Growing You in 6 Months: Call for Applications for the Girls in Tech Mentoring programme

It was great to see so many people at the Girls in Tech London Mentoring Programme introduction last Wednesday! As usual, we had a strong turnout with a good mix of people, from those quite experienced in their careers to those just beginning in the tech industry.

This breakfast meeting, sponsored by La Fosse (recruiters in Tech) and helped logistically by the wonderful Alice from Runaway East, was to give those interested in the mentoring programme starting this September more of an idea as to what to expect.

As mentioned in my previous blog, this mentoring programme is aimed at women who are seeking guidance to help them maximise their potential and take the lead in their careers.

In case you missed the breakfast session, this is a short overview of what to expect in the programme. We will hold another session in the coming weeks for those who could not make this one – so keep an eye out to our events page!

Girls in Tech London Mentoring Programme

The Girls in Tech London Mentoring Programme is beginning in September 2015 and will run for 6 months until February 2016. The programme will consist of speed-mentoring sessions run every 5 weeks with selected and high profile people in the technology industry. Each session will revolve around a different topic integral to career advancement, ranging from “Tips from lean startups to improve your productivity” to “How to Negotiate Yourself a Raise or Promotion”.

We are fully committed to delivering a strong programme and we know that the women who are involved will show the same level of dedication. With this in mind feedback on each session and a written blog on the mentoring are required to complete the programme (not to mention the compulsory attendance to each session) with the aim of building upon this first experience for future mentoring programmes.

After the programme has finished, we would love for those who have completed their mentoring to become ambassadors for the scheme in order to get more women involved and help Girls in Tech make it even better for next year. This way we can improve and grow the number of female in the boardroom or at senior executive roles – for a better visibility of women in tech.

The deadline for applications is the 31st of July. There is no pre-arranged format for the applications – you are given complete creative rein on this. Your application could be an email, it could be a song or even a video application – anything goes!

At Girls in Tech we are really excited about this initiative to give the next generation of female tech leaders the guidance and support they need to take the lead in their careers. We want those on the programme to grow over those 6 months in terms of confidence at work and in business and to take risks and pursue the career they really want.

If you are interested in applying to the Girls in Tech London Mentoring Programme or perhaps know a friend who would benefit from the programme, please get in touch!

Send your application to: mpapplications@girlsintech.org

Or tweet us with your questions: @Girlsintech_UK

Good luck!

Girls in Tech goes to 10 Downing Street

When has there ever been close to 100 women filling the State Dining Room at 10 Downing Street?

When Joanna Shields, Girls in Tech and Inspiring Fifty partnered up to organise a mentoring session for 40 UK-based girls and 40 of the most influential women in European technology.

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Roundtable discussion in 10 Downing Street’s State Dining Room.

“I’m in a hurry to achieve everything” – said Neeles Kroes in her opening speech of the hour roundtable that preceded the mentoring session.

And indeed, Kroes’s feeling is not only true for herself (she is 70+!), but arguably for all the 90 women around the table discussing what Government can do to support women in the digital industry.

It is estimated that “there are less than 20% women on the FTSE 100 Board of Directors” (Camilla Ley Valentin, co-founder of Queue-it) and that it will take 70 years to see an equal number of female and male directors of FTSE 100 companies (Equalities and Human Rights Commission).

And yet, these unfortunate numbers fall far from describing the frustrating reality of those very women sitting at those boards of Directors. Barbara Labate, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Risparmiosuper, shared with the audience her exasperation at meetings with prospective investors alongside her co-founder where “they [investors] tend to think that I am the assistant!”.

Even one of our attendees, Sarah Rench, noticedwalking up the stairs in Downing Street surrounded by my fellow Girls in Tech, the black and white photographs of past Prime Ministers emphasised this point again. Baroness Margaret Thatcher’s portrait placed near the very top of the stairwell signified her recent tenure in the position, but also served as a reminder that she is the only female Prime Minister to date, and only in very recent British history.

In other words, the world seems to still be asking women: “What are you doing here?” writes Nandini Jamm, in a way to implicitly ask, “why bother? Why fight when all numbers are against you?”

A Roundtable of Influential Women to Break the Wall Down

These feelings are the very reason why Girls in Tech exists. Founded in 2007 in San Francisco, and since 2013 with an active local presence in London, Girls in Tech aims to raise the visibility of women in technology, entrepreneurship and innovation.

