GeekGirl Meetup UK: The Way We're Wired

We hope you got the chance to attend GeekGirl Meetup’s phenomenal annual conference, ‘The Way We’re Wired’. It was a deep dive into how tech is changing us - and how we’re shaping tech.

This women in tech initiative brought together a diverse range of female thought leaders from across the industry. Together, they delved into the future of innovation and technology. We’re also changing the way we use technology - from AI to robotics, it’s evolving fast.

Attendees were treated to a day full of speakers sharing their views on how technology is impacting our lives, ranging from dating to mental health.

Sponsored by the Ministry of Justice, among others, this was a groundbreaking day - but don’t worry if you missed it. We’re going to go through the highlights of what happened.

The Inspire Movement

Nancy Fechnay, founder of the The Inspire Movement, spoke about her journey through business and how she ended up going to engineering school. She was one of only a few women.

“I flipped a peppermint patty on what school I was going to. I ended up at engineering school in the university of Virginia, which started me on this path of being one of only a few females in a man’s world, for a long time.”

She started a web design company which ultimately failed but taught her a lot about entrepreneurship. She ended up in venture capital - another male-dominated industry.

She now leads The Inspire Movement which is a movement of entrepreneurs and thought leaders who believe in the power of positivity and sharing stories.

“99% of my time is going into building a movement of inspirational individuals who believe that through our stories and positive thinking we can change our lives and those around us.”

Very inspiring indeed!

Building a pet robot

Susie Coleman, Associate Developer at Guardian News & Media, taught attendees how to build your own pet robot in 30 minutes.

“We naturally just put emotions onto inanimate objects,” she says as she teaches participants the steps they need to go through to build a robot. “Even for something quite simple, we already start to think it looks like an animal.

Other speakers

Fabi Pina talked about mastering emoji language and Samantha Ahern talked about data, ethics and the law. Many panel discussions took place on topics ranging from sex and technology to how black lives matter, in the context of social media. Building a diverse work culture was also on the agenda.

Sharing important stories

Kriselda Rabino, software engineer at Deliveroo and Tanya Powell, software engineer at Gamesys.

Krissy says, “In my university years and in my career, it’s been me as the sole [female] developer. It’s slowly improving but that’s why I love going to female tech meetups.”

“Women in tech tend to not publicise ourselves as much.”

They talked about how they’re getting more women into technology by participating in initiatives like Women Hack for Non-Profits (of which Krissy is a board member) and EmpowerHack.

GeekGuys

The conference first started back in 2012 to support more female role models in the UK tech industry, champion diversity and connect people. Just as women can be scarce at mainstream tech conferences, men are also underrepresented at your typical ‘women in tech’ conference.

But it doesn’t have to be this way! To begin to address this issue, GeekGirl organisers simply gave away 20 tickets to ‘GeekGuys’.

They say, “We've seen first hand the under-representation of men in tech at women in tech events... [and] we're often asked by many people how they can create more diverse teams and empower others to get into tech. But what better way to learn than to immerse yourself in a full day of GeekGirl and learn first hand from our attendees!”

Find out more

There were so many great speakers but you can still take a look at what went on. You can see activity from their hashtag #GGM16 on Twitter and check out some of the livestream videos from the day on Periscope.

Be sure to follow GeekGirl Meetup on Twitter and look out for their next conference in 2017!

From Twitter...

Written by...

Catherine Heath

​She has a thing for psychology, diversity, tech and startups​, and is l​earning to code. She gives valuable insight into the women in tech scene on her website, Away With Words, and shares tips for success and self-development. Connect with Catherine on Twitter or LinkedIn.