This section is all about your career-defining events – the ones that break the mould, break the rules, breakdown barriers and redefine what we do. If you have an exciting and groundbreaking event that you have developed and would like to see featured please write to: email@example.com
The Women in IT Awards - the largest gender diversity event of its kind - was launched in 2015 at The Grosvenor Hotel. Created to help tackle the technology industry’s disheartening gender imbalance it showcases the achievements and innovations of women in technology, identifying new role models and promoting further dialogue around diversity among industry influencers. BNC member Jenna Read is the proud event manager.
Year one we had 400 guests with 5 sponsors; for 2018 we had over 1200 guests and 28 sponsors and Amazon Web Services as our headline sponsor. We started in the Ballroom at the Marriot Grosvenor on Park Lane and grew to the Great Room two years later.
There were three people who work on the logistics of the event: myself as event manager, a coordinator and a marketing executive.
The highs and the lows:
There are a lot of moving parts to the event, we actually host a female tech careers fair in the day which ends at 4pm, so the turnaround time is very tight with rehearsals. Due to the scale of the event and the amount of premium sponsor who all get a branded area timings are always the biggest challenge. The biggest joy of running the event is meeting the women who are changing the IT Industry and having them thank me for my support in the run up to the event – that is crazy. With the growth and success of the UK event, this event has now grown to a Global Series.
We launched Women in IT Awards New York in 2019 with an audience of 650. The COO of Google Cloud, Diane Bryant, was our keynote speaker. We are now running the event in Ireland, San Francisco, Singapore and in Germany also.
We have never had negative feedback in regards to the event. It was established at the World’s Largest Gender Diversity initiative in 2017, the year we had the Head of MI5, Alex Younger, as our keynote speaker confirming that the real-life ‘Q’ is indeed a woman!!
Professionally it has helped me grow and manage a team effectively alongside a wider portfolio of events. However, the biggest learning curve for me was actually learning how to accept recognition and thanks. I see running the event as such a great achievement professionally yet the audience and those directly associated with the awards see the event as the catalyst for change. It really is amazing to read about the achievements of women working within a typically male dominated industry and how they overcome the bias and yet they still have the time to thank me for running an event.
DO YOU HAVE AN EVENT THAT HAS WON AWARDS/MADE WAVES WITHIN YOUR INDUSTRY/BROKEN RULES OR STOOD OUT FROM THE CROWD? WE’D LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT IT! Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org