This week, we will be examining various aspects of women in leadership.
We open by taking a closer look at women in the technology industries. What IS the tech industry? Are enough women going for jobs in this sector? Is it women-friendly? Are women encouraged and supported enough in the area of technology? We will be joined by some brilliant women, all of whom are doing some great work in this field:
Kirsty Styles is a tech journalist, and Programme and Skills Talent Lead at Tech North, a company which promotes the growth of the digital business sector in the north of England – so we’ll be asking her what sort of job opportunities there are for women in technology in the north of England in particular.
She will be joined by Llara Geddes, Tegan Jones, Annie O’Toole and Chelsea Slater.
Llara Geddes is a UX (user experience) consultant for digital agency Amaze. With a professional background in marketing and social media, she is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) ambassador, sharing the possibilities of a career in technology with young people.
Tegan Jones works in digital communications for the Bishop Simeon Trust, which supports vulnerable people in South Africa. She is an expert in how digital can be used by the third sector, and is passionate about addressing the potential dangers that technology can pose to a domestic abuse survivor and other vulnerable people.
Annie O’Toole started tech ecommerce platform Juxdit in 2014, and was nominated as national Entrepreneur of the Year just a year later. With her expertise in growing tech start-ups, she recently joined augmented reality hardware company SwapBots to help the company with its international expansion. Annie also specialises in edtech (technology education), AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality).
Chelsea Slater’s social enterprise, Liverpool Girl Geeks, is a community of women dedicated to providing training for other women and young girls to inspire them to pursue a career in tech. Chelsea was recently asked to join the Creative and Digital Board of Liverpool’s Local Enterprise Partnership and is committed to addressing the gender imbalance within STEM industries, alongside the ongoing skills gap throughout the North.
With such talented women across the North West, there is an obvious pool of talent from which to draw as we move towards devolved powers in Greater Manchester and Liverpool with the metropolitan mayoral elections taking place next week. We have been hearing about the Northern Powerhouse for the last few years, but how powerful are northern women? How much of a voice do we have in talks happening around the Northern Powerhouse?
A recent conference held to discuss the Northern Powerhouse was heavily criticised for its under-representation of women. One of the formidable women who came forward to call for this to be addressed was Donna Hall, Chief Executive of Wigan Council. Donna will be joining us on the programme for a discussion on how best to represent women and include women as the driving force behind the Northern Powerhouse.
We will continue our debate on women in leadership with Professor Lisa Downing. Lisa is an academic, with a particular interest in the way culture represents ideas of normality and abnormality with regard to gender and sexuality. Her most recent book, The Subject of Murder: Gender, Exceptionality, and the Modern Killer, looked at violent women and female murderers.
Lisa is currently writing a book about women and selfishness. There are currently a number of female political leaders around the world. We will be taking a closer look at how these women are represented. How and why are some women portrayed as selfish? Do judgments and standards apply to women that do not apply to male leaders? Is the idea of selfishness itself gendered?
While it is sobering to be talking once again about period poverty here in the UK, we will be joined by Christina Ward, who runs The Monthly Gift Manchester, a campaign to tackle period poverty. We’ll be hearing about how she started the project and who she helps. This is such a worthwhile and important project, so do take a look at The Monthly Gift crowdfunding page, and have a look to see how you can donate sanitary protection to the campaign.