Girl Geek Scotland (GGS), formed in 2008, is a community that enables women working in the creative, computing and enterprise industries to develop a career-long mutual support network through dinners, fundraisers, business breakfasts, research projects and skills workshops. GGS aims to develop a network of women, who are able to support each other at entry-level, and throughout their careers, working at the intersection between these areas.
Girl Geek Scotland recognises the need to tackle skills shortages by making technology-based working environments as welcoming as possible and redressing the gender balance in a currently unequal workforce.
Speakers at GGS events bring their personal life into discussions about business, with functions including a strong focus on work-life balance and women who have been successful in male-dominated environments. Events are often themed around common challenges facing tech-based start-ups, such as finding investment and growing a product user base.
GGS dinners which have been held in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen have helped build social and career networks, and provided opportunities to learn from leaders in the field. The events have helped establish the Girl Geek brand across the UK and even in America’s Silicon Valley.
In 2016, the network aims to consolidate these connections, especially with London, and to look east to develop new relationships with female leaders in the IT industries of Vietnam and India.
Although GGS is marketed towards women, it also recognises the need to include men because of the support they can offer in working towards a gender-balanced working environment.
GGS is now moving forward into a new era, with Edinburgh Napier University taking over as parent organisation and partner, and recently hosted an event which was addressed by Nicola Sturgeon, Girl Geek Scotland founder Morna Simpson, the University’s Principal, Professor Andrea Nolan, and Sally Smith, Dean of the School of Computing.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “A career in digital technology and industries is something women have traditionally been less likely to pursue than their male peers. Organisations like Girl Geek Scotland not only help Scotland in its ambition to create more women entrepreneurs, but they also allow women to discover the opportunities and benefits that a career in technology can bring. I admire and support the work of Girl Geek Scotland to help address the gender imbalance within the sector’s workforce, which is a vital part of our own ambition and efforts to develop a world class digital economy in Scotland.”
Girl Geek Scotland will also be working with Bright Red Triangle, an Edinburgh Napier-based one-stop shop for extra-curricular student enterprise activities which supports links to the community through start-ups, incubator space, consultancy services and social innovation projects.
To find out more about Girl Geek Scotland visit: http://www.girlgeekscotland.com