Intel were proud hosts on October 11th for the CWT Event themed: Push for Progress. The theme for our 21st event for Connecting Women in Technology focused on learning from the past, embracing the present and changing the future.
The background started from 100 years ago when Women achieved the right to vote, to today when we are on a journey to parity, it remains important to continue the drive for diversity and inclusion across everything we do which Intel strongly advocates.
The day was filled with amazing speakers and innovative breakout sessions as well as fun practical activities where we were given valuable tips on how we can all continue the push for progress journey.
We were delighted to have fantastic speakers, those who represented Intel and external speakers who brought with them insightful perspectives.
Nick Hudson, GER HR Director of Leadership and Organizational Development, kicked off the day with a warming introduction and welcome.
This was followed by Kimberley Connors.
Kimberley is a partner from E+Y who leads the Technology Consulting practice and is the executive sponsor for key alliances of the UK&I firm. Kim has 25 years of business & technology consulting experience across many industries. She works with teams to bring the right combination of established and emerging technologies to solve the business challenges of her clients .
Her key note provided a historical insight into when GPG started, which apparently can even be traced back to Biblical times. She explained that it’s not just wage disparity but cultural disparity that needs to shift. On a slightly more positive note, Kimberley was clear to state that while the equal pay gap is closing the gender pay gap is still significant, the latter being about the difference regarding the climb up the career ladder to get to senior roles as opposed to individuals being paid parity working in the same roles. We were given some interesting statistics to absorb and factors that provided a lot of context around this fascinating and topical subject.
We ran 3 breakout sessions in parallel both in the morning and afternoon. “Mentors, Sponsors and Advocates – Career Success Strategies Masterclass” led by Vicky Cooper and Ishreen Bradley. Vicki is a business development leader for Equality Pioneers. Vicki recently left IBM where she was a software sales leader in both acquisitions and analytics business.
Ishreen is a passionate pioneer of parity in politics. She influences public policy, organizational culture and individual progression applying innovate research with a nurturing approach. In this session we were able to map out the differences between mentors, sponsors and advocates where we were also able to identify our “scream” partners, the definition being someone who we can let off steam to, people we trust who we can share frustrations with. It was a perspective that perhaps the majority of the group had considered but hadn’t previously mapped out.
Janine Woodcock, an Executive and Leadership Coach led the session on “How to position as a Leader”. Janine is a leadership coach development consultant who has a track record of leading teams and business to shape and deliver strategies for business growth and innovation.
We were given 5 key points; Understand your stakeholder; Build your rationale (business first); Find your supportive inner voice, Articulate the possibility of taking the lead and Align with stakeholders
In this group we were asked to consider how we make decisions and to take into account our inner voice which could sometimes be positive or negative to then determine how that affected our decision making. When looking at what makes a good leader we considered the difference between influencing, managing and controlling and ensuring we understood to be a good leader requires positive influencing as opposed to just managing.
Fenella Harper, Greater European Region (GER) Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Intel, ran the last breakout session themed “Harnessing the Power of Diversity Through Inclusion”. The session enfolded as an interactive activity, which allowed us to get to know more about the other people in the room but also about ourselves. Using a simple game to identify our individualities and how unique we all are, beyond but not exclusive of the perceptible gender and ethnicity, we really got to understand what inclusion looks like and how we can truly work to be inclusive both in our work and day to day lives.
The closing note focused aptly on “The Future of Work – changing the world through equality and Inclusion”.
Hema Bakhshi delivered this engaging and enlightening talk. Hema’s background is as a strategic advisor steering people, corporates and start up’s through the “future of work”.
Hema has a background in talent acquisition, HR transformation and people innovation having worked in leadership roles in IT and Financial Service industries.
Hema asked us to consider what is the future of work and why equality and inclusion were key factors in this. Her account was personable and informative giving an insight into her career choices and personal journey which helped the audience to have introspective on how they could view their career path to ensure their journey was being made for the right reasons. Hema also provided an overview of how technology is changing the way we work and how we look at the workplace.
Overall the day was received with fantastic feedback, busy networking both over a filling lunch and throughout the day, insightful speakers and productive breakout sessions that have left us all with a great lot of food for thought.