Not-for-profit organisation Tech4Good South West has launched a brand-new recognition showcase which will spotlight individuals and teams making a positive social impact across the region.

This initiative will celebrate organisations and individuals who are utilising digital technology as a force for good in the world. Champions will be selected based on Tech4Good South West’s guiding principles which include commitment to protect the planet, ensuring accessibility for all, and empowering innovation.

Anyone can get involved and nominate by submitting an online application on behalf of their chosen champion. The first round of the initiative is now open to nominations and the champions will be selected by guest judges. These champion nominations will roll throughout the year, bringing together community stories as part of a Champions Showcase. Tech4Good South West Champions will be announced and celebrated at our events, and annual reports.

The Tech4Good South West community has grown following its relaunch earlier this year. The organisation aims to build a regional ecosystem, fostering partnerships and opportunities for knowledge sharing, amplifying the impact of tech for good initiatives across the region.

The organisation plays a key role in supporting projects across the South West. One notable project and champion example is the Digital Divide Collective, incubated by Tech4Good South West. This project focuses on addressing digital inclusion in Bath & North East Somerset. The Digital Divide Collective is committed to tackling disparities in technology access, usage, and outcomes, ensuring that technology is accessible for all. Working alongside Tech4Good South West, the collective aims to identify barriers, map needs, and initiate key actions or projects.

Since its launch, the Digital Divide Collective has collaborated with local charities, national organisations, and industry partners to identify and amplify key initiatives that bridge the divide.

Commenting on the champions initiative Tech4Good South West Co-Founder Annie Legge said: “Technology has the potential to offer so many people wide-ranging opportunities. It can break down barriers to accessibility and address the digital divide that society is facing. A core pillar of the Tech4Good community is recognising tech for good achievements across the region. It’s essential that we celebrate the change-makers in the South West and acknowledge the potential positive impact they are having.

“The champions’ showcase provides an opportunity for community members to nominate individuals believed to be doing exceptional work, demonstrating dedication to tech innovations and access for all. The judging team looks forward to learning more about the amazing work delivered across the South West and announcing the region’s champions at the upcoming showcase event.”

To submit a request to nominate please complete a form via the Tech4Good South West website here.

Neighbourly, the giving platform which connects businesses with local charities and community groups across the UK and Ireland, has teamed up with Microsoft to launch a campaign to bring together corporate volunteers with the charitable sector, with the aim of helping to reduce admin burden and address the growing digital divide.

Through the DigitalBridge campaign, launching this month, charities and community groups in Neighbourly’s network, from youth charities to food banks, will be able to access support through Neighbourly’s corporate network, with volunteers from around twenty businesses including Virgin Media O2, Hays, Overbury and Morgan Lovell, Motability and Redcliffe & Temple BID helping charities with a range of digital challenges as well as facilitating access to AI resources to help them expedite administrative, strategic and creative tasks.

The campaign comes as research shows that spending less time on administrative tasks is a growing need for charities and that two thirds of charities are interested in making the best use of emerging tech such as AI and ChatGPT. In Neighbourly’s most recent community research, 64% said they don’t know where to start with Gen AI or haven’t spent any time on it. In 2023 the Communications and Digital Committee also highlighted high levels of digital exclusion amongst citizens, with the rapid shift towards online services deepening disadvantage for those who remain offline.

Microsoft is supporting the programme through the provision of online training resources developed specifically to help build knowledge and access learning pathways so that charity employees can use technology to drive greater impact. Employees from businesses in the Neighbourly community will utilise and signpost these resources as part of their volunteering activities, to help build confidence and skills in key areas. Charity staff and volunteers will also be able to take learnings to provide practical support and digital skills to beneficiaries.

Volunteer opportunities will run throughout June and into the summer, tying in with and celebrating other major volunteering calendar moments such as The Big Help Out (7-9 June).

Neighbourly has been working with Microsoft since 2023 as part of its Entrepreneurship for Positive Impact (EfPI) programme which supports tech businesses and entrepreneurs that are addressing urgent social challenges.

Charles Eales, UK Social Impact Lead, Microsoft Philanthropies, said:

“We’re excited to be working with Neighbourly on this important campaign aimed at bridging the digital divide and empowering charities with essential digital skills. At Microsoft, we believe in the power of technology to drive positive change, and through initiatives like this, we can be really targeted and help make a meaningful impact in communities where the need is greatest.”

