In 2015, it was documented that 57% of ALL professional occupations were held by women; however, women only contribute to 25% of computing occupations. From 1980 to 2010, 88% of information technology patents were created by male-only teams – compared to 2% created by women-only teams – proving the technology industry is male dominant.
As the latest recruit in the DigitalParade Glasgow office, I was delighted to be offered the chance of flying down to our London HQ and representing the company at the ‘Women in Tech’ networking event celebrating women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). This networking event was held to celebrate and increase the profile of women who are in the STEM field along with encouraging others to think about a career in these disciplines – This was done throughout the day with numerous talks and workshops.
With the like of Google, Airbus, Open Market and 23CodeStreet in attendance, there was a great opportunity to see women working and shining in companies and fields that are often dominated by men. Furthermore, these businesses were offering opportunities to enrol in their courses to aid in improving tech knowledge, a testament to the event organisers as well as the companies themselves.
The first workshop I attended was the ‘Introduction to WordPress’ lead by Jenny Wong. As an intern at DigitalParade, I am fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to further expand my skills more than just social media with formal one-to-one training given each week on new disciplines – one of which being working on WordPress. What really interested me about this workshop was the ability to be shown how we can manipulate WordPress to suit our needs. As someone without a deep technology background, the workshop was very helpful as it allowed attendees like me to be able to feel comfortable learning how to use software a step deeper than what I was taught so far. The materials offered were still available to us post-event allowing us to continue to develop our WordPress skills at home.
Having honed into my WordPress skills I may have got a little trigger happy booking into a ‘Programming your own language using Python’ workshop…it turns out, to simply make things bold requires a lot of code and it’s a lot harder than simply clicking a B button to make things appear as you wish, there is a dark world behind that screen! It’s safe to say I was a little out of my comfort zone and depth but some women were loving it, the problem solving challenge I guess is what drives developers into this field.
To end my afternoon, I joined in on a panel discussion with Lauren Perkins, CMO & co-Founder FlyFit, who explained the difficulties of building her company from the ground up. The most valuable piece of advice for me was to take small steps; no business will be a multi-national billion-pound company overnight, set yourself small goals to help achieve your main goal. I guess I use the same philosophy in my internship with DigitalParade – I take small steps to learn as much as I can with the view that one day, I can head up my own department, manage a few people and mentor and become a successful women in tech market otherwise dominated by men.
I had a great time and the event was put together with great speakers and workshops. The value and take-away from the sessions supersedes any other event I’ve recently been too, the hands on approach was definitely fun and actually had us girls buzzing around tech.