Our Application Support Analyst Marie Floury visited the Women of Silicon Roundabout conference in London which featured inspirational keynotes, panel discussions on business strategy, technical classes, diversity, and career development workshops. Here’s what she found out:
The Women of Silicon Roundabout enables people and organisations to connect, learn together and take action on gender diversity and inclusion. Keen to find out why women are so underrepresented in technology as well as to pick up new skills, I spoke to product designers, data scientists and heard from “bleeding edge” companies who are at the very forefront of technological development such as DeepMind, who specialise in AI Research, and established organisations such as Bloomberg.
The conference ignited the interest I already had for emerging technologies, particularly the use of Blockchain for Smart Contracts; a glimpse into how businesses are currently integrating new technologies like this into their models confirmed Blockchain’s viability. I learnt about the use of the agile methodology outside of the software development domain, and how this can be applied to the streamlining of work which I undertake in my current role at C5.
Listening to other women speak about their career paths, struggles and successes renewed my confidence in my own goals and provided me with an insight into why women already in the industry should act as ambassadors for future generations. Women are more likely to view IT as an accessible career option when there is an increased visibility of women in technology roles. Therefore empowering and investing in women at an early age is key so they know that the technology industry is open to them.
A major takeaway was the crucial importance of remaining current and adaptable, both personally and in business, to keep up with the blinding pace of technological advancements. Exploring the idea of “Technological Darwinism” where our choices, methodology, speed of adoption and flexibility will dictate our survival was fascinating. However, understanding that not all emerging technologies will live up to the hype and the importance of taking a pragmatic, rather than a starry eyed view put this into perspective.
The importance of diversity in teams was hammered home, not just as an exercise in fairness or to deliver on equality objectives but as a tangible “real world” benefit for clients, businesses and teams in addition to the individuals themselves. Diverse teams, whether that diversity is gender, culture, sexuality, disability or age diversity, better represent the public at large and the strong correlation between this diversity and faster, more robust solutions and profitability was highlighted. As stakeholders in our shared future, all members of society must take their place to shape it. It is my hope that the direction I have gained from the conference and the study I am undertaking will be beneficial for my future career at C5 and that I too will be an ambassador for future female generations.