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Is Tech Behind the Times?

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Claire Hopkins is a rather accidental tech entrepreneur. Having co-founded Ideal with her husband, she was shocked by the level of blatant sexism she encountered. After many years running a successful technology company, Claire has come to believe that a lack of inclusion is holding the sector back. 

We talked to Claire about how we can move the tech industry forward, why women don't want to work in tech, why and how we should move away from a culture of boozy staff outings, and how we can completely redesign the office. 

Plus Mo and Allegra discuss the latest What Fresh Hell Is This? news. 

Welcome to the reimagination at work podcasts. This is the podcast where we challenge everything you think to know about theworld of business and try to find more increasive ways of working that work foreveryone. This episode is sponsored by the BPC Center Sussex, based in thejubilee like Room Brighton. BPC is transforming the way ideas grow into successful businesses. They're supporting a thriving community of entrepreneurs, investors and Sim's across Sussex. Whetheryou're just setting out, need advice on protecting your intellectual property or havea brilliant idea you want to discuss, they're here to guide g they offerinsights and access to free databases, market research reports and expert advice. Findout more at Brighton DOTGOV DOT UK. Forward Slash BIPC. Yeah, reallyexcited to be joined today by Claire Hopkins, who is the founding director of ideal, who are an IT company who are experts in networks, security,collaboration and platforms. Thank you very much for joining us. Thank you.Really exciting to it to talk to you, though. I know that you gota particular interest in women in tech, being a female tech founder, yourson of that's a little bit about your career intack and how you gotstarted and then how you came to start ideal. Okay, well, myback friend isn't in tech at all and weirdly I'm hoping my future won't bein text. I can tell the story. So I used to. I whenmy career has been really varied. So I I did my master's insocial policy and started doing research in psychiatry for the introduce psychiatry. So Ihad a sort of interested to beloping interested mental health. I work from mentalhealth lawyer embrightment for about ten years and was proved by the Law Society torepresent people when they've been detained. So that was my work and passion really, because it's I love other people's stories and it was a way of workingwith people and their stories and also, you know, doing it the verybest that I could in really difficult circumstances. But the way that legal aid looksafter people, so protec related and where the people legal adrics off topeople when they're in distress. That changed and that coincided with my husband,who did have a career in tech, wanting to start a company. Sothat was the birth of ideal. So the idea was his really, andso that was in two thousand and nine, so twelve years ago, and hestarted ideal on his own with the desk. So it was one manand desk, and it's as it started to grow quickly, it was quiteobvious that he needed to support in managing the business part of the operation.So that's how my career in text what was it about doing this that seducedyou away from the legal side? It was kneed really. I mean whenI first started, it's I mean we're in a particular area of tech init and it's it's very acronym heavy. It was like the having to learncompletely different language and really, to start off with us, suppose I managed, and really have always done, managed the relationships in the business, sowhether that's the relationships with the employees or relationships with the actually not so muchthe customers, but the relationships that we needed to generate with the people thatwe bought our tech from. So that's...

