International Women’s Day at UK Parliament

Last week, DevelopHer celebrated International Women’s Day on the 8th March at the House of Parliament, as, Sally Freeman and Sarah Rench from the team were invited to the Women in Parliament IWD event to listen and encourage others on how to be #BeBoldForChange.

During the event, we heard from a number of incredibly bold women who all aimed to fight for equality whether in or outside the Parliament and whether these changes be in our workplace or just in our day-to-day activities. These inspiring women, all mothers, were also tackling the art of balancing and fighting against the stereotypes.

We wanted to share with you the key highlights from these role models and how we can all think about being bold and making change.

  • Mims Davies, MP – and the first in her family to enter higher education
    – As Parliamentarians it is their our duty to mitigate against injustice

    Davies addressed the issue with the lack of MPs who are women. For many decades, female MPs made less than 5% of the total, but since the 2015 general election there are currently 195 female MPs (29%) out of a total 650 members of parliament. Despite there being more female MPs than ever before, Davies emphasised that we still need to reach 50% so we are really hitting quality and ensuring we’re paying the way for the rest of society.

  • Maria Miller, MP – Chair for the Women and Equalities Committee
    – We need more women into Parliament to have a stronger voice where Parliamentary decisions are made

    Miller discussed the importance of scrutinising the government and driving equality. Many MPs have pushed through policies relating to cross-government equality strategy and legislation, transgender equality, sexual harassment prevention and action in schools, women’s health, tackling the gender pay gap and many others. As we start to see progress in these areas, there is a lot more to do and support for these areas.

 

  • Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh, MP – Previous accomplished lawyer
    – Nothing has come to a women’s agenda without a fight. It doesn’t matter which party you join, it just matters that you join

    Sheikh like many of us in DevelopHer believe equality means ensuring individuals or groups of individuals are not treated differently or less favourably on the basis of their specific protected characteristic including areas of race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation and age.

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  • Baroness Dido Harding of Winscombe and Chief Executive of Talk Talk
    Businesses need to be like rugby teams – they’re made up of different shape, size and looking employees.
    “Leading a diverse team can be harder than leading an identical team. It requires an acceptance of difference to get the best out of different people”.

    Baroness Harding commented that we are all unconsciously biased and it’s important that this is considered when we are building and managing teams. We need to accept that we are all unconsciously biased, in order to challenge and overcome it. A key lesson Baroness Harding also embraced was the importance for working fathers and male role models who also fight for equality in order for change to happen.

 

  • Fiona Cannon,  Director of Inclusion and Diversity at Lloyds, responsible for diversity and inclusion initiatives for 90,000 Lloyds employees and 30 million customers. Cannon was awarded the OBE in 2011 for services to equal opportunities and also recognised as a Working Families Pioneer by Working Families in 2009.

    – We are starting to challenge conventional wisdoms

    Cannon explained how Lloyds took bold steps in publishing their goal to increase the number of C-suite women to 40% and the importance of more women in positions of authority in all sectors. One approach to change in the workplace is to address that existing business models don’t always meet the needs of employees anymore and that we need to be investing in ‘local hubs’ for work. It’s important to adopt agile hiring or flexible working – and to start breaking the traditional 9-5 office based way of thinking in order to bring benefits for all parties: for employees, companies and clients.

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If there is one key learning we could take away from this day of empowerment – is that change is starting to happen and we need to make sure we join work together to ensure change continues to increase equality in our day to day. Never underestimate the power of role models (female or male) and how this can help you be bold not just for now but for the future.

To read more about our Parliament experience, read ParliaWOMENtarians and the importance” by Sarah Rench from the DevelopHer team.

Keep up to date with our current adventures make sure your follow us on twitter @DevelopHerUK and Instagram.

Time to celebrate with The Drum’s 50 Women under 30 list

At DevelopHer, we’ve been popping the bubbly as 2017 brings some wonderful news to the DevelopHer team and community. This year, The Drum announced a list of the 50 women trailblazing through the digital industry before reaching the age of 30. With the results recently released, we’re so proud to see not one, not two, but three of the DevelopHer team had made the list this year! Not only that, but a member of our mentoring alumni also made the list too!

We wanted to congratulate every single woman who applied and got nominated. It’s encouraging to see the level of female talent that are making their marks in the tech and digital world, and also the hard work our team and community have done so far. We’d thought we’d share highlights of what inspires the nominated DevelopHer list.

Well done ladies, and we only hope more of our community make the list next year!

