Tech Talk #2 – Round Table

Meeting summary: “Hi, my name is”, time travel, morning person, gender representation, favourite dance move, education, push hard, boys’ club, M&Ms, Elon, artificial intelligence, debate, potatoes on Mars, user journey, user interface … 

Whoa! Wait! What? What just happened here?

Well, Tech Talk #2 happened! … and it was nothing short of amazing! Let’s rewind and start from the beginning.

The aim of this talk was to get to know the people attending Tech Talks, discover the technological areas that are of interest to them and also tackle the topic of women’s representation in Tech companies in Gibraltar. We achieved all of these and then some!

“Thank you!” to everyone attending the event! It was great to see some new faces and we were happy to see old friends of Girls in Tech joining us again. Although a very diverse group, it felt like we’ve known each other for a while, otherwise it’s difficult to explain how people that have never interacted in that format before were so open to show their favourite dance moves, to share their honest opinion about gender representation in Tech and in the companies they work for and to talk about their interest in technology.

It all started with getting to know each other and we had a full a la carte menu: developers, graphic designers, business owners, marketeers, tech gurus; different nationalities, different backgrounds, different companies.

We shortly found out that there was something we had in common (apart from our interest in Tech, of course!): we all like M&Ms. Each of us grabbed a few M&Ms and, if you think we were simply going to enjoy them in peace, well … think again! There was a catch! For each colour of M&M we had in our hands, each of us had to share something about ourselves. That’s how we learned that some of us like Walking Dead, some would grow potatoes on Mars, others have the most ridiculous favourite dance moves (shhh! Don’t tell them we said ‘ridiculous’!), others would love to be able to time travel and … a couple of other things which we will not disclose.

From there to gender representation in companies, it wasn’t as big a step as you’d imagine. The discussion had a natural flow. A general agreement was that the Tech companies mainly have male workforce. When someone asked “Why do you think that is?” that’s when the debate sparked. It’s difficult to transcribe everything that was discussed, but here are some of the beliefs shared with the group: there are less women than men in management roles, there is a projection of what gender each role requires (for example, Tech roles are projected as being more fitting for men than women), there is a sense of a “boys’ club” in Tech, extensive history of men-ruled societies or the fact that the demand for crazy working hours in order to get to a management role is not going hand in hand with motherhood.

Ideas started flowing as to what can be done to close the gap in the gender representation in Tech companies: improvements via educational programs focused on a correct gender representation, showing the new generations – via education – that a role in Tech can be done by a woman as well as by a man, empowering women, a change in the hiring paradigm to go for “hiring/ paying the role not the person in the role”.

It was a very interesting conversation! To say the least …

What happened next involved post it notes. Each of us had to write down two technologies of interest to us. We’d say that the heterogeneity of the group was very visible again because interests ranged from the future of computing to cybernetics and bionics to printing technologies to programming languages and space technologies. Each of the topics was discussed one by one with the group and we ended up talking about how computers will continue to be even more integrated in our day to day lives, how artificial inteligence is more and more a part of our lives, how knowing to work with a computer is a new form of literacy and how there has been a progressive increase from turning a computer on and off to opening an Excel, to complete computer interaction. It didn’t stop there! One of the participants was interested in indoor positioning systems working like an indoor GPS to help guide you in a hospital, for example or, why not?!, in Ikea. Finally, someone mentioned how learning a coding language is the same as learning a new language; it has its punctuation, word meaning and structure.

The words above don’t do justice to everything that was discussed during this Tech Talk, but we do hope that it tickled your curiosity and that you will join us at our next event. We’ll post details here and on Facebook, so stay tuned.

We do have an extra big announcement to make!

The official launch of Girls in Tech Gibraltar will take place on the 1st of June on Sunborn.

Book the date and make sure you don’t miss it! 1st of June!

If you, your company or someone you know would like to support and sponsor Girls in Tech Gibraltar, please contact Cristina at cristina.turbatu@girlsintech.org.

As usual, any questions you have for us, get in touch. We love to hear from you!

Until next time,

Girls in Tech Gibraltar

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