3 insights you might have missed from the 'Women in Tech: International Women's Day' event

3 insights you might have missed from the ‘Women in Tech: International Women’s Day’ event

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When COVID-19 shut down live events in 2020, theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, was one of the thousands of companies that had to pivot operations overnight.

Interviewing remotely rather than in-person opened new opportunities, and theCUBE pioneered a new format: the episodic event. As well as traveling to provide live coverage of conferences, theCUBE now produces digital events that air as episodes within ongoing seasons. This brings the community spirit to virtual streaming and allows the networking of a live event to continue after the last flight home.

“The virtualization of events allowed us to do more stories,” said theCUBE analyst John Furrier. “It’s about bringing people together, creating tribes, letting people form their own communities.”

On March 8, theCUBE launched the first in a new series celebrating diversity, equality and inclusion in technology. The “Women in Tech: International Women’s Day” event aired on the heels of theCUBE’s coverage of the Women in Data Science Worldwide Conference. Hosted by Furrier and theCUBE co-host Lisa Martin, the event was an international celebration of women in the technology industry, with speakers from countries around the globe sharing their stories of struggle and success.

In case you missed the live broadcast, here are three of the key insights from the event:

1) Creativity is important to technological innovation

The emphasis on STEM skills can create an inaccurate impression that there’s no room in technology for social scientists and artists. However, innovation is the driving force behind the technological revolution the world is currently undergoing. And many of the guests at theCUBE’s IWD event spoke on the importance of broadening the acronym to STEAM, reflecting the need for artistic skills within the tech community.

Imagination, emotional intelligence, creativity, curiosity and collaboration are all different types of tech skills and need to have an equal value placed on them, according to Sally Eaves, emergent technology chief technology officer of the Global Foundation for Cyber Studies and Research.

“Not all tech careers involve coding, and particularly with the rise of low code and no code … so many other skills are valid as well,” she told theCUBE.

IWD speaker Kawthar Al-Gallaf (pictured), who is founder and chief executive officer of Bahranian fintech startup E-Jam’ia, credits her creativity for inspiring her to become a technology entrepreneur.

“[I] think outside the box, and I see problems and gaps as an opportunity, “ she said during the event. “So, that helps me to come up with a solution that can be beneficial for everyone.”

Technology is innately creative, according to social entrepreneur Jadesola Adedeji of STEM METS Resources Ltd.

“STEM education is actually developing learning and thinking skills,” she said. “The idea is to inspire creativity and innovation … there’s always a different way to do things.”

Watch Kawthar Al-Gallaf’s interview in full below:

2) Women have become more visible in the tech workplace

There’s a saying that “you can’t be what you can’t see.” The statement indicates how male-dominated fields stay that way because girls don’t have role models that allow them to envision themselves as successful in these careers. But that saying is being changed to “she can be what she can see,” as successful women in tech speak out and actively encourage diversity in the field.

“I am a board member in technology and business society and also a member of women empowerment in the field of tech,” Al-Gallaf said.

Despite its traditionally male-oriented culture, the Middle East, and especially Bahrain, has seen a rise in women training for tech careers.

Al-Gallaf wasn’t the only female founder to participate in theCUBE’s International Women’s Day event. Adedeji founded STEM METS to bridge the STEM education gap in her home country of Nigeria.

“Myself and my co-founder were pivotal in terms of positioning ourselves as role models … showcasing to the children and the girls that we are teaching that STEM isn’t just for boys. These are live and present role models that you can aspire to be,” she said.

In all, more than 20 women joined Furrier and Martin during theCUBE’s International Women’s Day event. Each one had a unique story, but all of them are role models to inspire women of all ages to follow their technological dreams. The importance of showcasing these voices is just one small part of switching the paradigm from “girls can’t” to “girls can.”

Watch Jadesola Adedeji’s interview in full below:

3) Cybersecurity is a community problem

Data security is a critical problem for individuals and companies that are facing an alarming increase in cyberattacks and ransomware demands. Conventional wisdom holds that the way to keep data secure is to purchase technological tools and install rigid policies. But diversity is a major problem within the cybersecurity community, with the workforce 86% male, according to ISACA.

Events such as the Day of Shecurity are attempting to redress the balance by encouraging women to consider entering the cybersecurity field. However, while they are essential elements, securing society will take more than creating a diverse workforce and investing in point tools, according to Eaves.

Cybercrime is escalating into a global problem, and more is at stake than corporate secrets. Social media has enabled the spread of misinformation, remote work has created an immense and insecure attack surface, and society is splintering into opposing factions. These are core societal issues, according to Furrier.

“It’s not just code that solves them; it’s going to be solved by the community,” he said.

Diversity, equality, sustainability and awareness all play a part in creating a cyber-literate society, according to Eaves, who has a mission to spread a “contagion of positive change.”

“They aren’t separate conversations. It’s a huge crossover between these different conversations and actions that we can do to make a difference,” she said.

Watch Sally Eaves’ complete interview below, and be sure to catch up on all of theCUBE’s “Women in Tech: International Women’s Day” broadcast.

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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