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Laura Chung, DevelopHer Board
Regional Product Marketing Manager for International markets at comScore

  • What one piece of advice would you offer someone entering marketing today?
    Curiosity is a great starting point for any career progression, so I would advise someone starting out to never be afraid to push themself to learn more and to ask questions. Marketing in some aspects requires mastering the art of multi-tasking. If you are on top of everything, it gives you enough time to find the challenges that really excite you”

Ella Roche, DevelopHer Board
PR and Outreach Manager at The Honey Partnership

  • Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
    I see myself as managing director of the Honey Partnership US. We’re a fast growth business and I’ve been running Chinese and US accounts since I joined. I have a supportive management team and excellent mentoring.”

Eniko Tarkany-Szucs, DevelopHer Board
Senior Partner Manager, EMEA at Sprinklr

  • Do you believe diversity in the industry is changing for the better?
     “
    I think there is a push for change and there are a lot of great organisations out there. Generally, I think there needs to be more women in leadership positions and/or male dominated fields who are prepared to mentor and serve as role models to other women.”

Lauren Ingram, DevelopHer Mentoring Alumni
Marketing Manager at 360i

  • What is your biggest career achievement to date?
    Moving to Berlin. I didn’t have a job offer, I just knew I wanted to work in the bustling tech scene there. So I bought a plane ticket and I sent a tweet to a chief executive of a startup I wanted to work for and went for it.”

Read more about our awesome DevelopHer team here and how you can get involved with DevelopHer.

Hannah, entrepreneur at Layer Home discusses the mentoring programme experience

In many ways, this time last year feels like it was just an eye blink ago.

In September 2015, I attended the first session in the six-month mentoring programme run by the team by DevelopHer and reading back over my notes from that session, I can literally feel the excitement running off the page.

We were each given a gift at the first session. A beautifully wrapped, perfectly analogue gift in our technology-centric worlds. Smythson had kindly donated a small, blue notepad for each of us and the wonderful team had handwritten a personalised note in each of them.

Written on a card inside my sky blue notebook was the quote from Confucius: ‘Wherever you go, go with all your heart.’

For me, this set the tone for the six month programme that followed and has continued to influence me in my life and MY business today. To do things with your whole heart, you have to own the decisions that you make, believe in them wholeheartedly and most importantly, be proud of them and of yourself. (Yes, it’s squishy but sometimes you need an emotional reality check – and that was one for me.)

I’ve never felt like someone who lacked confidence. HOWEVER I believe that there can be something inherent about us as women that stops us from just ‘leaping’. We think about things deeply in a way that perhaps men don’t, and sometimes this can hold us back. Yes, make measured, smart decisions in the main – but sometimes you just have to leap with your  heart and believe you can do it.   

Meeting other women (and men, too!) who live, work and leap with their whole hearts has cemented in me the belief that a network, support system, group, community – whatever you want to call it – is an invaluable part of fostering this inherent belief within ourselves and other young women that whatever they want to achieve is possible. NOT only is it possible, they can be the ones to do it. This is where the next chapter of the DevelopHer community comes in, empowering and elevating women.

Some of the people I met through the program have gone on to be important mentors. THEY make key introductions or to challenge me personally and professionally in ways that have helped to move things forwards. I made friends and peers, people who I can turn to when something feels difficult or overwhelming – sometimes all you need is your tribe to tell you something is possible. I’ve met role models and inspirations, people who I’ve looked up to and realised that they are amazing, but also human beings just like me.

It was a wonderful programme to be a part of and I benefited more in six months that I could even have imagined. So as we enter 2017 I look forward to using what I learnt from the mentoring programme to confront and overcome what the new year will bring me.

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Hannah Russell

To find out more of the top 10 things I learnt from the programme check out next month’s blog!

 

DevelopHer’s Trip to 10 Downing Street

On the 24th of November, we took 100 members of our community to 10 Downing Street for an exclusive afternoon of mentoring and networking at one of the most prestigious locations in the world.

The select group was split into mentors and mentees and we held several speed mentoring sessions to encourage knowledge sharing, with the hope that everyone took home an important piece of advice to help them on their career path.

We were lucky enough to be joined by Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP who chaired the session. She gave a positive and enthusiastic speech on the technology industry and gave insight on how crucial it is to support more young girls to get into STEM subjects while at school.

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There were many familiar faces and it was great to see both mentees and mentors taking notes and absorbing what they were learning. We see such value in this type of event on such an important world stage and hope to make this an annual occurrence.

“We were delighted to have been welcomed  to 10 Downing Street for a second time. The event brought together a group of determined, hardworking and dedicated people from the technology industry and cemented in our minds the importance of mentoring and building a community.” – Emily Atkinson, MD, DevelopHer

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The event was organised by the DevelopHer team with particular thanks to Diana Paredes, CEO of Suade.

