Effective CVs

Even if you’re not actively seeking a new job, it’s a good idea to keep your CV up-to-date, accurate and in good shape! You never know when it might be useful (internal promotions, volunteer or charity opportunities) and it’s handy to keep it updated as you go.

Our events are relaxed, fun and friendly. Whether you are already working in a tech role, or just thinking about it, you’ll find wonderful people to support, inspire and advise you.

We’re delighted to have a range of fantastic speakers comnig along to our next event to share their top tips with you on how to create a really effective CV, thinking about whether…

  • your CV is working as hard for you as it could
  • you’re getting the interviews you think you should, or is there a risk the ‘recruitment robots’ could be blocking you
  • it really represents you, or could it apply to anyone
  • it’s full of buzzwords!
  • people are getting what you want them to get from it
  • if you’re changing sector or role, you can best highlight the skills you’re bringing with you

Our panel ranges from Tech Recruiters to Technical Managers, and they’ll share their wisdom how to make your CV as strong as possible, making you stand out from the crowd and more likely to get the roles you want.

And as always, we’ll have small breakout groups where you really get a chance to meet other attendees and share and listen to your own challenegs and ideas.

Thanks to the generosity of our hosts and amazing business hosts and our volunteers, the event is free to attend, but with limited spaces. Please make sure you can attend if you sign up for a ticket to make sure we make the most of these sessions.

ARTICLE: Girls’ Toys: why so pink?

By Belinda Love, Feb 2014


Recently, Mattel launched ‘Entrepreneur Barbie’ at the American International Toy Fair in New York.

Clad in a hot Mattel-pink businessy wiggle dress, and accessorising with her essential entrepreneurial tools of a smartphone and tablet, this forms part of Barbie’s “I Can Be” career line launched in 2010 in an effort to show and encourage up-to-date careers for women. The range has also included computer engineer, president, and astronaut.

I’m baffled as to whether I like the idea or not. I think I’m fifty-fifty?

I like the acknowledgment that women can play a significant role in business, and have the same ability as men to spark new, creative and profitable concepts and products. I like the fact there are four ethnicities, and I even like the fact that I, personally have a business frock, smartphone, tablet (er…and handbag and heels etc) – perhaps one of the first times a career-related Barbie I don’t feel I have to work too hard to achieve (such as owning my own riding stables, veteranary surgery, or …rocket ship?).


But, good grief I do wish her ankles looked more stable! Like the project this lovely artist worked on to show a more realistic Barbie doll: http://www.demilked.com/barbie-as-standard-woman


Apparently our dear Barbie has had over 150 jobs in her time-irrelevant life. I know she’s immortal (and fictional) but is there actually a University course Barbie?

<quickly searches>

Oh…I see: http://www.barbiecollector.com/collection/university-barbie-dolls


…well at least she’s not exclusively in PINK I guess. And at least this is some evidence that she spent SOME time in a course of study before embarking on all these career paths.


While doing my masters at University, one of the assessments on my course of study was to conduct and deliver a market anaylsis on a particular film audience market. I didn’t have an immediate idea as to which market I would analyse, until someone suggested watching the boxset of Legally Blonde I and II. Not, my normal cup-of-tea, but I was assured it was a must-watch from a critical perspective. By the Gods I thought it was awful. Laughable even. In fact I belly-laughed a lot. But in the same way I burst out laughing when I first saw the Spice Girls ‘Wannabe’ video, or Britney Spears’ ‘Oops I did It Again’ video. As I quickly realised that they weren’t in fact jokes or spoofs, they were in fact genuine, and moreover…EXTREMELY popular. A-ha! I had found my market to analyse; and delivered a suitably artistically scathing report; but nevertheless accurate, respectful and admiring of its impressively high numbers and market bouyancy. Just for added irony, I handed it in on PINK paper scented with Coco Chanel. It just gave it that little something…extra (for any Legally Blonde fans out there).


We know that Barbie has always had a thing for PINK don’t we? Terrifyingly though when I think of ladies with a rather significant penchant for PINK, I don’t see a whole bunch of difference between exhibit A and exhibit B below:

Or for example this stupid lady (no really…I wasn’t just being mean – she actually WANTS to be stupider): http://metro.co.uk/2014/02/19/barbie-doll-fan-has-hypnotherapy-to-make-her-brainless-like-her-icon-4310750

(Dear Lady, I’m concerned your next moves might be to have your nipples removed, sew up your foo, or even try to have yourself hollowed out.) (By the way, Barbie’s jugs are not that big – by quite a lot).


