3 of our Senior members of the Osmii team attended the Digital Influencers Conclave for women last week. It was a day filled with a series of discussions and networking opportunities with a variety of people in attendance from small business owners to others in both junior and senior positions. The main objective of the day was to understand how men can support women in the tech industry and how women can support other women in their business. We came away with some key points and messages to focus on.
The 1st session was led by three men all in high level roles of their businesses:
Doug Gilbert CIO at Sutherland
Robert Ackland VP EMEA Development at Go Daddy (a company at which 30% of the women are high level management)
Akshay Sonthalia Head of Business Development at Google
Here are some of the key messages we took away from the session:
- Diversity & Inclusion isn’t just about gender and women. We need to be catering for a variety of cultures, religions and other communities. It was mentioned during the hiring process of some businesses, unless there is an even amount of candidates spread across all diversity and inclusion communities including a mixture of men, women, race and culture who apply; no one will be considered.
- Giving everyone the right tools and training will not only help women but everyone in succeeding within tech.
- There can be a cultural challenge for men and women as they tend to think differently.
- Lots of women tend to work in creative careers as they have more emotional intelligence than men.
Behavioural personality tests have been introduced into interview process. Women are surpassing men, so much so that if they went on hiring from the test alone the company would be predominately female.
- In order to create more female leaders it needs to come from the top, seniority within a company should be pushing and supporting women to be promoted within a business.
- As a woman, don’t be scared to ask and be inquisitive.
- The importance was emphasised on men in technology to not feel like they are treading on eggshells.
The 2nd session was led by five women in high level management roles within their business:
Erika Bogar King CPO at Sutherland
Penny Penati Operations lead at Laka
Bayo Adelaja Chief Do-er at Do it now
Boryana Hristova Founder of International Women (she built the first social network for women)
Bahareh Green – Head of Marketing at Marsh
Their discussion focused on how more women can support other women in their businesses to be successful rather than conveying the negative stereotype that women don’t like to see other women succeed.
They asked questions such as where do you want to make an impact?
The room was filled with at least 60 women, when asked who has a sponsor it was only a small 5% that raised their hands!
As we get older we should be inspired to paying forward and become active sponsors for others. We need to start reaching into the community to get people at a young age inspired about STEM or careers in tech.
They emphasised how switching your mind set, getting out of notions of thinking and looking at alternative ways of getting where you want to be can help you succeed. There is always going to be an obstacle wherever you enter, what can you do to change that?
One of the women explained how she backed herself to ask for a promotion within her business however was denied it because her boss pointed out how at her age of 30 she will probably have a baby soon. It is in times like these that building a network within your company is important, it’s not only about having one sponsor but a support network to back you.
We took away a lot of great opinions and key messages that can be translated into any industry, not just technology. As recruiters it’s our job to get our heads inside the businesses we work with and understand how they hire. As responsible recruiters we work even harder in provoking change and giving more women a platform to be considered for the high level jobs we recruit for.