Calling all C-Level Executives, here's what Women of Silicon Valley 2019 can do for you!

February 25, 2019 | Georgina Varley

C-Level Executives

Identify how digital transformation can affect your organisation, people, and processes at Women of Silicon Valley 2019. 

US tech startups have made little progress in producing female C-Suite professionals and board members, according to Silicon Valley Bank's 2018 Women in Technology Leadership report. Of the firms surveyed, 71% admitted that they did not have any women on their board of directors and just 43% boasted female C-Level executives. 

Despite these worrying statistics, changing the state of play is possible. Female tech entrepreneurs like Sheryl SandbergSusan Wojcicki, and Ginni Rometty are inspiring women across America to climb the career ladder and reach for C-Level roles. If you are reading this, then you are likely one of these women who has managed to achieve success in the face of adversity and have a personal mission to help others reach their career goals.

Stand still in the world's fastest growing sector and you'll get left behind. At this year’s Women of Silicon Valley conference, we aim to empower you with the knowledge to boldly lead. Discover how to build a transformative culture, attracting and retaining talent, understand the full potential of emerging technologies and how they will advance your business, harness the power of networking with high-level women and be inspired by the greatest female minds in the field.

At the epicentre for Silicon Valley female entrepreneurs, you'll find companies such eBay, DataCamp, Insomniac Games and ARGENT, in addition to speakers from Google, Slack, Accenture, Microsoft, IBM, American Express and Ford Motor CoTo find out more, take a read of our Women of Silicon Valley 2019: Agenda at a Glance article. 

Below are sessions specifically designed for C-Level executives that will allow you to walk away with actionable insights into the tech industry. Don’t just be part of the conversation, drive it  join us at Silicon Valley's most vibrant women in tech conference.


Women of Silicon Valley returns to San Francisco 2nd-3rd May, 2019.

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Take a look at our selection of sessions designed for C-Suite members at Women of Silicon Valley 2019:

Machine Learning Could Destroy your Company's Diversity Efforts: Here's How to Avoid this Setback 

It’s 2019, and underrepresented groups are still earning less than the majority. Nidhi Gupta has found that Machine Learning can help correct these gaps — but only if built correctly. She will discuss the advantages of machine learning in the hiring process, and the human responsibility that exists to ensure it encourages a diverse workforce.
 
Companies across all industries are looking to Automation, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence to make their recruiting process more efficient. This brings many advantages, especially to the hiring process — since it currently takes an average of 50 days to fill an IT or product management position. But, if you’re not careful, using machine learning to reduce time to hire can result in other, unexpected challenges. If left on its own, Machine Learning algorithms have the potential to perpetuate bias and pay inequality among racial and gender identities.
 
However, when human engineers normalise data sets and actively monitor algorithms, the technology can help us achieve diversity and pay equality in the workplace.
 

Key takeaways:

  • Exploring why diverse teams are proven to be higher functioning, with more business impact.
  • Understanding how Machine Learning can help make the hiring process more efficient.
  • Examining how unsupervised Machine Learning algorithms will create unexpected biases in the hiring process. 

Women of Silicon Valley Workshop

Strategies for Building Cool Products — How to Build and Structure Teams for Hypergrowth 

Businesses exist for one simple reason: to solve a big problem. At the core of every great product or service is an unfulfilled need that reaches a big enough market. But it’s not enough to have a great idea that solves a big problem; behind each successful company stands a flexible team that can efficiently turn a vision into a growing business. So, how do you scale your teams for hypergrowth?

Key takeaways:

  • Understanding how to organise your teams around markets.
  • Empowering people to make decisions.
  • Changing the focus from ‘strategic planning’ to ‘how to build great products’.
  • Building consensus and ownership team brainstorming.
  • Embracing team self-interests within organisational interests.
  • Ensuring that you keep control over the solutions than your customers.

How to Stay Relevant During a Career Break

Everyone is at a different place in their lives, and career paths are no longer linear, instead marked with twists, turns, and sometimes breaks. If you should either decide to take a career break, or unexpectedly find yourself in one, how do you keep pace to ensure you’re still marketable when you return?
During this presentation we will consider the practical tips for staying relevant and making yourself employable when you are ready to step back in.

Key takeaways:

  • Ensuring you keep an open-mind to saying ‘yes’ during your break, especially around important key skills such as project management, leadership and communications.
  • Understanding the importance of staying in touch with the working world and be aware of potential untapped relationships.
  • Underlining the importance of updating your skills and developing new ones.
  • Reiterating the importance of small steps to keep things moving.
  • Leveraging social networking platforms to your advantage, such as LinkedIn.
  • Pinpointing the signs of complacency.

Women in Tech World Series

How to Avoid Unconscious Bias in your Job Specs

Studies have shown that ads across many male-dominated industries (like tech) include gendered language that deters female candidates from applying. This unconscious bias is often communicated unintentionally in the way ads are written and can negatively impact the diversity of the candidates for the role.

The use of gendered language in ads can undermine the implementation of a diverse hiring strategy and affect the way a company’s employer brand is perceived. So, how to remove unconscious bias from your recruitment process?

