Tag Archives: women

Podcast: Muki Kulhan on working with young people for #IWD2016 @mukiapproved

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We bundled Muki into the back of our cab and drove her round the block, asking her about what IWD means to her and what’s good about it.  She talks about the challenges of sexism and being judged adversely at work. But her hope for the future is rooted in her recent mentoring work with younger people including London360, Apps for Good and the BBC micro:bit.

Helen Keegan and I spent International Women’s Day interviewing women (and some men) in tech (and other sectors!) in London about their experience of gender in the workplace and where we’re at with equality. We’re releasing the audio as podcasts over the next couple of days with minimal editing. We will produce a digest of all the conversations later in the week.

 

Ada Lovelace Day

When I signed up to the pledge to write something about women in technology for the first Ada Lovelace Day, it seemed simple enough: to write about a woman in tech that I admire.

When my mother left school after a secondary modern education, she had little choice other than being a cook at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and then an assistant in Rackhams. Women of my generation had more offered to them, although girls in my sixth-form doing sciences were considered a little weird and going on to do an engineering degree was rare and remarkable. I’m very glad to say that my daughter doesn’t see such barriers. As she approaches 16, I believe she really could do anything she chose to do.

It’s been a lovely exercise, if only because it’s reminded me of how many talented women I know. I’m glad that there are so many to choose from although, as I said when I did the panel in Berlin with Suw, Steph & Janet, I’m not altogether convinced that women are invisible in tech, I understand that that’s how they feel. I also believe that the future in tech is even closer to gender equality. We’re moving into a period where archetypical feminine assets: creativity, nurturing, conversation are dominant in the most exciting areas of technological development.

The person I’d like to draw attention to is Helen Keegan – a friend for longer than she’d thank me for pointing out, she’s a marketer primarily, but it’s the combination of understanding how people buy stuff, how mobile technology is used and the cultural issues around technological progress that I think make her most admirable.

She is also determined, clear about her own opinions and unafraid to express sometimes unconventional or unpopular angles on her subject. Only today I observed her speaking at Wealth of Networks II and dealing persuasively with someone who held a very different view to hers about shoppers at Lakeside. Helen has also been my most honest and motivating supporter in the work that I’ve done on the Tuttle Club.

When I was first experimenting with podcast conversations, Helen was a natural choice. Here’s a podcast I made with her in 2005 (sitting in Grosvenor Square of all places!) which displays some of that knowledge and determination.

PS I have to mention one to watch for ADL2010 – Hermione Way from Techfluff TV – trying new stuff, learning quickly, producing quality content and building a solid business while having lots of fun.

Photo: by-nc-sa Bowbrick