Bev Sykes, Founder, Just Good Friends, said: 

“Our small charity would be really interested in learning more about AI and chat tools. We know we need to get more digital skills to take us further – we’re struggling to move forward in certain areas because of our lack of knowledge. I’ve done some initial reading about AI and it sounds interesting but I need some help understanding how it can be best applied.”

Steve Butterworth, CEO, Neighbourly, said:

“As a platform dedicated to fostering meaningful connections between businesses and local charities, we’re proud to collaborate with Microsoft and our valued client partners on this innovative volunteering initiative, through which we hope to reach at least 1,000 charity employees. By harnessing the power of corporate volunteers and technology, we aim to empower charities to navigate the digital landscape more effectively, ultimately driving greater impact and inclusivity within communities.”

The Founder of Bristol-based MotherBoard, Sophie Creese has joined the Women Pivoting to Digital Taskforce and will work with the City of London Corporation to help mid-career women pivot to digital roles. The aim is to address the underrepresentation of women working in digital careers by providing women with vital skills in order future-proof the digital workforce. 

The Women Pivoting to Digital Taskforce brings together business, government, third sector, and industry groups to bring more attention to and action around supporting women from non-technical backgrounds to career change into technology roles.  29th April marked the commencement of the Taskforce.  

Taskforce members are comprised of 65 different subject matter experts from across the UK regions with an interest in digital and diversity, responsible for delivering the Workstream outputs. 

In the UK, half of women leave the tech sector by age 35, often due to inflexible working conditions that exclude mothers. I’m excited to join the Women Pivoting to Digital Taskforce, dedicated to increasing female representation in tech through career switching. MotherBoard brings a vital perspective, highlighting the need for practical solutions to ensure women with already established careers in other industries are offered the support needed to thrive in tech roles.” Sophie Creese, Founder of MotherBoard 

About Sophie Creese (she/her) 

Founder of MotherBoard 

Sophie Creese is the Founder of mission-led organisations MotherBoard & HeyFlow, which are driving positive change for gender equity at work. 

MotherBoard is a not-for-profit Business Charter & Community that is tackling the 50% of women who leave the tech industry by age 35, predominantly due to motherhood.  

Beyond MotherBoard, Sophie co-founded HeyFlow earlier this year, a mission-led insights & consultancy start-up that helps employers understand their female workforce better to improve retention.  

About The Women Pivoting to Digital Taskforce 

https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/supporting-businesses/business-support-and-advice/women-pivoting-to-digital/women-pivoting-to-digital-steering-board 

About MotherBoard 

MotherBoard is a Business Charter, Community, and Event Series driving tangible change for mums working in the tech industry. We are on a mission to transform the industry to be more inclusive of women & mothers by tackling stigmas and supporting employers who want to create real change.  Powered by ADLIB (https://www.adlib-recruitment.co.uk/) 

// 50% of women leave the tech industry before age 35. Let’s change that. 

Why mums? 

Although MotherBoard is specifically tackling the issue of motherhood inclusion within the tech industry, a lot of what we are fighting for are problems that create gender inequity across the board.  

With 82% of women becoming mothers in their lifetime, if we want a more gender-fair industry then motherhood (and the penalty that currently comes with it) needs to be at the heart of every inclusion strategy.   

Without removing the barriers mothers face, we will continue to see more women leaving the industry, which leads to fewer women in senior roles, which in turn leads to fewer women entering the industry due to a lack of visible role models.  

We also fight for parents in general.  

To achieve true gender equity, the idea of a mother being the presumed primary caregiver needs to be broken down and there needs to be greater flexibility for all parents to look after their children – regardless of gender. 

Why Tech? 

With only 27% of the tech workforce being women, tech is one of the most gender-imbalanced industries within the UK. It’s a known issue, with many employers wanting to create more gender-diverse teams but ending up fishing from the same limited pool.  

Our goal is to help businesses not only create environments that are more supportive of women in the current workforce but also equip them with the tools to shift a much-needed change for future generations. 

 

CONTACTS   

Jardine Miles: Marketing Manager, MotherBoard, email: [email protected] 

Sophie Creese: Founder, MotherBoard, email: [email protected] 

Need for speed VIII – the importance of digital performance

Disclaimer: this blog is in no way affiliated with, or making reference to the film franchise of the same name. Any similarities are purely coincidental (and highly unlikely).

