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#EqualInTech

If you have linked to one of my posts via social media before you probably will have seen the #WomenInTech that I put on my posts. This is because there are huge women in tech communities of Twitter. A place where like minded women come together from different countries and companies, to share their stories and virtually meet their peers. This isn’t common, there is also #WomenInSTEM, #WomenInBusiness, #WomenInConstruction…

But earlier I was on Twitter and I saw this account really laying into the #WomenInTech community for excluding men, just from an original tweet consisting of “I’m so proud of my fellow #WomenInTech”. I don’t often comment on things like this, and I didn’t this time as hundreds of others (not just women) were trying to defend the hashtag community and this man was simply just trolling.

If you’ve read my posts before I discuss more about how everyone should be treated equally. My posts and certainly none of my #WomenInTech peers that I associate with think that women are better than men.

If you google ‘Feminism’ this is the definition: the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.

It is infuriating to me though that this type of community has to deal with such comments, I wonder if their Mum’s never told them that “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.

In the UK, women in the tech industry take up 18%. Some companies may have more, some may have less but that is the percentage of the industry. Twitter is a big place, it has some very strong minded people and some very impressionable. It only takes one person to look at those trolled tweets and to turn them away from pursuing a career in tech because of the hassle it can cause you by strangers online. Just why? What’s the point?

So the next time you see somebody use #WomenInTech, this isn’t an insult or exclusion from anybody, just a connection to an online community.

We all just want to be treated like equals.

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Melinda Gates on Letterman

If you have a spare hour and Netflix, I’d suggest you watch the Melinda Gates episode on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction which is David Lettermen’s show where he interviews some very high profile people.

Melinda Gates discusses the importance of gender equality and women in technology, as well as philanthropy’s role in society; and her new book The Moment of Lift which I will definitely be ordering now!

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Happy Women’s Day 2019

After being fortunate enough to be a finalist at the EveryWoman in Technology Awards for Rising Star this week in which I met some amazing women who are doing incredible things such as the founder of Kizcode teaching children to code in Turkey and Africa under threatening conditions.

This weekend I’m lucky to be spending it with some friends, one of which was a fellow IT placement student at GSK with me, who is now doing great things at her graduate job at Boeing.

Lucky to be surrounded by such great women!

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Why I Changed My Name To Steve

Take a look at the inspirational Dame Stephanie Shirley who is a big part in the WCIT where I am a Journeyman.

https://www.bbc.com/ideas/videos/why-i-had-to-change-my-name-to-steve/p06yyqv1?playlist=older-and-wiser

It is unimaginable now that as a woman you wouldn’t be listened to just because of your name, but I know this was a very common thing and to some extent it still is today, not just with women and men but preconceptions when you read somebody’s name or CV before actually meeting them.

Unfortunately, it is still common for women to have to choose between a career and a family, often that is an individuals choice and increasingly more companies are willing to help with flexible hours etc. But there is still a choice to be made and that’s a lot of pressure on a woman’s mental health.

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Should there be separate sporting events for men and women?

I was watching The Grand Tour episode from Friday 8th Feb, and in their usual “Conversation Street” part of the show they started to talk about a new racing league which is going to be women only and their thoughts on the matter, and probably the best thing Richard Hammond has ever said is that we should be encouraging girls from an early age to be getting into go karting and racing.

I completely agree with this, it’s the same for the STEM industries, I always get asked how do we get more women into tech and to some extent it’s too late by the time they are at university etc, to gain a real increase we need to be putting the effort into exposing girls under 10 to what they can achieve in STEM.

I can understand why in sport there are segregated leagues and teams etc, especially if it’s to do with different types of weight categories, like boxing, however when it is something like racing I don’t think it’s necessarily encouraging to girls because often it can be seen as an inferior league, like it is in football with less TV coverage, sponsorship and pay. I think separate leagues are fine with different purposes, if there is maybe then an ultimate one that brings together all to compete?

Let us know your thoughts below or on social media 🏅🤓

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EveryWoman Finalist

Delighted to be announced as a finalist in the 2019 FDM EveryWoman Tech Awards among many inspiring #WomenInTech 🤓 in the Rising Star category!