Through monthly engaging events with high-profile women speakers (also open to men!), Girls in Tech wants to lead a change in the way feminism has been fighting for its right: by moving away from the gender debate and going for a can-do/just-do attitude.

As Josephine Goube, co-MD, first to speak at the roundtable to present Girls in Tech to the room of female leaders said “we are here to raise the visibility of female role models and so to connect promising talents of tomorrow with today’s female leaders“.

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Europe’s Inspiring Fifty!

Contacted by the Inspiring Fifty to be partners of the event, Girls in Tech was honoured to select the ladies that would get in to be mentored. “We selected 40 girls out of hundreds of applications. We were overwhelmed by the quality. One more reason to make us feel that our mission at Girls in tech serves a need and a cause.”

Following the speech of Neelie Kroes, the other 40 women shared their own personal story and lessons learnt from experience, in hope to inspire the next generation present in the room to take action.

“This [what we have in this room] is girl power, and we need to put an end to constantly underestimating ourselves.” @NeelieKroesEU.

“It’s vital that we, as women, support one another. We all hold this responsibility” @joannashields

“We have to play as a team to move the lines in big corporations (@geraldine) and as such, set an example that empowers other women to enjoy fulfilling and beautiful jobs (@Lararouyres) because we need more women to shape the society of tomorrow (Lindsey of @WomensW4).”

There is nothing to stop women from taking a seat in the boardroom but themselves and the lack of examples may make it a little more difficult @josephinegoube. Still, in the words of Nicola Mendelsohn that day who quoted Eleanor Roosevelt, “You must do the things you think you cannot do”.

The Mentoring Session

And so, on that day, together we did. Joanna Shields closed the roundtable inviting mentors and mentees to begin the mentoring session – 10 minutes of one-on-one discussion between the most influential women in business and a select number of London’s promising women in tech talent.

From the buzz in the room, testimonials the Girls in Tech team captured on that day, and in the email that followed, the session was a success in many ways.

First, for many, it was “THE moment” they’d been waiting for to inspire their own career path and guide their way to success.

“In this room there was an overwhelming, unmistakable feeling of girl power. When I walked away I felt like I could do anything I wanted to do.” Jessica Wesley

“Learning from other people’s experiences and life stories takes the scary out of, and was one of the most insightful parts of the day” – Diana Lee

“The conversations I had during the mentoring session pushed me to start working towards the goals I have been considering, daydreaming about for a long time.”Eniko Tarkany-Szucs

Secondly, it was an occasion for leaders to transmit their knowledge and responsibility to the next generation of leaders or as Yolanda Blasco puts it, for Women Tech Leaders to Finish what Feminism Started.

“It was odd to hear women who are at the top of their game describing the same niggles that I feel… it shows that we’ve still got work to do, together.”Kirsty Joan

The event sent a strong message to the world that “women belong here” and are ready to fight for that to be the norm. 

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Current female tech leaders & the next generation, all together.

The day after the event, the BBC’s high-profile documentary, India’s Daughter, was broadcasted. It illustrates how Indian women are in physical danger every single day when they come home from work in the evening. In our digital age, it is difficult to be blind to what’s happening elsewhere for women.

The event set the example. It set the standards for the next generation and the illustration of what impact women can have when working together to foster gender equality. The event left room for influential women to share their story of how they made it happen to be accepted at the leadership position they are in; and inspire others to do so.

“It’s difficult to believe you can be something if you can’t see other people like yourself already being it.” – Chris O’Dell 

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Photo opportunities outside 10 Downing.

Girls in Tech was honoured to co-partner with the Prime Minister’s Office and bring along forty selected promising women leaders to be part of it. Let this not be a one off, but an ongoing series of events.

Girls in Tech will be back this spring with a leadership mentoring program. Watch this space for more info. You can already express interest in the program by filling out this form.

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Read more about this incredible and unique afternoon from our fellow blogging attendees:

Women Tech Leaders Ready to Finish what Feminism Started by Yolanda Blasco

Inspiring Fifty Women in Technology Roundtable Discussion and Mentoring Session with Girls in Tech by Sarah Rench

What I learnt from the Women at 10 Downing Street by Hannah Russell

Knocking on the door of Number 10 by Diana Lee

How an invitation to 10 Downing Street left me wanting more… by Laura Chung

My inspiring afternoon at Number 10 by Chris O’Dell

#inspiringfiftyno10 at 10 Downing Street by Lucie Kerley

Not Everyone Has #FeministFridays: What I Learned On 10 Downing Street by Nandini Jammi

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and feelings about the fabulous experience, and we hope to see you soon.