...kind of where I'm most comfortable withpeople. So that's what seduced way, rather than tech itself. That's interesting, isn't it? Because we we tend to think. And then I haveboth worked in ten. Yes, Oh, yeah, somewhere, and I'm nottaking either. And I've worked in tax is. Yeah, and andthink of it as a very male dominated into. It is a very maldominatedindustry because people tend to think that you have to be a very specific typeof person to work in tact that people assume is a more mascular way ofbeing, but actually they seect relationships and connecting with people. Yeah, soimportant. And the many, many different roles that have nothing to do withengineering. Basically, though, I mean our business is boy straightforward. Wehave people who sell our solutions and services and we have people who who throughthe technicals behind that and then a few other people who support the business toget it to get those things to market and stop the business fall into pieces. And the place that we found it most difficult, well, we foundit difficult to recruit women in in definitely an engineering roles. I mean,and that's despite making positive attempts in terms of our recruitment strategy. We justdon't get CVS on it's they're just dis into pool of candidates to choose from. We couldn't positively discriminate because there's no there's no candidates are very very,very rarely women there put forward, and we've also found it really difficult torecruit into serves as well and ago, and I think that that's something thatis is seen those attributes that tend to be seen as successful in sails areseen as male attubuts and it's yeah, so it's you know, despite allof my best efforts, we're really male dominated company. So true about sales. My career has always been in sales in tech and it's completely male dominatedand there are reasons, I think that it attracts those it attracts more menbecause, you know, you have to do things like staying away from homeovernight, long hours, those kinds of things that are part of the role, because traditional sales roles, you know you've got to be prepared to dowhatever it takes to get the deal over the line, however many hours.But it's also that it's just really competitive and you know it's all about beatingpeople and all of those things. But actually I think the best sales peoplethe ones that listen and build relationships and build connections and don't sort of talkover everybody. And so it is a career, I think, for anyonethat wants that kind of career and you know, the role of a sexsales persons to understand the tech and explain it to people simply. But somehow, as you say, it just attracts way more men and women. Yeah, my perception of sales was certainly that you have to be very aggressive andpushy and people. People tend to think of those are male characteristics and thatmen will be better at that. But you say actually, you know,having done some sales in my careery, often it is more about listening andbuilding reported people. I'm it. Conversely, I think you can do very wellas a woman in I think so. I think I can use it toyour advantage and we definitely did. Ideal. Will definitely used my Imean not consciously, but I think my being a woman in an industry where, particularly with the big American ventors, they were desperate to be seen tobe supporting women India, and I think that made it really easy for meto have a platform in a way that it would have been, you know, otherwise we would have just been another we seller with, you know,with a male that looked to say, yeah, we love the other miles, you know, literally the suits of so the colors of shirts and theTimes. So suddenly there's a woman who's talking about what her business is doing, and it was just lucky that that was the place that I've found mysweet spot within the business, and and...

...that meant that I was really visible. So true, and I don't know about you, but I used todeliberately wear really bright colors stand out, because you stand out anyway. Yeah, and people always remember you as well. Yeah. Well, if it was, yeah, that's because you will get looked out in a certain wayas of women, and we both know, as a woman with a funny name. Yeah, yeah, you automatically had been some modes a woman ofcolor. Either people are going to look at you and judge you with adifferent way, and that can be a distantage. But also you can makeyourself very memorable then by being the only woman, especially the color, andeveryone remembers. I mean a different well, there's no doubt about it, particularat the beginning, and I think it is change enging, but Imean it was I hadn't worked in an industry that was so we're really blatant. Sexism was tolerated, and it was for me anyway, having worked inthe public sector and then in a you know, in mental health, towalk into an environment where people said really inappropriate things without anybody challenging them wasit was extraordinary. was like going back in time. So it's it's reallyodds that a sector that's actually about forward thinking and pioneering is has been soheld back, I think, by this really inherently sexist culture. Yeah,it's a true and it is. I think you notice it much more becauseI came into tech from the the charity sector, which is female dominated,and it's a real shift when he suddenly if I took off a room withall these men just talking. Yeah, I mean anywhere. I mean Ihave the organizations were, you know, it's it's perhaps too politically correct,but if you've worked in an environment is politically sweat to findest up working inenvironment is politically incorrect. Is it's just a real culture shock and I thinkit takes a certain type of person to be able to manage the line twenconfronting so you're not complete it but not really being able to still use itto your advantage, and I think that's very difficult for people to do whenthey're young in career. So even though it was, I was young inthis career. I'm old, so I knew how to to manage that andI think probably at the beginning for I was going to we run it again. I was. I would. I don't know. I've there's something aboutthat kind of banter that is really dangerous. And how you how you don't alienatepeople but but still challenge and that's really hard for us to do.I think that's almost impossible for men to do. They're finding that navigating thatspace really difficult. It's interesting you talk about it holding back the industry,because one of their criticisms we get is that trying to implement inclusive environment isholding people back and adding unnecessary layers. But actually your experience, certainly areexperience, when you start to put these things in place, it doesn't holdpeople back at what it moves and forward and actually, as you say,it's that sort of those difficult environments that are holding people back. Yeah,yeah, I think so. I mean I saw something on linked in acouple of weeks about some girls dressed up a tray tray joe, and therewere two girls in silly dresses selling something and it was for a Bavarian TechCompany. So they were drawing on the Bavarian Nature and these young women wearingthe outfit serving beer and it's there was what was really interesting was the commentand how defensive people still are about you know, the person that just said, why are we still using young women to advertise our Tech Dress in stupidoutfit? Yeah, it was, but they you know, so just peoplestill so defensive on the right of an...

