Entrepreneur, Founder, The Link App; Jacqueline De Rojas, President, TechUK & Chair of the Digital Leaders board; Tunji Akintokun, Director, Cisco Systems and Ghela Boshela Boskovich, Head of Fintech Partnerships, Rainmaking.

There were also research spotlights from Deborah O’Neill, Partner at Oliver Wyman Labs, who spoke about Oliver Wyman’s Digital Families research, a new digital strategy framework.

There was also a spotlight from Malvina Josephidou, Software Engineer, Bloomberg who highlighted their research into machine learning in search.

Throughout the day, attendees heard about the digital future; the future of coding and apps; the uprise of Fintech; and cyber security. Attendees were also invited to put their questions to speakers during a number of Q&A sessions. Topics ranged from career advice, increasing diversity in tech, flexible working and how to handle gender discrimination.

Over lunch, delegates were treated to refreshments and had the chance to meet the conference’s very own robot, the Sanbot. Sanbot can read every gesture and pose, and guess people’s names, ages and genders with your fingerprint.

WeAreTechWomen Conference

The afternoon consisted of delegates attending their chosen elective sessions to partake in hands-on activities and interactive workshops. Big data, cloud computing, wearable tech, artificial intelligence, and Python coding were just some of the topics covered within the sessions.

Concluding the event, delegates and speakers alike took part in a speed mentoring session, opened by Melissa Di Donato, Chief Revenue Officer, S/4HANA Cloud, SAP, who instilled the importance of mentoring.

Speakers and senior individuals joined delegates for an hour of mentoring to discuss career goals and ask specific questions.

Delegates had the chance to enjoy drinks and network with sponsors, browse tables and stands of tech related products, as well as connect with a number of not-for-profit organisations including, Your Future, Your Ambition, STEMettes and Mums in Tech.

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