GIT Mentoring Programme Launch 2

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!

 

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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 .

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Stop, Collaborate and Listen

There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes at DevelopHer over the past few weeks. We are building a new website, planning our launch party, autumn events, and continuing to build on our partnerships with some awesome UK and European initiatives.

We are committed to elevating women in technology and to pursue our mission of supporting women in professional, personal and political opportunities we’d like to expand our network. As firm fans of collaboration within the community we’ve grown great relationships with a number of organisations including Geek Girl Meetup, Blooming Founders, and Women Who Code and want to continue to seek out and partner with other organisations with similar values.

If you know of any other groups, initiatives or organisations you think we should get to know or events we should share, please put us in touch via developHer.org@gmail.com .

One of our newest partnerships is with SyncDevelopHER, an East Anglian initiative committed to promoting gender equality in technology. The awesome organisation is behind the DevelopHER Awards; showcasing the East Anglian technology industry’s leading female talent. The next Awards are in Ipswich on 30th November 2016 and tickets are available now . We’re excited to be working together with them and hope to partner on bringing their East Anglian based event to London in the near future.

Coming up we invite you to join us on 20th September at the prestigious Royal Geographical Society as we collaborate with WOW Talks bringing our mentoring experience to  WOW Talks:Women In Tech. Please use code developherwow2016 for £10 off.

As ever, to stay in the know for all things DevelopHer including our launch party please keep an eye on twitter and subscribe to our mailing list HERE.

Team DevelopHer

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Welcome to DevelopHER

To our wonderful members,

We are extremely excited to announce that we’ll be launching under the new name DevelopHER, and will be partnering closely with StartHER in Paris as well as a number of other organisations supporting women in technology worldwide.

Thank you for bearing with us while we’ve taken the time to get our new community initiative right. We are as committed as we’ve ever been to elevating women in technology and will pursue our mission of giving women the same professional, personal and political opportunities as men.

We will be transparent about our plans for the future, finances, and team.

We are committed to you, and will always do what is best for you and our wider community.

We will welcome everyone – inclusive of all genders, experiences, and backgrounds. We are best when we work together.

DevelopHER events and programmes will start running in September and in the meantime please do reach out to us with any questions you might have.

Here’s to an incredibly bright future, we can’t wait to see you all again soon,

Team DevelopHER

 

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