So last night, Debut held its first event of 2017 and man, it felt good to be back. Especially considering how important yesterday was not just for us, but for women around the world.
Yesterday was International Women’s Day and we couldn’t just let it go by unmarked. So, in a sequel of sorts to our epic event from last October, we got established women in tech from the likes of EY, Fujitsu, Capgemini, FDM and Cisco to meet with a room full of excited female Debutants to discuss the challenges that lay ahead for women and celebrate their achievements to this point.
— Miss Sophie (@letsdostuffs) 8 March 2017
After the companies introduced and pitched themselves to crowd, a thoughtful panel discussion ensued. The waiting audience was eager for advice about the technology sector and representatives from each brand gave their own advice on how to get there, stay there and excel as women in a male-dominated industry.
This then opened up into a Q&A session with the audience getting a mix of hard truths, earnest confessions and indispensable insights from the panel of experts.
— Debut (@DebutCareers) 8 March 2017
There were many moving moments shared between those present in the intimate setting of Debut HQ. It was pure emotion from EY’s Gulenn Tambe’s fiery speech on self-confidence to a Debutant’s story of a friend who fell pregnant in her second year of university, still attending every lecture and exam regardless. To see these seasoned veterans and fresh young faces talk about how we can better support women in their tech ambitions was a great sight to behold.
In typical Debut style, the chance came for the young women to put their knowledge to the test. A quiz took place with the top 10 participants winning a number of fabulous prizes, including virtual reality headsets and more.
At the top of that list, however, was a one-on-one meeting with one of the five huge employers present, giving a lucky few the chance to kick off their own story as a woman in the technology industry.
What did the Debutants think?
For those who didn’t get that chance, there was an opportunity to network at the end of the evening. We used it as an opportunity to catch up with some of the attendees and get their thoughts on the evening.
Jemani, a final year Physics student from Queen Mary said of the panel: ‘I experienced a lot of the same problems they went through. I was the only girl in my Physics class. So I guess if they can successfully navigate it then I can as well.’
Sylvia, a biochemistry student from Imperial was undeterred by the challenges she could potentially face, thanks to wise words from the experts. “It was really inspirational to see that these women had gone through all that and they were still working and still successful,” she said. “It made me so much less worried about that in my life.”
To top it all off, 4 people were fast-tracked directly into the selection process by the recruiters present. With so much golden advice and as many golden opportunities, Debut’s Women In Tech 2 was a can’t miss event from which young women left encouraged and empowered. Here’s to the future.
— Charlie Taylor (@CharlieatDebut) 8 March 2017