On 25th January I represented Capgemini UK at the largest Technology Careers Fair for Women. Inspirationally named “Tomorrow’s Tech Leaders Today”, the event took place in London at the spectacular Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane. The conference was organised by business-technology magazine Information Age in partnership with Royal Bank of Scotland and followed by a Women in IT Awards event in the evening.
During the day female students and graduates from all over the country were offered the opportunity to connect with technology’s top women and employers. Amongst the companies exhibiting were Google, Apple, Ericsson, Accenture and Vodafone.
The day started with a keynote address by Information Age and Royal Bank of Scotland, followed by a Graduate Panel and a workshop with Rolls-Royce and Salesforce. There were also a number of sessions that gave the attendees the chance to drop in and listen to motivating stories told by industry leaders. In the early afternoon there was a wonderful opportunity for me to sit on the Leadership Panel next to some amazing female leaders in Digital Experience Management, IT and Nuclear from RBS, River Island and Rolls-Royce.
During the Leadership Panel I faced a number of questions which really made me think on my feet. An area that particularly inspired me was why tech-savvy women choose to move into People Management roles. To answer this question I referenced the latest “Passengers” movie where one of the human passengers on the spaceship selfishly wakes the other encapsulated human up in order to engage in a human-to-human interaction.
The message from the big screen translates into the real world of work. Females tend to choose People Management over coding roles because it is innate to them. On the contrary, human-to-machine interactions prove to be tough to sustain in the long run.
Capgemini had its own stand where I, Anna Sosnowska - a fellow colleague from Custom Based Solutions and Priti Patel – Graduate Recruitment Manager for Capgemini Consulting talked to students. Amongst the discussion topics were the application processes for Graduate programmes and roles at Capgemini as well as our Active Inclusion and Diversity appeal. Some graduates had already gained IT experience and worked in Project Management, Consulting and Analytical roles so they needed a piece of advice on the culture and values at Capgemini.
Overall I was particularly inspired by the range of questions from the attendees. Some of the key questions were:
“What do projects at Capgemini look like?
What kind/size of team do you work in?
How do you find travelling as part of your engagement?
What is your work-life balance like?
What are the opportunities for development and career progression for women?”
At the end of the day people need to make up their mind and see whether they are a good cultural fit for the organisation they are intending to spend a lot of their time at. I thoroughly enjoyed the conference and would recommend it to any other female IT professional.
If you would like to find more, follow the event on Twitter #womentechfair or search YouTube for videos.