Looking forward to meeting other women in technology at the award show in March and am very grateful for the nomination and recognition.

Taking place to celebrate International’s Women’s Day, the awards are a timely reminder that only 15% of people working in STEM roles in the U.K. are female and just 5% of leadership positions in the tech industry are held by women.

“Achieve, Elevate and Inspire” is this year’s rally cry

Looking back over the past year, it has been a whirlwind and I hope this can bring me more opportunities to dispel the STEM stereotype.

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Wominspiration: Digital Marketing

Had a great evening yesterday speaking about my career and how i digital market, honoured to have been asked by Eileen Brown as it was her BCS Digital Marketer book launch 📚

Met some lovely people and it’s always great to put yourself out there to practice speaking and support events when you can.

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The Next Big Thing in Business…

There are many, many things that could be the next big thing in business. However, I would like to make an argument that maybe there shouldn’t be another thing brought into the mix, but actually an evaluation of current processes should be a priority.

I think it is hard to understand sometimes when you work in IT, that other areas of the business are in general less innovative. But, within IT itself we can start playing with gadgets and talk about buzzword ideas before looking at our own processes.

One of my biggest pet hates are manual reports.

Why is somebody still spending 3 hours a week manually gathering data to put into a PowerPoint slide to be emailed out?

There are tools (free and priced) that you do not need to be a data analyst to use. You just put the database source name and password into the tool, you can also have several databases going into one tool, and then it will extract the data automatically when you want it to and you just have to create a dashboard once and that is it.

You can export the diagrams as PDFs or Jpegs. You can also create PowerPoint presentations within the tool. And because these tools are web applications, you can give permissions to others for them to view the dashboards whenever they please, which means no more emails which are most likely to get ignored. No issues when the person who runs the manual report is off sick or on holiday. Even better is because they are web applications, you can have them to be viewed within your team’s business practices such as, as web parts on SharePoint or Teams.

My preferred tools are Qlik Sense and Power BI.

Top Tip: review your current practices before adding the next thing in business to your workload.

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Technology Trends To Watch For In 2019…

I think it is safe to say that the past couple of years have outputted amazing technologies, with the internet of things (IoT) becoming more of a must than siloed devices, I think it is safe to predict that 2019 will be the year of autonomy.

Companies with conversational interface devices such as, Amazon, Google and Apple are at the forefront. I have the Amazon Echo Spot and it is amazing and I’m not even using it to its full potential. The fact that you have the ability to control your whole house with your voice is simply incredible, not only for an average user but it has the potential to change disabled people’s lives by giving them greater independence by being able to control their homes simply by speaking commands. I can turn on my TV and navigate my Amazon Fire Stick through my Echo Spot, get a morning news briefing and play music really well through it, via the Spotify app. When I am able to get a house, I will be purchasing the Ring, which is a doorbell with a camera, connected to the Echo.

I think this is why it can be said that Apple is struggling to compete with Amazon, Google and other companies who are more collaborative. Apple’s business strategy with the iPhone was brilliant when it first came out, shutting down the competition by making everything exclusive. However, this is now back firing on them and frustrating customers. Personally, I think the iPhones are great but overpriced for what they are, I want the new Google Pixel 3, but I have an Apple Watch which will only connect to Apple devices… so I’m stuck in the Apple void. Amazon with the echo device line, has provided so many devices that are compatible with any IoT product e.g. WiFi controlled light bulbs, heating companies who have wireless heating controls like Nest etc. This has meant that it profits but also doesn’t mean that you have to buy only Amazon recommended products to be able to use it.

Autonomy isn’t only in the home, cars are now becoming more autonomous, Tesla is far advanced in this area with Google close behind. The research going into this is incredible, but it still isn’t commercially viable for a fully automated car. Likelihood is this won’t be coming out in 2019, but developments I believe will leap this year in this area.

Autonomy is also closely paired with AI, Big Data and Machine Learning, our goal in business is not only to automate simple tasks to increase profits, but is now to learn from what is automated, what data can we collect to then put in processes to make us more efficient.

Do you agree that 2019 will be the year of autonomy? Comment below!