I was one of many who was exclusively invited to the BBC Future Media ‘Get In’ Day of a Think-Tank & Workshops for Women in Technology. After receiving the invite via LinkedIn, I was super excited and luckily my day off was timed well. When the schedule of the day was released closer to date, I thought to myself this will be a very productive day off and I was right.
I arrived at White City and followed the signs to the BBC Media Center. It was my first visit to their office, which is a very impressive campus style site.
Due to prior appointments, I missed the breakfast and introduction by Mark Lomas who talked about the diversity within the BBC workforce.
The highlight of my day was hearing Vanessa Vallely from @WATC_girl speak, who discussed her own personal journey as a woman in tech , starting at the age of 16, holding around 25 different job titles and now running her own business. She is an inspirational woman who is determined, motivated and not afraid to try new things. I really enjoyed her presentation. She then facilitated the ThinkTank session, where we sat at different tables and discussed various topics such as “What are the biggest stereotypes of women in tech?” , “How can emerging technologies help support gender equality?”, “What do you enjoy most being a techy?” and so on.
We had a lunch break and @WATC_girl wanted all of us to try and speak with alteast 2 to 3 women we hadn’t spoken to before during the event. I met a Java developer, a Senior Project Manager and a freelancer who was new to London.
After lunch, a workshop was held by Sonia from @EditDevelopment. She briefly touched on unconscious biases within the tech sector. There were tips for personal branding and professional self-belief. We were paired and asked to observe each other’s posture. Then we had to assertively mention the 5 to 10 things we are good at. This was a refreshing exercise. I had an enthusiastic partner and she gave me a positive feedback.
Then there was a panel session held by female senior management within the BBC FM group. We heard about the opportunities of working at BBC, the digital products and services it provides to the public such as the iPlayer. The team members were honest and very open about their experience of working at BBC including long hours, flexible hours, support from team members. Some women in the audience had very good questions which were answered honestly by the panel.
In a nutshell, the aim of this event was to highlight opportunities at BBC Future Media within the tech talent. It also encouraged honest discussions around bridging the gender gap within the tech industry. We had an opportunity to participate in #womenintech ‘think-tank’ where we openly discussed how the technology has helped us personally, what are the typical stereotypes that exist, how we can encourage more young females to join the tech sector. The @EditDevelopment workshop was great exercise and it touched on self-assurance as a female within technology.
Special thanks to Sarah DeSilva from @BBCFMDiversity for finding me on LinkedIn and inviting me to participate in this unique workshop. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, met some great techy women and had great advise from @WATC_girl.
If you would like to know more, you can find me on Twitter – @hungrykiwilady