More networking events for women in tech industry
Such events provide launch pad for those venturing into similar industries
Networking events that are organised exclusively for women in the technology industry are on the rise, dispelling the prevailing view that women are unempowered in this male-dominated industry.
For Ms Jana Marle-Zizkova, the co-founder of non-profit She Loves Data, such events go beyond swopping business cards and names.
As a facilitator for Ladies Night at Kilo, a regular networking event organised by digital retraining company General Assembly Singapore and nightclub Kilo Lounge, Ms Marle-Zizkova observed that many attendees were in the middle of switching industries.
Touching base with other women in similar situations allows them to "support each other, create mentoring circles and attend professional events together", she said.
At the ladies' night event she facilitated last November, Ms Marle-Zizkova met about 10 to 15 women who later took part in She Loves Data workshops and meet-ups.
Apart from its regular ladies' night events, General Assembly Singapore also hosted a breakfast event commemorating International Women's Day on March 8, in partnership with SGInnovate and artificial intelligence company Appier.
On the agenda was a discussion on how companies could nurture a culture of inclusivity.
Not only do such networking events provide a launch pad for women venturing into tech-related industries, they may also give a lift to those who are building their own tech start-ups.
The Singapore chapter of global non-profit Girls in Tech launched a boot camp in April. Designed for women looking to grow their own start-ups, the boot camp focused on developing business skills such as crafting pitches and winning angel investors.
Ms Antoinette Patterson, founder of counselling app Safe Space, was one of 30 participants at the boot camp. With a background in digital advertising, she is no stranger to the ad tech start-up scene.
She said: "At mixed-gender networking events, some women may feel insecure about their credentials compared with their male counterparts, even if they are highly qualified."
This sense of belonging - or lack of it - was also the driving force behind Ms Nurul Jihadah Hussain's decision to start Singapore's first women-only hackathon last year with her team at volunteer-run organisation The Codette Project.
"Traditionally, during a hackathon, you could be drinking beer at 2am while hacking your idea. It's not welcoming for people of different age groups and with families," she said.
The second edition of the hackathon will take place this weekend during family-friendly hours, with the event ending no later than 9pm.
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