...organization to you something that was culturallylinked to its name. Blah, blah, blah. Yeah, and trade.I mean, I you've seen some shocking examples trade shows. I'm sureyou have as well, some of them in the US, you know,like women drapes over stands and things like that. But it's fascinating what yousay about how you challenge people, because I really had to learn that inmy career in tech, that if you challenge people in their behavior, youget labeled as Bossy, aggressive, difficult and you have to learn how todo it and how challenge. And she comes off second women. Yeah,just, yeah, I mean, I know. I think being able tomanage that you've got to have a little bit of a thick skin mmm andkind of go I don't know. It's such a difficult balance. I don'tyeah, I mean I don't particularly enjoy that part of it. It feelsa little bit like it's an industry that's still full of dinosaurs and there's somemen and women that are trying to drag it out of the Dark Ages.But it's there's people are really hanging on to their right to free to aspeech and yeah, and you're you've been making a lot of efforts to recruitall women and get more different people in the room. So it's on somethingyou feel is really needed. You're missing having those different perspectives in the roomand different types of people in the room. Yeah, I think it just doesn'tfeel comfortable to me's were working. You know, to have a teamwhere it's still predominantly male, but it's it has is like pulling teeth.It's not it. As you know, we haven't succeeded in that at all. You get much feed back about is it literally just there aren't enough enoughof all of women to draw on, or is it about reaching those womenand offering it the well, there's definitely it's definitely in the in the technicalworlds definitely about the pool of people in the sales worlds. When we've takenon so the last couple of years actually we've only hired experiences people. Sothat's a game. That's the pool. When we've done as we have donein the past, more of a like a graduate scheme type model, thenwe've had women come through, young women come through that process, but theysay we haven't had any homegrown successful females. The ones that we have had atended to step out and go into something else. So people, soyoung women's into marketing them. So so if you take them into an openbucket, if you like, where there's an opportunity to develop skills and thinkabout what they're going to do, then people seem to step out before theyget to the point that they've actually established what they need to do to bean account under and maybe it's, like you say, my bit's just aboutbe interesting to know how that is post covid with. Yeah, saddling less, but you know, it's this that is the lifestyle. So certainly forme, I did. You know, international sales and the life styllies.You're going to travel on your own, you're going to be in hotel roomson your own, you're going to go to events with all these men,and you know a lot of women don't want to do that. And atthose events, you know what they're like. drunker people get the more you thinkwhere I'm out of it. Yes, it's not comfortable yet. Yes,and you did. I mean I remember the very first international trip thatI did. So I've not been working the business long at all, andI had not to go to an event in Boston and I was absolutely determinednot to drink at the event because I wanted to make sure that I wasit was for my professionalism making so, though I was batching in. Yeah, my professionalism. and to night in to this, they told me thatthey first of all, they had assumed I was working in marketing. Sothere and and secondly, that they just couldn't work out how to engage mebecause I wasn't drinking, so they didn't that. They felt I was beingreally aloof and, you know, separate from those really interesting and third night, I drank at a great time that, you know, met loads of peoplein such such found myself within the community, whereas I had really beenoutside of it and worked out a way...

