On June 25th and 26th, we attended the Women of Silicon Roundabout 2019 Conference. Women of Silicon Roundabout is the flagship event hosted by Women in Technology with over 6,000 attendees and streams of conversation that were broken down into three core areas—Technology, Business and People. We were thrilled to be Silver sponsors of this event.
Diversity and inclusion has been a core value of Blue Prism’s since formation in 2001. Co-founders Dave Moss, CTO, and Alastair Bathgate, CEO, wanted to ingrain a positive and inclusive culture at the very beginning. So much so, that it was the collaboration with a classroom of bright young students who helped with the creation of ‘Blue Prism’s’ company name. Fast forward to the adoption of Blue Prism in some of its legacy customers, such as Co-Op Bank and Shop Direct, RPA was championed at the time by leading females within the respective companies. Diversity and inclusion therefore lies at the very heart of our company, and as market creators we want to ensure that as the industry grows, matures and develops, that we are supporting all those that contribute to its success.
The opening keynote, delivered by Baroness Karren Brady, set the tone for the two days. Both inspiring and motivating, Karren described how she travelled down a “beaten path” for women in the boardroom 25 years ago in the sports arena, which like Technology, is historically male dominated. Karren enlightened the audience with a story that traced back to when Brady was a mere 23 years old, when she decided to purchase a local football club having seen an advert in the newspaper. It was that decision which led Karren to be one of the most successful and respected people in business. The core message from Karren’s speech was to empower those around you; support your co-workers, lend them a hand, ‘hold the door open’ and create your successors.
A standout track and a highlight for everyone attending from Blue Prism was ‘From RPA to Intelligent Automation’. Delivered by Veronika Sokolova, the Intelligent Automation Programme Manager at BT, it was great to hear one of Blue Prism’s customers share their experience with the wider audience at Women of Silicon Roundabout. Veronika talked about BT’s automation journey and advised on how customers can move from their initial deployment to those at scale. We were proud to witness that our customers are investing in driving more women into the RPA marketplace, supporting the wider diversity and inclusion agenda.
Key themes throughout the two days included matters such as increasing the number of young girls studying STEM subjects in school, the worry of women returning to work after a break and the role of men in bringing women into technology. The event reminded everyone attending of the huge progress that’s been made across industries, sharing the success stories was a wonderful thing to hear. However, it was also a realisation that a need for such awareness is still required. Statistics shared included that women account for only 17% of the UK workforce in technology and only 5% of the leadership positions in technology are held by women.
The WOSR event was an incredible day and I was grateful to have the opportunity to network with such amazing and empowering women. I found the talks to be inspiring, with many topics being discussed and some of which I hadn’t really thought about until that day!
It was good to see just as many men there in support of the great work that women are doing within technology, and how they themselves can become better mentors and leaders within their own organisations.
- Isabelle Holland, Business Development @ Blue Prism
Blue Prism Women in RPA stands to empower, champion and celebrate all those within our network. We hope to demonstrate an inclusive environment without barriers to entry in the RPA market and encourage those who are interested in RPA, or looking for a career change, to consider all roles available to you in this market. We’re proud of the network we have created and ask you to join us on this journey.