This week we’ve been mainly working out what we want to offer our members, whether those members are companies or individuals. The Women’s Tech Hub (WTH) has some core aims:
~ Supporting women’s tech groups in Bristol and the South West of England
The WTH aims to support local women’s tech groups by brokering relationships with local companies who can sponsor events and women’s tech group meetings – either offering space or paying for spaces to meet and food & drink. We luckily have some great contacts through our links with Girl Geek Dinners and Grrrl Games but we always welcome more. Sponsoring an event is a great opportunity to show support for women in the industry and is also a potential way to recruit. We also want to help source interesting speakers for meetups and events across the range of women’s tech groups.
~ Supporting women to stay in tech and move on in their careers either in their current role or moving roles within the company or industry
We want to help women increase confidence in themselves and their skill sets; from being proud of their own work history to developing new talents such as public/conference-speaking. We hope to show the benefits of getting support from a network such as WTH by setting up some peer-support forums as well as offering practical sessions to help women into tech and to progress a career that suits them. When you move into tech, your first job may be something that you do not totally enjoy, but rather than leaving the industry because of that, it’s better to reassess what you do and don’t want to do.
Never run from a job always stride towards the next one!
When we launch WTH this autumn we are planning workshops to help you with this, to take stock of where you are and to help you work out what you want to do. We believe that keeping an objective view on where you are, what you enjoy and don’t enjoy and what interests you is key to progressing your career. We will also have workshops on other more mundane but useful subjects such as how to write CVS and linked-in profiles and keep them up-to-date!
~ Enabling women to transfer from other sectors into tech through training and support packages
We want to reach out to women who are not currently working in tech but believe it may be a career for them, especially those women who were put off studying tech at school or university. We want to identify relevant training to support women’s transition into tech, especially those initiatives that recognise the transferable skills that women working in other fields have already developed. (See KETL training for an example of this) We also keep an eye out for initiatives offering useful courses such as the free courses offered by universities on Coursera
We want women to come back into industry after career breaks, so we are developing our Re:Boot returnship program to encourage them back to their previous careers, by offering support to get their skill set up-to-date while working in a company. This requires engagement from tech companies who will take women on as interns, with each placement being tailored to individual needs. We are currently working on our first Re:Boot with a local startup to identify what needs to be in place to make the scheme work effectively. It makes sense for companies to invest in women at this stage of their careers, as they have established skillsets and often just need a confidence boost to get back into work. Increasing diversity at the top levels of industry, which we know makes a difference to profitability, will not happen until there is a large enough pool of women to draw on at all levels.
~ Involving more women in public events
We are already getting more women to attend and talk at conferences by sharing calls for papers and women speakers with our networks, and it appears to be working. We have been invited to promote Women’s Tech Hub at BRISTECH on November the 3rd 2016 and now have chosen this as our official launch date. Come and find our stand!
We are happy to discuss what we can offer to events and companies (eg welcoming a Re:Boot intern, suggestions on improving gender diversity, publicity etc) so get in touch now and sign up to be one of our Early Supporters – we are still in the early stages of WTH and looking for support as we prepare for our official kick-off event at BRISTECH. Follow our progress on this blog.