It was really inspiring to join 6,000 attendees at the recent Women of Silicon Roundabout event at London ExCel.
The inspirational and engaging opening keynote was given by Baroness Karren Brady, who talked about her top six ingredients for success: leadership, ambition, determination, attitude, direction and positivity, and highlighted how all of the assets at a company, regardless of its size or industry, are its people – meaning that they are the most valuable.
In general, she says that there are three types of people; people that wonder what happens, people that watch what happens, and people that make things happen, but they all shape the culture of an organization. How do we encourage people to be the best that they can be, and understand that by working together across departments, more can be achieved, together. Think about how to have everyone in the organization knowing everything, not just about their own department. Show there is a ‘team behind the team’ and build a place where people want to work.
There were many other great presentations and workshops during the two day event, which included how to be more confident and positive, and not to change who we are to adapt to others around us; and to think about not only what we say but how we say it; for example our body positioning and our tone of voice can all influence if our voice is heard or not. Think about who is in your network; be around and connect with people who inspire you, who share your passions and interests, and who give you confidence.
Also, there is a lot of advice, training and information available online now. Understand how you learn; a good book, tutorial videos, seminars and workshops etc. Take advantage of all the information that is out there and learn more, enhance your skills. Quite a lot of it is available for free.
Another interesting tip shared was to find allies within the company. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice outside of your team and you may get a valuable different perspective. Remember to also celebrate success. Say thank you to everyone involved (not just the person who may be taking the praise ‘on behalf of’ everyone else).
‘Moving up the ladder’ was a phrase used in a presentation around ‘Is having a work / life balance simply a myth’, and the explanation was changed to being one of a ‘corporate lattice’ instead, which moves across, around, interweaves with things, and does not just go up. The importance of planning, delegation, diarising things (or else they don’t happen) and getting lunch! Output is what matters, not hours. Have a hobby, spend time with family and do things outside of work. It all ultimately brings value to your work and the organization, which is what counts.
The busy exhibitor area was over two floors and included the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, who are participants in the UltraSoC University Program. Also, technology giants such as BBC Design & Engineering, Google and Facebook were sponsors of the event and exhibited alongside many others.
Overall I thought it was a very well attended event, with a great air of positivity. It was really encouraging to be at a technology event where the majority of delegates were women. Long may that statistic continue to grow and spread amongst other events, not only in the UK but globally, as it is very clear that things do need to change for the better and the balance of men and women in the workplace, not only at executive level, should become more equal, with opportunities for all regardless of gender.
My colleague Aileen Ryan, UltraSoC CSO, attended the Global Semiconductor Alliance event in Munich (read her blog here) earlier this week and although it was a really interesting program it had a 100% male speaker roster which is more than a little disappointing for an organization that has just launched its Women’s Leadership Initiative last month. Expect a strongly worded letter, GSA…
Here at UltraSoC across the organization we are strong believers in building a diverse workforce and we appreciate how it benefits us as a growing innovative business and where people will want to work. We have a number of female team members in varied roles, including interns, and I’m happy to report that number is growing.
Plans are already underway for next year’s Women in Silicon Roundabout event and I am certain I will be there again. Looking forward to it!