Gender diversity in tech – NextTech Insider – Steve brown & Ellie Mosley

You're watching Nextech Insider with me Shivvy Jervis Now in this episode we're going to engage in some very insightful banter with two people that are gonna throw some light on how we're going to be able to boost sustainably the tech talent pipeline in an industry that still is seeing quite a lot of gender imbalance

With me today are Steve of Empiric and Ellie of Atos thank you for joining me so guys no pressure but I want to start by setting the context a little right the fact that we're still sat here talking about this says something I mean it's positive because what you don't speak about you can qualify, quantify or measure but it also means perhaps there's still an issue Ellie what are your thoughts? Definitely so I'm I work with a lot of our clients developing strategies for the future and how can we use technology to improve it and say really recently I was at a workshop talking about motorways how can we improve them in the future and I was sat in a room there was 30 attendees of which there were two women and that is who is defining what the motorways will be like in the future now we're not going to get a representative opinion with only two people of that gender It's about smart cities of the future very defining Exactly and I mean technology is also moving at such a pace that politics and policies aren't necessarily keeping up with it It's not something that's gonna be changed overnight I think the encouraging thing is there is more being done there's some great initiatives being done nationally by some great people including you guys in Empiric and I'm gonna ask you that in a second Shameless plug! but yeah but there is this so much being done there's so many different initiatives which is great to see I think in some cases there's lots of individual initiatives where actually I think some things can pull together better there's a lot of kind of siloed efforts that actually if people do pull together more it's going to have a bigger impact

So more joined-up approach and also I'm guessing across stakeholders so you spoke about policy so I'm assuming we're thinking then about organizations initiatives but government as well educators rallying together to help change the change the playing field a little bit so I'm curious now we're talking about let's say girls 14+ or women let's say 18+ irrespective of age let's get a sense of where does that first catalyst or spark come from they may not be this one defining moment let's say that a light bulb goes off and in someone's head may think this is what I want to do but in terms of is it the parents or the educators that influences young person to then at least consider perhaps something like IT and swapping you know home science for technology or engineering We know how to become a doctor a lawyer and we know what that that role is and how to get there but tech is such a fat phase, but what is tech well it can be being a developer it can be being a project manager it can be being a designer it could be anything of many things I never wanted to go into tech taking my own story and my dad sat me down at 15/16 he's in IT as well he said to me Ellie you'd be great project manager IT and I just turned around classic teenage ago don't want to be like you dad and I was convinced I was going to go off and do sales and marketing and and that's what I sort of pursued at uni and I did an internship as part of that and it was doing marketing at a small software company and I've got involved in selling solutions and finally I was selling all these great ideas but how do I know what's happening so I was like oh maybe maybe project management would be interesting so I was lucky enough I got that opportunity and that's then what I did when I graduated I was like Dad you were right I actually really enjoyed this and also what's the tech company most times when we've engaged with them sort of presentations at schools you get kids put their hands up and say yeah I want to work for Microsoft I want to work for Amazon or I want to work for Google as if that's the only tech company out there whereas actually any industry what we say is don't look at tech in isolation, blend it with your passion it can get you anywhere because there's finishing tech there's wearables there's yeah so many avenues to get into – yes but can't bring it back to where I think obviously the schools have a huge part to play in terms of actually having it that it's not just the skills it's where they can take you and what those jobs are parents play a big part in encouraging and supporting because we still have, you know with the Next Tech Girls initiative, have quite a few parents that can sometimes be the blockers of we don't want them to do that we prefer them to go to the kind of stereotypical safe bets of well go and do work experience in primary school and there's no nothing wrong in there until we still need primary school assistance but it's almost that de facto of or you're a girl of this age go and do this Pigeon holing them early on and as you say if as a parent you don't have experience or exposure to technology it might not occur to you that's that that's something viable and you think every more can a safe go to traditional field

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