Women In Tech Setting The Agenda
This week, Cloudreach hosted Meetup events in both London and Munich, with agendas that were heavily focused on driving gender diversity and opportunities for women in the tech industry. Charlotte Poynton and Genta Roko tell us more...
The lack of gender diversity in the tech industry is a topic that Cloudreach takes very seriously. Whilst we still have a ways to go in addressing gender imbalances, we are striving to provide and promote platforms for women to share their expertise and experiences within the industry to educate, inspire, and enable change.
This week, Cloudreach hosted two Meetup events. One was in our London office, supporting a independent meet-up group, Tech Women London. The other was held in our Munich office in partnership with AWS.
In London, the theme of the Meetup was 'Flourishing Leadership', specifically focused on inspiring women towards leadership roles in the tech industry. In Munich, the agenda was more free-form but featured Cloudreachers, Genta Roko and Elena Brandl, speaking about empowering development teams and breaking gender stereotypes.
Charlotte Poynton attended the Meetup in London:
Tech Women London is an independent Meetup group dedicated to bringing together women and girls in technology and helping start, re-start, or advance their careers. This could mean supporting women who are taking the first step into their careers or helping them make a career change, right through to supporting established women with networking and building their leadership skills.
We have nurtured a long partnership with Tech Women London, sponsoring a number of past Meetups with them and hosting events in our London office. It is an important partnership for us and it represents a cause that we truly believe in.
Our speaker at the event was Leigh Bowman-Perks, executive coach and founder/CEO of the charity Inspiring Leadership Trust, which works with vulnerable women and girls. Leigh was able to share her unique leadership model for success, as well as recounting numerous examples of past leaders, good and bad, with whom she has worked. It was a brilliant chance for all who attended to reflect on their own leadership styles and how they can improve themselves and others.
During the evening, Leigh covered a number of thought-provoking points. She reflected on the difference between inspiring and "expiring" leadership - those who energise and those who suck the life out of their workforce. It was a point which resonated with many of the audience, and particularly the fact that an individual can influence what type of leader they are by building on their style. Drawing on her research, Leigh presented key statistics centered around the factors that predicate successful leaders. Her research suggests that IQ (Intelligence quotient) accounts for only 6% of potential for leadership excellence, whilst EQ (Emotional quotient) accounts for 30%. The remaining 64% was what made up the rest of Leigh’s presentation, as she ran through the other important factors required to become a truly excellent leader.
Without giving too much away (you should buy the book - all proceeds go to the charity!), one of the most resonant topics with the group was 'Legacy'. It perhaps rings especially true for millennials, who are often said to place huge importance on doing good and being socially responsible. Leigh, however, promoted the importance of Legacy for all leaders, and that the sense of leaving something good and impactful behind was a key motivator for the majority of human beings.
Genta Roko presented at the Munich AWS Meetup:
This week, the Cloudreach Munich office hosted its latest AWS Meetup and this time I had the pleasure to be one of the presenters. I did not expect that over 100 people would attend and the genuine interest they showed in all topics.
Recently, I have been working on implementing a complex Landing Zone solution for one of our customers. It is providing the customer significant improvements in terms of automating account provisioning and applying best practices for security, logging, governance, etc.
However, because of its complexity, it requires advanced AWS experience and time to customize it for a specific scenario.
I thought it would be a good idea to share my experience of developing this solution with other people that are facing the same challenges and want to implement something similar.
We actually use the AWS Landing Zone solution for internal purposes at Cloudreach, to provide engineers with dedicated AWS accounts, on demand, in a fully automated fashion. Those accounts can be used for testing, learning, or workshops.
It felt great to lead the discussion on a topic affects almost everyone that works in the cloud world and share solutions that can be applied in various scenarios; both internally for educating engineers and externally when working with our enterprise customers.
Following my presentation, my colleague, Elena Brandl, ran a session on the important topic of women in tech. During the session, she referred to various, troubling statistics that show the low presence of women working in STEM industries.
Elena found that only 15.2% of people working in STEM roles across Germany are female (very little progress from the 14.4% reported in 2013). What’s more, only 6% of tech leadership roles are currently held by women.
She also considered the future, finding that only 23% of Germany’s current generation of engineering and technology undergraduates are women.
Elena also suggested that employers should start taking these imbalances seriously if they want to attract the best talent to their organisation, observing that 83% of German female millennials actively seek employers with a strong record of diversity, equality, and inclusion.
There were lots of healthy discussion following Elena’s presentation, as attendees shared ideas on why these imbalances exist and what can be done to impact change. All agreed, whilst addressing the gender imbalance won’t be easy, we should all support initiatives to get more women involved in IT careers; the earlier in life the better.
We are proud to sponsor and support events like these where women in our industry are predominantly leading the agenda. We still have a long way to go in addressing the gender imbalances that are prevalent in our industry and we hope that events like these, which provide a platform for diverse voices, can help towards inspiring change.