My Key Takeaways From The One Tech World Conference 2022
The One Tech World conference was an immersive and engaging experience. Whilst it was virtual, attendees were given the opportunity to take a selfie at the photo booth, attend the social lounge, chat rooms and be a part of informative sessions where Q & A’s took place. There was even a scavenger hunt throughout which offered rewards to those who played. It felt as though we were being brought into the ultimate metaverse with a series of helpful career related information and advice for both employees and employers.
I was lucky enough to be able to attend and learn a ton through the panel discussions. The first one I attended was on the topic of ‘How can companies drive inclusion?’ which was hosted by Birgit Neu. During this session Ann Callison who is Head of Strategic Change for Barclays made several insightful points on this topic. She discussed companies using data to track where they are going wrong, through this an employer is able to see for example, if a large number of black employees or women are leaving. Once this information is collected then comes the why, which will allow employers to have open and vulnerable conversations with staff. This will assist with giving employees an environment where they feel comfortable to voice any concerns they may have within the establishment.
The other session I attended was one about a topic I had very little knowledge about, which is ‘What is neurodiversity?’. This discussion was between Jennifer Opal, a DevOps engineer and Jacqui Wallis, the CEO for Genius Within. Neurodiversity is a difference in brain function and behavioural traits. Both Jennifer and Jacqui are neurodivergent, during their talk they dismantled the negative connotations that come with this, and instead spoke about it like their own personal superpower. Jennifer said that she was able to work more quickly than the average person and connect the dots faster (a skill we all wish we had!). This talk reinforced the importance of playing to your strengths and making everything that’s unique about you work to your own benefit. This is one of things that I love about CareerEar’s skills assessment chatbots - each set of assessments allow you to see your strengths so that you can invest time in being even stronger in those areas.
I also attended a session discussing a trending topic in the industry: hybrid work. The discussion was based on the question ‘does hybrid working stifle innovation?’ This subject is one that people have many different opinions on. What I took away from the talk was that it’s important to have a balance between working in an office and working remotely. Molly Johnson-Jones was a part of this panel, she is the CEO & Co-Founder of Flexa Careers, a company that provides a flexible working environment for employees. Molly discussed how her workforce comes in once a month for social purposes and the rest of the time they work remotely. She made the point that the future of work is choice and freedom. If employers are able to feel comfortable whilst they work then it is very likely that they will produce a better quality of work, meaning hybrid work will not stifle innovation.
Stina Carlsson-Reich, who is a partner at McKinsey pointed out the problems that arise from working remotely for the majority of the time. She discussed how sometimes employees can feel insecure if there is no structure in the workplace. Stina mentioned that if you go into the office and no one is there it can create feelings of isolation and loneliness. These issues raised suggest that to satisfy employees there should be a healthy balance between working in the office and working remotely. This way people can still work in their own environment whilst having the opportunity to socialise with their colleagues.
My Top 10 Takeaways From The OneTechWorld Conference:
Don’t solely rely on data when it comes to making a change, leaders should have open and vulnerable discussions with their employees.
Companies with a hybrid work model should ensure it is one that suits the needs of their employees first and foremost.
Listening comes first, action second.
Inclusion needs to be applied and not only talked about.
Real innovation is seeing something and finding a new way to do it.
Innovation should be measured based on output.
In order to retain female talent in the tech industry, we must change the dialogue from ‘what do women need?’ to ‘what does the organisation have to do to become a place where women feel comfortable working?’
Tech industry is in need of more male allies who can help create a sense of belonging for women in tech.
If you want to succeed and grow, you should move your business in the right direction by creating gender balance in the workplace.
The future of work is choice and freedom.
The whole experience was very enlightening, the most impressive part was being able to see professionals in their field having intriguing discussions about the tech industry. I was able to learn about how businesses are becoming more innovative to work towards a better future for both employees and employers. It had moments of entertainment, inspiration and education which I will be sure to use to help further me in my career journey.