women in tech

[unfiltered]

AGENDA

Women in Tech [Unfiltered] is a full day conference hosted at Friends Meeting House in Manchester. Content is split across our main stage, plus two breakout rooms for our workshops! 

MAIN STAGE

09.00AM

OPening Remarks

MTF is honoured to announce that the Lord Mayor Councillor Yasmine Dar. will be opening Women in Tech [Unfiltered].

Lord Mayor

Councillor Yasmine Dar.

MAIN STAGE

09.30am

PET TO THREAT

Kanika Selvan, an IT Change Consultant talks through the little known phenomenon of ‘Pet to Threat’. As a woman of colour, challenges in the workplace intersect as race and gender both co-inside, kanika offers an overview of the research and data, then challenges the audience to step back and ask themselves if they are a ‘pet’ Or a ‘threat’ in their organisations? 

She rounds up, offering some of her own experiences and some actionable take-aways for those wanting to challenge and change the experience for women of colour in tech.  You will like this talk if you are the kind of person who wants to see things from a new perspective, have a passion for change or simply love dogs… because kanika has brought her terrier Macduff to share the stage with her.

Kanika Selvan

CHANGE CONSULTANT & MANAGING DIRECTOR AT BEETROOT CONSULTING

MAIN STAGE

10:00am

THE SILENT STRUGGLE

Toni’s talk unfolds the concealed challenges encountered while advancing to the position of Managing Director, with a focus on the increasing solitude in her own role. 

She will then delve into the decision to embark on an independent entrepreneurial journey, providing a raw and truthful account of the subsequent learnings and hurdles faced. By sharing her experiences, she aims to offer valuable insights and key takeaways for individuals contemplating the path of setting up their own business either as the main source of income or as a side income. 

Toni Phoenix-Coles

CO-FOUNDER, DEFINE TALENT

MAIN STAGE

11:45AM

Allies & Women LEd Businesses

Hear from allies to the Women in Tech community offering mentorship as well as women led businesses and the services they offer. 

MAIN STAGE

1:15pm

PANEL: BEING MENOPAUSAL - WHY WE ROCK AND HOW YOU CAN HELP

Menopause is inescapable for a huge proportion of the world. Until recently it was rarely discussed, poorly understood, and is still really hard for those affected to talk about. But it can have a huge impact on all areas of life, not least the workplace.  A shocking 10% of those experiencing perimenopause and menopause symptoms give up on work altogether and ditch their jobs because they can’t function effectively and there is little support available. Another 1 in 4 consider leaving their roles because of the effect that this hormonal change can have. Let’s break those taboos, talk about what kind of support we need and celebrate all our awesome kick-ass menopausal colleagues!

JANET COULTHURST

CHIEF OF STAFF, 6POINT6 | PART OF ACCENTURE

CLARE SUDBERY

TECHNICAL COACH, SUDBERY SOFTWARE ENGINEERING LTD

JO KEENAN

OPERATIONS DIRECTOR, LEARN TO BE

MAIN STAGE

2:00PM

GROWING AND LOSING A PAIR

Ruth Mills, an IT Consultant and Senior Software Engineer, talks about her experiences as a trans woman in tech, and how the fear of damaging her career delayed her transitioning for several years, until, after designing her own content management system for hair and beauty salon websites, exhibiting at a trade show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, and gaining over 200 customers, she finally began her transition in 2012.
 
Ruth was amazed at how her transition benefited her career, boosting her confidence, and greatly improving her teamwork, collaboration, and communication. She’s now a role model and mentor to other engineers, and is always looking to inspire people to improve their skills, and to gain even more enjoyment and satisfaction from their work
 
In her talk, Ruth offers advice for others looking to come out as trans or non-binary in work, especially in a political environment which has become increasingly toxic to LGBTQ+ people over the past few years.

RUTH MILLS

IT CONSULTANT AND SENIOR SOFTWARE ENGINEER AT NAIMURI

MAIN STAGE

2:45pm

TEAM MEMBER TO MANAGER: CAREER CHANGE, NOT A PROMOTION

Princess will be sharing insights on ‘Why management is not a promotion.’ Join her as we explore the transformative power of embracing leadership roles.

The talk will delve into the concept that transitioning from a team member to a manager is not merely a step up the corporate ladder but a significant career change. Drawing from personal experiences and lessons learned throughout her diverse career path, we will explore the distinct skill sets required for leadership roles and the broader perspectives needed to navigate the transition successfully. Through anecdotes, real-world examples, and practical advice, Princess aims to inspire other women to view managerial roles as exciting career changes that open new doors and opportunities.

Let’s challenge the promotion myth and explore managerial roles as exciting career changes.”

PRINCESS MAVURU

DATA ENGINEER, CAPGEMINI

MAIN STAGE

3:15pm

KEEPING THE BALLS IN YOUR COURT

Jennifer talks candidly about the barriers that women in leadership face, especially women in tech leadership. She explores the six most common pitfalls that women in leadership can face as well as offering suggestions on how to avoid these. Along the way, Jennifer will share with you some of her own experiences as a female in leadership, some of the “constructive” feedback she has been given, and how she has come to be at ease with her own leadership style.

