By Michelle Hua @MadeWithGlove
WeAreTechnology, the Technology arm of WeAreTheCity hosted its first full day conference for female technologists at Canary Wharf London. The conference aimed at women in the tech sector who were looking to broaden their technology horizons, learn new skills and build their technology networks.
Women of Wearables were ecstatic to be invited to exhibit our wearable tech projects aiming at girls aged 10+ in the North West and London.
WoW were also media partners alongside other reputable not-for-profit and social enterprises such as Apps for Good, TechMums, Your Ambition, Your Future, Stemettes and Realities Centre. We also sat alongside corporate sponsors such as Barclays, Sky, CA, EY, Accenture, Capgemini, PWC, Contracts Recruitment Consulting and Deutsche Bank.
The day was full of informative sessions on technology such as big data, cybersecurity, latest trends in digital, mobile and apps and panel discussions with senior leaders in tech companies.
While we exhibited our wearable tech projects and spoke to women working in technology about our mission to teach girls aged 10+ on how they can make their own wearables by sewing, coding and wearing their projects, we were met with great support when the delegates could see how fun our workshops could be for girls.
We were also able to attend the last session of the day on mentoring and participated in a Speed Mentoring Session with the panelists.
The key takeaway from the mentoring session was a new kind of mentoring called Reverse Mentoring. Reverse mentoring is a great initiative that tech corporations such as EY and PWC are now introducing into their teams. It is the opposite of what usually happens, where a mentor, someone who typically has years of experience and seniority, mentors someone who is starting his/her career and guides them on their journey into the corporate world.
Reverse mentoring however, puts the mentee in the mentor’s shoes and mentors his/her mentor. So the mentee becomes the mentor.
This is a refreshing way of mentoring because it suddenly shifts the traditional way of thinking that being senior with more experience is more valuable. While I agree experience is valuable, reverse mentoring however provides opportunities to allow the mentee to speak up and share his/her views, breaks down the senior/junior barriers that are typically apparent in the corporate world and it develops a sense of trust and a far more open relationship that traditional mentoring provides. This is especially important in the tech industry.
Technology has moved so fast in the last five years that one can find it overwhelming to keep up with all the technological changes. Our millennials have grown up in the digital world while the Gen Xers, Gen Ys and Baby Boomers have had to learn it later in life. Diversity of skills, travel and the internet have opened our eyes and minds to new experiences, new horizons and new ways of thinking.
The Speed Mentoring session provided delegates with the opportunity to get to know the panelists and elective speakers and ask specific questions on how they can achieve their career goals. Table hosts rotated around each table every 10 minutes (3 x rotations) which enabled the delegates to meet at least three of the senior tech leaders.
It was a great speed mentoring session and a great way to end a very successful event!
Thank you to We Are The City team who organised and hosted a very successful event for women in tech. We made great connections and we are looking forward to more We Are The City women in tech events in the future!