An announcement from the UK team

In response to the statement on the Girls in Tech London Facebook page, we are disappointed by the way in which Girls in Tech Global has chosen to separate from the UK team. Following discussions on growth, goals and the new GIT Global revenue model, we are no longer affiliated with Girls in Tech Global.

We are incredibly proud of all that’s been achieved over the past four years and appreciate the hard work, support and collaboration with our valued community that made it possible.

During this time, we have built up a passionate community of over 10,000+, supported and run a plethora of events ranging from conferences, panels and networking sessions, to skills, CV, and coaching workshops.

Highlights include bringing 40 women together to meet prominent female role models at 10 Downing Street, collaborating with other female and tech networks, a weekend workshop teaching 100 women to code, as well as the amazing success and results of our mentoring programme.

However, the journey isn’t over for this team. We continue to uphold our belief in supporting females and diversity in technology, business, entrepreneurship and innovation.

We will be putting on more events, programmes and workshops, as part of a new, exciting and fully-inclusive initiative.

Look out for the launch in the coming weeks. We will be celebrating with a launch party and look forward to welcoming you there!

Speak soon,

Emily, Lora, Josephine, Sally, Maya, Louise, Phoebe, Ella, Alessia, Laura, and the Associate team

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Get Started in Web Development: A Free Evening Class

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Didn’t get a chance to grab a ticket to our Spring into Code weekend at Twitter? We’d still encourage you to sign up for the waiting list, but otherwise, you can join General Assembly on 9th April at 7pm at Google Campus for a free web development taster class. Simply sign up here.

Class details:

Thinking of learning to code, but getting lost in the alphabet soup (AJAX, PHP, CSS, etc)?

Whether you’re interested in building your own web sites and applications, or looking to change careers, our class will introduce you to the world of web development (and programming in general).

We’ll take a dive into specific programming languages, tools and real life examples. We’ll also discuss what you need to get started as a web developer, as well as how you can break into this dynamic field.

This class provides an overview of:

  • Development tools (what you need to get started)
  • HTML and CSS
  • JavaScript and APIs
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Resources to help you along the way (including some GA classes)

Register for this class for FREE here: http://bit.ly/1bQTvdd

Announcing the Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference in Phoenix, Arizona

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#GITReady to be inspired! The annual Catalyst Conference, hosted by Girls in Tech, is coming to downtown Phoenix from Sun., April 26 through Tues., April 28 at the Hotel Palomar! We hope you’ll join us to mix, mingle, and hear from a premier selection of outstanding women leaders and entrepreneurs.

“We’re more than excited to host this premiere tech conference in Downtown,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “Women at the forefront of the technology and start-up industry will have an opportunity to experience first-hand Phoenix’s rapidly growing entrepreneurial ecosystem and innovative community.”

GIT Founder and CEO Adriana Gascoigne is stoked, too: “There’s excitement and energy buzzing in downtown Phoenix, and Catalyst attendees are going to feel that” said Gascoigne.  “Amazing things can happen when one woman helps another – and together we’re going pave the path for future industry leaders.”

Prepare for more than 40 notable female speakers including presidents, CEOs, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and leaders in the tech industry and STEM fields. All who attend will get to choose from workshops, panels and hands-on resources to help advance women in technology careers.

This conference is just around the corner! Register today at http://catalyst.girlsintech.org/attend/ (members get 15% off with code ‘gitccmem2015’).

Founder Talk: Anne-Marie Huby of JustGiving

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This week, we caught up with Anne-Marie Huby, co-founder of popular online fundraising platform JustGiving.

Read on as Anne-Marie talks about getting a startup going during the dotcom crash, shaping your own company’s culture, and building a sustainable business for a social purpose.

What inspired you and your co-founder to start JustGiving?

In 1999, Zarine Kharas, our CEO, spotted the opportunity to use the web to better connect good causes with people who care. When she and I met, I was running the UK branch of the humanitarian group Medecins Sans Frontieres and looking for a low-cost system that would enable the charity to accept donations online. Such a system did not exist. So I joined JustGiving full time and we launched JustGiving a little over a year later, in February 2001. Nearly fourteen years on, JustGiving is the fastest-growing social giving platform in the world, with 10 million users and $3.3 billion raised for good causes to date.

What has been your biggest challenge being an entrepreneur?

Nearly running out of money. We closed our first round of funding shortly before the dotcom crash, so we had to make every penny count thereafter. Being very early was also a challenge. Charities were very sceptical at first, and it took us a long time to demonstrate how valuable online giving would be to them.

What have been your biggest challenges being a woman in the tech industry, driven by men?

I am probably going to disappoint you here, but I can’t think of a single occasion when I have felt that being a woman put me at a disadvantage. Don’t get me wrong, I have no doubt that men and women have very different opportunities and experiences in larger firms – just as in wider society – and those issues are real. But if you are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to grow a business from scratch, as Zarine and I have done, then you have a unique opportunity to shape its culture and choose the people who work with you.

If you asked me what had been essential to the growth of JustGiving, I would say that it had little to do with the fact that it is run by two women. I’d argue it has a lot more to do with a set of highly unusual investors with a very long-term orientation who have always encouraged us to keep investing and focusing all our energies on creating a great product and a great place for people to work and grow. In short, if you build a great product, and take genuine care of your customers, the financials will follow. A lot of investors say this, but do not act accordingly. Ours have done so consistently, and all of them are men.

