What’s the purpose?
We’ve come together because we care about the advancement of women in the city and in digital specifically. We think digital is a great industry to work in but we want to see more women and girls considering it as a career. In fact, we want to see greater diversity in general across all nine protected characteristics.
What will you do?
We expect our focus to change as we establish and develop as a group, as this will largely depend on the interests, motivations and available resources of those around the table. Right now some of the things we want to achieve are to:
- Shine a spotlight on the great digital women in Sheffield – to help make the sector human and demystify digital. We need more (and more visible) female role models!
- Show girls that digital is not just for boys
- Encourage young women to see digital as an available and rewarding career option
- Encourage women who may want or need a career change to consider a side step into digital
- Bring women together in the city and provide a network for discussion, generating ideas, support and sharing experience as well as good old fashioned ‘getting stuff done’ to further all of the above.
Why is this needed?
There is a significant gender gap in those working in digital as men outnumber women by four to one. According to the TechNation 2018 report women make up only 19% of the digital workforce, compared to 49% for all jobs. While ethnic diversity in digital tech jobs is above the UK average in digital (at 15% vs 10%) this is still not representative of the population as a whole.
Who put you in charge?
Nobody’s in charge, we just saw a need and wanted to make something happen. We all have a role and believe that if we all act in the spirit of the group, we can’t go far wrong.
How do you make decisions then?
Well, we don’t have a leader, or an organisation or a budget. We don’t have a formal membership – everyone is welcome as even if you don’t have time to take action or get involved yourself, your opinion will still be valuable to add balance and challenge.
What we do have are ideas, good will and energy. We do have physical meeting and see these as acting like a steering group, critical friend and way of making sure we maintain some focus, drive and accountability.
We have a rotating Chair and will agree things by consensus wherever possible, or by a majority vote of those in the room where it’s not. You could summarise us as being closely aligned but loosely coupled. Sounds fancy.
How can I join in?
Please do by getting in touch on social media @ShfWIT, sign up to our mailing list or coming along to say hi at a meeting!
And to emphasise again – ALL are welcome. You don’t have to work in digital right now, you don’t have to be a woman, you don’t have to know how to code or how to explain bitcoin. You DO have to be ready to contribute in whatever way you are able.