We will continue to host these types of events in the future, so please make sure you are on our newsletter to find out first.

DevelopHer Launch Party: Recap & Highlights

On the 27th October, we were delighted to hold our official DevelopHer launch party.
The event was held at the stunning Moo.com offices in Farringdon, London, and our doors welcomed a full house of over 200 attendees.

The night was filled with inspiration – ranging from thoughtful speakers, networking and a wonderful live performance by the talented Hope. We would like to thank everyone who attended the party, and helped create such a fantastic atmosphere. We were truly thrilled to see so many women and men from different backgrounds to join us on this journey.

In case you weren’t able to attend, here is a recap of some of the highlights and best bits from our launch party:

The evening started off with a drinks reception and with a big thanks to our sponsors, the first 150 attendees who arrived received our first ever printed DevelopHer goody bags provided by Shout Promotional Merchandise. On the night, our guests were treated by the fabulous Le Salon who provided manicure treatments to get us in the party mood, whilst MOO appetized our community with drinks and snacks for an evening of networking and celebration. The social buzz of the event was captured by the wonderful AwesomeWall and we were so pleased to see #DevelopHer was trending on Twitter during the night!

Our Managing Director, Emily Atkinson opened with a few words about DevelopHer’s mission and values.

Our aim is to work with all the other female-focused communities in London and the UK to build the biggest, strongest and most diverse community we can for technology and entrepreneurship in the UK. Our aim going forward is to support women and men and everybody in the tech community. We are aiming to go for diversity and inclusion. Absolutely everyone is welcome to our events.
Emily Atkinson, Managing Director of DevelopHer.

Meri Williams, CTO of MOO kindly spoke at our event, reinforcing the importance of diversity in a workplace and the need for a support community to progress. This was followed closely with insights from our mentor and mentees of last year’s mentorship programme, to find out how their experience was.

“Mentoring is very much a two-way street – you get out what you put in. For me it was incredibly rewarding, being able to see the businesses and the careers of the mentees growing over the six month period. It was just incredible. A lot of people at the beginning were unsure of whether they were doing the right thing. Some of them got new jobs through the mentoring scheme, some of them had been running their own businesses and they got new inspiration and new business leads through the scheme and now their businesses are absolutely flying. For me as a mentor, being able to see the mentees grow was incredibly rewarding.”
Lucy Blair, Director of International Sales & Marketing at The Orchard and DevelopHer mentor.

I started the DevelopHer mentoring scheme in September 2015. At the time I was thinking about maybe starting my own business and I was full of insecurities. During the six month period, I learnt a huge amount. We were a group of 15 young women from totally different backgrounds but all of us wanted to be a success. We met these amazing mentors and it just gives you a kick up the a** and makes you think that if you want to do something, just go for it. My dream has turned into a reality and Layer Home has been live since the start of this year. We now have over four thousand products on the website, we work with hundreds of sellers and we add 300 new products to the site every week. It’s really gone from strength to strength.”
Hannah Russell, DevelopHer Mentee and Co-Founder & CEO of Layer Home.

“From a personal development point of view, the programme really helped me with my confidence. I’m pretty shy and it’s really helped my public speaking. Last month I spoke at the Ministry of Justice and next month I’m speaking at a big health conference. The DevelopHer community has also just connected me with the best people. A year later I’m still chatting with the other mentees, mentors and DevelopHer team – it’s like a family and really the best bunch of people I’ve met in a long time.”
Iona Inglesby, DevelopHer Mentee and Founder of Dot One.

A big thank you goes to our community for your kindness, support and encouragement. We’re so pleased to capture the night on film, thanks to Mai Vo from the DevelopHer Team and share the great memories from the night!

Watch the video recap by Mai Vo here

Don’t miss out on our next events!

As we mentioned we’re committed more than ever to work with other diversity and tech groups with similar values to provide you the events and opportunities you need. We have a great line-up of events before the end of the year, including a panel on the Adventures in Tech Careers, screening the documentary of “Dream, Girl”, attending Unbound Festival Unbound Festival and also returning to 10 Downing Street!

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A special thanks to our sponsors and partners for your support on the night:

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Sponsors

  • Moo.com – Our key sponsor and partner who provided the event space, food, drink and flyers printing for our launch party.
  • Shout PM – Promotional merchandise sponsor who printed the goody bags, banners and t-shirts.
  • Le Salon – Provided professional manicures for our guests.

Partners

  • Unbound – Provided our community 150 free tickets to their festival as a launch special.
  • Awesome wall – Provided us the interactive social wall for the night.

