Last week I had the honour of attending the European Women in Technology conference in Amsterdam alongside Sarah, our wonderful Software Developer at Talon.One. Over 900 women (and men) gathered to hear from like-minded people in tech who are championing diversity in the workplace, the importance of female role models and transforming company culture.
We were both pleasantly surprised, supported, excited, empowered and completely motivated after the two-day event. Whether you are in tech or not, diversity and inclusion need to be on your roadmap.
94% of senior executives say that people and corporate culture are the most important drivers of innovation (McKinsey)
Our Favourite Quotes
“Diversity is considered as a key driver of innovation and commercial success”
Brigitte Fuhr - Head of Data Science @ BI X
This keynote was about leading teams in tech and how diversity leads to more productive and innovative teams. Also, how to make colleagues aware of certain behavior to create a more inclusive culture.
“There is a place for everyone in tech.”
Kim Murphy - Head of EMEA Training and Certification @ Amazon Web Services
Kim spoke about finding your passion and not giving up. Despite starting her career as a banker with no technical background, she has had an amazing career working in tech and leading teams.
“Be a learn-it-all, not a know-it-all”
Dr. Cara Antoine - Chief Marketing & Operations Officer @ Microsoft the Netherlands
Dr. Antoine delivered a truly powerful keynote about business and cultural transformation in the digital world. It was great to hear how she is using technology to help people achieve more, especially with assistive technologies. She highlighted that a growth mindset and constant learning were key factors for companies to embrace positive change.
“It will only change if you make it”
Roel van Rijsewijk - Senior Fellow, Deloitte’s Centre for the Edge, EMEA @ Deloitte
Meaningful change is a slow process and does not happen overnight. Great organizations acknowledge this and are having the tough conversations, implementing initiatives and new strategies to tackle problems like gender inequality, diversity, and inclusiveness.
“Leverage the strength of our differences to drive great business and social outcomes”
James Hodge - Technical Director, Public Sector, EMEA @ Splunk
This was a really interesting talk about cognitive bias and using situational awareness to make decisions. When building the workplaces of the future, organizations and individuals must first acknowledge that we all have biases to make a positive change.
The Key Takeaways
Everyone, at every level - from startup to enterprise, from junior to C-level - must work collectively to implement strategies that create a culture of diversity and inclusion. It will not happen on its own.
Businesses that uphold diversity will benefit by attracting a wider range of talent, increasing employee retention, and leveraging the unique insights, experience, and viewpoints.
According to Gartner, culture and people are the biggest barriers to digital transformation in 2018.
Change is slow. It needs to start with open, honest and tough conversations. We need patience and empathy. We must create opportunities for minorities to succeed. We must build networks that empower, mentor, and sponsor each other. We need to lead the change, not wait.
So what does this mean for Talon.One? We started with a very open discussion about these topics, our learnings and what strategies can be implemented to achieve an even more diverse work environment. Stay tuned for updates!
Image Source: Photos from Women in Tech Event Series by MaddoxWinSeries & Holly Millar
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