Our report launch- System Update: Addressing the gender gap in tech, took place on Tuesday 31st Oct at Sadler's Wells. In partnership with VMO2.

The tech sector is suffering a skills shortage. Yet women represent a minority of the UK tech workforce, and Black and minoritised women are excluded further still. This missing talent not only means a wider gender pay gap but leads to bias in the systems that underpin our daily lives. 

This new research from Fawcett brings together the voices of women working in tech roles, those who’ve left, and those outside of tech with STEM qualifications, to understand their experiences and highlight clear, practical steps employers and Government can make to force a reset in the sector.

About the event

The programme began with an introduction from Fawcett CEO Jemima Olchawski, followed by a presentation of the key report findings and recommendations from Senior Policy and Research Officer Lizzie Ville.

We then moved onto a panel discussion and in-depth Q&A with the below speakers:

  • Chair: Nisha Marwaha, Director Virgin Media O2

 Nisha has been Director of People Relations and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion since June 2021. Nisha is part of the People and Transformation Leadership team and is responsible for employee relations, people policy, case resolution and the DE&I strategy.

Prior to this, Nisha was Legal Director for Employment and Pensions for Virgin Media and Chair of the Empower network, Virgin Media’s network for minoritised ethnic employees,

  • Lopa Patel MBE, Digital CEO, Non-Executive Chair, NED & Trustee

Lopa is the founder of two ventures in online media and a data-driven marketing consultancy, she is also the Chair of equality and inclusion charity, Diversity UK; Chair of the National Science & Media Museum (NSMM) Advisory Board; a Trustee of the Science Museum Group (SMG) and a Non-Executive of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

Lopa is an elected Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and a Fellow of the Institute of Data & Marketing (IDM). She is an ambassador for entrepreneurship, innovation and technology and has been reocognised with many accolades including an MBE for services to the creative industries in 2009; the Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2015; an Honorary Doctorate by the Open University in 2017, in recognition of her efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in STEM and more recently, she was named TechWomen100 2021 Champion of the Year and listed in computer Weekly's 'Most Influential Women in UK Technology 2022' index

  •  Vanessa Chiedza Sanyauke, Founder of The Hill app, CEO of Girls Talk Corporation

Vanessa is the Founder of The Hill app, an AI powered platform that enables global businesses to hire female talent whilst saving on costs and time. The aim is to connect 1 million women from 140 countries to jobs and opportunities. She is also the Founder & CEO of Girls Talk Corporation connecting 56,000 women across 37 countries to global businesses such as events, programmes and digital content.

Companies  she has worked with include  Apple, Amazon, Beats by Dre, Meta, HSBC UK, Goldman Sachs, Snap Inc, Virgin Media O2, Zalando, BT and Vodafone and many more to connect them with diverse talent across all levels within their businesses.

Her expertise sits in creating and executing global diversity, inclusion and sustainability strategies and programmes, building capability & influence in organisations and partnering with & advising C-suite executives, senior leadership and HR colleagues. Vanessa is also a Business Podcaster with her podcast, The After Work Drinks Club debuting at Number 4 on the Apple Business Charts. 

Vanessa has been recognised as one of 30 people changing the world by the London Business School, one of London's most influential people by the Evening Standard Newspaper and has featured in The Guardian, Cosmopolitan magazine, Sunday Times Style magazine, Stylist magazine, The Evening Standard newspaper and the Financial Times.

  • Yasmin Lodhi, Chief Operating Officer at Stemettes

Yasmin has a passion for promoting diversity and equity with education, she is currently serving as COO at Stemettes. An award winning organisation dedicated to inspiring and supporting girls, young women and non-binary people in STEM and STEAM (Science, Technology,Engineering, Arts and Maths) careers. 

Her role has allowed her to shape and execute initiatives that foster intentional inclusivity in STEAM fields. Her commitment to innovation and excellence has been a driving force behind Stemettes' success. The organisation has achieved remarkable milestones over the last 10 years, impacting the lives of over 60,000 young people. Yasmin's career is a testament to her unwavering commitment to diversity, education and the advancement of balance within STEM. Her vision and leadership continue to inspire and pave the way for future generations of STEM leaders.

  •  Susanne Sos, Research participant sharing her lived experience working within the tech industry.

Susanne is a Marketing Manager and Creative Director with nine years of experience in the tech and retail industry and has delivered successful campaigns and projects across diverse mediums for both B2B and B2C companies. Her work has been recognised with features in prestigious publications such as British Vogue, Campaign Magazine, The Drum and more. Susanne is now spearheading the launch of 'Positions of Power (POP)' a dynamic organisation committed to empowering underrepresented individuals, with a particular focus on Black women, within the media and marketing industry. The mission is to create a ripple effect of empowerment and open doors for future generations of creatives.

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Booking for this event has now closed.