The Power Of Talent

Five Things I learnt at last week's Women in Technology Event

On the 1st October Our Harvey Nash office in Ireland organised a Women in Technology Event in the heart of Dublin. 


Attended by thirty executive level women and hosted by our Managing Director Sonya Curley, the event created a space for these women to discuss how we are engaging tomorrow's technology talent, today. 
The event featured keynote speeches from:

  • Mary Moloney, CEO, CoderDojo
  • Marian Corcoran, MD at Accenture Strategy, Accenture
  • Margie McCarthy, Head of Education and Public Engagement, Science foundation Ireland 
  • Jackie Glynn, Head of PMO, UPC
  • Amy Neale, Director of Communications, National Digital Research Centre
  • Caroline O'Driscoll, Tax Partner, KPMG and Board of Directors member, IT@Cork

While I always knew it would be a fantastic event, I was unprepared for just how inspiring it was, and how much I took away from the event. Below are just five of my top learnings that really stuck a chord with me.

Five Top Learnings
1. We need to encourage creation, not just consumption. Some youths have no desire to create it, and have no idea what possibilities in technology are open to them. We need to make students, parents and teachers knowledgeable around the variety of technology roles available in the market and encourage females to consider technology.

2. Women need to be part of addressing the skills gaps. Less than 25% of tech roles are filled by women. With 4,500 ICT jobs currently open in Ireland and Forfas predicting that 44,500 jobs will open up in the next five years, the skills gaps is becoming more evident. Technology companies are leaving Ireland because they cannot get the skills set they need. Companies are leaving. Our jobs are going to leave if we don't address the skills gap. Women need to be a part of this! 

3. There needs to be a collaborative approach. We need to amplify all of the excellent initiatives that industry are doing at the moment to make it real. Only by connecting industry, government and the education system will we make some progress. We need to link what is being taught at schools, and what the technology industry actually needs by supporting teachers and guidance counsellors.

4. Retain the talent we already have. There is an underrepresentation of women in technology. 93% of IT Leaders are men. This is not surprising when we hear statistics like 54% of women globally at middle management opt out of technology.

5. Tech companies do better when they have a female founder.  When a start-up has a female founder, or cofounder, that company runs on a third less capital and earns 13% higher revenues than male only companies, not to mention that the return on investment is 30% higher than male only start-ups.

Top Quotes of the Night
Mary: "Children are fearless with technology and have an appetite to learn technology. They have a confidence in their ability to create, to innovate and to collaborate and really do amazing things with technology which inspired me to join CoderDojo"

Jackie: "You're either going to run a project or be part of a project at some stage in your career, no matter what your profession is."

Caroline: "More than half of the schools surveyed in the Women Invent Tomorrow campaign said industry hadn't engaged with them in the last five years."

Marian: "If young women don't have that curiosity and interest and encouragement around Science, technology and maths they will make decisions that will essentially opt them out of choice later on in life" 

Amy: "Only 6% of US Venture Capital is invested in female Start-ups.  We need to get rid of gender biases when it comes to investment in women as research has shown ROI is 30% higher than male only start-ups."

Margie: "We base our perceptions on our experiences and we use our past experiences to influence our decisions.  62% of undergraduate students said a key factor in choosing their college course was based on the fact that they thought they would fit in"

Thank you to all of those who continue to make Harvey Nash events such an effective forum for knowledge sharing and debate. If you would like to find out more about the first Harvey Nash Women in Technology report please contact myself, Linda Mackessy at linda.mackessy@harveynash.ie