Girls In Tech partners with Prime Minister’s office and Inspiring Fifty for mentoring event

[This blog post was updated Wednesday 4th of March – after details were confirmed by the Prime minister Office and Inspiring Fifty confirmed last details. We made the last minute changes visible by crossing the wrong information and adding the right info in bold]

Girls In Tech is partnering with the Prime Minister’s office and Inspiring Fifty to host a mentoring session, where top women in the European technology community will mentor women seeking a successful career in tech, or to further their career in tech (however it does not need to be a very technical role).

Girls In Tech is now looking for forty women interested in meeting role models at this high-profile session at the Downing Street itself next Friday 6 March at 2.30pm They will get the chance to meet and learn from a phenomenal group of women who were recently identified as the most inspiring women in the European tech community. See the list of confirmed mentors at the bottom of this blog post.

These women role models were selected following a year-long search by Inspiring Fifty, a pan-European programme that identifies, encourages, develops and showcases women in leadership positions within the technology sector.

The mentoring session follows a roundtable hosted by Baroness Shields at 10 Downing Street to debate the opportunities and challenges of faced by women in tech, at which Girls In Tech will be taking a seat!

Application to the event are now closed. 

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The selection of applicants is going to be tough

 

We have closed the form to apply this morning after communication with the Prime Minister office that they are looking for forty young women – and after receiving phenomenal interest over the last four days.

If you have applied, you will hear from Girls in Tech later today on the selection process – and will be soon confirmed or not if you have been allocated a seat.

Unfortunately we won’t be  are not able to offer everyone a seat, event though we wish so. For the ones that were not selected, we will back to you with other mentoring opportunities in the soon future – Girls in Tech is to start a leadership mentoring program in the spring.

Be reassured and stay tuned via our Facebook or Twitter.

 

Mentors confirmed by the Home Office

Catherine Barba
Dr Sue Black
Paola Bonomo
Judith Clegg
Elaine Coughlan
Sherry Coutu
Nancy Cruickshank
Amélie Faure
Maelle Gavet
Corinne Goddign-Vigreux
Karen Hanton
Claudia Helming
Stephanie Hospital
Laura Jordan Bambach
Stephanie Kaiser
Neelie Kroes
Barbara Labate
Avid Larizadeh
Camilla Ley Valentin
Nicola Mendelsohn
Victoria Morrison
Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke
Janneke Niessen
Louise O’Sullivan
Kathryn Parsons
Justine Roberts
Joanna Shields
Ola Sitarska
Anita Krohn Traaseth
Wendy Tan White
Sarah Wood
Gabriele Zedlmayer
Josephine Goube
Joelle Frijters
Geraldine Le Meur
Linda Liukas
Lara Rouyres
Jennifer Schenker
Marina Tognetti
Colette Ballou

5 take aways from our dating app event

With February comes St Valentines Day. If you’re a single Girl in Tech, I imagine you may have taken the app store by storm, checking out the latest ways to get that date in your calendar to turn into something successful.

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If so, I want to share 5 take aways from our Girls in Tech dating app event that, though maybe not always surprising, give a little insight into the technology we’re using.

1. Show me the money

Most of these apps are on a freemium model – and are looking to make revenue by offering a premium upgrade (such as improved targeting algorithms or filtering by looks), side marketing opportunities, or by selling data. So watch-out girls and be patient, the next generation of swipes will be smarter.

2. Ratio

Except for Dattch, the ratio of women & men among most dating apps is close to 80/20 percent… Will Antidate feedback change the ratio in the coming months? Who knows – but rest assured girl, that means you’re still a scarce resource, and any boy you swipe yes to should feel privileged. Yes, you got da power.

3. Selfie stick

Profile pics with another person on your side or in black and white are a NO-NO! Why would you do that in the first place?! By the way, cats are allowed for men and do not count as a person.

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Even this guy is shocked you dared use a black and white pic of yourself

 

4. Watch out weirdos

Apps are not forcing people into behaviours they would not have without them but they definitely shaking up a society’s belief that you will spend your life with one person. Choose your app wisely: gay guys looking for a relationship? Swipe no to Grinder and yes to Tinder. Don’t want to be seen by your current boyfriend on a dating app or by your ex that you have gotten back on the market? Try out Antidate.

