Culture in tech: Liverpool Girl Geeks gather to discuss diversity What makes for a healthy and diverse company culture? That was the topic of conversation at last night’s (12 June) Liverpool Girl Geeks Women in Tech meet-up, which took place at The Lead Agency. The good, the bad and the ugly of Silicon Valley’s Bro Culture was discussed as part of a panel discussion. Recent reports of sexism and a widening gender gap in California’s tech heartland have been big news in recent months, so it was the perfect time to discuss how organisations can build more inclusive cultures. Our recently appointed brand manager Keith Price was on the panel alongside Deborah Chapman, head of reward, pensions and diversity at Shop Direct; Jane Fitzmaurice, resource partner at Auto Trader; and Mando account manager Leyla Kee-McParlin; while Liverpool Girl Geek director Jo Morfee was on hand to host. Value-led organisations The panellists spoke of the importance of creating organisations with purpose and authentic values that are entrenched in everything they do – including how staff are recruited, inducted and rewarded. They also referenced initiatives that are having a positive impact within their organisations such as wellbeing centres, diversity and inclusion sessions, balanced working environments and perks, and leadership built on trust rather than fear. Bridging the skills gap Another area of discussion was the skills gap that exists within the industry. As our sector expands, the demand for talent will continue to outstrip the supply – both here and around the world – so attracting young men and women to embark on tech careers is essential for making progress. The panellists referenced the importance of tech companies taking individual responsibility for creating strong, inclusive cultures as well as the need to come together to promote the opportunities that exist within the sector. Commitment to culture Organisations like Liverpool Girl Geeks are making huge strides to tackling this important issue and each of the companies on the panel are demonstrating their commitment to making culture a priority. At The Lead Agency, we are proud to have women in all departments across the business – including development, design and UX, digital marketing and sales – many of whom have arrived via apprenticeship schemes with local universities. We’d like there to be more – as well as people from different backgrounds. Building a diverse team with different perspectives is vital for the creativity and innovation our industry lives on. As well as Keith’s arrival earlier this year, we’re recruiting for a HR manager and will soon announce a new in-house recruitment manager. These three roles will play a huge role in supporting the board and management team in developing a culture that attracts, nurtures and supports the very best talent. Visit the Liverpool Girl Geeks website for more information about their mission and other events in their calendar.