Diversity in the tech world

Our ethos here at KETL is to share our learning so this blog is all about our efforts to improve the diversity of our own workforce in the hope that it can inform the wider debate in our industry. Have a look at the case study on adopting a diversity strategy from Project Include.

Inspiration

I want to start off by thanking the amazing network of women’s groups in Bristol and especially founders of the Women’s Tech Hub, Serrie-Justine Chapman and Constance Fleuriot. Bristol is such a great place for tech companies, start-ups and innovation in general. Read Serrie’s blog posts on helping women in the tech industry to re-skill.

I met Serrie-Justine and Constance at Girl Geek Dinners, where we can network and learn about the incredible work that women are doing in our City, from 3D printing, Agile development to data hackathons. One of our regular discussions is how we can improve the diversity of the workspace in areas such as programming, engineering and software design. Drawing on those discussions I have been working with our MD here at KETL, Ian Cray, to be more creative in the way that we recruit new team members.

Learning City

At a recent Girl Geek Dinners event for Digital Bristol I was on a panel of women working in the tech industry and it was clear that many of us had taken a varied journey to reach the work we do now. The common theme amongst the women panellists though was the willingness to learn new skills.

I must also acknowledge how lucky we are as a growing consultancy to be based in Bristol with its vibrant tech and digital scene and the fabulous universities that we have in our region. Innovation and start-up mentality is rife in Bristol  – it truly is a learning City at all levels.

Being curious

We know that our data consultants have to work in a complex way working on concurrent projects that are often very different from each other. It is clear to us that the skillsets that we need to grow our company are not defined (or confined) by particular qualifications. We want curious people who are willing to learn new skills as our industry develops.

Opportunity

So we have decided not just to train our own team members but also to widen out those learning opportunities to anybody who is considering making a move into the world of data management and data analytics. We are going to start a series of introductory workshops that will give the curious an opportunity to dip their toe into the waters of data software development and see if it is for them.

We are going to start with our key data management tool Talend. Participants on the workshop will follow through a fictitious case study and the focus for this workshop will be on using the tool to improve data quality.

More profitable

It isn’t just about doing good. A more diverse workforce makes more money for your company too. Companies that focus on creating a balance of people throughout their organisation are also more likely to meet the needs of their customer base by avoiding narrow thinking.

Workshop format

Our series of workshops will begin in July and we will offer evening sessions for small groups. If you would like to register your interest in the workshops then please email me and with details of your availability and your areas of interest. Participants must have their own laptop and be able to have access to it between the workshops for homework! 

The workshops will not require prior knowledge of any particular toolset but participants must have a curiosity and an interest in working with data. We anticipate that the workshops will run over 3 weeks with 3 sessions each 2 hours long. The course will use the community version of Talend and participants can download the tool to practice between the workshop sessions.

 

Many thanks.

Helen Woodcock

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