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Results of the Tech Party held at Oracle HQ

Results of the Tech Party held at Oracle HQ

The results of our Tech Party at Oracle HQ in Reading on 18th March 2015 are in with more than 60 ideas generated by our question; How can we get  industry and FE working together to get more women into technology?

Julia von Klonowski Director of Education at Oracle, Eric Sisi from Intel, Nicky Buckland from Cobalt Partners and Khorshed Bhote of City Lit, Catherine Sellars, Pauline Odulinski OBE and Christina Conroy OBE enjoyed an extremely productive session over tea and cake and these were the results.

Business Engagement

  • Business Engagement – knowing who is the right person i.e. HR or someone specific in ‘tech’ to start the conversation
  • Engage industry through networks/head-hunters
  • Dame Sally Morgan review – seek out which companies gave evidence
  • ‘Tech’ companies won’t give funding but will give people and time
  • Get industry to give ‘teachers’ to lecture on present state of industry
  • Award in Education and Training – run for business in business – so swapping capabilities to share expertise – industry show senior managers about technology in business
  • Industry partnerships to advise on skills required – need industry and ‘tech’ boards at college/Encourage companies to embrace ‘tech’ boards or college advisory boards as part of their community outreach- tell them it will also address skills

FE relevance

  • Have to sell FE to Tech industry to understand the qualifications and capabilities – think it is all hairdressing and basic vocational skills
  • Define what an FE college/UTC is and where it fits in education cycle and industry
  • The way an FE college is marketed not a second class educations -preparation for grown ups

Corporate social responsibility

  • In Government Contracts/Bid expect ‘tech’ companies to specify in their corporate social responsibility work on diversity issues

Marketing of Jobs

  • Do a marketing job on computing
  • Market the benefits of being a woman in ‘tech’
  • Awareness raising in FE of tech jobs
  • Industry seen as dirty due to banking crisis so market the industry
  • ‘Tech’ jobs happen in a broad range of companies not just in technology companies e.g. Coast, ASOS
  • Present range of roles in ‘tech’ industry for careers inspiration
  • Need to sell to academic girls BEng and BSc
  • Market the diversity from small start-ups to huge corporations

Types of Jobs

  • Emphasise the importance of empathy in designing products
  • Most roles in technology companies are not just tech but also customer experience and sales
  • Show different roles available to women in technology
  • Define business requirements for soft skills as well tech skills (communication, using technology, self-motivated etc.)
  • Address the skillset and work on how to sell that
  • Show ‘tech’ developments need empathy and user experience awareness

Case Studies          

  • Case study of INTEL-how they have addressed diversity
  • Reach out globally for good practice


  • Show lifestyle that comes with working in ‘tech’ e.g. money, future prospects that can buy you a lifestyle that you may desire ‘Chanel handbags’, smart cars and overseas travel
  • Market the lifestyle target 14 year olds or earlier
  • Market appreciation and respect, pay and flexible work style

Role Models

  • Rich Jigsaw of video clips of women talking about role in ‘tech’ to show variety
  • Young women ‘tech’ teachers as role models
  • Role models in ‘tech’ to inspire girls


  • Raise parental awareness to the range of modern careers in tech – careers more than university


  • Women in Technology Time bank
  • Provide industry Mentoring
  • Peer mentorship – Women in technology register to network online -create innovative connections online


Education Initiatives

  • Women in Technology Academy- co-designed and co-delivered
  • Sponsored retraining programmes for women
  • Hubs of technology not getting full talent pool – co-design and co-delivery of pre-entry training schemes
  • Industry funding university subjects with regard to technology e.g. 3D printing
  • Improve teaching methods in ‘tech’ so that learners can be inspired
  • 16-18 critical stage for decision-making – if curriculum tailored to needs of industry will inspire more girls

Outreach activities           

  • Get your daughters into taster activities e.g. INTEL have Coding camp for age 6+ free courses
  • Start Programmes at Primary school
  • Create children’s books – girls who code
  • Industry Societies/Associations can support initiatives e.g. women aviators project by WISE/Engineering society

Other comments

  • Once women have reached interview stage it is too late (as already lost a lot of women)
  • Maternity leave if equal for men and women -so equal opportunities to advance in tech – maternity used as barrier to advancement