Confused by giga-whatsits and tetra-terra-RAMs? Lights go dim when you’re in earshot of someone talking about metrics and benchmarks? Then you, dear reader, are who I’m writing this for. If you also happen to be marketing adjacent in your role, then you, dear prospect are definitely who I’m writing this for.

I don’t want to brag, but this blog provides easily consumable, highly understandable insight into the importance of speeding up your digital performance. So great is this insight that it has its own acronym: F.A.S.T.

View image in blog here.

Fast websites – why so important?

This is quite simple really. So simple, in fact, that it can be bullet pointed:

Get people to your site
Give them what they want (and encourage them to do what you want)
Boost ROI

You can Google (or ChatGPT) these things until you’re blue in the face, and you’ll likely find hundreds of books on these topics. So, to save reinventing the wheel, I’m going to explore three areas that can contribute to your digital speed and agility.

Automation

Those of you paying attention will notice that I’ve used automation for the title of this section, not AI. Why have I done this? Is AI not the fire that draws the marketing moths nearer? The AI magic silver bullet that makes everything better, faster, stronger?

The truth is, AI is used far too broadly and often incorrectly, so I’d like to try not to spread any more misinformation.

With that in mind, let’s define our terms:

Let’s use a couple examples and explain why the two are often confused.

Example 1:

Writing a piece of content, running it through a translation service, assigning a status of ‘needs review’ and sending an email to a staff member to prompt the need for proofreading or fact checking.

This is an automation.

Example 2:

Writing a piece of content, running it through a translation service, assigning a status of ‘needs review’ and sending an email to a staff member to prompt the need for proofreading or fact checking.

This is AI… and also automation.

They’re the same, right? Yes and no. In our example it entirely depends on how the translation service has been created. If that service has been written as a complex system for converting one language to another, it’s not AI. However, if that system has been trained to translate using vast multi-lingual datasets and machine learning techniques, it is AI.

So, let’s apply the lens of performance. Given the two above examples what is the driver for increased performance? Automation, not AI.

To increase the performance of your digital processes, look at which manual activities can be automated. What can you connect to what and allow ‘the system’ to take over.

How do we do this? This is actually computing. It’s what software and hardware engineers have been doing since Babbage built his difference engine – we’re taking an input, applying certain rules or changes to it, and manufacturing an output. In software engineering this is done in code. The real revolution we’re currently experiencing lies in the way these powers have been put in the hands of ‘we, the people’. APIs have become commonplace. Tools like ZapierMake, and others have created capabilities to connect the APIs of the largest and most common services.

In the not-so-distant past, if you wanted to automate a process using computers, you’d need to have a team of developers. Today, you just need an idea and a set of off-the-shelf tools.

The automation of systems and processes has become democratised. If you’re not automating your processes, you should be. Others are, and they’ll be moving faster than you.

Speedy content creation

You can’t rush the creative process. I wouldn’t dare suggest you can. My partner and the mother of my children happens to be ‘a creative’ and it’s more than my life is worth to sully the craft with such a cold, clinical word as ‘performance.’

But what I am suggesting you can do is grease the wheels a little – remove the friction. Essentially, you want to cut out the middlemen – the great unwashed tech folk that often serve as content gatekeepers in processes that time forgot (I can make that joke, because I am / was a developer. I promise I did wash… occasionally.)

Back in the day – ‘the day’ being just a quick hop back to the year 2017 – it wasn’t uncommon to need to make a clear and distinct choice when considering content creation capabilities on your website.

The predominant choices? The tried and tested form-based CMS, equipping droves of content editors with the power to put text into little boxes. Or a protracted, high-design process: content that made its way to the web via many a designer, developer and tester.

BUT, creating and publishing content on a website has undergone substantial change over the past 5 years. We are officially living in the future. The content editor experience is now more important than ever. Fast-paced marketing, ever-decreasing attention spans and increased marketing agility require the modern content editor to act quickly and assuredly. This need has been a call to action for editor tooling, and we’re firmly living in the age of low-code / no-code editor experiences.

Now, given the aforementioned rate of change and the average lifespan of a website, it’s quite possible you’re still experiencing this clunky mechanic. You might feel a world away from the nirvana of which I speak. On the contrary – you’re likely best placed to take advantage of this brave new world. And it’s about time you underwent that website refresh you’ve been dreaming of.

