There are initiatives in the UK striving to provide girls with access to STEM education and career support. But women only make up a quarter of those working in digital and tech in the country. And the latest gender pay gap report shows that in the UK tech industry women are still paid 16% less than men.

Industry events provide an important opportunity to join up with women in their diversity. I recently attended an insightful all-day event hosted by the Brighton chapter of SheSays as part of the Spring Forward festival. This event was curated and hosted by the Brighton chapter lead, Rifa Thorpe-Tracey. SheSays are a global movement with the mission of providing free events and mentoring where female and non-binary voices are heard and championed in leadership.

SheSays International Women’s Day 2023

Speaker on stage in front of a SheSays branded screen

Friday’s event featured talks from speakers such as Nancy Maher, founder of a consultancy called Kinkajou who spoke about self-promoting and developing a sense of belonging in a male-dominated field. Myra Appannah, co-founder of BRiGHTBLACK, spoke about new power movements like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter, and the democratisation of storytelling.

Natasha Hampshire spoke on the importance of mentoring to facilitate your next career step and Reshma Sapre gave a tangible and impassioned guide to public speaking, presenting and owning the room.

Alice Reeves led an insightful panel discussion on neurodiversity, with an important takeaway for leaders to create a workplace environment where it is ok to be different.

Four panelists in a line on the stage mid-conversation in front o f a screen

This SheSays event was just one example from a community that is championing women’s voices in tech and digital.

The Clearleft team also recommend checking out your local Ladies that UX chapter for everything research and design. Codebar is a global community empowering minorities in the industry (including women) to break into tech. If you are a woman looking to learn coding, you can also check out SheCodes or Code First: Girls for resources and free coding classes.

Looking for more women or gender non-binary speakers for your next design event? Why not visit Women Talk Design for advice and contacts. They also offer training and support for new speakers.