UK Women in Tech Summit 

Inspiring Women to Lead Innovation


We have partnered with Startup Grind as part of their global theme celebrating women innovators, leaders, inventors and entrepreneurs that are shaping the UK tech ecosystem. 


The summit has taken place on the 26th of May 2022 

 

Hosted by Patrycja Maksymowicz, MD Open Solutions Global & Simon Hodgkins, Founder Think Global Forum


The UK women in Tech Summit was part of SGWomen's Month celebrated in all Startup Grind chapters across the globe and a result of a partnership with Silicon Valley Bank and Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs.


Local Partners:  Zendesk, Sure Valley Ventures, Think Global Forum, Bimdl, Floe, Open Solutions Global, London Business Academy


In this short video the guests share their final thoughts and tips.

Highlights


During these two incredibly candid and refreshing discussions, we covered a breadth of topics, including diversity, investment, and creating a supportive environment that encourages leadership as well as the journeys and breakthrough moments that shaped our careers.


As Mel Ellyard (Sure Valley Ventures) pointed out, there is a current bias within the tech industry that contributes to the current gender gap, and there is still a lack of representation of minorities within the tech industry that still needs to be addressed. Sheila Hogan (Biscuit Tin) shared her Dragon's Den experience where after decades in tech she was told she should not be in the tech business!

We have agreed, that the issue of unconscious bias is hard to handle, and discussions on diversity are becoming less relevant as time goes on - it's not enough to have a diverse room of people to be inclusive or equitable. In his remarks, Mel stressed the need to go deeper, get uncomfortable, and make an impactful change.


Carolyn Pearson (Maiden Voyage) added that every company needs tech, and 'if you're dithering, just do it' since it's almost like a license to print money. 

Having Carmen Lincolne (Ivy Tech) share her genuine enthusiasm and pride in being able to help keep her Ukrainian team working and still recruiting in Ukraine were very inspiring. The work in tech and tech skills can open up a world of opportunities for those who might otherwise be left behind.  


Karen Jones (Denison Consulting Europe) shared that sometimes taking a chance on someone with the right attitude, but lacking the exact skills we are looking for can pay off well long-term for the company and can also be a turning point for the person you take the risk on.


Karen has also stressed that leadership starts with self-awareness. ‘Spend some time with yourself, know what your best day and your worst day look like, be at peace with yourself, accept yourself and be prepared to be authentic.’


Joanne Thurlow (Digital Isle of Man, Strategy and Transformation Consulting Gmbh) said she fosters a culture of ownership within her direct team.


‘If you understand who you are and what your strengths and weaknesses are, as well as how other people see you, then you can start to also align individuals to become their best and get ownership.'


The fact that women are often the only ones in boardrooms and surrounded by men might be challenging, but it can also be a privilege and an advantage. It is imperative to avoid overcompensating for being the only female in the boardroom.


A final thought and advice from Beena Sharma (Imperium Experts, Bio Technical Scotland) on the topic of diversity.


‘Don’t surround yourself with people who are the same as you because what you want to do is to be able to fill those gaps and ultimately, if you’ve got a team of people around you who are the same, you will never know what you need to do differently. It’s a definition of madness doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I often think about it if I want to be really challenged then what I should be doing is looking for people who are different from me and you can only do that by really including people who are diverse.'


(P.M.)

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