Allow me, if you will, to paint you a picture of the awe-inspiring world of frictionless content publishing.

Using these tools, your content editors can log into your CMS, choose from a collection of branded, pre-built, design-approved patterns. They’ll drag them into a page that’s ready to be populated with content, preview the fruits of their labour in real-time, easily change layouts, nest components. The result is an entirely unique page or website, confidently consistent with your brand.

Why is this better? It empowers your team, unlocks creativity, removes developer requirement, reduces the concern of brand variance and inconsistency, and eliminates human error and duplication of efforts. In short, it shifts left and speeds up the entire content creation process.

Sounds good, right?

But I do have one word of warning. Not all that glitters is gold – some modern architecture patterns could easily land you in hot water. If you’re looking for that website refresh, do find a partner that will create the right product for you, not for them.

T’edge computing

Alright, it’s just ‘edge computing’ – you’ll have to forgive the acronymic crowbarring.

I fear by this point I might be losing you dear reader. I’m sure you’re tiring of my pithy rambling, so I’ll take a cue from edge computing and move my point closer to you.

Edge computing is the practice of utilising geographically optimal server locations to reduce data travel distance.

Edge computing can provision your databases, your web servers and your code closer to the customer. Picture a user in China purchasing a product from Apple. They open a browser and visit Apple.com. That request, in a non-edge world, would likely travel halfway across the world and land on a server. The server then needs to send response data back across the globe via cables running under large bodies of water. This takes time. When you add in compute time back at the server this compounds. When you add in data size this compounds further.

Milliseconds can turn into seconds, forcing users to wait, which hurts your SEO performance, impacts conversion and damages your brand.

All this in just a few seconds.

Well, what if I told you that your data need not travel at all.

Edge computing also tends to include the use of a content distribution network (CDN). This handy practice can cache major parts of your website to, in some cases, completely invalidate the need to visit your servers at all – no travel, no computing, no wait (well, very little wait).

Companies that provide CDN capability can have copies of your website as close to your customers or users as physically possible ready to fire your website into their eyeballs at break-neck speeds. They also add a whole bunch of security advantages, but that’s a topic for another time.

We live in a global world. Unless you’re geo-locking your website, you can have visitors from anywhere. Is their money worth any less than Brenda from Bromley’s?

Key takeaways:

If you would like to discuss your website with one of our experts, or have any questions surrounding this blog, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

When we talk about brand, technology isn’t generally the first thing that springs to mind. Brand is, more often than not, considered to belong to the realm of “creatives”.

However, without touching on the levels of “creativity” required to conceive of and build the applications and services our modern world runs on today, we’ll spend some time looking at why technology is crucial to the success of a brand.

Technology tools are ubiquitous in our lives and day-to-day work, so we’ll take it as read that technology plays a role in crafting a brand, but once that brand lives and breathes, what critical role does technology play in ensuring its growth and prosperity?

Starting with a grandiose analogy, technology is to brand what “organisation” was to the Roman Empire: an enabler of massive growth and innovation or, when overstretched or ill-conceived, a potential cause of damage. In this way we can see that technology is an amplifier for brand, in both positive and negative directions.

Let’s continue with this handy framing and look at some examples of positive and negative impacts on brand facilitated by the duplicitous technology and see exactly why it is so crucial to the fundamental success of a brand.

Technology is to brand what organisation was to the Roman Empire: an enabler of massive growth and innovation or, when overstretched or ill-conceived, a potential cause of damage.

Positive impact

“Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall” – Marcus Aurelius

The words of Marcus Aurelius ring true for every good brand operating today. What you say matters. But so too does how you say it – and crafting and broadcasting brand messages, communicating brand personality and demonstrating brand principles are all enabled through skilled use of technology.

It’s often helpful to look at brands in terms of component parts, something we love doing in the tech space. Lets consider a brand as having physical and non-physical properties. In the physical space we have written, visual and auditory assets and capabilities; in the non-physical space we have experience, behaviour and embodiment components.

When we break it all down like this, we can start to see how technology can play key roles in supporting brand, primarily in distribution, governance and implementation.

Let’s consider a brand as having physical and non-physical properties. In the physical space are written, visual and auditory assets and capabilities, in the non-physical space we have experience, behaviour and embodiment components. 

