How our membership network is helping to drive change in Liverpool
Written by: Emily on June 21, 2018Tags: Inspiration, Meet the Members, Member News, Women in Tech
Last month we held our May members lunch at IGOO in the heart of the Baltic. These regular gatherings act as opportunities for our members to network, share their updates relating to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and discuss their progress.
At this particular gathering, we asked our members to reflect upon the past year and how far they had come since we first started our partnership. We’re delighted to say that despite facing challenges both internally and externally, many of them have made great strides into creating more diverse and inclusive workplaces. They are truly leading by example. We’re happy to share some of our favourite updates with you:
Shop Direct, the home of Littlewoods and Very, is one of the largest digital employers in the Liverpool city region. Here’s how they have worked towards removing the gender imbalance in tech this year:
Shop Direct has a 50/50 gender split in successful candidates for their degree apprenticeship programme which is due to start in September. This is the first time that has been achieved and they partly attributed this to being a member of our network.
Rachael Crosby is an Associate Systems Engineer at Shop Direct. She is employed by Doris IT, which means she gets loads of training and development opportunities and is mentored by their team. It’s one of our favourite success stories from 2017, as we introduced Rachael to Doris! Read her story.
Rachael isn’t the only person who has got a job at Shop Direct through our network, Charlotte Bowers is also an Associate Software Developer at Shop Direct.
IGOO is a creative development agency based in our neighbourhood, the Baltic. As well as hosting our May members lunch in their newly refurbished Baltic office, IGOO has had a busy year and have really focussed on making their team more diverse and inclusive:
IGOO have just hired a female member of staff as their new Digital Marketing Assistant. Olivia saw the role advertised on Twitter when it was Retweeted by us. We’re happy that this has come about through our combined efforts. She will be taking over our Instagram story in a couple of weeks, so watch this space!
In celebration of International Women’s Day, IGOO started a new series on their blog celebrating their female clients. These mini-interviews feature custom illustrations and help to celebrate all of the fantastic work that their clients have been doing. We’re inspired by this, we love that they are helping to raise the visibility of female role models in tech.
IGOO have also been working closely with Agent Academy and OH!’s Catalyst programme to ensure that they are giving back and encouraging the next generation to embark on a journey in digital and tech.
We featured Cam, IGOO’s Studio and Finance Manager, to kickstart our ‘Meet the Members’ series on our blog and to help showcase the work that they do.
Our proud member, Uniform, is a creative agency whose HQ is stationed on one of Liverpool’s most vibrant streets, Bold Street. We have worked very closely with Uniform over the past year, here are some of their key achievements as a result:
Uniform’s AV and film teams have always been male-dominated, but they now have either core staff or freelancers who are female. We were happy to hear that they cited being part of our network as playing a key part in this.
Uniform designed our role model animations for International Women’s Day 2018. What made them extra special was that the very first female member of their film team created them.
Emma Sundvall, Project Manager at Uniform, participated in our ‘this is what a feminist looks like’ blog along with some of our other members.
Thanks to Leonardo Amico, Creative Technologist at Uniform, for contributing to the conversation on our panel at our #WITLiv meet-up on the Rise of AI. The team have contributed to a few panels over the past year which helps to raise their profile within the community and also presents them as thought leaders.
Reading Room is a full-service digital agency, and as part of the wider IDOX group, they are one of the largest agencies in Liverpool. Since becoming a member Reading Room have been committed to our mission and have worked with us in a number of ways:
In December last year, Reading Room hosted the Women in Sports Technology meet-up with us at their new Liverpool office, which opened up their space to a new audience via our network.
Reading Room ran an internal company-wide International Women’s Day event this year, the whole of the Liverpool office attended for the morning. As it was not mandatory, we think this is a positive sign! Loads of great ideas were generated for how they can continue to work towards gender parity in the workplace. This has helped affect a number of internal changes in terms of culture. We were happy to hear that they attributed the high level of internal engagement with this event to being part of our network.
Rebecca Boardman, Head of QA at Reading Room, led the final Academy at FACT exploring the creation of Video Games. As a result of the programme and under Rebecca’s lead, the girls really grew in confidence and have researched potential careers ideas in the gaming industry. Rebecca has also led a #Tech4Teens sessionon testing. She is a fantastic role model and inspiration to all of us (not just the young women!)
Our proud member, Doris IT, provides recent graduates with a personal, rewarding IT mentorship programme and tech jobs across the North West. Here’s what Doris has been up to over the past year:
Unlike most tech firms, Doris’ senior management team is predominantly female. As a consequence of signing up to our pledge, they hired their first male member of senior management this year. Our pledge asks all of our members to work towards diversity at a senior level. It’s interesting that Doris’ problem is the reverse of our other members, who have male-dominated senior level teams. We’re happy to see that equality is working both ways and that our pledge is making an impact.
To ensure that their selection process is fairer, Doris has implemented diverse interview panels in which there will always be male and female interviewers together. This has also been driven by our pledge which asks members to strive for this.
Doris has been shortlisted for 3 awards, including the Barclays Women of the Year Award!
Doris also took over our Instagram during their Doris Conference 2018, which was a huge success and meant that they reached new audiences via our platforms.
Local WordPress consultants, web development and web design agency, interconnect/it, have been busy advocating for diversity internally and externally over this past year:
Team members Mim and Laurie attended our ‘Get your head around public speaking’ workshop earlier this year and left feeling empowered!
interconnect/it feels that the InnovateHer membership has helped them connect with peer organisations in Liverpool and share good practices. They are now actively collaborating with organisations to improve their own practices and reach a broader talent pool.
In summary, all of our members have cited making some important internal changes as a direct result of being part of our network. They told us that being a member of InnovateHer has helped to raise the profile and awareness of Diversity and Inclusion internally and that it has been a catalyst for change within their companies.
Being a member of our network has helped many of them to find local talent for their vacancies and the majority felt that membership has helped to raise their profile in a positive way among the local community.
We’re proud of everything our network continues to achieve and we will continue driving the change in partnership with our members. Our members have the opportunity to lead the way in improving diversity and inclusion within tech. If we join together as a community we can make it happen.
If you’d like to find out more about our membership, visit this page, or get in touch and we’ll take you for coffee!