May 2019 event 22 at HPE

The spring/summer FY19 event for Connecting Women in Technology was hosted by Hewlett Packard Enterprise at their London office. Just under 100 attendees joined the CWT event. The theme for this event was Balance for Better.

 As some of you may remember, the International Women’s Day 2019 theme was also Balance for Better. Where IWD explained the theme was to build a gender balanced world, and use that balance to drive better working world; CWT expanded the term Balance for Better for balancing inclusion and diversity within workplace, balance career and personal life etc.

 The event started with Marc Waters (HPE UKI MD) talk about what inclusion and diversity means to him. He mentioned that every leader within the technology industry should be thinking about creating a strategy that look at I&D within their companies. He pressed about the importance of making everyone feel included at workplace and how important it is for everyone to be able to bring their whole self to work.

 Susan Bowen (CEO of Cogeco Peer 1) continued speaking about her personal views of inclusion and diversity within the morning key note. She spoke about the challenges that still exists in the IT industry to be able to move forward with the gender balance. She spoke about how different groups like Tech Talent Charter are helping with moving the needle on gender balance.

 Attendees had the chance to go to two of the three break out options:

  • Breakout option 1 – Managing your career for better – Helen Charteris (Managing Director of Charteris Global Search)
  • Breakout option 2 – How do we balance our competing priorities – Sarah Bass Facilitator with Learning and Development at HPE and Radhika Rani (Senior Legal Counsel at HPE)
  • Breakout option 3 – Creating action plans for goals –  Leila Singh (The Authentic Leadership Coach)

 The afternoon key note was led by Marleen Reininger (Business Manager and Mental Health Ambassador at Microsoft) and Ayeshna Hirani (Product Manager and Mental Health Ambassador at Microsoft). They finished off the day by talking about the importance of Mental Health and Wellbeing. During their session, there were some clear messages:

  1. Mental health is as important as your physical health, therefore it is important we take time to look after it.
  2.  Sometimes someone having issues may not realise they need to restore balance, if you see someone struggling, speak with them and see if you can support them.
  3.  Understand that it is okay to not be okay, and admit that you may need help.
  4. Find what gives you time to reboot/rebalance and know that it may be different to how other people find their solace.

 The day ended with some drinks and networking.