In celebration of Ada Lovelace Day, Manchester Digital’s Digital Her programme held a virtual event on 12th October 2021 for colleges across Greater Manchester to inspire even more young women into careers in digital and technology.
Since its inception, the Digital Her programme has aimed to encourage both educators and businesses to increase their efforts to promote STEM subjects along with digital and tech careers to young women across Greater Manchester, to date working with 198 schools and colleges across the region, reaching over 3,500 girls and women and creating over 200 Digital Her Role Models.
More than 50 young women signed up to join us on Ada Lovelace Day for a virtual event sponsored by Auto Trader, BAE Applied Intelligence and Bruntwood SciTech which offered attendees an engaging day of talks, panels and interactive sessions as we celebrated Ada Lovelace and the achievements of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
Sessions on the day included:
For the first session of the day, Natalie, Gabbie and Kate from Auto Trader took attendees through an interactive workshop around design thinking, explaining the process they go through when designing new products.
Ada, Algorithms and coding a website
For the next session, Jen and Lauren from BAE Applied Intelligence discussed the importance of Ada Lovelace, the work she did and how that impacts the algorithms and websites we use today. This was followed by a beginner's coding session.
Find your future
Next up was a panel discussion featuring Lauren from BAE Applied Intelligence, Sarah from Auto Trader and Zoe from Michael Page, featuring hints, tips and advice for our attendees on taking the next step in your career. The panel also discussed what the industry is looking for from early talent, and how to boost your profile.
Some of their advice to attendees included:
"Own your space and own your topic, and have that believe in yourself that you do deserve to be there and know what you're talking about"
Sarah, Auto Trader
"When it comes to interviews be prepared, have questions ready, be engaged on the interview call, show that interest level and passion and make sure you stand out"
Zoe, Michael Page
"Find the right company that believes you and wants you to develop, and doors will open for you"
Sarah, Auto Trader
"It's not more difficult to join the industry as a woman, the difficulty is in getting women to study the right subject and the concern you might have about being outnumbers when studying certain subjects"
Lauren, BAE Applied Intelligence
Agile working and use mapping
For our next session Amelia and Seda, software engineers from Zühlke explained all about agile ways of working and why this is important, before taking us through a fun and exciting user mapping exercise.
Meet the Digital Her Role Models
Our final session of the day gave attendees the opportunity to hear from some of our Digital Her Role Models, including Lucy from Auto Trader, Emma from BAE Applied Intelligence and Kiran from Apadmi, who shared their journeys into tech, what they love about the industry and the challenges they have faced, along with some hints and tips on finding a career in digital and tech that you will love.
Thank you to all of our speakers and panellists, as well as the students and colleges that took part.