The third annual Everywoman Forum: Advancing Women in Technology, welcomed over 600 delegates from around the world who came to hear from some of the brightest and most revered figures in the international technology world.
Hosted in London by Everywoman co-founders Karen Gill MBE and Maxine Benson MBE, the event was an early sell-out, but a live stream enabled hundreds more to participate in the day, with Cisco Systems’ Poland headquarters among scores of satellite events in tech offices around the world.
Opening the forum in London was Karen Quintos, executive vice president and chief customer officer of Dell. A member of the executive leadership team, Karen flew in from the Texas-based headquarters to share her industry insight and personal experience.
“As an industry, we need to do more to encourage diversity in the technology sector. A diverse team is a stronger team, and technology is the future. We have an incredible opportunity ahead of us to truly drive human progress through technology, and we need the strongest team possible to build this digital world that will open new markets, reshape industries and improve lives. The Everywoman Forum provides an important venue to move the diversity agenda from discussion to action.”
Joining her was Nick Jenkins, founder of moonpig.com and currently a panellist for BBC Dragons’ Den, who shared his journey of disrupting the marketplace and growing a global brand. Moonpig.com rocked the tech world when it launched in 2000 and quickly captured the public’s imagination. Defying the tech bubble burst, it captured 90% of the UK greetings card market in just seven years.
In addition to the high-profile keynote speakers, delegates heard panel discussions around the risks and rewards of disruptive innovation featuring senior figures from Worldpay, Innogy Innovation Hub, Harvey Nichols, Expedia and MyOnlineSchool who shared their respective approaches to decision making and why playing it safe is the biggest risk of all.
A second panel discussion, considering interaction and cultivating relationships in the digital age, featured representatives from Direct Line Group, ARM, VMware and I Like Mondays. Panel members looked at the change in how we interact with each other as technology evolves, as well as how individuals and brands need to adapt their communications to reflect this.
Further sessions around the application and benefits of mindfulness in business followed, along with a discussion on how to attract and retain Generation Z. This session, which was supported by data insights from Ipsos MORI, talked about how the generation born after millennials are far more in tune with technology and social media, and will provide the growing pool of talent required by the global technology industry.