Five things women in tech want to see at an event

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Five things women in tech want to see at an event

'The fact that women want to be treated equally doesn't mean we all have the same needs, and it definitely doesn't mean we have the same needs as men.' Holly Brockwell discusses how tech events need to change

4. A bit of consideration

Modern women have a lot to deal with - more than men, in many cases. A lot of the women who responded to our tweet wanted to see some consideration for that at events for women in tech, in various forms.

A key way to take the weight off women's shoulders is to provide childcare at events. Of course, looking after the kids is in no way women's work, but as Fiona Mc Andrew points out, statistics suggest the bulk of the burden still falls on us.

Kelly Ellis suggests both childcare and private breastfeeding spaces, while backend engineer and keynote speaker Melissa Benua saysevents should have "at least a baby/toddler chill out area," because "sometimes life happens and you gotta suck it up and be mum at the conference."

If events can't provide childcare themselves, tech analyst Lauren Maffeo suggests a stipend, or else as Dr Effie Le Moignan puts it, "don't be weird about people bringing babies."

Free sanitary products in the toilets were a popular suggestion, though it's important to note that to be truly inclusive, these should be in all bathrooms, not just those marked 'women'. In fact, ideally, toilets would be gender neutral.

One last thing on loos - toilet paper and plenty of it. As Dr Le Moignan mentions, it always runs out at busy events.

5. Other women!

That means women on the panels, women in the audience, women on stage, women in the events team, women everywhere.

And not just any women, but women from all different aspects of tech - as founder of Ada Lovelace Day Suw Charman explains, "not just coders, designers and founders, but marketers, UX, HR, content managers, partnership managers, advocates."

A range of ages would be good too - Anya Rikku says, "Things that are for women just getting into tech [whether] 18 starting uni or 40 wanting a career change doing open uni. I'd love to go to these things but worry I'm out of my depth." Fiona Mc Andrew adds, "Trying to get a women over 35 on a panel can be tough. We are missing their valuable insights."

No excuses

This is all very prescriptive feedback, which means there's no excuse for event organisers to keep making the same mistakes.

That includes us, so we'll be doing our utmost to make the Women In Tech Festival UK 2019 the most welcoming, comfortable, inspiring environment we possibly can. See you in September.

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