Goody Bag Sponsors


How to get involved:

To keep up to date with our events and news, sign up to our mailing list here.
If your keen to speak at our events or becoming a mentor sign up to our speaker list.
Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and enjoy our pictures on Instagram!

Five reasons to learn how to code

This guest blog is written by Designli

Whether it’s for a career or a hobby, coding puts you ahead of the game. Regardless that women still only make up a very small percentage of software developers in the industry – the ability to code can bring an overwhelming amount of options and opportunities for your career; some of the biggest names in technology started as coders.  So, if that’s not enough to get you started, here are our top 5 reasons to learn to code:

 

  1. Build a long-lasting career

Whether you’re looking for a new career or want to choose the right course to study, rest assured that coding is a long-term venture that won’t go away any time soon. Economy recessions can hit many careers, but coding is always in demand. Whether this be in a corporate or start up environment, developers are considerably sought-after, with many coders also make a living via freelancing software projects – so there’s always flexibility in your career.

 

  1. Improve your problem solving skills

Whatever field you’re in, problem solving is a valuable skill. As coding has a lot of logic embedded in its design – learning to code can improve your ability to solve problems. You see this in the best coders, who are forward thinkers: they see a need for a solution and they fill the gap. In many ways, code brings out people’s creativity, giving you the ability to think ahead and identify ways to help users work with your solutions.

 

  1. Build your own ideas

Many would-be entrepreneurs have some great ideas of their own, but hiring a developer can be expensive. However, you’ve got the know-how, you can cut many of the costs by doing it yourself. Whilst you’ll probably need help later down the road for maintenance and additions, it’s a great start to the learning curve of coding, whilst gaining responsibility by leading your own development. As your work progresses, outside help may be inevitable but there is nothing more rewarding than seeing your code come to life.

 

  1. Understand technology

Whatever types of app you code, you’ll be forced to learn (and embrace) technology. By focusing on programming for the technology you actually enjoy, it’ll make it personally and professionally rewarding!

For example, if you like smartphones and tablets, you can program apps specifically for these devices. On the other hand, if you’re more interested in web technology, stick with creating desktop apps. You can even write low-level code in C++ that controls robotics and microprocessors. The beauty of coding is in the variety of options is offers, allowing you to choose an area of passion for your expertise.

 

  1. Learn the language of today – and the future

Finally, code is not only the language of today –  but the language of tomorrow as well. Being able to code opens new doors and experiences. Traditionally, you had to enter certain fields to change the world, but coders can make changes in everyday lives with the right code. If you take the problem-solving skills you learn to define a new solution –  then the combination of the right idea implemented with your own code, this has the power to change the way people do business or interact with others.

As a result, the digital language of coding can be fundamental to success.

 

Want to know more? Visit Designli here.

Have a topic you would like to hear about? Let us know.

DevelopHer: Join our journey and values

 

Our story so far

We are ever so proud of what we have achieved over the years and we appreciate the hard work and collaboration from our valued community. During this time, we’ve built an engaging community of over 10,000+, supported and ran an impressive number of events ranging from conferences, panels, networking sessions, coaching workshops and coding weekends.

A big highlight for us includes bringing 40 women together to meet the inspiring fifty female role models at 10 Downing Street,  which kicked off our amazing annual mentoring programme for 6 months.

But it doesn’t stop there…

Our new journey

At DevelopHer, we exist to elevate women in technology. We are a non-profit community dedicated to bringing women together to drive opportunities, develop confidence and create a network of support through events, networking and learning.

The DevelopHer team are a group of dedicated women who volunteer in their spare time to bring genders together to support those in their professional, personal and political opportunities. We strongly believe that we work best when we work together.

Our aims

 

  • Develop Careers: We aim to support those aiming to build and progress their careers in technology, digital and entrepreneurship.
  • Develop Confidence: We strive to proactively develop the skills, self-belief and discovery of learning in our community via monthly events, annual mentoring programmes, regular workshops and inspirational advice.
  • Develop Change: We want to create an open and friendly community regardless of gender; to bring together and grow the common goal of diversity and female communities across countries and disciplines; putting into practice how we can help and influence each other.

We thrive on the spirit of change, fun and encouragement in all that we do.

 

We truly believe that together we are better

As part of our commitment, we aim to to work with other diversity and tech groups with similar values. As we continue to work with Geek Girl Meetup, Blooming Founders, Women Who Code, SyncDevelopHER, WOWtalks and StartHer  our journey begins with collaboration being at the heart of what we do, in order to provide you the opportunities you need.

Make sure you join us in our journey and launch party by getting involved in our community or contact  developHer.org@gmail.com .