What can the JustGiving platform offer users that other charitable platforms can’t?

At its core, JustGiving enables everyone with a cause – whether it is helping find a cure for cancer or fund a new roof for their community centre – to raise more money than they ever thought possible. People and charities raise more money on JustGiving than any other platform – £360m this year alone – because it helps them reach more people and inspire more support than any other application.

What are some of your proudest accomplishments in your entrepreneurial journey so far?

Proving that it was possible to combine social purpose with running a sustainable business. Our for-profit-for-good model has enabled us to keep investing in innovation to a much greater extent than we would have done if we ran JustGiving along charitable lines.

What advice would you give to girls/women interested in working in tech or starting their own businesses?

Two different questions there. The first, about starting to work in tech: if you are looking to move into a tech business, don’t worry too much if your first job is not a perfect match for your existing skills, or looks slightly odd on your CV. Once you have a foothold in a tech firm, new opportunities will open up. As for starting up a new business: building a core team up front is key. Know your strengths and weaknesses and find people who complement you right from the beginning.

Keen to join a massively growing, for-profit-for-good company that’s just moved into some amazing new offices in London Bridge? JustGiving is hiring right now for their product and tech teams! Take a look at the opportunities they’re offering.

Insights into Fashion and Tech event at Lyst Studios

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We had one of our most successful events yet earlier this month, where we were joined by more than 100 fashionistas (and a bunch of guys, too!) at Lyst Studios in Hoxton for an event that dove into how tech is playing an increasing role in fashion.

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Our panel was led by Tech City News‘ Sinead O’Brien with Sarah Vigrass, Strategic Projects Director at Lyst, Torie Chilcott, Co-Founder of Rockabox, and Giacomo Summa, CEO & Founder of Stylect app.

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The knowledgeable panel gave interesting insights into the future trends and development as fashion becomes increasingly digital.

Some of the key takeaways included:

Mobile is becoming a substitute for magazines as a source of entertainment, which is one reason why the Stylect app is working. The “gamification” of swiping through shoes like many of us do on Tinder creates instant gratification.

Gamification is also seen in Rockabox’s interactive and fully shoppable tablet magazine created for Monsoon. Game elements entice users to interact, share and, ultimately, buy.

We need to work to bridge the gap between offline and online, because in-store shopping will never go away. Collecting data when you shop online could mean getting “pinged” on your mobile when you’re near a specific store and a product of theirs that you’ll love is on sale.

While an increasing amount of consumer traffic comes from mobile, (for Lyst, it’s currently 40%) we’re still mostly just browsing on mobile. People don’t yet trust that purchasing through their phones is secure.

All in all, we think everyone walked away with important bits of information on where fashion is headed as technology continues to play a larger role.

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day with Virgin Startup

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What an amazing opportunity it was to work with Virgin Startup for their Women’s Entrepreneurship Day event on 19th November, as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014.

The event took place at a beautiful, rustic location north of Old Street and had more than 100 existing and aspiring entrepreneurs. After chatting with many of the women in attendance, it was clear that most of them were primarily looking to connect with others and gain inspiration from others’ accomplishments.

Goodies for the event were even served up by business owners who had been through Virgin Startup’s programme themselves, a unique approach indeed. One such company was Dark Matters, dishing out fudgy, moist, chocolately chunks of oh-so-heavenly brownies.

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Mmmmmm! Anyway, back to the event…

We set up our own Girls in Tech stand, which attracted many interested women, keen to find out more about our mission and monthly events.

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The day was jam-packed with individual talks, including baby food mogul Annabel Karmel and founder of Ann Sumers, Jacqueline Gold, as well as panels with women representing big companies like Google and Ocado.

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Some of our favourite quotes from the day:

“Quit talking about it, just get on with it.” – Sharmadean Reid, founder of WAH Nails

“Don’t tell someone your idea and ask what they think about it, ask why they think it will fail.” – Annabel Karmel

“Think about why you got here and how you got here – and what difference you want to make. Everyone has a story.” – Business consultant Madeline McQueen

Finally, let’s not forget about the delicious lunch delivered by the lovely ladies behind Lunch Box London.

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It’s very clear from the events we run, plus those we run along with others, as well as the events we attend, that getting women together in a positive environment is the best way to bring empowerment to all. You can feel how the energy in the room lights everyone up, and everyone walks away with the tools they need to either improve their startup or get started on an idea they’ve been thinking about for a while.

Thank you again to Virgin Startup and everyone involved who made this amazing day possible. We cannot recommend Virgin Startup enough if you are looking for a business loan to get yourself started. They provide access to funding and mentoring, which you can find out more about here. We can’t wait to work together again!

Join us for a Christmas bash with London’s women in tech!

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Girls in Tech London along with Ada’s List, GeekGirl Meetup, and Women@Campus are teaming up to ‘Tech The Halls’ this Christmas!

Grab your ugliest xmas jumper and join us from 6pm on December 4th to ’tis the season and celebrate everything wonderful about 2014, women in tech style.

How do you get a ticket?

We want to hear from you! Simply get in touch (yep, guys too) & tell us one thing you’ve accomplished this year that you’re proud of.

Spaces are limited, so get back to us quickly and please make sure you know you’re able to come!