Yesterday I had a pleasure to join an event where we celebrated women in tech. “Diversity by Default: Ada Lovelace” hosted by Lloyds Banking Group in their beautiful building in Central London.
Who was Ada Lovelace and why we mention her so many times when we speak about women in tech and diversity?
Ada Lovelace was “the daughter of famous poet Lord Byron and Augusta Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace — better known as “Ada Lovelace”, she was born in London on the 10th of December 1815. Ada showed her gift for mathematics at an early age. She translated an article on an invention by Charles Babbage, and added her own comments. Because she introduced many computer concepts, Ada is considered the first computer programmer. Ada died on the 27th of November 1852″. *
Ada Lovelace Day is an international celebration of the achievements of women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM).
During the event, we covered many topics related to the current situation of women in technology and how to recruit and re-skill more women. What did I take from the event? Here are a few deep thoughts which stayed with me.
1. Women need to support women -Unfortunately it is a fact that women in tech block other women. One of the speakers underlined this and emphasised that there is more than enough space for all of us! Let’s support each other expand the network and get more girls into STEM.
2. Focus on diversity – Discussion panels uncovered changes that must be implemented in the recruitment process to increase the diversity. We must look at each stage. Organisations should organise more programs to get women into tech covering a wide range of positions. These can include not only technical skills training but also confidence and awareness of decision making. Organisations must open themselves to people from different backgrounds because otherwise they keep losing great talent and opportunities. Managers should build a diverse role model portfolio and speak about diversity. We can influence by taking little steps, but being visible. Inclusive space was also mentioned. It is very important for people to feel welcome and appreciated.
3. Awareness – Effective communication tips are helpful when you work in a diverse team or want to recruit people from different backgrounds:• diversity mindset• ask yourself “How can I take people with me and train them?”• change your language depending on to whom you speak to• profile your character and remember that diversity is not only about gender but also a character type
4. Be helpful – It is an important task in the tech industry to help people from different backgrounds to understand roles in tech. Engage them and help (ex.through mentioned organisation programmes) change their career path. Give them an idea of what to do and how to do it to get into tech.
“What can individuals from different backgrounds do to change careers into tech?”
5. Go to a hackathon! – Think about your skills – what value can you add to the tech industry? Go to a hackathon, speak with people and build your network. Be creative and ask people for advice – how can I get into tech? What can I do? Don’t be afraid to explore yourself and learn. Be curious, make mistakes and learn from it.
Our team at SCRUM Educational Experience strongly believe in a practical approach to learning. Hackathon can be a great tool to test your skills, learn about industries or even…. get a job!.
Here’s a real story from Giorgios who has just landed his first graduate job:
” I did manage to get an assessment centre at Vodafone because of the hackathon (Read more: Starting SEE hack journey at the Ministry of Justice. So after that I kept applying and I knew what to expect at assessment centres. I was actually offered another position in the second assessment day I went to. So that definitely motivated me a lot. Even though it was the first hackathon I attended, the experience was great!”
Also, watch this:
6. Smart working for mums (and others) – What is also worth mentioning is that the tech industry promotes smart working. It is not a secret that women currently have huge difficulties at work after a maternity leave. Not only when it comes to supporting, but also to reconcile the role of a mother and an employee, the tech industry has a huge potential to promote work-life balance. Let’s help mums come back and shine!
Thank you so much for organising this amazing event and for making the Ada Lovelace Day so special and full of inspiration!
More information about Ada you can find here: https://findingada.com/about/who-was-ada/