But what, for the love of the whole frigging colour spectrum, is the recent obsession toy manufacturers have with moving more and more products to PINK, just for girls (supposably), – all about? Exhibit C here shows that we have now been allocated OUR OWN bricks (presumably because we were having too much fun with the boys’ ones and they wanted them back?), and Exhibit D shows that even our own gender-conventional toys have been given a PINKover (I’m sure I had a brown pram, and it was fine, and it was made better).


One of my own personal favourite toys (one of the few I had that wasn’t a piece of string or a lump of coal [crofter]) was this epic toy which gave me YEARS of entertainment (and was also really well made):

I ALWAYS wanted some LEGO of my very own, and STAR WARS toys of course. But I had to go visit my male friends to play with theirs – look at this fantastic 80s ad for LEGO (that’s what I’m talking about – that was pretty much me, only wearing MUCH MORE BROWN).

And here she is now: http://www.themarysue.com/girl-in-old-lego-ad

I’ve heard of specific compalints about LEGO recently from parents, and indeed from little ladies themselves: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/31/7-year-old-letter-to-lego_n_4682874.html | http://www.standard.co.uk/comment/lucy-tobin-forget-pink-lego-for-girls–just-let-toys-be-toys-9128078.html

Some folks have taken issue with the number of or portrayal of female characters in the otherwise five star rated “The LEGO Movie”: http://www.hypable.com/2014/02/23/pieces-what-the-lego-movie-taught-me-about-toys-and-equality

And there’s even talk of a smaller pinker girlier version of the movie: http://www.newsbiscuit.com/2014/02/22/slightly-smaller-and-pink-version-of-lego-movie-announced (they’ve actually got a job title called “Head of Marketing and Gender Separation”?)


Some might say it is the resposibility of the parents who purchase the toys. But not all parents are taking this sitting down: http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-toy-companies-our-girls-deserve-better-choices-than-princess

The GoldieBlox toy company has deliberately run with this edge and wants to “show the world that girls deserve more choices than dolls and princesses”:


But could this all have started out with the best of intentions? Logically speaking, perhaps the toy companies were trying to widen interest in more unconventional play, career and life interests for girls by tempting them with pink versions?:

Look GIRLS! It’s LEGO! Did you know YOU could build too! And we’ve popped it in a handy large massive PINK brick for you (because we know how you like to be organised and stylish)

Look GIRLS! Just think! You too can be a musician and play outrageous instruments like the DRUMS (see how we’ve made it pink so you know it’s ok?)

Have you seriously thought about the potential of a career in agriculture? Don’t write off farming just yet (look see? And the pig poo wipes off a treat)

Amelia Earhart. Just saying!

Geekdom isn’t just for boy geeks too! (Look how more female friendly Darth and Halo person look now they’re doused in PINK)

Good news Girls! You can also use an offensive weapon! (See how we’ve cleverly doused one in PINK so you know which one you should have?)


[I have no cheeky caption for this – what the smeg?]


Are we being too hard on PINK? Here’s a few REALLY COOL PINK THINGS just to make up for all the pink bashing:




Articles/ links on PINK toys topic:

The Telegraph: “Now’s the time to end the boys’ and girls’ toys gender divide”

– “In the run up to Christmas now’s the time to drop the damaging “blue for boys, pink for girls” toyshop nonsense and for children’s retailers to join the 21st century argues”. Eleanor Muffitt, Dec 2013: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/10498316/Nows-the-time-to-end-the-boys-and-girls-toys-gender-divide.html

Independent: “Gender-neutral toys: Why dressing your daughter in pink ‘damages the future of our economy'”
– “Jenny Willott MP and Labour’s Chi Onwurah explain why limiting children’s play may impact their future career choices and hurt British industry”. Felicity Morse, Feb 2014: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/genderneutral-toys-why-dressing-your-daughter-in-pink-damages-the-future-of-our-economy-9111397.html

MyLifetime.com: “Lego Sets For Girls – Cheap Shot Or Good Idea?”http://moms.mylifetime.com/parenting/blog/lego-sets-girls-cheap-shot-or-good-idea

Mylifetime.com: “This Goldieblox Video Proves That Girls Want More Than Just Pink Toys”: http://moms.mylifetime.com/in-the-news/this-goldieblox-video-proves-that-girls-want-more-than-just-pink-toys

