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Getting inspired at #WinTec17

May 15, 2017

Getting inspired at #WinTec17

Octopus Labs was well represented at this year’s Women in Technology Conference, taking place at Silicon Roundabout. So much so, the Labs office at 33 Holborn was said to feel strangely empty. As a key sponsor of this year’s event, Octopus brought speakers, held workshops, and managed an exhibition booth to give attendees a taste of the work being done at Labs.

“Loads of people wanted to know what we do,” said Lucy Windsor, Product Manager at Labs. “Once they got an idea, they wanted to know if we had any job openings.”

Cristina Trifonescu, another Labs Product Manager, also tended the booth. “My favourite questions were about company culture. In financial services there’s this preconception that the culture and environment of the companies aren’t the best. I loved people’s reactions when I spoke about how multicultural and diverse our team is.”

Labs’ own Emma Burt ran one of the workshops, which discussed reasons why women are more likely than men to live in poverty. They then broke into groups to generate product ideas to address these issues. Emma was impressed with the results. “One table decided they would like to go into business together and build their product!”

When not taking questions at the Octopus booth, Labs workers got a chance to listen to some of the many speakers at this year’s conference. For Karyna Silina, the most memorable speaker was Jody Davids, Global CIO of PepsiCo. “Everyone was touched by her story, people gave her a standing ovation at the end.”

Cristina found Melissa Di Donato’s presentation motivating. “I’m keen to apply some of her advice and start reaching out to mentors.”

Emma, on the other hand, thought Supriya Uchil’s talk was especially heartening. Uchil advised her audience to create their own ‘personal Board of Directors’, enlisting guidance from those you trust to understand and support you through career highs and lows.

“I left the day feeling empowered and inspired,” said Jess Morgan, yet another Labs Product Manager in attendance. “Not only after going to some talks, but also just speaking to the other attendees.”

Lucy reiterated this same point. “I found the most inspirational thing was just all the women of different ages and backgrounds talking about what they had achieved. I actually came away from it feeling more confident in my own abilities.”