5. Love is a swipe or two, or several, away

The closer we get to the weekend, the more we swipe. We don’t know if it’s because we’ve consumed all we had to get from that guy we met last Saturday on Wednesday or if it is linked to alcohol consumption. Perhaps both?

Did you match?

Did you find a match?

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Want to read more about dating apps? Our lovely Girls in Tech bloggers wrote the ten reasons why lesbians should try online dating and a nice opinion piece, Love, Aptually, looking at how these apps do change the game. Enjoy!

Finally, if you were at the event and downloaded the app, we would love to hear from you and your experience of these apps. Tell us in a blog, in our comments here or just tweet @girlsintech_uk

Wishing it was St Valentines everyday,

Love,

@josephinegoube from GIT

Dating Apps, Sex & Tech: Event Recap

What’s in the app store for our love lives these days, and is technology making finding one another easier or sleazier?

Girls in Tech invited the people behind London’s popular dating apps to consider these questions at our February panel event at Lyst Studios in Hoxton Square, Shoreditch.

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Dating, Sex & Tech brought a full room of over 150 guys and gals to listen to the founders and directors of successful dating apps 3nder, Happn, Antidate, and Dattch.

From left to right: Happn, 3nder, Anti-date & dattch

From left to right: Happn, 3nder, Antidate & Dattch

Moderated by Radhika Sanghani, the panel shared amusing insights into our dating behaviours. Data from across the apps pulled out similarities in behaviour, with highest interaction levels at evenings and weekends, notably Sunday evenings. In the visually-driven world of engagement, girls are very selective, while boys are less so, then filter potential parters out based on their successful matches.

Did you match?

Did you find a match?

Is love (or lust) a swipe away? It depends. 3nder, for example, created an un-matching rule if there had been no communication after three days between two matched accounts, pushing a model not aimed at instant gratification and limitless chat between random strangers, but at following up and acting on your desires. As 3nder founder, Dimo explains: “I want people to meet in real life. I want something to happen between people”.

Marie, head of Media at Happn

Marie, Head of Media at Happn

Marie from Happn insisted that the Happn app fixess a real life painful experience: you meet someone you are attracted to, and you miss the chance to talk to them. Happn registers all users you cross paths with during the day, so you’ll never have to ask that gorgeous blonde on the tube her number anymore, just wait for her to become a match. Which makes us think, should we spend more time at Waitrose instead of Tesco? It might improve the quality and attractiveness of the Happn feed.

I wish I had downloaded Happn that night.

So who downloads and uses these apps? Everyone! Even men download and try to use Dattch, the lesbian app. “5% of downloads are made by men. We have a system to recognise when that happens via social logins or asking for a proof of picture with ‘I love Dattch’ written on their hands.”

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As for 3nder obviously, it is a little more of a niche so to speak – and Dimo, the app’s founder with over 300,000 users, says that it serves a large market of open-minded people. “People using my apps are often thanking me. They are people that used Tinder or other dating apps and for whom the experience wasn’t so great. My app is straightforward, so there is no surprise for users at both ends.”

On the other hand, Antidate, an app that gives all the power to women to pick who they want, might attract women fed up with being constantly pinged or those looking for a little more privacy and less exposure. The two young women who founded the app last July will hopefully tell us their discoveries in the coming months.

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We were delighted to see many attendees stay after the event to network and talk to the panelists, as well as numerous people downloading the apps during the event and afterward.

The event generated lots of great questions on twitter and from the attendees as well, such as “What’s the business model of your apps?!” “Do you think you can retain users, because it’s easy to opt in and out of your apps. The instant gratification feeling can last only a moment…”

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Girls in Tech team member, Alessia, took glam pictures on the night that you can all find on her Flickr among other GIT events. On our end, we wrote 5 take-aways that we found interesting to share and have added the write-ups of our lovely blogger attendees – because they were too good not to.

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A HUGE thank you to our partners; our host LYST for their stunning gallery space, LY London for taking care of our PR and MOO for their continued sponsorship and for the takeaway booklets (which have a cheeky discount code on the back for our members).

We hope you enjoyed the event, please send feedback and any requests for future events to gitlondon@gmail.com.

Wishing you a happy St Valentines everyday,

Love,

@josephinegoube from GIT

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’).

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.