Girl Geek Scotland (GGS) has been developing world-class educational and networking experiences for women in Digital Technologies since 2008. In February 2016, we relaunched with Napier University, Red Triangle, as our parent organisation. Red Triangle offers support in legal issues, insurances, and acounts, ensuring our charitable status, and ability to tender for funding.
We see the engagement of women in technology as being critical to the competitiveness of this sector, and to the development of our economy. As such we keep abreast of the research in this sector (e.g. the work coming out of Clayman Institute at Stanford, gender and cultural studies such as the research by Deborah Tannen. and leaders in industry and popular culture such as Dawn Forsters “Lean Out”), and have engaged with EU research and policy development through public engagement at National and International conferences (e.g. Winnet8 2010), as well as the recent research “Tackling the Technology Gender Gap Together” carried out by Napier University in 2016.
Our programme has always had a strong entrepreneurial thread and have invited high profile guests from around the world to take part in our panel events. We have worked specifically in the area of “Creativity, Computing and Enterprise” since 2009, attracting global thought leaders to our events as panel guests. In 2010 we ran the very successful “Silcon Valley Speaker Series” which paired speakers from our own community with very high profile women from Silicon Valley. The same year we raised £85,000 to run our “Women In Enterprise, Workshops” which invited 45 women to participate in weekend long, immersive workshops to develop a initial business plan and introduce them to the funding pipeline. By the end of the 3rd workshop 17 women had registered their business. In 2013 we ran a panel session with Silicon Valley heavy weights Heidi Roizen, Karen White, Anne Winblad, and Wendy Lea, and we invited Suzanne Doyle Morris (now at the InclusIQ Institute) to interview our guests.
This experience means that we have developed a good deal of expertise in developing the context and content for women in Digital Technology and especially those in the startup community. Our community includes Developers at the hard end of the spectrum, but also associated roles from across the technology sector, including softer skills. Our mission to support a broad spectrum, and include creative skillsets, is useful as a marketing strategy to women who tend to identify as creative; in developing the sharing of knowledge across a broad spectrum of interests; in encouraging women from different career backgrounds to understand the breadth of roles available, and to encourage more engagement of women in startup initiatives.
We have a good reputation across the entire ecosystem. We have developed strong relationships with many universities, startup incubators, public sector organisations SMEs, corporates, 3rd sector and charitable organisations. We are well known to the many meetups that are now available and contribute to the techinscot-organisers mailing list, a subgroup for leaders of meetups, where we share best practice.
- To engage and develop a network of women, who are able to support each other at entry-level, and throughout their careers, working at the intersection between “creativity, computing and enterprise”.
- To inform and support the technology sector in developing working practices and environments that are attractive to women, making the best of the talent that Scotland has to offer.
- To become a world-leader in providing learning opportunities for women in this sector through short-courses, hackathons, mentoring, and panel events.
- To inspire and initiate new business; and to provide clear sign-posting for women requiring support of all kinds for start-up ventures.
- To support the development of a thriving technology sector, and a flourishing start-up scene, making a positive contribution to Scotlands economy.
- To create a repository of world-class online learning resources, through careful structuring and recording of our events, and the extraction of key learnings for our community and the larger global community, thus promoting Scotland’s tech sector to the wider world.