In the physical space, distribution, governance & implementation is really about moving the assets that support our brand around effectively and efficiently, ensuring that whenever and wherever our brand needs to be referenced it’s being done so using the frame that countless hours and much effort went into establishing, and furthermore ensuring that those mechanisms are doing this work in such a way that supports our desired brand. I’m fairly confident in saying that few brands would say that keeping a customer waiting (to view an image of their logo) is in line with their brand message and values.

This is achieved through:

In the non-physical space we’re really talking about communicating and enabling those representing our brand to do so in line with our expectations. Technology enables this by providing ways to up-skill and support those people representing our brand. Learning tools, managed communication systems, and again asset management, consider a Tone of Voice document.

This can be achieved through use of:

When these systems are in place, well implemented and well managed, we can create a robust, well-oiled machine through which we can ensure that our brand is carried through to all digital touch points.

Negative impact

Because no story would be complete without a cautionary tale, let’s look at one now. Ticketmaster, the global purveyor of all things live entertainment, suffered some very serious brand damage at the hands of technology.

“He who is not a good servant will not be a good [Ticket]master” – Plato

It should go without saying that poor customer service is detrimental to a brand. I’m sure we’ve all sworn off a company after a bad experience, and possibly still warn others off said company to this day.

Customer service used to be fairly linear, and all about the human touch – direct customer contact. Nowadays, the number of touchpoints between customer and brand has grown and much of that increased surface area is digital. It’s perhaps for this reason that we’re seeing a move from ‘customer service’ to the increased use of ‘customer experience’ as a more appropriate term.

Now, back to our cautionary tale…

It’s November 2022. Having selected Ticketmaster as her exclusive ticket sales partner, Taylor Swift is set to launch the pre-sales of the US leg of her ridiculously highly anticipated Eras Tour. It’s fair to say this was one of the most visible tour launches in history. Droves of her fans were hoping for an experience they’d never forget. And they got one. A bad one. An unforgettably bad customer experience.

What followed wasn’t Ticketmaster’s finest moment: website outages, fans being booted from queues, cancelled sales and the resulting Twitter storm of frustration – delivered by panicked, angry Swiftie acolytes.

The damage of this incident to Ticketmaster and its brand cannot be overstated. The narrative that Ticketmaster finds itself still dealing with, is one of incompetence, poor planning, and bad implementation, rather than one that focuses on the fact that it helped Ms. Swift sell 2.4 million tickets in one day, an all-time record.

What will people remember about Swiftie Ticketmaster-gate? Incompetence, technology failures and a terrible customer experience.

What will no one remember? That it helped sell 2.4 million TS tickets in one day – an all-time record.

Still think technology isn’t all that important to brand?

To rub salt into the wound, the blunder and increased exposure has kicked off a series of events that has resulted in a class action lawsuit brought by Taylor Swift fans and a Federal antitrust investigation into monopolistic practices. To further kick the downed Ticketmaster and its salted wound, parent company Live Nation suffered a 17% slide in stock valuation in the two weeks following the incident.

To further kick the downed TicketMaster and its salted wound, parent company Live Nation suffered a 17% slide in stock valuation in the two weeks following the incident.

Scale, scale, scale!

Let’s cut Ticketmaster a little slack and have a look at the heavy site traffic driven by the “astronomical” demand of legions of Taylor Swift fans desperate to snag tickets. Ticketmaster reported 3.5 million users registering for the pre-sale programme, a large number. Compare this with Semrush’s list of most trafficked pages on the web and the number pales in comparison with Google’s 18.11 billion visitors in December 2022. A little calculation shows that the infrastructure in place at Google would likely have dealt with this demand … and probably does daily.

(18,011,000,000 /31) / 24) = 24,208,333

Google approx hits per hour: 24.2 million

Whilst high website traffic and the strain on Ticketmaster’s infrastructure are clearly what kicked off this series of events, it was avoidable. I don’t work for Ticketmaster so I have no insight into where the failing was, but I’d be very surprised if the team responsible for setting up the autoscaling rules had a full understanding of the scale of potential impact of this type of incident, as the cost to add the extra resources to cope with load will have been pence on the pound to the cost of the damage.

Conclusion

Brand is inescapably dependent on technology in our modern world, it requires it, to live, breathe and survive. If a brand falls in the woods, does it make a sound?

