A day at #leedsdigi week and the #WILDigital seminar

The gender diversity still remains disappointingly low in the Digital and Tech industry, only 17% of women occupy digital roles – which blows my mind! Today I was lucky enough to be part of #Leedsdigi19 week and attend #WILDigital, the brainchild of Sarah Tulip and Deb Hetherington who aim to provide a great opportunity for networking and collaboration for women in digital.

Myself and two of my colleagues  sat in the ‘How did you get here’?  seminar where a panel of four  senior leaders spoke about their career journeys, how they got to where they are, and the hurdles they faced on the way. During this seminar I took away a few key points:

“Turn your weaknesses into strengths” – Isn’t it weird how women so very often struggle to advocate themselves? As a gender we tend to focus on our negative traits and are less inclined to talk about our strengths and what we think we’re good at!….This is something Zandra Moore CEO @panintelligence touched on and discussed in length  about her struggles with Dyslexia and how something she once deemed to be her achilles heel has shaped her into the true business woman she is today! I don’t do linear thinking’ but I’m an activist, I’m a speaker, listener, communicator – I work a room and know how to make the complex simple’!

“Its not just about a CV, it’s about the person”- Stuart Bullock – MD @BJSS spoke in depth about how important it is to get the right people within a team/business, how respect is everything and how you should build a leadership team on trust and honesty! As a recruiter I meet with candidates day in day out and I couldn’t agree with Stuart more, a skill set is something you can develop but the root of a person is something you cannot change!

“It’s ok to fail”– After being made redundant a couple of times and failing her probation within her first role out of university, Anna Sutton – CEO of @DataShed is a prime example of why you should always dust yourself off after a set back.  Anna’s story was definitely inspiring, sharing how we shouldn’t dwell on our failures but use them as an opportunity to learn and grow as person. After all “There are no mistakes in life, only lessons”.

“Be brave” – Take a leap of faith is always going to be daunting no matter how big or small it is. Daniela Grant, the Partnership Development Manager at Ahead Partnership told us a story about her former life and the decision she made to move to Costa Rica for a year – working for an organisation where no one but herself spoke English, she took on the challenge and proved to everyone she could succeed. She spoke honestly about how she contemplated whether she’d made the right decision but persevered and moved back to the UK after a year, not only with experience but also being fluent in Spanish. Perseverance is key!

Overall this was a really great event, not only for the opportunity to network and meet like minded individuals but it was interesting to hear about the differences in peoples careers and how they shaped certain situations to allow them the opportunities they have today.  Many of the speakers didn’t set out with a clear vision of what they wanted to do but they embraced all opportunities and added value wherever possible!