...of breaking in. They didn't trustme because I didn't wasn't behaving in some way that they were. That's veryinteresting because then if you're somebody who doesn't drink or can't drink whatever reason,yeah, that's you in a very difficult position. Yeah, and I meanthat's been it's as we brew the business actually at the beginning, because itwas really sales led the business. I mean it still is, but itwas really sales led at the beginning. It's more evenly distributed that. Andyou know that culture, even within our business, was very boozy. Sowill celebrations were in the pub. And then we have we happened to havethree engineers who came to work for us who, for different reasons, didn'tdrink and they were able to articulate hanging when it we never gets doing it, you know. So when then we had to really stop and thinkcause it'sreally easy to go to the pub to celebrate something. It's much harder toget a group of people to do something it isn't boos related and spawn andit be spontaneous, you know, going bowling, yeah, and escape roomand things. But then you get this, there's much groater risk of dropouts andpeople not coming when it's stuff like they you know, people like somethingiety. I think of rare. Yeah, we talked to companies about that,but being inclusive, because you you're not be inclusive. Everything's in thepub. A lot of people don't feel comfortable that. A lot of peopledon't want to say why they're uncomfortable with that as well. Yeah, it'sa really difficult subject. So it's about finding other ways to celebrate. Yeah, and all of the things, you know that just become part and parcelof how our company operates. So summer parties and Christmas dues, you know, and with store, you know, all those stories. The stories arealways related to someone who's over done it. Yeah, yeah, so make yousure that you're including all sorts of different the way that different people dodifferent things. That is really difficult. And never understand where companies so weddedto these kind of really busy celebrations, because I feel like you are justsetting yourself up for so many tribudals and the amount of office nights out thatI you know, colleagues come up and you know has tea too many andgroups me or you know, been inappropriate with me or, let you say, someone's ever done it and done something stupid or some's got into a fight, and it's like all of these these problems that you're setting yourself up for. Why we look fully try and get you completely drunk. I just feellike you're asking for trouble. Yeah, what have you done? Sort ofcompact that? Then, now that you've got stuff that aren't engaging in thatculture, you have to shift your approach, will you? But it's an interestingduring locked out at so because of course, that that's that was removedand we try to do various online. They all in very involved one.Well, if once I went to all involved those that they did cocktail makingand we did an online escape thing. So that wasn't boozy actually. Imean, love really could that. There's a we have a a group ofvolunteers called the Culture Club who thinks about the different ways that they want tospend the budgets to bring people together and they're quite creative in what they thinkof, but I certainly are. Experience has been that it's harder to getpeople to go to those organized things than it is to get people to goto the spontaneous. Of course, makes you the bottom from everybody. Yeah, that seems like a good place to take a short break, so I'mgoing to you hand over to you, Mo or, this month's what freshand as this report. Hello and welcome to this months what fresh hell isthis report? The first story we have for you this month is about plantationwharf. It's a new development in Battersea as has been named plantation wharf.It includes names such as cotton row, a key driver of the slave trade, square rigger, type of sale used...

...on ships transporting slaves, and tradetower and the windward coast was also the name of the place near the IvoryCoast where many people were taken and enslaved. This development is in a community witha strong black community, so one wonders what the developers were thinking.Next, we're going to talk about cop twenty six. The Cop Twenty sixconference about climate change was held in Glasgow and it caused several concerns. Firstly, leaves of apologized to a woman left in tears after being forced to walkthrough a Pitch Black Park because of cop twenty six road closures. Most peoplewere locked out of negotiation spaces with no video link or any other way toeffectively observe it or in fact, the only way to observe the main plenarywas to pull out a laptop while inside the venue and watch it online fromanother room. There was no consideration of the inclusion of people with disabilities,so it was therefore an ablest space. There were no sign language interpreters,no wheelchair access and even the exclusion of the Energy Minister of Israel. Youthactivists of color were profiled and removed from the venue, when no white activerisks were removed from the venue for anything. The media played their part two theycropped out Vanessa Nakrate of the rise up movement from Uganda in several photos, or didn't name her or tag her or together and other young activists,such as Gretter Tienberg, were not invited to speak at the main conference.Nearly every world leader there was mail and men made up the majority of theplenary speakers, and the weekend before that, at the g twenty meeting, onlyfive wild leaders for women, with thirty five men and on. NextStory is about Yorkshire Cricket Club. There was an investigation because one Yorkshire CricketPlayer admitted to using a racist term in a re caught into racism at theclub, but he was cleared of wrongdoing on the basis that it was perceivedas what the report says was friendly, good natured banter between the two players. The player admitted telling other people not to talk to that player, thathe was a racist, terms I'm not going to repeat. Is that youruncle, and when they saw beard Asian men, saying does your dad ownthose in reference to corner shops. Despite admitting recalling that refeat break down andtears at one point, the player insisted he had no idea he was causinga fence and would have stopped if the feat had asked. The panel whoinvestigated concluded that the panel does not accept that a ze was offended by theother players comments, either at the time they were made or subsequent frequently,and that it was banter between friends, US sharing that the clocks in thiscountry have not only gone back one hour, as we also have a prime ministerwho cause people picking anes watermelon, smiles or says that Muslim women goaround looking like letter boxes. And that's it for this month's what fresh hellis this report him? Hello, dear, there's a look going did the he'sthis month, doesn't that? And that's just some of the stories.There was so many more things that could have been included if anybody aly scratchthe surface there. And let's start. Let's start with the the last story, because I it was really interesting. I saw sage eage Ovid on twitterthe other day talking about how it was totally unacceptable to use a term likethat and that Yorshire cricket club should be ashamed of themselves. And a lotof people are asking why his boss didn't be ashamed of himself, given someof the terms that he's been using. Absolutely, and it just shows thatpeople, when they respond to things like this, need to think about whatorganizations and people they're supporting if they're going to say things like that. So, for surgery deferent, he needs to think about his boss and whether hesaid picks up his boss on language like...

