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Women Rock 2020

So, Alicia. It has been a pooey year but let’s not be negative nancies here.. If you could describe your 2020 in one word, what would it be? (keep it PG plz)

Interesting….

You’ve seen your ambassadors grow by a fair few this year, despite everything – what’s the best thing about having a team of ambassadors behind you?

I think a lot of people see Women Rock as my baby and yes it is I am super passionate about it and sometimes weirdly protective over it but this isn’t for me it’s for you, it’s for us all and it’s for me. The power of women and folk who support women in tech is a very special thing. We all know the quote, when women pull together amazing things happen and having a team of ambassadors both male, female and non-binary folk has allowed Women Rock to reach new heights and more!

What’s been your favourite Women Rock moment in 2020?

I mean, 2020 got in the way of a lot of our plans, we had a tonne of events lined up and although we moved a few online, we definitely didn’t get to do everything we wanted. I think if I had to choose it was interviewing Avye who is just unbelievable and such an inspo for the next generation, and then also the new women rock re-vamp. I’m really glad we managed to get it out before the end of the year and now is a place for everyone to hopefully get something from it, whether it be a career changer, women in leadership or just some advice on mentorship.

We saw you doing your thang on a few virtual meetups speaking about Diversity and Inclusion – what were your findings?

My favourite event this year was attending rather than doing. I attended Gill Cooke’s, Stem Connect event on ‘how to feel true belonging’ I learnt a lot about Neurodiversity, disability and gender. Also I cannot take credit for this but one of the best things I have read this year is https://dev.to/molly_struve/diversity-vs-inclusivity-understanding-the-difference-5hh6  where Molly’s speaks about the difference between diversity and inclusivity. I love how she has explained the difference ‘’A diverse team has many different unique individuals. This should not only include the usual diverse selections such as religion, sex, age, and race, but ALSO additional unique personality characteristics such as introverts and extroverts, liberals and conservatives, etc.

One of the biggest distinctions here is that diversity is the who or the what. You physically have to have multiple people in order to achieve diversity. Inclusivity, on the other hand, is a mindset. You can have a team of one, which is not diverse, but, can be inclusive. Someone who has an inclusive mindset behaves in a way that welcomes and embraces diversity.’’

Next year is about learning more about inclusivity. ?

Do you think D&I has been put on the backburner for a lot of companies due to the pandemic?

TBH I think the tech industry had thrived in the pandemic and I have done as many female placements as I have men so I have to say no. Although I have asked the same question to a lot of people I have interviewed this year and it’s been interesting to read their thoughts. I think at the start of the pandemic folk thought it would have more of an impact on diverse hiring. I know I’m not alone thinking it would be the mums, having to care for children, home school etc however the world has shifted, it’s allowed for a new way of working, more flexibility, allowing anyone who is looking for a job to find one which works for them and their life. I thought we would start going backwards and ruining all the hard work everyone has done but I now don’t see that being the case and thing we are still improving, slowly but we are definitely improving.

Do you have any WR plans for 2021? **SPOILER ALERT**

I’m not giving anything away, you’ll have to closely follow next year. But yes, we have some fun plans.

What’s the best thing to come out of 2020?

In short: People have really pulled together.

You have just been named in the top 32 leaders to take 2021 by storm, what an achievement. What does next year look like for you?

It’s crazy right! How have I been named in the top 32 Leaders, It’s such an honour but also already feeling the pressure to try and achieve some big things so it hasn’t been wasted on me. I don’t want to give too much away as I said, but it’s just much more of the same for me. I want to reach new areas, I feel really scared to leave Bristol (not physically but with the work I am doing) however I feel like now is the right time to spread my wings and look at a new UK location for recruitment. We have such a brilliant team at SR2 and Women Rock ambassadors that I’m sure we can do some epic things in 2021! Always with a smile ?

What’s one thing you’ve learnt about yourself this year?

I’ve learnt to say no! It’s 2 letters and why is it so hard!! I promised myself in November that I was going to take the rest of the year off events, podcasts etc and focus on the day to day job. A couple of days after I agreed that with myself I got asked to come and speak at a recruiter event, and the guilt was so real saying no. I always feel so lucky to be asked to speak or attend any event, I still question why they want me, Alicia teagle, co-founder of SR2. Ok if I was Melinda gates then I would get it but I’m just me, I don’t have tonnes of life experience to share, I don’t have a dramatic story about myself I just do what I love every day and hope that it helps someone, that’s really it.

I’ve completely digressed here haven’t I ? Going back to saying No, it’s been hard but I have achieved so much in the last 6 weeks, my to do list it’s almost done, as I’m writing this I only have 41 emails in my inbox and signing off on Wed 23rd with Zero – it’s my mission! I’ve managed to focus on me, on learning, on focusing and it’s been great.

And your fav 2020 quote plz….

Killed her, husband whacked him! LOL

‘’No matter where you are in life, inspire and empower the women around you. Success is never reached alone. And, wisdom and wealth are sweeter shared.’’

Merry Christmas, big thanks to everyone who has got involved with Women Rock in 2020, we’re ever closer to our mission and making our industry the best that it can be.

Take care, god bless, until 2021 ….

Keep rocking. #womenrock

By Charlotte Baker 

A voice for diversity in tech <3

I: @womenrockbristol

T: @womenrockbrstl

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