Key takeaways:

  • Understanding the impact of gender-coded words: ‘rockstar’, ‘ninja’, ‘dominate’.
  • Demonstrate inclusiveness by keeping job requirements to the must-haves.
  • Underlining the urgent need to remove jargon from your job ads.
  • Calling out your company’s progress and commitment to D&I in attracting the right talent.
  • Creating more perks-based thinking in the creation of job ads, especially around parental leave, subsidies and insurances.

Creating your Growth Mindset to Tackle Impostor Syndrome

Feeling like an impostor is more common than you might think. In fact, 58% of people with technology-focused careers suffer from Impostor Syndrome, according to a study from workplace social media site Blind. Indeed, its estimated that 70% of people experience impostor syndrome at one point in their lives. So, how do you tackle this if you’re in tech?

Key takeaways:

  • Realising the importance of mentorship.
  • Developing the abilities to recognise your current skills and expertise and therefore identify where you might need upskilling. 
  • Remembering what you do well and not being afraid to talk about it!
  • Exploring how to challenge your current mindset and change your thinking.

Improving your Business Competitiveness with Collaboration Tools

Globalisation has made it difficult to have in-person meetings for every collaborative project.
 
This can negatively impact productivity, especially when companies have employees across the country, continent, or globe. During this session we will look at what benefits businesses are discovering through the ease and convenience of online collaboration tools.
 

Key takeaways:

  • Assessing the major players in the 2019 collaboration tools market.
  • Improving employee recruitment and retention through cleverly utilised collaboration tools.
  • Implementing virtual training processes through the use of collaboration tools for improved productivity.
  • Future applications for collaboration tools — Recruitment, innovative customer service, and new ways for employees to collaborate.

Women of Silicon Valley Attending

Future of Work Strategies for Retaining Top Talent

The tech sector has a serious skills shortage, one that will only get worse in the next few years with the rapid advancement of cognitive technologies. Whilst many are putting emphasis (understandably so) on finding top talent, it's equally important to ensure you have robust strategies in place to retain that talent once you’ve found it. Here, we will consider what’s next in retention for 2019.

Key takeaways:

  • Understanding that for retention, it has to start at the beginning in recruitment
  • Assessing if you’re offering enough ongoing education and clear pathways for advancement?
  • Accepting that in the future workplace, benefits and perks will play a major role in retention strategies
  • Improving your retention rates and utilising better open communication methods
  • Leveraging AI and analytics tech to assess your employee data for possible leavers
  • Accepting that staff turnover is unavoidable and that succession planning is therefore vital

Drive your commercial objectives forward by embracing diversity and inclusion.

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Is there a Future for DevOps?

The adoption of DevOps practices within businesses is a recent tech trend that is showing no signs of slowing down. As we move into 2019, it is becoming more obvious that DevOps is becoming mainstream, with many large organisations getting on board with the concept.
 
But, does DevOps have a longer-term future, or will it be replaced by something else 10 years from now? During this presentation we consider what the future holds for DevOps.

Key takeaways:

  • Realising the benefits seen to date from DevOps  How far have we come?
  • Does DevOps live up to the hype to make it a worthwhile investment for a business?
  • Exploring the current trends  Microservices and containers.
  • Recognising the relationship between big data and DevOps in taking a step forward towards the design of predictive analytics.

What Will Millennials Want at Work?

Millennials can get a pretty bad rap from other generations. Society seems to allow itself to brand the entire millennial generation as lazy, entitled and even ‘too politically correct’. But, when it comes to entering the workforce, what do they want from their employers?

Key takeaways:

  • Upskilling for the future of work.
  • Establishing a place for philanthropic capitalism.
  • Embracing the coloration methods driven through millennials helping us all to breathe.
  • Improving workplace cultures through greater flexibility and diversity.

Women of Silicon Valley Panel

The Future of Cloud and its Impact on Future Business Strategies 

Is file storage and computing power the only use businesses will have for the cloud as we look ahead? Or will we see SaaS, PaaS, IaaS and even DaaS start to dominate, becoming the ‘cloud’ of the future?

Key takeaways:

  • Developing a broader understanding of the future forecasts around DaaS, SaaS, PaaS and IaaS and where the drivers are coming from.
  • Understanding what decentralised cloud computing really means and looks like.
  • Recognising developer inclusion of usability and interface elements with great user experience rising in priority in cloud computing.
  • Exploring how the original revolution centred on placing apps in the cloud, whilst the future lies in true app-to-app integration.

Is it Ever Okay to Not do Agile?

The majority of development projects now say they are agile in some manner. But, agile processes are not a panacea for all that is wrong with software development.
 
Agile can create pressures that didn’t previously exist, and newer generations of software professionals are becoming exclusively experienced in Agile. Here we will consider if and when it might be best to NOT use Agile.
 
Key takeaways:
  • Evaluating if your team(s) truly understand what Agile means, or if they are just regurgitating what they’ve read.
  • Assessing the appetite currently for Agile: Are you seeing any resistance?
  • Examining if you are truly using Agile or using it for the sake of appearances.
  • Considering if Agile will increase your costs.
  • Reviewing if two-week delivery schedules are appropriate for your organisation.
  • Pinpointing where and if Waterfall still exists in your organisation.

Secure your spot among other innovators in your field. 

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