...that. Yeah, and ultimately,you know you as an organization, if your leadership are behaving in that way, you can't expect to speak with any authority to anybody else on on howto address it. Exactly. Yeah, but what did business is dear about? BUNTER. We've talked about the word banter before. Yeah, I hateit. I have like almost a post traumatic response to it because I've I'vehad so many horrific issues that have have just been dismissed as Bunter, andI know you have as well. Yeah, and it's just it's just an awful, awful word. But this is seems to be the kind of getout clause for all businesses. If something happens and someone says something horrific tosomebody else, that is like, oh, but it's just bunter. But withthis story, you know he wrote down in tears. It's like thatthat isn't answer. If somebody's you've caused somebody to break down in tears.It's incredible that the panel concluded that that was just friendly banter. And youknow, workplaces need to think about how they respond to people complaining about whetherway they've been spoken to, if they have the courage to do that,because obviously a lot of people also don't have the courage to speak up aboutthese things because they're upset and it tears. Yeah indeed. And if you ifyou know that you're not going to be treated sympathetically because you know inthe way they refeat wasn't, then you're of course you're not going to comeforward because it's you know, you you, you're not expecting any and he's puttingsympathy and ultimately, you know, it's putting their owners on the victimto fight the issue, whereas it shouldn't be about whether he was offended ornot. As an organization, you have to say this sort of language andthis kind of behavior is unacceptable. Whether, yeah, the person is engaging init or okay with it, or you know or not it's that's notthe point. Exact behavior in itself is not great. Yeah, and thenthat kind of brings us quite sort of nicely on to, in a way, cop twenty six, where there's so many things that have been permitted atthat event that you wonder who was organizing it and what earth they were thinkingabout. I mean, when you have one of the delegates not able toget into the venue because not wheelchair accessible, I mean that is just unforgivable asan oversight. Yeah, it really is. And no sign language interpreters. I mean it's just a as reports that a completely ablest space was created, essentially, and again it's do you think that's just too many of thesame people organizing the event and just not giving any thoughts to any other needsthat are required. You know, is it a case of, you know, for people say, I mean many of our listeners probably aren't organizing anevent on quite that scale, but for anyone who's putting together an event,you do what can you do to stop those sorts of favorsites from happening,to make sure that everybody is included at least able to get into a bill? Well, I mean that's the thing. Surely they had quite a lot oftime and a big team preparing this. How can there have been no considerationat all? I find it incredible. But I think you know, totalk about people that we work with, how when people are organizing events,there are things, there are some obvious things there that this report highlightsthat people need to think about. They making sure the venues accessible, makingsure their assign language interpreters, making sure there's a good mix of speakers,and you know, there's some real thing there. As so many aspects ofthat to think about as well. So there there's women's people of Color,youth like young people were not called on to speak as as much as theyshould have been, and you know this is very most movement has been drivenby young people and yet they were not the speakers at the event. It'sjust yeah, and you're not going to solve a major, long lasting worldwide problem like climate change without input from lots of different types of people anddifferent idea. Yeah, there was one amazing speaker that I saw. Idon't know if you saw her on the once the weekend, kind of beforethe main talk started. She was called...

