On Tuesday 17th September, Softcat supported CRN and Computing’s inaugural Women in Tech Festival UK event at The Brewery in London. The place was lively and buzzing with over 600 delegates attending, which is a testament to Incisive Media who organised the event. Softcat sponsored the event to support the channel in celebrating women at every stage of their technology journey. We are keen to ensure that we are proactively profiling Softcat in the industry as a great place to work, whilst tackling the gender diversity deficit in the tech industry. The agenda was packed full of inspirational keynote speakers and panel sessions involving people who are so passionate about gender diversity,
There were several stages which held our attention covering topics such as mentoring, building your brand, moving up to middle management along with roundtable discussions and plenty of opportunity to network.
15 Softcat women attended the event to learn, connect and promote! It’s important to us to not only idea share and learn from others, but also offer our internal female talent a chance to be inspired by so many wonderful females in the industry.
There were plenty of takeaways from some incredible female speakers.
Dr Anne-Marie Imafidan, Co-Founder, Stemmettes held the stage as a headlining speaker. Dr. Anne-Marie who is listed amongst the top 50 women in tech and voted the 5th most influential woman in IT by Computer Weekly gave some great tips on tactics and strategies she has used to get her unique position in the tech industry. She stressed the importance of being visible and finding ways of being comfortable with being visible. She explained females need to be involved in new innovations that are being developed and to ensure there is a female perspective provided. It might be tough, but it’s important to be in the room.
Viv Groskop, Comedian and Author of How to Own the Room focused her attention on speaker skills and how to hold the room whilst highlighting the likes of Michelle Obama and Angela Merkel and how they have achieved this through their presence, their stance and confidence.
Many books were recommended by speakers:
- Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez
- Working Out Loud by John Stepper
- How to Own the Room by Viv Groskop
The panel discussion delivered by Millennials from various companies gave the audience some ideas and advice on what employers should be doing to entice women into the tech industry whilst helping us understand what they were looking from employers when looking for jobs.
Promotion is two-fold; we of course were supporting the event as it was a great opportunity for us to talk about Softcat, but it was great to promote Helen Gidney, Softcat’s Infrastructure Design Manager who did a fabulous job when presenting on moving up into middle management. Helen talked about her progression and how to take the next steps in broadening your role and gave every day examples on how to demonstrate your management capabilities. Helen received some questions from the audience on how she has managed imposter syndrome, how to manage your manager and even on how her she has progressed quickly and the effects on her brand. Helen handled the questions like a complete professional.
Helen was asked to do this presentation a few months ago and having not presented in front of such a large audience before just showed that she had challenged herself and put herself outside of her comfort zone. We are proud of you Helen!
Supporting Women in Business
Softcat over the last two years have focused heavily on gender diversity. The Supporting Women in Business group is our flagship resource group with over 100 members working on initiatives to improve gender balance at Softcat. We realise that there is a lot of work to do here to ensure that we can shift the dial and attract more females into technology. The group are working on several projects to make a difference such as launching our mentoring programme for female employees, working on grassroot level attraction into IT, inviting in guest speaker to inspire our internal talent and a lot more.
We need more female colleagues in our business at all levels. Improving our gender balance can only be done through attraction and recruitment of more women and ensuring that once inside Softcat, they are able to forge a successful career within our business.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the event to make it a success. Thanks to all the great speakers and panel sessions who have helped inspire women in tech!
If you think you'd like to be part of the team, please visit our careers page to see how you could contribute..