Witty Careers is a women in tech community fuelled by a passion to make tech more inclusive and see more women succeed in the industry.

I enjoy solving problems and coming up with solutions. Starting my career as a software engineer gave me an opportunity to do what I enjoy for a living. As my career in tech progressed, I noticed a recurring problem: women in tech are underrepresented, especially black women. I reflected on my experiences and wondered if there was any correlation between these experiences and the diversity issues I observed. I usually picked up on the following:

  • There were not enough visible role models - tech events did not have enough female speakers and panellists.
  • Tech felt like a “black box” to a lot of people - if you were not already from a technical background, there were hardly any opportunities to learn practical skills needed for jobs in tech.
  • Career events didn’t have enough diverse people attending - it appeared to be difficult to engage a varied audience. I was often the only woman of colour at tech career events.

As I spent more time thinking about how to improve diversity in tech, I decided it was time to make it my responsibility to help solve it.

Virgin Unite, BHM, WItty Careers

I started Witty Careers to improve the representation of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) women in the UK Tech industry. Our women In tech community equips women with the skills needed to succeed in the tech industry and provides access to tech careers. In 2018, we collaborated with Pivotal, Microsoft, Uber and EY to run quarterly workshops. We’ve invited over 400 Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) women interested in learning about jobs in tech to our events. 

Witty Careers is run by a team of women working in tech who are passionate about paying it forward and helping other women join the industry. At our events, we have representation of BME women running workshops such as mobile app UX design and start up skills. We don’t want our events to be just “inspirational”, we ensure they are practical by hosting them in tech companies so our community can learn about careers opportunities. So our mission is twofold: making tech more inclusive by equipping women interested in tech with skills and also giving them access to careers.

 

Virgin Unite, BHM, Witty Careers

The journey to making Witty Careers to what it has become today has been a constant series of lessons to my younger self. It’s amazing how many life hacks you discover when you are trying to turn an idea you are passionate about into reality. 

Never count yourself out

The truth is I thought of starting a community much earlier on in my career. However, I didn’t because I initially thought the diversity in Tech issue was too big for me to help solve. I also had a voice in my head that said “What makes you think you are even qualified to do this?”. So glad I was wrong. Witty Careers has partnered with technology companies to host our events, run our own workshops and invited BME women in tech to provide practical career advice for our community. If you have an idea, my advice is to try your best to see it to fruition. Worst case scenario is that it doesn’t work out. At least, you’ll learn something new along the way!

 

Be the change you want to see

Building Witty Careers along with my team has been a fun journey so far. We regularly receive feedback about the great things women in our community have achieved after attending our events. I really wish I knew about a community like Witty Careers when I was thinking about getting my first job in tech. I can’t change the past but I can work towards changing the future! 

As Black History Month in the UK comes to an end, it’s a great time to reflect on the inspirational stories and achievements of the past and get fuelled for the future. I am really excited to see how Witty Careers continues to inspire the next generation of BME women on their journeys into tech.

- This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details. 

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