As you may or may not know, I am one of the four members making up the Student Board Team at Digital City. This Monday evening we held our first ever “Women in Digital” Networking event at The Nuthatch in Middlesbrough. The purpose of the event was to bring both students and businesses together to discuss what we can do to make the Tees Valley the best place to be a woman in digital.
A previously mentioned, we held our “Women in Digital” at the reputable cocktail bar, ‘The Nuthatch’ in Middlesbrough. Not only did they provide the event with the most beautiful backdrop, but they ensured the venue supported us in every way possible. The staff as usual were fantastic and they even tailored the menu to feature the Digital City logo, whilst serving our very own cocktail ‘The Digital City’ – a great touch. (For the full low down on this venue check out my first ever blog post – https://thisteessidegirl.com/2017/03/10/best-bars-in-middlesbrough-the-nuthatch/)
We were lucky enough to have an exclusive question and answer panel of influential role models, Joanna Wake, James Lees, Dominic Lusardi, Kate Baucherel and Anna Smith. Prior to the event, the Student Board outlined several key themes we felt were the most prevailing in society and wished to be discussed. These included:
– Success stories of female entrepreneurship.
– The wider perception of women in the digital sector.
– What women encounter when entering the digital sector.
– What needs to happen next to encourage more women to enter our thriving digital community.
The question and answer panel was kindly chaired by the wonderful Alison Freer, who has such a fantastic manner of encouraging and structuring discussion.
From hosting events such as these the Digital City Student Board hope to create a direct pipeline between businesses and students. Personally, I believe the issue in today’s society is the lack of drive to get students into digitalisation at young ages. From key stages in school, to college to even University – if students are not provided with the tools and experience required to thrive in the digital environment, how can we expect trends to change? If we want to reduce the lack of women in the digital sector and minimise the skills gap, then as a community we need to be proactive in creating schemes and initiatives to change the current of the digital waters and make a difference.
Next time an opportunity comes around like this, that is encouraging you to be involved in taking an active stance against current issues – go. You never know what opportunities may arise, what difference you could make or what you might learn. The Digital City team could not be more grateful to those who attended this successful event and in turn supported us in making our first step to combatting this issue, and hope to see you at further events in the future.