India, which were I really rememberedher, and she was from New Zealand, although she actually said let's not callit that, let's call it the proper Mary name. And she wasfantastic. She talked about indigenous people and how they've been like their lands havebeen taken over and now they're being taken over in a different way by climatechange. She was fantastic, but most of the speakers were not. Theywere, you know, Rishi SUNAC addressing a room, you know, thingslike that. So it's just a huge missed opportunity, I think. Yeah, definitely. And then in further what were they thinking news? I meanit seems like a sort of more trivial thing compared to the other other thingsthat we've been talking about, but this plantation wharf thing is just such anexample of how those kinds of insidious approaches and views can perpetrate all areas ofour lives. And if things that that embedded, that it's e names arebeing given to the the buildings were going to be living in. You doyou know? You can't. You literally can't escape at your traps. Imean, that is just how many levels of people that would have had togone through to get approved and none of them thought that that was offensive.That's again what I just cannot believe that people think that's okay. Yeah,yeah, I can't believe it got through that many levels of people without someonesaying something, which makes me think, did somebody say something and they've shoutedthem down? Because I can't believe that nobody, when I can't believe nobodysays something, I cannot. I can't even get my head around what theywere thinking. I got it's just like what, what part of your brainwent? I know, what's a good idea. I all three of thesestories make me want to investigate further. So to investigate, you know,who is involved in the decision around the name there and you know what,were there any objections and all of those things, and to really find outabout it. We've got twenty six. who was involved in organizing it?And again, were there objections? And then that report about the cricket player, same thing. You know who else was involved in that? Who wasin the investigation? who were those people that were leading that and the panelthat was involved in it? Because you just think, how can these thingsbe happening? These stories just incredible. I think that's the that's the lessonof all three of these new stories. Really, isn't it for everybody isto have take some time to really think about the decisions that you're making asan organization and what message that sends out and what impact that's going to havelong term, because it's easy to just say, Oh, will take theeasy route of going with, you know, not making a big deal out ofsome quote unquote buanter or just going with this name because somebody's had itand it's already there or you know. Or we could take the slightly longerroute of actually, you know, dealing with this and fixing the issue.But is that going to send out a better message and make much more ofa an important long term difference to how our organization is perceived and how itworks in the world. Thanks very much. More so, we're back with ClaireHopkins from ideal talking about the world of tech and making it more inclusivefor people. Claire, you talking earlier about how difficult it is to recruitwomen into into tech roles. Do you think that starts at school? Doesit start with what you know subjects girls are being encouraged to study, whatskills they're being poach to develop, what they're going onto training? Is itkind of getting girls earlier? I know you done work in the past mentoringyoung girls and you know happening with that. Do you think it it's something that'ssort of happening earlier on the girls are thinking these careers aren't for them, or is it something that happened later on down the line? I thinkit's early, really early. I think it's about how we represent women inmedia. So I you know. I mean I think it is slightly betternow and that you see on television, advert social media adverts, you seewomen in technical world, but that's really...

