“Whiskey — I Bet You Didn’t Think I Would Be Starting With That.”

Live from London, #WeAreTechWomen Conference 2018 begins its series of electives, supported by role model #WomenInTech.

“My knowledge of whiskey was doubted because I’m a woman — and Australian!”

Hayley Sudbury opened her workshop with reference to a situation that we, all women, are unfortunately all too familiar with. She attended a Scottish wedding recently and when she ordered a whiskey, her knowledge and ability to judge a good one was questioned by a male peer.

You’ll be pleased to know that he apologised the next day but Hayley makes a good point — the questioning of women’s capabilities is all too common, and furthermore, without declaring our expertise, how do others gauge what we are good at?

“There is now a pressure on companies to look and behave differently.”

Hayley’s organisation, Werkin, uses technology to foster inclusivity and diversity. She recognises in this new age, where ethical practice is demanded by consumers, no company wants to be ‘the next headline’ for failing to create an inclusive work environment. Setting baselines and KPIs is the best way to measure, and thus sustain progress.

“John might be a good ally but he can only practice that if women’s expertise are visible.”

Hayley was sick of hearing that there are no women at the top — aren’t we all. She advocates bosses thinking about how they support women’s professional journeys. There are more CEOs of big companies named John than there are female CEOs. Her workshop certainly got me thinking about how John can be an ‘active sponsor’ of diversity.


Written by ACG for WeAreTechWomen.

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