We may well be in 2016, but there are still some job sectors which remain very male dominated and where genders fail to mix. The digital sector is one of them. Despite the fact that digital marketing is a combination of marketing and technology, it is the latter which puts off women and discourages them from pursuing this path. The trouble is most of us accept the clichés surrounding digital – that it is for young men who are passionate about technology, programming and video games and spend all day glued to a screen – which simply reinforces the stereotype of digital as a masculine pursuit.
Based on this observation, Red had the great idea to gather 5 successful businesswomen from the digital field for a 100% female conference. Two members of Gravytrain had the pleasure of being invited to this exclusive event on Tuesday, May 4th at the British Library. The aim of the conference, titled “Improve your tech knowledge and meet five of the UK’s top digital female talent” was to encourage women who wished to change their career path and embark on digital. The talk was led by a panel of 5 speakers:
Emma Cerrone (CEO and Co-Founder, Freeformers), Wendy Scott (Director of Mobile Products, Sky), Priya Lakhani OBE (Founder and CEO, Century Tech), Jude Ower MBE (Founder and CEO, Playmob) and Dr Jo Twist (CEO, Ukie) and included a 40 min exchange between the 5 women followed by 20 min of Q&A.
The panel gave a few practical tips but the talk was mainly focused on encouraging, empowering and inspiring women in the audience with advice such as “Find something that makes you happy” and “Follow your passion and do things with purpose rather than focusing on the technical side of it.” Questions covered included: Why do women need to be more active in this field? Why is there a gap? Do you need a special background to work in digital? What mind-set do you need to succeed?
Their final question was: what practical advice would you give to someone who wants to change career?
“Explore, narrow down, then try out”.