A major conference looking to inspire more women to join the tech industry is to be held in Manchester next week.
Clicky Media, one of the North-West’s fastest-growing digital marketing agencies, has joined up with Liverpool Girl Geeks and UKFast to host free full-day conference OMG! Girls in Tech in Manchester on October 28.
Kate Willard, head of corporate projects for Stobart Group, is a keynote speaker alongside other inspiring women from a broad range of industries.
The lack of women in tech is a global issue, with only 26 per cent of jobs in the digital industry held by women and only 16 per cent of jobs in IT.
Everyone from Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg to Baroness Lane-Fox, founder of lastminute.com, are pushing for more women to join the industry.
But where should they begin?
The event will be packed full of workshops – including getting your head around code, confidence building and web development – networking and inspirational talks at the UKFast Campus from 9:30am to 5pm. Scroll down for a map.
Click Media founder and CEO Oliver Yeates, who will also speak at the conference, said: “We are always looking to inspire people to get involved in the digital and tech industries.
“With 50 per cent of our team made up of females – very unusual for the industry – at Clicky we go out of our way to encourage talented women to join the team and are constantly striving for equality… knowing what a vital and talented contribution they are making.
“I believe that nurturing and encouraging women to start a career in this industry is essential to fill the gap between the jobs available, which is set to grow exponentially in the coming years, and the demand for qualified graduates in digital and tech.
“Many girls express an interest from a young age and yet, currently, only seven per cent of girls take computer studies at A-Level and only 17 per cent of those studying computer science in higher education are women.
“We want this to change and hope that the exceptional line up that we have planned for the OMG! Girls in Tech event will be the catalyst for change.”
The event has been organised and designed by a female-only team and will have a strong focus on digital and social media marketing, giving an insight into making a career out of an omnipresent extra-curricular activity.
Arlene Bulfin, director of people development at UKFast, comments: “At UKFast we’re incredibly passionate about challenging outdated perceptions around girls in tech.
“Tech and digital businesses like ours have a responsibility to engage with schools and get the message to students about the fantastic career opportunities the sector provides.
“We’ve employed a team of five full-time teachers to help communicate this message and we’re seeing amazing results.
“Not least from our female tech apprentices and the female students who regularly visit our offices for workshops and immersion days.”
The event will also focus on interview and CV tips and tricks for any delegates already searching for a career in tech, as well as speed networking sessions with tech and digital experts.
Chelsea Slater from Liverpool Girl Geeks said: “It is so important for young girls to recognise all of the opportunities there are in the digital and tech space and this is the perfect arena to do it.
“As well as getting ‘techy’ with code, we will be raising the girls’ confidence, introducing them to mentors and showcasing girl geeks from the North to help them thrive within the industry.”
Meanwhile Clicky Media has announced the appointment of new agency director, Laura Hothersall, to oversee the day-to-day running of the Chester-based HQ.
The appointment comes at a time of fantastic growth for the multi-award-wining agency, including the opening of new offices in Nottingham’s Creative Quarter.