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Nasstar's Women in Tech Summit: An attendee review

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With a commitment to increasing our female workforce to a minimum of 35% by 2023, and bridging the gender gap in our industry, Nasstar recently held its first Women in Tech Summit. The Summit aimed to champion women by offering an inclusive platform for sharing ideas and experiences that will support our key initiatives for women in tech

In this blog, Managing Consultant Rich Tolley, shares his insights and reflections from the Summit, and how it has reshaped his perspective on the role of women in the tech world.

I have always believed in the power of diversity and the importance of creating an inclusive environment for everyone. When growing up, my partner dreamed of driving wagons and was met with a chorus of… “That is no job for a girl!” from people in positions of influence to her. That has never sat right with me ever since she told me.

So, when the opportunity to attend the Nasstar Women in Tech Summit presented itself, I jumped at the chance. Little did I know that this event would be a transformative and eye-opening experience for me.

1.        Challenging my assumptions

Before attending the Women in Tech (WiT) event, I thought I had a good understanding of the challenges women face in the tech industry. However, as the speakers and attendees began sharing their personal stories, I quickly realised that my understanding barely scratched the surface.

The tales of sexism, gender bias, and the struggle to break stereotypes were not only enlightening but also deeply moving. I found myself empathising with their experiences, and it made me question some of my unconscious biases around the language I use and behaviours I exhibit to my colleagues.

2.       Highlighting the need for diversity

The sessions emphasised the need for diversity, not only at Nasstar, but in the wider tech sector. Research has consistently shown that diverse teams outperform homogeneous ones, bringing fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to the table.

All individuals bring a unique skill set and alternative way of thinking that complements any workforce, project, or problem statement. As I listened to my successful female colleagues share their achievements, I saw how diversity could lead to the growth and success of the entire industry.

3.       Encouraging allies

One significant takeaway from the day was the importance of male allies in supporting women in tech. This is not about advocating for women at the expense of men but rather creating a level playing field where everyone can thrive based on their skills and contributions.

As allies, we can help break down barriers, challenge biased behaviour, and promote a culture of inclusivity. I left the event with a newfound determination to be an active ally and advocate for change within my workplace.

4.       Mentorship and sponsorship

The WiT Summit highlighted the role of mentorship and sponsorship in fostering the growth of women in the industry. Mentorship provides guidance, support, and a safe space for women to discuss challenges and opportunities. Sponsorship, on the other hand, involves advocating for women's career advancement and opening doors to leadership positions. Both mentorship and sponsorship are crucial in nurturing female talent and ensuring they reach their full potential.

5.       Addressing the pipeline problem

The lack of women in tech often starts with a pipeline problem – the underrepresentation of girls and young women pursuing a career in tech through schools and higher education. During the seminar, initiatives, and programs to encourage girls and young women to explore tech fields were discussed.

By promoting tech-focussed education, offering apprenticeships, delivering Nasstar Tech ‘open days’ from an early age, and providing opportunities for girls to engage with technology, we at Nasstar can build a stronger and more diverse and inclusive talent pool for the future.


Attending the Women in Tech Summit was genuinely a profound and transformative experience. It opened my eyes to the challenges faced by women in the tech industry and reinforced the importance of diversity and inclusion. I now understand the significance of male allies and the role we play in shaping a more equitable future for everyone.

Moving forward, I am committed to championing diversity, challenging bias, and supporting women in tech as we work together to create a more inclusive and innovative tech landscape. I will utilise a lot of the information gathered from these sessions during my day-to-day workings, especially the elements that I hadn't previously considered as a line manager of people.

Let us embrace diversity and build a brighter future for all.

Read more about Nasstar’s social responsibility initiatives.