If you’re responsible for your brand, you need to understand the myriad ways that technology can help it grow and develop, but just as importantly you need to understand the various technologies at play in your world and what unique risk management considerations they might represent.

I’ll finish on another pithy analogy: technology is fire, it can light your way, bring you and your brand out of the stone age and provide warmth and safety. But, don’t drop the match or it’ll

Burn. Your. House. To. The. Ground!

Need help building your brand?

Whether you need advice or support with positioning, visual identity, a digital refresh, or all of the above, we’re here to help. Get in touch and book a free consultation today.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +44 (0)117 923 2282

We initially developed our own Abandoned Cart module back in 2019 after researching and testing various that were available. From our tests the modules lacked certain features or didn’t work how our clients would want the module to, and also how we expect the module to work.

The first version of the website was developed and installed on a number of our clients websites, generating them additional revenue that would have been lost without the module.

As the OpenCart platform has progressed and new versions launched we finally switched to using the latest most stable version of 3.0 in 2022 for our ecommerce web design projects, with the new version also included a new code structure which meant our bespoke abandoned cart module would no longer work with any new website that we built.

So, as we continue to upgrade existing ecommerce web design clients and provide ecommerce websites to new web design clients we set about upgrading our abandoned cart module to work with the newer version of OpenCart. The upgraded version was a good opportunity to simplify, streamline and improve the module to benefit our own clients and a wider audience.

Continue reading this article at https://www.eckhomedia.com/our-abandoned-cart-module-upgraded-for-opencart-version-3/

New collaboration between Tech Talent Charter and MotherBoard Charter to tackle the ‘motherhood penalty’ in UK tech, as 1 in 3 women plan to leave their tech jobs.

The Tech Talent Charter (TTC) and MotherBoard Charter have joined forces to address the motherhood penalty in the tech industry with the launch of a new resource guide aimed at helping businesses to create more inclusive workplaces.

A recent study by TTC found that nearly 40% of women in tech agree that caring commitments influenced their decision to leave their job. This emphasises the damage the motherhood penalty has on the tech industry’s ability to retain female talent. It also highlights the urgent need for businesses to offer meaningful flexible working options if they want to improve diversity in the workforce.

As they return to the office after the holidays, working parents are juggling full-time caring commitments whilst schools and wraparound care are closed, whilst trying to settle children into new school routines. This guide is a powerful tool for businesses to support working mothers, fathers and caregivers off the back of this demanding period.

Despite being one of the most innovative sectors, the tech industry continues to struggle with retaining female talent. A staggering 50% of women leave the tech sector by age 35, correlating with childbearing years. Addressing the complexities of motherhood is crucial for fostering a more inclusive and gender-balanced environment in tech.

The new resource calls on businesses to take ten key steps to tackle the motherhood penalty including flexible working arrangements and supporting women’s career development. By investing in these actions, businesses will create an environment that supports working mothers and helps to retain valuable talent in the UK tech industry.

“The tech industry is at a crossroad”, says Karen Blake, Co-CEO of TTC. “Our research shows the scale at which women leave tech at critical junctures in their lives, often due to the challenges of balancing motherhood and caring responsibilities with career demands. This exodus is a loss for these talented individuals and a significant setback for the industry and UK PLC. That’s why the work of the Tech Talent Charter and the MotherBoard Charter is so important. By tackling the motherhood penalty and creating a more inclusive workplace, we can help to ensure that the tech industry is a place where everyone can thrive. We all have a role in creating a more inclusive tech industry. Employers can start by rethinking their flexible working policies, investing in career development for women, publishing parental leave policies and creating a more empathetic workplace culture. Individuals can also take action by advocating for change in their workplaces and supporting organisations working to make the tech industry more inclusive.”

Sophie Creese, Founder of the MotherBoard Charter, says: “There is a proven link between women leaving their jobs and motherhood. This is especially prominent in male-dominated industries, with tech specifically having one of the poorest attrition rates of all industries in the UK. While there’s a prevailing notion that elevating women to senior roles can address this issue, the stark reality is that without addressing the root cause — the alarming 50% of women that are leaving tech by age 35 — meaningful change remains elusive. Retaining women, by going beyond the basics of maternity leave, is essential to changing the future landscape of the industry. That’s why I am thrilled to be launching this guide with the Tech Talent Charter so that leaders can start to open the dialogue of how they can go beyond policy by taking tangible actions for a more equitable and inclusive future.”

