Celebrating International Women's Day
International Women’s Day 2019 saw the Keele Institute of Innovation and Teaching Excellence and Staffordshire Women in Tech host a networking event at the Sustainability Hub, Keele University.
The event was proudly sponsored by Synectics Solutions and D2NA.
Sandra Gillham, Keele University IT Services Manager facilitated the event, which gave delegates a chance to discuss and highlight gender and diversity issues that are experienced by those working in technology.
With only 16% (WISE, 2018) of women working in technology in the UK, and the number falling, the event saw speakers address issues such as different pathways to enter the tech sector, the impact of a one-size-fits-all approach, coaching and mentoring, the ‘tech geeks workplace culture’, methods to connect individuals with opportunities, and how to address the leaky pipeline and retain women in the industry.
There was a fabulous array of speakers and panel members from Keele University and businesses across the local area, including Kate Beardmore – HR Director Synectics Solutions, Paul Hawkins – Managing Director Motium and Business Innovation Director of Plinkfizz, Kirsty Devlin – RecodeUK, and from Keele University: Allison Gardner - Teaching Fellow and Head of Foundation Year, Cat Hallam - Faculty Learning Technology Officer and Dan Harding Faculty Learning Technology Officer, Abbey Bowen, Cynthia Benin, Chris Briggs – Computer Science students.
The event also saw the launch of Staffordshire Women in Tech, whose aim as a network is to address and action issues relating to diversity in the tech sector.
Cat Hallam, Learning Technology Officer within KIITE commented:
“It was refreshing to hear contributions from academic and professional services staff, students and businesses. As we move towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we need to address tech's gender imbalance, equip people with relevant skills, and create environments that attract and retain talent. The event held great promise for tangible solutions tailored towards the needs of local businesses and universities. I am very excited about seeing the actions from the event implemented.”