If you’re in leadership then you’ll enjoy some of the parallel experiences Jennifer talks about, and if you’re looking to move into leadership then this talk will provide you with a toolkit of things to look out for and how to avoid them. 

JENNIFER DOOTSON

DIRECTOR, INNATARUM

MAIN STAGE

4:00PM

LONELY AT THE TOP: FORGE CONNECTIONS AS A WOMAN LEADER

In my talk, I will delve into the personal challenges of being a woman leader at the pinnacle of my career, discussing the emotional struggles of loneliness. I’ll share specific instances from my journey and other leaders, highlighting how we have successfully forged meaningful connections through networking, mentorship, and collaboration.

I’ll also provide valuable tips and tricks that have helped us navigate these challenges, offering practical advice on building and maintaining authentic connections. Additionally, I’ll explore the unique hurdles of breaking through gender stereotypes in interpersonal relationships, sharing personal stories of defying expectations as a woman leader and offering insights into effective strategies for others in similar positions.

INDIE LOVE GORDON

FOUNDER OF HALO, BUSINESS COACH & ANGEL INVESTOR

MAIN STAGE

4:00PM

99 Seconds Talks

Take to the stage because it’s your time to shine! If you have something to talk about we want to hear from you – all we ask is you keep it to 99 seconds! Perfect for those looking to get into speaking! 

ROOM G3

10:00am

From Code to C-Suite - climbing the tech career ladder

Over the past few years fantastic progress has been made in increasing representation in tech across a variety of diversity axes, including the number of women entering, returning to and leading engineering organisations.

However the gender pay gap remains stubbornly out of step – the latest data published by the Office of National Statistics shows that while the national average is 7.7%, the gap is much higher in technical roles – 10.8% for software developers, and even 12.3% for IT project managers. That’s a difference of more than £7000 per year!

In this talk, we’ll have a look at how we can tackle this challenge from both sides:

For Individuals wanting to develop and progress in their career we’ll explore tools and techniques for negotiating salary and promotion, and how to become comfortable having conversations to ensure your contribution and value is compensated fairly.

And for Leaders – a look at how to benchmark & track progress in your organisation. We’ll outline some ideas and initiatives that we’re trialling to identify and support amazing female talent to take on more responsibility (and be rewarded for it), and check on how your personal biases may play into all of the above!

BECKI HOWARTH

SENIOR PRODUCT DELIVERY MANAGER, KRAKEN FLEX

ROOM G3

11:00am

Want funding as a woman founder? Here’s 3 things I wish I knew

Having started a business in Kenya and running operations from the US Ryan decided to come back to Manchester where she studied as an international student at Leeds & Essex to pioneer a Silicon Valley in the North. Since setting up the company 4 years ago (1.5 in the UK), they have over 5,000 businesses to their platform across 63+ countries, and deployed nearly 100 robots in 5 countries. 

In this workshop, Ayan shared her insights on how to gain funding as a woman founder.

Ayan Mohamed

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DIGITECH OASIS

ROOM G3

1:15pm

HOW TO ENSURE YOU BECOME A BADASS FREELANCER!

An interactive session, to ensure that when you take those first steps into the Freelancer world that you have a sound offer to compel and attract customers, as well as some of those business basics which will ensure that your business is in good stead.

ROXANA LAWTON

DIRECTOR OF INNOVATION PROGRAMMES & HOST, IN4GROUP

ROOM G3

3:15pm

WHERE ARE THE BLACK WOMEN IN TECH?

This workshop started in a whatsapp voicenote. Sherelle and Kanika, both black women, navigating the Manchester tech scene. The question that came up time and time again… where are the black women in tech?

A few months on, MTF have welcomed Sherelle Fairweather, Digital Strategy Lead at Manchester City Council and Kanika Selvan, Technical Change Consultant and Founder of Beetroot Consulting, to present the challenge and their discussion on black women in the northwest tech scene.

Through an interactive workshop, participants will get a whistle stop tour through the data and insights that have so far been pulled from various sources, on the black female experience of our industry. This includes data gathered with the support of Manchester Digital, part of an ongoing piece of work being done in collaboration, to see how we can challenge this issue.

Much like ‘where’s Wally?’ the gaps in data tell us as much as the data itself.

You will also be invited to assess findings and think through potential ideas for collaboration that takes us with a big leap into action. Can Manchester Tech Festival’s, Women in Tech Conference shape the steps to understanding more about black women in the northwest tech scene? Can we find more black women in northwest tech? Do we need to push the dial? Who needs to commit? What needs to change?

This workshop is for the bold, the creative and the ambitious.

Kanika Selvan

CHANGE CONSULTANT & MANAGING DIRECTOR AT BEETROOT CONSULTING

SHERELLE FAIRWEATHER

DIGITAL STRATEGY LEAD, MANCHESTER CITY COUNCIL