Women Rock 2018 ‘I can, I will ….. watch me!’
Happy New Year to all and Happy 1st Birthday Women Rock. What a year it’s been! An idea that had been a long time coming for me, started by way of numerous notes on my phone up until January 2018, now feels like a genuine movement and something I’m incredibly proud to be spearheading.
Since I started my recruitment journey the subject of ‘Women in Tech’ struck a note with me. It’s easy to explain why – I was going weeks working on technical requirements for my clients and having little to no interaction with women. It really drove me mad and got me asking why?! So now, more than ever, I feel it is my responsibility to share experiences of women in tech, to encourage unity and collaboration and to give those experiencing life in tech a platform for their voice to be heard and a chance for them to feel empowered.
So, what has happened in 2018 and are we any closer to the mission of making Bristol the most diverse city in tech in the UK by the end of 2025?
We have interviewed 27 folks in the industry – we have discussed their stories, successes, challenges and also spoke with numerous organisations about their plans to improve diversity (or where they have already done so we’ve questioned how!)
Women Rock has global reach – the average views on each post is around 4500 and they are seen as far as Japan and Canada which is amazing and surprising in equal measure. It was also discussed as a case study at a Tech event in Copenhagen which is amazing.
We held our first event with the DevOps group in Cardiff, where we invited 4 brilliant ladies in the industry to talk about their career in tech. We sponsored Bristol’s first Algorave. We attended events. We talked at events, a stand out being WTF by 101 ways. We also sponsored Ladies that UX Bristol and excited to confirm we will be continuing to do so throughout 2019, oh we’ve have shit load of fun and made some amazing friends too!
On the whole we have received some really positive feedback and people seem behind the movement. Taking onboard the constructive feedback you amazing people have shared we intend to make some small changes and then keep pushing this movement forward.
As a team 31% of our placements in 2018 we’re female, which in a male dominated industry and our first year, is pretty amazing and something we are really proud of. We have worked with clients who have crossed skilled folks and some who have taken on self-taught developers and Juniors and have given them a chance to show what they can do. We have supported returners and first timers venturing into the IT world for the first time and have even done some pro-bono placements supporting women getting new jobs in IT that didn’t fit within our typical areas of focus as a business.
I’m confident that the junior developers which both myself and the team have placed this year, we will be seeing amazing things from them next year!
(Lorna, self taught Python Developer, Bristol)
In 2019 we are going to be putting more energy and time to Women Rock to help share the message further. Over the last 12 months we have doubled our own headcount and now have a 50/50 male/female split in our own business. We practice what we preach, and this means in 2019 I am going to be supported by the whole team even more but particularly our amazing girls Darcie, Charlotte and Steph.
We will also be announcing 2 amazing humans who will be working on growing the brand in their spare time and we plan on launching a mentorship group for Women in Tech. I’ve heard that mentoring isn’t an option for women either entering or in tech already and with our connections we feel this could be an amazing opportunity to support.
A special mention and a huge thank you to some stand out people who have fully supported both myself and Women Rock in 2018, Ben Hutchings, Rachel Baker, Georgie Hopkinson, Greg Southey, Helenna Vaughan-Smith, Will Hardman, Jaycee Cheong, Emma Hopkinson-Spark, Richard James, Richard Welsh, Mark Elias, The whole team at DevOps group, Ash Phillips and Nic Alpi for all being such amazing supporters of the brand and for sharing the same passion for all things diversity.
All I ask is for every women in the industry to use your influence because whether you believe it or not (and you should) you can promote positive experiences for the minorities in tech!
The world is changing, you see examples all of the time. Only a few days ago I was sat on the sofa watching TV and SAS who dares win was on and it was the first series where woman were involved. I am personally praying that one of these badasses win! Look at the 544 women who were selected at BEM, MBE and OBE level. Look at the achievements of Dr Sue Black, of Amali de Alwis, of Debbie Forester, Katie Alcott, Chantelle Bell and Leanne Kemp!
Shout about your story and live your best life as a Women in Tech!
Roll on 2019 and lets all spread the message and empower and inspire every woman out there to even greater heights and achievements this year!