30 August 2023
The Power of Networking
As we come to the end of the school break and head back to real life we thought it might be good to talk about networking and what it’s all about. First, we’ll talk about our networking – because we love our group and hope you do/will too!
What networking do we run?
As many of you know – we run the Workshop Wednesdays in collaboration with Codehub on a bi-weekly, term-time basis which is supported by the Fabulous Desklodge in Bristol. This is a live, in-person event where we have a mixture of networking, workshops, and career advice for women wanting to get into the industry or who just want some support. It’s a friendly group that is always open to suggestions if anyone wants to do something in particular and we put people together if we think they can support one another. We also supply free drinks and snacks.
Why do we do it?
Since we began we always ran a networking group for women to meet other women in the industry and to allow everyone to support one another. This encompassed job seekers, returners, and career changers, a lot of whom came to us after first arriving in the Bristol area and looking to meet people. This was our Friday F3F (Free Three Fridays) ran on a Friday daytime.
From this, we then looked into supporting our members in learning the skills in a group setting and gatecrashed on Codehub who were also running a group in another coworking space, which was more suited to workshops. We turned up with 16 women from a variety of continents and admittedly were very disruptive and asked lots of questions, as is our way. Sorry Codehub!!
Things then got busy with real life jobs so we dropped the Free Three Fridays networking sessions and started a Wednesday night session – and as Codehub had survived us for a while we asked them along too.
Whilst we are about supporting women – we also know that the industry is very biased towards men and that training women in an all-women group and then getting them jobs in a very male environment was a shock to the system. Luckily the Codehub lot were pretty decent allies and so it made for a great mixup.
Why you should attend?
- The group is non-judgmental – you can be of any level, or simply tech-curious to come along.
- It is a touch point to meet others in the industry and also discuss possible career paths.
- We often find you mentors if needed (we’re pretty ad-hoc on this!)
- You can attend workshops and dip your toes in to learn new skills
- You can bring along your current projects and get other members from either group to support you
- You can just pop along and hang out
- We don’t take photos so you can dress down
- We can set up an all-women room/group within the meetup if you would prefer it, just let us know (This is what was dropped when we stopped the F3F unfortunately)
- You are welcome to cry if you need to – Susie will give you a hug!
There are loads of other networks around – unfortunately, not all of them are as great as ours of course, but many do pretty well. Many are very male-dominated and making friends within our network allows you to arrange to go along to them with like-minded members. This helps in allowing you not to feel so ‘other’ and more relaxed to give you a more enjoyable experience. We also run Bristol Girl Geek Dinners which is monthly and women-biased – any companies wanting to host one please feel free to reach out as we are always looking for support – and we are a very well-behaved group (promise!)
There are other chapters of GirlGeekdinners so check in on the main site and see if there’s one in your area too.
We are happy to share other events on our events page – so for other networking groups, please feel free to advertise your events on our event page if you want to improve your gender diversity.
We try to share any women-based groups when they have events coming up, as well as sharing any initiatives supporting women in the industry so keep an eye out for what’s coming up.
If any companies wish to support us then we offer up options for sponsoring a Workshop Wednesday where you can pay for pizzas and introduce your company, and recruit directly. Alternatively, you are welcome to come along and run some workshops – get in touch if you would like to speak to us about either of these.