Doncaster business women invited to #BreakTheBias in tech innovation event

Business women based in Doncaster are invited to an event to celebrate the success of women tech entrepreneurs and ask how others can be supported to set up innovative digital companies.

Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 7:35 pm

The ‘Celebrating Women in Tech’ event is inspired by this year’s International Women’s Day theme #BreaktheBias and will be held at Sheffield Hallam University on Friday March 11.

Research shows the tech sector trails others in terms of diversity with just four percent of the fastest growing tech start-ups in the UK led by women; and women making up less than 20 per cent of the tech workforce.

Also, women leaders in the sector appear much less likely to succeed in their bids for funding with only seven per cent of UK companies solely-founded by women securing equity deals in 2021, according to a report by business data analysts Beauhurst.

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Tech entrepreneur Imelda Fossu

Attendees at the South Yorkshire-wide event will be asked to reflect on the current situation and consider what barriers they feel exist for women entrepreneurs and how they could be helped to tackle them.

Key note speaker at the event will be Doncaster-based tech entrepreneur Imelda Fossu, CEO of the Fossu Group portfolio of internet businesses. Imelda is a champion of inclusivity in tech innovation and founder of #YorkshireCreates which targets support at entrepreneurs in under-represented groups including women of colour, marginalised communities and young people from working class backgrounds.

Imelda Fossu said: “It's so important to involve everyone in tech innovation and invest in ideas which come from everywhere. Women and diverse founders are grossly under-invested in, so I’m so pleased to be supporting this year's #breakthebias theme to help more female entrepreneurs, and other under-represented groups, break through the barriers they may face and receive the opportunities they so deserve.”

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‘Celebrating Women in Tech’ has been organised by TEAM SY, a project which aims to help more South Yorkshire-based tech entrepreneurs access business support and investment opportunities to explore new ideas and markets and set-up or scale-up tech companies.

TEAM SY super connector Ceri Batchelder said: “We have some excellent examples of women tech entrepreneurs in South Yorkshire and our event will share their inspiring stories and insights.

“But, we’re also aware that their success stories are few in comparison to enterprises led by men and this year’s International Women’s Day’s theme of #BreakTheBias has prompted us to ask women working in tech what barriers they face and how we could help to tackle them.”

TEAM SY will use the findings from discussions on the day to inform the development of future business support programmes for the region.

Laura Smith of KTN will speak alongside a panel of successful tech entrepreneurs.

Joining Imelda in the line-up of speakers will be South Yorkshire based film director and producer Daljinder Singh, who is founder of a digital tech start-up, Shreem, an online platform which enables freelancers to collaborate and earn money fairly across South Yorkshire’s creative sector.

She will be joined by Fran Ferris-Oakwell, who is an experienced mentor for ‘tech-for-good’ startups and co-founder of Accessible Communications Ltd, creators of Family Phone, a tailor-made app to help people living with dementia stay connected through their smartphone or tablet.

The event will be held 9.30am – 12.30pm at Hallam View in the Owen Building at Sheffield Hallam University.

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