Msmagazine.com: “Kids Toys More Gendered Than Ever”: http://msmagazine.com/blog/2013/06/05/kids-toys-more-gendered-than-ever

Daily Mail: “Pink Stinks: Parents Urged To Boycott Shops That Sell ‘Sexist’ Toys For Girls”. Sophie Freeman, Dec 2009: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1233779/Parents-urged-boycott-pink-toys-Minister-backs-boycott-shops-sell-sexist-toys-girls.html

Zeldalily.com: “Young Kids Defy Gender’s Color Association”. Nicole Breanne, Jan 2012: http://zeldalily.com/index.php/2012/01/young-feminists

Zeldalily.com: “A Rethink On Pink Toys For Girls’ Christmas Presents In 2010?”. Amy Allen, Dec 2010: http://zeldalily.com/index.php/2010/12/a-rethink-on-pink-toys-for-girls-christmas-presents-in-2010

Mom-101.com: “Toy companies: Please please please stop ignoring what girls really want. (Hint: it’s not always pink.)”: http://mom-101.com/2014/02/toy-companies-ignoring-what-girls-want-pink-aisle.html

Iilsugar.com: “6 Classic Toys That Have Made the Switch to Pink”: Rebecca Gruber, Nov 2013:



Articles on Entrepreneur Barbie launch:

Forbes: “Mattel’s Latest Affront To Little Girls: Entrepreneur Barbie”. Clare O’Connor, Feb 2014: http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2014/02/19/mattels-latest-affront-to-little-girls-entrepreneur-barbie

Techcrunch: “Entrepreneurship Barbie Isn’t A Bad Idea Actually”. Alexia Tsotsis, Feb 2014: http://techcrunch.com/2014/02/19/keep-calm-and-love-math

Entrepreneur: “Introducing Entrepreneur Barbie”. Linda Lacina, Feb 2014: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231590

Time: “New ‘Entrepreneur Barbie’ Proves That the Perfect Work/Life Balance Is Just a Tiny Tablet Away (An entrepreneur of what, exactly?)”. Jessica Roy, Feb 2014: http://newsfeed.time.com/2014/02/18/new-entrepreneur-barbie-proves-that-the-perfect-worklife-balance-is-just-a-tiny-tablet-away/#ixzz2uEUKVpzw

Daily Mail: “New Entrepreneur Barbie featuring a tiny tablet and smartphone aims to be the ‘chief inspiration officer’ to modern girls”: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2562382/New-Entrepreneur-Barbie-featuring-tiny-tablet-smartphone-aims-chief-inspiration-officer-modern-girls.html#ixzz2uEV9AnJ5

Business Insider: “The Newest Barbie Is An Entrepreneur With A Tiny Tablet And Smartphone”. Hayley Peterson, Feb 2014: http://www.businessinsider.com/entrepreneur-barbie-debuts-with-tiny-tablet-2014-2#ixzz2uEW9ryXF



Allureworkshop.org: “Want to look like Barbie? Think again…”. Aug, 2012: http://allureworkshop.org/wanna-look-like-barbie

Elitedaily.com: “14 Lessons To Learn From Barbie”http://elitedaily.com/women/14-lessons-to-learn-from-barbie

Themarysue.com: “Mattel Exec Defends Barbie’s Unrealistic Proportions, Says They Don’t Affect Girls’ Body Image”. Rebecca Pahle, Feb 2014: http://www.themarysue.com/mattel-exec-barbie-proportion

Blackdollcollecting.blogspot.co.uk: “Happy 30th Anniversary Black Barbie (or 29th)…”: http://blackdollcollecting.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/happy-30th-anniversary-black-barbie-or.html

Blackdollcollecting.blogspot.co.uk: “Barbie Basics From Ebony To White”http://blackdollcollecting.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/barbie-basics-from-ebony-to-white.html

Dailybri.com: “The Naked Truth: Barbie Without Makeup”http://www.dailybri.com/2013/04/15/the-naked-truth-barbie-without-makeup

Dailybri.com: “What Barbite Looks Like In Fat”http://www.dailybri.com/2014/01/07/what-barbie-looks-like-in-fat

Start Up Your Digital Career with Interconnect | 29 January 2014

Women in IT wanted to attend an Interconnect event on 29th January to network with students. Can you help?

‘Start Up Your Digital Career’ is being held on Wednesday 29th January at the Informatics Forum, University of Edinburgh. This event is being held in conjunction with Harvey Nash Scotland staff who will deliver an interactive workshop for students from 11am-12:45pm covering topics such as CVs, interviews and networking.

