Last Friday (20th November) I had the awesome opportunity to attend the Relaunch event at IBM South Bank for Girls who Can – a community within IBM‘s Foundation who help inspire women in the workplace. The event was to celebrate the group’s rebranding and help get new foundation IBMers involved and was a great success!
Although the situation is gradually improving, women are still greatly outnumbered by men in the IT workplace. IBM is known for greatly supporting equality in the workplace and works hard to ensure that its workplace is somewhere everyone can feel supported and have equal opportunities.
Girls Who Can is all about ensuring that people feel supported and inspired in the workplace-. ‘Our purpose is to provide motivating material, exciting events and strong networking opportunities’.
The relaunch event was composed of an inspiring series of talks from women who are having highly successful careers at IBM (and in once case had moved on from IBM). Each speaker has their own stories to tell and shared with us their challenges and accomplishments.
The speakers at the event included;
- Software Business Unit Executive, IBM Security UKI
- Vice President Marketing, Communications & Citizenship IBM UK & Ireland
- External Speaker – Multichannel Architect at Capgemini
- Associate Partner & Executive Information Architect – GBS Business Analytics & Strategy
- IOT Services Leader Europe
Along with their career stories, each speaker also offered their ‘top tips’. These were great pieces of advice, such as ‘Network. Be open to opportunities’, ‘Know your brand. Live up to your brand’ and ‘Find out what’s hot, Knock on doors, consciously network & Always do something extra’. As a new IBMer- it was brilliant to hear this advice and from people who had faced similar challenges to what we were embarking on!
There were also some cool facts about women’s impact on the IT world. These included Ada Lovelace and how she was the ‘world’s first computer programmer’ and Grace Hopper who wrote the first compiler! It was great to have it reaffirmed that women are a big part of the IT world.
The event was then wrapped up with more inspiring words and a strong message to network, network, network and drinks over at Topolski! I left the event feeling keen to get in contact with some of the speakers and glad I now knew about such a great community within IBM.
Thanks a lot for a brilliant event (and some delicious cake!) Girls Who Can– I look forwards to attending more in the future!
~Ruth, Technical Consultant @IBM