To access the guide, visit https://openplaybook.techtalentcharter.co.uk/parents

About Tech Talent Charter

The Tech Talent Charter (TTC) is a government-supported, industry-led membership group that brings together 700+ Signatory organisations and equips them with the networks and resources to drive their diversity and inclusion efforts. Our broad base of Signatories includes companies and industries of all sizes, non-profit organisations, charities, leading UK educators, and government departments. TTC is preparing to release its highly-anticipated Diversity in Tech report on February 28th. The report will offer fresh insights on diversity in tech, including the latest statistics on women in tech, ethnic diversity, neurodiversity, disability, and social mobility in tech.

For more information, visit techtalentcharter.co.uk or contact [email protected].

About MotherBoard

MotherBoard is a Business Charter, Community, and Event Series driving tangible change for mums working in the tech industry. We are on a mission to transform the industry to be more inclusive of mothers by tackling stigmas and supporting employers who want to create real change.

For more information, visit motherboardmovement.co.uk or contact [email protected].

MotherBoard, a Bristol-based organisation, has been working towards retaining women in the tech industry since its launch in 2021. The direct link between motherhood and high attrition rates is evident in the fact that 50% of women leave the tech industry before the age of 35. MotherBoard’s mission is to change that. 

In their latest annual impact report, MotherBoard revealed that the 29 signatories of their Charter have made significant progress in supporting women and mothers in their organisations. On average, these signatories have improved the gender balance within their tech teams by 10% from 2022.   

The MotherBoard Movement has been gaining momentum over the last year and has more than doubled its community reach through events, content, and conferences. Sophie Creese, the Founder of MotherBoard, won the Lead 5050 award for ‘Contribution to Gender Diversity’ for the work she does with MotherBoard.  

“This year has been pivotal for MotherBoard. We’ve spoken at some of the UK’s leading tech events, worked on government-led projects to highlight the importance of motherhood and its link to the skill gap in tech, doubled our community, and revolutionized our operations to encourage tech companies of all sizes to join our mission,” said Sophie Creese, Founder of MotherBoard. 

“Although mother inclusion is now firmly on the agenda for most companies, the work is far from done. We must continue to progress and work collectively to create real, tangible change for women and mothers working in tech.  

Real change takes time and none of this would have been possible without the continued support of our signatories, sponsors, partners, community, and the MotherBoard team. Therefore, I would like to express my gratitude to all of them,” added Sophie Creese. 

MotherBoard is committed to creating a more inclusive tech industry, and their efforts are paying off. With their continued dedication and support, we can hope to see a more diverse and inclusive tech industry in the future. 

About The MotherBoard Impact Report 

The MotherBoard Impact Report is an annual collation of the work completed by the MotherBoard Movement & MotherBoard Charter signatories in driving tangible change for mums and women working in the tech industry.  

You can access the full report via their website: https://motherboardmovement.co.uk/community/motherboard-impact-report-2023 

About Sophie Creese (she/her) 

Founder of MotherBoard 

Sophie Creese is the Founder of mission-led organisations MotherBoard & HeyFlow, which are driving positive change for gender equity at work. 

MotherBoard is a not-for-profit Business Charter & Community that is tackling the 50% of women who leave the tech industry by age 35, predominantly due to motherhood.  

Beyond MotherBoard, Sophie co-founded HeyFlow earlier this year, a mission-led insights & consultancy start-up that helps employers understand their female workforce better to improve retention. (https://heyflow.co.uk/) 

About MotherBoard 

MotherBoard is a Business Charter, Community, and Event Series driving tangible change for mums working in the tech industry. We are on a mission to transform the industry to be more inclusive of women & mothers by tackling stigmas and supporting employers who want to create real change.

Powered by ADLIB (https://www.adlib-recruitment.co.uk/), sponsored by Not On The High Street (https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/). 

// 50% of women leave the tech industry before age 35. Let’s change that. 

Are content creators destined to spend their careers fixing the toothpaste robot that stole our jobs?

And would that be a bad thing?

(For context: what are you talking about?)


I’m not worried about AI stealing my job as a content writer. I’m excited about how it will evolve.

