Diversity

Natalie Whittlesey, Executive Headhunter

Dave catches up with Natalie Whittlesey, Executive Headhunter, specialising C-level IT executives following Natalie’s session on ‘Increasing Gender Diversity in Tech and why its important.’

01.15 - Why are we seeing so little progress on gender diversity?

It depends company to company they're in industry to industry so for example in the NHS and some of the public sector, there are a lot of female role models in some of the corporates large corporate organizations there aren't and I think you're right about it not just being about gender when we talk about diversity but in technology gender is a really big issue it's quite male dominated generally and often when you look at the solutions towards gender diversity you can apply to other background groups as well so you know you could slot the word beim instead of gender and you could apply some of the same tactics if you're trying to improve things I do think role models make a difference but I think role models can start when you're a child you know do you have the right role models around you that get you to that inspire you to reach for the stars rather than cut your potential short they can be in education as well in technology I think if I have to walk into technology events and I can be one of a handful of women in a room of over a hundred people if you don't feel you belong in that space you know we talk about moving the dialogue from diversity to inclusion to belonging if you don't think you belong then you're not as likely to say this is for me I'm gonna do really well here you know the other thing is seeing people like you and this is the same with any characteristic if you don't see people like you in an organization and it doesn't have to just be in technology it could be anywhere at board level that's the problem if you have a white male board in an organization for people that aren't white male they wouldn't you know can I get to the top or am I going to be cut short here these are sometimes subconscious things that go on in people's minds but you know they are there specifically with gender we find a lot of women enter technology through sideways roots.

06.08 - Male Allies - What are groups looking for from their male allies?

I've held a roundtable with a group of female leaders in technology a while ago and when I put notes about it on LinkedIn and so forth a lot of men approached me and said I really like to be involved with that I've done loads of great stuff in increasing diversity within my teams and I think I can share and learn and the women within there as well said there's no point just us women being in the room we need lots of men in the room to help with this to take it forward and we agreed going forward that actually we need everyone to be involved in this you know you can't preach to the converted you have to reach a wider audience and many of my male contacts are super engaged and keen to to learn and implement and share what they've done so absolutely I think I think when people sit forward and speak and learn and engage regardless of who they are that's when I get excited.