We are looking for women working in IT to participate in a networking lunch with students from 12:45 until 2pm. This will give students an opportunity to practice their networking skills and to hear about your experience working in technology.

If you would like to support women studying computing and are available from 12:45pm until 2pm on 29th January we would love to hear from you.

Please contact Cheryl Cairns at c.cairns@napier.ac.uk for further information and to register.

Looking for a Job in the USA? You’re Hired!

I’ve just discovered an interesting new site called Hired. It is very simple. It connects talent in the technology sector with employers in the USA.

At the moment it seems very small, but already has UX and UI Designers, Product Managers, Project Managers, Software Engineers, and Data Scientists. It also claims you will get between 5 and 15 offers in one week from some of the 700+ employers who have already signed up.

While Scotland provides a rich startup ecology it has very few multi-facing software products that have developed scale without US investment. There are a few very exciting products in Scotland that could be described as up and coming… and that nets a few jobs for skilled workers in this field.

Some of my friends have managed to net a US job remotely. However, that is rare and they developed innovative and provoking self-publicising schemes which on one occasion made the front page of Hacker News. It’s true that there is no shortage of Technology roles, and because the sector is so fast moving employers are finding these roles hard to fill… but what happens when you have an idea for an innovative software product and you want to develop a start up business? This will be very hard.

Scottish Enterprise has criteria for High Growth that expects around £400K in 3 years. This pushes some early startups, looking for support, to grasp at unrealistic goals for Exit. Most software startups, and particularly multi-facing products simply take longer to go through the early startup and development phase. Multi-facing products also generally take a large investment to develop their early market foothold.

Heidi Roizen recently told an audience of Girl Geeks, that when she invests in this kind of product, she expects to develop a relationship with her young business over a period of 10 years. So the mindset for investment in this type of product is quite different in the USA. The “£3-5 (million) in 3-5 (years)” mentality of the Scottish investment scene is killing young software companies.

Finding the right investor with the right experience and enough financial clout while fitting within the Scottish Enterprise eligibility guidelines is almost impossible. Scotland simply has not got the track record of supporting this kind of product beyond early start up phase.

I don’t doubt that we will see a number of young Scottish companies hopping over the Atlantic for investment in the near future. In the meantime, I’m quite excited to see how this new multi-facing software product develops and if it can offer some Scottish talent, new work opportunities, that are just too hard to get in Scotland.


Be in the Driving Seat of Your Own Career

Thursday 5th December  

5:30pm for a 6pm start

JP Morgan

200 St Vincent Street

G2 5SG

JP Morgan sponsors “Be in the Driving Seat of Your Own Career” an event aimed at females working in the technology industry across Scotland. 

How fulfilled are you in your life and career? What would you attempt to do, if you knew you could not fail?
It’s time to tackle the internal barriers that might be holding you back from a richer, more satisfying life and career – whether that’s in your current job or a new one.

Hear from our inspirational key note speakers:

Maggie Scullion, Business & Technology Consultant – Oil & Gas Sector

Maggie has held positions at CIO level across large-scale organisations in both the oil & gas and construction sectors for many years. Maggie will deliver an insightful talk on her own career journey and explore how a technology career can mean many things to many people. How now, working as an independent consultant allows her to combine business and technology roles. In addition Maggie will share some of the methods she uses to remain in the driving seat of her own career.

Kirsty Baker, CEO & Founder, The Firefly Group

Kirsty is an empowering leader , a thought-provoking catalyst for change and a unique creator of strategic partnerships. By founding Firefly in 2011, Kirsty has a proven track-record of enabling others to achieve the clarity, insight, and momentum they need to take a clear step toward individual and organisational change. Kirsty will support you in identifying where you get to in your own way and in taking steps to move forward in the direction you choose. Could it be that 2014 is the start of the next phase of your career?


Q & A Panel Discussion

Following the above sessions, we will host a Q&A panel discussion which will also include Polly Purvis, Chief Executive of ScotlandIS. The trade body for the information and communications technologies (ICT) industry, Scotland IS represents around 200 software, telecoms, IT and creative technologies businesses throughout Scotland’ to read ‘The trade body for the digital technologies industry, ScotlandIS represents over 270 software, telecoms, IT and digital agencies throughout Scotland.


The event will conclude with some time for networking with drinks and canapés. 

Spaces are limited, please be sure to register your attendance as soon as possible by emailing ashley.hutton@jpmorgan.com