AI tools have sky-rocketed my productivity, re-ignited my excitement for work and made me a better writer. Turns out, my pain points were never about a lack of inspiration or creativity. It was the lack of efficiency.

My boss always says, “Just break the white page, get something down and you’ve done the hardest part.”

Also known in the industry as the ‘SFD’ – shitty first draft.

Now, and preferably, forever, AI does the hardest part for me.

 

Bringing it back to my analogy…

Mr Bucket’s original job screwing caps onto toothpaste tubes is content writing before AI.

I think this quote from the film sums up what that was like quite nicely…

“The hours were long, the pay was terrible, and occasionally, there were unexpected surprises.”

In the end, Mr Bucket gets a more interesting, better-paid role at the factory. Fixing and maintaining the robot that took his job.

I much prefer my new job of fixing and maintaining the metaphorical AI toothpaste robot.

Research is easier and more thorough. Article outlines are done for me, giving me an SEO-optimised structure which hits (and improves) my client’s briefs. I have an editor, PA, proofreader, sense-checker, and idea-suggestor, for free, whenever I need them. And we make a damn good team.

 

So if it can do all that, why am I not worried about it replacing me?

AI-written text can be good, but it’s not great. We all know its technical limitations, but its biggest flaw, through no fault of its own, is that it doesn’t care.

It doesn’t build relationships, collaborate with others, or get excited about what you’re trying to achieve. There’s no ‘above and beyond’ with AI.

It’s an out-of-the-box solution for a skill that’s anything but.

Maybe one day it will take my job. But I think the day humans stop writing is the day humans stop reading. In which case we’re all screwed anyway.

 

AI Oath🤚📕

I solemnly swear I did not open a single AI tool while writing this article. 

But I probably should have. It might have told me it’s not as funny as I think it is. And I wouldn’t have spent half an hour deep-diving the Willy Wonka fandom.

 


FAQs

Why did Mr Bucket lose his job at the toothpaste factory?

In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie’s dad (William Bucket) lost his job because a new robot did his job more efficiently – and for less money.

Generative Search: The New Horizon for Brand Strategy and Branding

In an era where digital innovation is paramount, agencies and brands are constantly vying for the leading edge. Generative Search emerges as the latest beacon of progress, poised to transform online search and, consequently, brand strategy in profound ways. For design agencies, creative teams, and businesses in the B2B realm, understanding and leveraging Generative Search could become a significant part of their branding arsenal. Here’s an uncomplicated rundown of what this means for your brand.

What is Generative Search?

Generative Search is akin to an astute, AI-driven alchemist that turns simple queries into gold—providing bespoke responses crafted uniquely for each user. It utilises advanced AI not just to trawl through existing content but to understand and generate the precise piece of information a user seeks, thus revolutionising the user experience and the approach to B2B branding.

Generative Search vs. Traditional SEO: An Insightful Contrast

Understanding Your Audience

Content Creation

User Experience

The Strategic Edge for Brands and Agencies

Keyword Strategy Evolves: In Generative Search, the need for agencies to laser-focus on keywords gives way to a broader, more fluid approach. Brand strategy now must encompass a wider understanding of themes and user intents that B2B clients articulate.

  1. Quality Trumps Quantity: For creative and design agencies, the spotlight shifts from mass-producing content to crafting versatile, high-quality pieces that can be dynamically tuned by AI for varied B2B clientele.
  2. Trust and Authenticity: In a world where AI shapes content, maintaining brand authenticity and trust becomes crucial. Agencies must ensure the AI-generated content remains true to the brand’s voice and values.
  3. Data-Driven Insights: Leveraging user data (while respecting privacy) will be key in refining Generative Search algorithms. Agencies that adeptly analyse this data can offer sharper B2B branding insights.
  4. Ethical Brand Representation: With AI influencing content generation, it’s vital for agencies to monitor and ensure the output aligns with the ethical standards and image the brand aspires to uphold.

Generative Search presents an exhilarating prospect for agencies focused on branding, brand strategy, and B2B relationships. It promises to deliver a more intuitive and customised digital experience, vital for businesses seeking to distinguish their brand in a saturated market. As this technology matures, it could well become an indispensable tool in the creative and strategic arsenal of every forward-thinking design agency. Embracing this shift could well set the stage for the next chapter in digital brand evolution.

Find out more about Halo Labs

NICK CLARKSON | NOVEMBER 7, 2023