Our 2019 Programme launch event took place at the Channel 4 headquarters in London last week, with over seventy WICT members and supporters in attendance.
The event was designed to showcase our membership programme which offers a range of networking events, workshops and seminars to help women advance their careers in the industry.
In her welcoming remarks Julie Agnew, WICT UK President, outlined her mission to develop and support women in the workplace and spoke of the importance of building a pipeline of confident, female talent who will continue to thrive in tomorrow’s environment.
This was followed with a candid panel discussion on ‘Winning with Diversity’ featuring Gill Whitehead, Senior Director at Google, Tom Mockridge, CEO of Virgin Media, Lauren Dolan, VP, Talent and Organization at Liberty Global and Gary Heffernan, Senior MD of Accenture.
Lauren Dolan stated that a clear, focused commitment from all areas of the business is key to improve gender diversity within the industry, commenting; “We see very clearly that change doesn’t happen on its own – we see positive movement, but only in areas of intention.”
While diversity in general is a key area of focus for Google, gender diversity is still the biggest needle to move says Gill Whitehead. In looking to on-board more female talent to the Google team, the recruitment process is vital she says: “The contents and tone of a job posting can be crafted to attract far more female applicants, and you can add further incentive for example by stating that part-time or remote working options are available.”
Tom Mockridge, who has set ambitious targets reach gender balance in Virgin Media by 2025, spoke of similar recruitment insights, bringing with him a job advert that had been tailored to attract more females into field technician roles. The advert has been a success, doubling the percentage of females in these roles, however he acknowledged there was still much work to be done and it was clear they had a long way to go.
This sentiment was shared by Gary Heffernan who added a sense of urgency to the topic, recommending businesses start showing the results of work towards gender balance, rather than just highlighting their ambitions. “We’re at a critical time in the industry – diversity has never been more important and we’re still confusing activity with results” he said.