Fresh from the success of June’s Women of Silicon Roundabout event in London, this October will see the return of the Women in Tech event to the SEC in Glasgow. In preparation for this hotly anticipated media event, Dog looks back on the history of the Women in Tech initiative, reflecting on the impact it has had across the world, and on the experiences of women working in the digital industry.
Recognising the major gender gap that continues to pervade the tech sector, the Women in Tech series was launched as a small conference just two years ago. Since these humble beginnings, the initiative has grown exponentially and today stands as the largest global Women in Tech Event Series. Through their success, their aim has remained the same; to enable people and organisations to connect, to learn and to action wider gender diversity and inclusivity across the industry. At its roots, the tech industry defines and prides itself on the idea of progression and its constant state of innovation, forever pushing the boundaries of ability and belief. So why, the Women in Tech series asks, does this dedication to development fall short when it comes to gender parity in the workforce? Despite the efforts of recent campaigns such as Male Champions of Change and HeforShe, the tech industry continues to fall short of gender quotas, with only 25% of tech jobs being held by women, and female executives making up just 11% of the total Fortune 500 companies.
Returning from her visit to the Women of Silicon Roundabout conference, Project Manager, Claire Reynolds has nothing but praise for the event and the speakers who presented there; “The event was truly inspirational. It was great to see such a diverse mix of women from different occupational backgrounds come together to support and celebrate one another’s achievements, in an industry that too-often seems male led.” This diversity extends itself beyond the attendees, but applies to the range of presentations available at the event. Whether looking to brush up on your digital finesse and expertise, or to better understand how to present yourself to employers, there was something for everyone at the event.
Further to these presentations, attendees also had the opportunity to participate in interactive sessions, led by top-level companies. Claire reflects on her session with Bumble, where they focused the discussion on the empowerment of women both in their careers and personal lives. The dating app’s implied marketing has met with resounding success internationally, executed through slogans such as ‘Be the CEO your parents always wanted you to marry (then find someone you actually like)’ and ‘You miss 100% of the opportunities you don’t swipe on’. Here Bumble have created a parallel between the working woman’s business and personal spheres, putting them in the driving seat of both and urging them to take charge. “Not only was this an empowering message to send to women, but their marketing style reflects the beliefs at the core of their business,” says Claire. “I found it a hugely refreshing and eye-opening approach to marketing.”
Empowerment was the theme of the day, with presentations across the board calling on women to face the everyday problems they are presented with, but rarely tackle. These included enlightening talks on identifying Imposter Syndrome, as well as others on understanding your innate strengths and abilities, and learning to celebrate them. Significantly, the focus of the Women of Silicon Roundabout conference never falls on trumping our male counterparts in business, rather simply to take ownership of what makes us different, and use it to our advantage. More than ever before businesses depend on a culture of diversity to thrive, and to offer insight at each level of society. For women and other groups who have felt like footnotes to the history of the tech industry, now is the time to assert their value in this field. The Women in Tech Conference goes a long way in creating a more inclusive community in the tech industry, allowing women to be recognised amongst their peers, both male and female for the first time.
As our company manifesto states, Dog recognises the significance of the Individual, yet we recognise the greater impact of the Pack. And we understand that we cannot have a Pack reaching its full potential without a diverse and multi-talented group of people. That’s why we put our full support behind events such as The Women in Tech Conference, and continue to send company representatives to each event. Gender inclusivity in the workplace is no longer simply a socio-political issue. In fact it is a reputational issue; one by which we judge the health and competency of a company.
On the 10th of October 2018, our Senior Insights Analyst Laura Boyle will be attending the Women in Tech Conference at the SEC in Glasgow. Tickets to the event are still available here.
Emma Mulcahy - Social Media Executive