On 1st and 2nd November 2021, Moorhouse attended the Women of Silicon Roundabout event. This conference is one the world’s largest Women in Tech Events dedicated to empowering women and driving diversity and inclusion in the tech industry.
To reflect on their experience at the Women of Silicon Roundabout, Helen, Liz, Arabella, Suzanne and Velina from our Digital and Technology team have shared some of their key highlights from the event, where they had the brilliant opportunity to attend a series of talks and interactive workshops. These covered topics ranging from the future of data and the evolution of cloud, to strategies on how to tackle imposter syndrome or succeed with work-life balance.
Why did you attend the WoSR event?
Helen: I have worked in Digital and Tech my entire career, and I have often been the only woman in the room. When I first heard about the Women of Silicon Roundabout I was intrigued, as it is rare there is a female-centric space for this kind of work. I was really keen to connect with other like-minded women over a dedicated couple days, rather than having to fit this kind of networking into the margins. It was a really great opportunity for female-specific personal development, as well as to hear about new, exciting and emerging trends in technology (my personal favourite was the Data Lakehouse, the appealing and very useful combination of Data Warehouses and Data Lakes). I'm really glad I attended this event, and that Moorhouse gave me the opportunity to do so. I hope it will become an annual occurrence!
Who were you most inspired by at the event and why?
Velina: In the wider public, the success of many iconic products often gets attributed to the vision of a singular key individuals with a strong sense of what gets customers excited, such as the likes of Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos. However, aligned with the inspirational style for the Women of Silicon Roundabout event, Manasi Bhalerao from Just Eat highlighted that behind each successful product manager, sits a talented DIVERSE team. Whilst Product Managers bear the responsibility for the overall delivery of a product, we shouldn’t forget that solving some of the most challenging customer problems requires your team to be as diverse as your customer base. Ultimately this key takeaway felt very fitting to the overall spirit of the conference. The spirit which looked to bring current and potential leaders together to share insightful content, facilitate networking and encourage individuals, regardless of gender, race or religious etc., to collaborate and flourish in the tech industry.
What is the key thing you learnt and how would you apply this going forward?
Liz: The cloud isn’t a cloud! It feels like an obvious one, but a key theme from the event was the impact of ICT on the environment, particularly relevant as the conference was happening at the same time as COP26. Whilst its common knowledge that the volume of data in the world continues to grow exponentially, our need to find energy efficient ways of storing and processing this data is becoming increasingly pressing. Going forward, this is something Moorhouse will be looking at whilst working with clients to support their data strategy, taking a holistic view of the end to end process that can enable clients to best meet the needs of their customers.
What were you looking to hear more about?
Arabella: I came into the event wanting to hear more about two things. First, what are the latest innovations in technology that will emerge in the coming years? Secondly, what is the role of women in delivering this technology? The event did not disappoint. On the former, I heard about the future of the data strategy for 2030, including the future for data security, storage, processing, and ownership. Plenty of time was given to the rising demand for Cloud, with discussions on full and hybrid-Cloud designs. Artificial Intelligence also received airtime, particularly examples of its increasing role in complementing data analysts if delivered right. This brings me onto the second question. At the event it was clear women are key drivers in delivering this technology right. This manifests at every level of a delivery lifecycle; in the diversity of thought needed during build, the collaboration and prioritisations skills needed at product management level, through to the desire for a more empathetic and self-aware modern technology leader right at the top. There is a place, and high demand, for women at every stage.
Would you recommend the event to colleagues and why?
Suzanne: As someone who is more familiar with digital change and transformation delivery, I thought that some of the more technical elements would go over my head. I did find that attending some of the more 'techy' sessions was when I learnt the most. The sessions were bite-sized and pitched in a way that everyone could get something out of it. I liked the ability to mix and match your day and meet up with colleagues in breaks or sessions together. In summary, I would definitely recommend this as it's a flexible way to step outside of your day-to-day, invest in your own development and make new connections.
Overall, the event delivered what it promised. Two invaluable days filled with inspiring speakers, collaborative workshops, opportunities to meet industry leaders and peers, but most of it showcased the importance of diversity in the tech industry.
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