4 Things We Learned at the Leeds #WomenInTech Business Lunch

Last Friday we spent the better half of our afternoon and evening at the Women in Business event in Leeds, hosted by The Business Desk! What we thought was going to be an hour or two, lead to several, as we discussed and shared our Women in Tech experiences.

We were excited that our very own Liz was introducing the event, and enjoyed the two headline talks by Anna Sutton, founding Director of the Data Shed, and Zandra Moore, CEO and co-founder of Panintelligence.

So, what useful things did we actually learn at this event – things that will be useful to anybody in the business and tech worlds?

We think we learned a lot:

Leeds is brimming with tech talent and opportunities

Think you have to move down South to really make it in the business world? Not the case.

In the past few years we have seen the North grow and grow when it comes to business and start-up growth, technology talent, and investment. This month it was announced that Channel 4 has chosen to open its second head office here in Leeds, bringing even more knowledge, opportunity, and growth to this already growing city.

Women usually won’t apply for a job unless they meet 80% of the requirements

Meanwhile, men will often apply for a role even if they only meet 20% of the requirements.

Of course, this is a generalisation and there will be many people who don’t fit this mold (hurrah!) At the lunch, we dissected and discussed the reasons behind this stat and many more. We explored the importance of working together in the business world to create that balance of opportunity. And to work hard ourselves, if we are those women, to believe in our value and go for those jobs, even if we don’t quite meet the requirements.

Jargon and communication issues can cause huge problems in the business world

API – what does this term mean to you?

Well, in Anna Sutton’s case she found this acronym caused some issues, due to the diversity in her team when it came to their speciality.

API in techspeak: Application Program Interface

API in the medical world: Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient

See the issue here?

Anna went on to explain that, as her own background is marketing, she often found that the jargons of different sectors, when they merged, could cause a lot of unnecessary problems. It’s important to know who you’re communicating with.

This isn’t something that’s necessarily new to us. After all, we did write a whole blog post all about the issues with jargon a couple of months back. But this very solid and clear example of miscommunication was so interesting to us we had to highlight it.

Networking is more than you think it is

Network, Network, Network.

Since starting Lean In Leeds 2 years ago I have made friends with Female Leaders from a wide range of industries, they inspire and encourage me. We now have over 400 members in Lean In Leeds and we run monthly free network events on with inspiring female speakers sharing their stories. It is such a privilege to be part of a network full of so many amazing women and role models for others.”

We heard all about how networking isn’t just your own personal soapbox, nor is it just a place to get work. It could be, and often is, a place to find work contacts – however the value of networking often lies in the connections you make and the inspiration you take from those you meet.

Zandra sums networking up perfectly for us:

“Networks work because people network with people they get along with, people they like, people they trust, people with similar challenges. Positive people that make you feel everything is possible. That fill you up and don’t drain you. When you are positive everything seems possible, positivity attracts positivity. People will be attracted to you and want to work with you.”

  • Zandra Moore, CEO and co-founder of Panintelligence.

The Business Desk did a great job of organising and hosting the event, and we were proud to sponsor it.

“We organise our business lunches on a regular basis to provide an opportunity for key business people across the region to network and hear insights from leading influencers. Our Women in Business event was very well attended and we were extremely pleased to welcome both Anna and Zandra to the stage in order to share their insights and thoughts about the worlds they operate in and how they focus on business growth.

“It was a really honest and insightful afternoon and feedback has been extremely positive. Thanks to all who joined us and supported the event.”

  • Kayley Worsley, Editor, The Business Desk

Did you make it to this event in Leeds? If so, what did you take away from it? If not, what is your opinion on networking?

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