GIRL GEEK SCOTLAND MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Belinda Love
Tel: +44(0)7850 565 819
Leading Scottish firms sign up to Girl Geek Scotland’s ‘Declaration Of Support For Women In Technology’
Melissa Highton (The University of Edinburgh Learning Teaching and Web Services), Jock Millican (LINC Scotland), Morna Simpson (GGS), Katie Lyne (CivTech), Jen Paton (Administrate), Andrew Williams (Administrate), Chris Brind (Waracle and Exception), Dr Jamie Graves (ZoneFox), Jane Grant (Edinburgh College), Issy Urquahart (Craneware), Jessica Mullen (Create Future). Photo credit: Girl Geek Scotland.
ZoneFox, Craneware, and The University of Edinburgh Learning, Teaching and Web Services amongst inaugural supporters
Leading digital technology network Girl Geek Scotland has launched a new Declaration Of Support For Women In Technology with backing from LINC Scotland, Administrate, Skyscanner, Create Future, & Waracle and Exception.
The new Declaration aims to improve equality in IT across Scotland. Currently only 18% of the Scottish IT workforce is female – impacting not only workplaces around the country but also the economy.
Morna Simpson, founder of Girl Geek Scotland, said:
“While 50/50 gender balance may not be possible, having only 18% of the IT industry being female is something that is holding Scotland back. It needs to change and now.”
To this end, the declaration calls for organisations to commit to:
- Sharing Best Practice: To improve working processes, culture and environment to appeal to and retain women across the digital technology ecosystem.
- Profiling Women: Either by offering speakers, mentors or role models for events across the digital technology ecosystem.
- Training for Women: Supporting and enabling the widest distribution of lifelong training and resources in digital technology sectors, sub-sectors and associated sectors across Scotland.
- Being Visible Allies: Promoting women in technology by contributing to events and supporting the widest distribution of promotional materials to inspire women to enter into or remain in digital technology sectors.
Morna Simpson thinks the stakes are too high for Scotland to get this wrong.
“Digital Technology is a growing sector in Scotland, and becoming a more important part of our economy every day. However, a global, digital Scotland will only succeed with digital talent that is globally competitive.
“Currently women only make up 18% of the Digital Technology workforce. Despite a strong education sector only 38% of women graduating from IT courses hold IT positions. If Digital Technology employers cannot find a way to attract more women into careers in tech, then the whole economy will continue to be constrained by lack of digital expertise.
“If Scotland is to achieve its ambition of becoming a world-class digital nation by 2020, it is essential that employers and organisations across the Digital Technology ecosystem commit to and collaborate in making the Digital Technology sector appeal to and retain women.”
With the Declaration comes a call to working with those who are sincere about improving Scotland’s opportunities. Morna Simpson said:
“We are respected in the community and well connected with investors, businesses, politicians and other organisations. As well as holding world-class panel events, we hold coding classes, hackathons, and run a mentoring community. These activities are part of an integrated programme whereby people are given the inspiration, skills, practice, and business advice needed to launch a startup business in digital tech. They enable movement up the pipeline; they enable entry into a technology career from another sector, but more importantly they are designed with women in mind.”
It is on the back of this activity that Girl Geek Scotland recently won a tender to deliver a Role Model and Mentoring Framework in Digital Technology for School Aged Girls across Scotland, on behalf of Skills Development Scotland.
The first organisations to sign the Declaration are:
Jock Millican of LINC Scotland said:
“LINC Scotland is happy to support the Declaration as we think it is important to support women in technology and enterprise. We have a growing number of female led technology businesses in our portfolio including from our Equity Gap: Leah Hutcheon at Appointedd, Alison Grieve at GHold, and Rebecca Pick at Pick Protection.”
Chris Martin, CEO of Waracle said:
“I’m proud to be part of the technology industry – this is an industry that has potential to give all people an equal chance to succeed. I believe technology is inherently liberal and diverse, but it’s not yet 100%, and I hope Girl Geek Scotland can help our sector realise its full potential, while at the same time serve as a role model for diversity in more traditional industries. Our whole company is delighted to support Girl Geek Scotland.”
Melissa Highton, Assistant Principal and Director at The University of Edinburgh Learning, Teaching and Web Services said:
“The University of Edinburgh is committed to encouraging women working in technology roles. All parts of higher education are being transformed by digital services and new ways of learning and teaching. Our support for Girl Geek Scotland is a valuable part of our approach to this and recognition of the many and varied careers emerging in these new exciting areas.”
Issy Urquhart of Craneware said:
“Craneware is thrilled to support Girl Geek Scotland in its efforts to further diversity in the technology community. Girl Geek Scotland’s mission to drive diversity and creativity in high growth sectors is a mission we wholeheartedly share.”
Belinda Love of Girl Geek Scotland said:
“Girl Geek Scotland has become well known for supporting women in technology, digital media, and enterprise – as well as many crossover sectors and sub-sectors – and our Declaration has formalised and focused our four key aims. Organisations that support us will be showing that they align with these values, which we have seen in our network and community can inspire life-changing effects. We are very grateful to the organisations who have subscribed to our Declaration from the outset, their support will really help us achieve our goals.”
If your organisation is interested in signing the Declaration for Supporting Women in Technology you can sign and subscribe here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/supportggs
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
Launch images are available – FOR MEDIA AND SUBSCRIBER USE ONLY – for download here: https://gallery.girlgeekscotland.com/#collection/14
High resolution Girl Geek Scotland logos are available for download here: https://gallery.girlgeekscotland.com/#collection/5
Support badges are available – FOR MEDIA AND SUBSCRIBER USE ONLY – for download here: https://gallery.girlgeekscotland.com/#collection/2
General GGS event images available – FOR MEDIA USE ONLY – for download here: https://gallery.girlgeekscotland.com/#collection/7
Note to media: Morna Simpson can be reached for comment on 07533329507 and email@example.com
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GIRL GEEK SCOTLAND:
Girl Geek Scotland (GGS) is a network and community for women working with Creativity, Computing and Enterprise, and related sectors in Scotland. GGS aims to develop a network of women, who are able to support each other at entry-level and throughout their careers, working at the intersection between these areas.
Now home to over 18,000 students from over 100 countries, we first welcomed 800 students as Napier Technical College in 1964. However our story goes back to the time of John Napier, the brilliant sixteenth century mathematician and philosopher from whom we take our name. When you come to Edinburgh Napier University, you’ll study at one of our six specialist schools. Each of our schools is an impressive institution in its own right, with world-class facilities, academics, researchers and international links.
Bright Red Triangle (BRT) offers a comprehensive set of professional/personal development activities for students and graduates in partnership with key stakeholders within and beyond Edinburgh Napier. Our focus is on improving the enterprise skills and employability of our students and graduates while instilling them with an entrepreneurial mindset. We offer business incubation services, paid consultancy experience as well as design thinking and design your future courses to our current and past students.
LINC Scotland is the national association for business angels in Scotland, with a membership which includes many active individual investors and most of the main angel groups or syndicates. We represent our members at government level in Edinburgh, London and Brussels and were founding members of both the European Business Angels Association (EBAN) and the World Business angels Association (WBAA). Since 1993, we have played a significant and active part in changing the business culture in Scotland and the Scottish business angel marketplace is now recognised as amongst the most developed in Europe.