...quite new, probably only within thelast decade, and of course it takes time for people to that, tofalter through into people's psychees and for those girls then to get old enough tosee themselves in that role. So I think tuldly we only saw women advertisedas users of tech, not as creators of Tech. When I've done workas a SIS, used to be a stem ambuster going into school skills.Just weren't interested. I mean they just weren't interested. If we had tostand up saying something that I see on it, they would look at yousay, Oh, what's that, looking interested and then we'll buy. Actually, schools and a graduate pairs the same. Yet to really talk women into stoppingand and thinking about well, what could it be? Yeah, soI think it's partly about how how the industry, I have a sector isrepresented and you know, the kind of the most the most pioneering tech leadersare still all there. You know, there's not. We don't. Iused to be a trustee at the girls network and mentoring girls and their theirwhole thing is that you can't be what you can't see. So if youwant to be a leader in an industry and you can't see female leaders inthis industry, why would we? Why would we be ambitious and use it? So we should say, actually, Claire, that Allegra and I metat a girl's network event when you interviewed us, because we were on thepanel, whoever long ago that was, and I so I mentor as wellfor the girls network. And my current mente wants to be a space scientist. Brilliant and she's the first one I've had that. She's she's absolutely reallylike that is what she wants to do and it's brilliant because she's totally confidentin wanting to do that. And so now it's about helping her to understandlike what she needs to do next progress. That not the I know what youneed to do to be a space scientist. I've you know, I'vetold her to you know about Stephen Law King. So I'm helping her navigateit. But yeah, it's really interesting to see and for her I thinkit's just that she's quite confident and she's just said that is what I wantto do, but I don't think it's been in any influences at school oranything for her. Yeah, I mean I'd I'm and I don't know.I've got three. So I've got four kids. Three of them are girls, and they, I mean none of them, I mean only the twoyounger ones actually have had an opportunity to do any coding at school, becausethe two older kids, they were in the generation where you weren't given thatopportunity. Instead you learn how to use word and created pair points. Thatwas pretty much their use to science training. And then the two younger girls thatboth had the opportunity to coding, but they're neither. I mean they'rejust not interested. They're interested in using applications, they're really they're not inany shape or form interested in doing anything behind it. It's really interesting.So if I to suggest that they're doing a coding club or how would ittoo? Blah, blah, absolutely not and not not interested. Of course, isn't it? Because it's, like you say, every image of atech entrepreneur is the kind of white guy in a Jeanie in the in aHoodie. Yeah, and that's the that's the day. And then we've justbeen talking about how incredibly sexist it is intact, and you know how howmuch discrimination and harassment you face being a woman. So I'm not surprised thata lot of girls are looking at it and going yeah, thanks, yeah, but it's not going to change unless we get more girls in the create. I don't want to like to them say, it's very come on it. So I don't know if this is true, but a few years agoI did this some panel at museum in Cambridge that span out of this guardianpiece that was around women in tech and the they were talking about the factthat in computer science the numbers are still...

...very heavily dominated in male but inai and particular around robots, there were, there's more women studying that and morewomen leading in that area of tech, because it very much depends upon yourunderstanding of human behavior. So I thought that was really interesting that that's, you know, about how we get that message through two girls who areturned off, I think, much, much earlier than the point that youwould be able to start talking to them about that. But I think,yeah, if we were able to find a way of promoting that for twoand three year olds, really useful. Yeah, but it really is aboutthinking that early on is netwing and kids a really little about the message wegive them and the images that we put out there about what interesting, becausethey're interested in phones and things very young and most toddlers I know can tellme how to talk greate a phone. Yeah, like my three year oldswill over and she's really interested in how things work and how they're put together. So, yeah, it's how you because at the moment, obviously she'sgot no conception of what's the boy job was the girl job. She's goingvery shaky concept of what the difference is to the boy and a girl.You know, she's not thinking about it yet. It's how. How dowe stop her been that message be enforced her that there is a difference betweenboys and girls and more they can do. Yeah, well, if you thinkabout what we do as well in the business, because what we doreally is but networking and connecting together. But and traditionally people would have hadsome sort of understanding about how your computer connected the internext we used to plugsomething in, because nobody does that any longer. If you speak to,as I have done, kids in secondary schools about you know, I usedto take a switch with me and see if theyople guess what I did fora living. And and I mean the level of ignorance was really quite shocking. About people think I mean just not really having any idea or it hadnever even begun to think about how our home could be connected to a network, because all they cared about was that they got thrown out the pocket andthey could get on step lat and they didn't let you know the idea aboutthere being something, some sort of plumbing behind that. It's just not sexy. I think they're the front end of tech is sexy and perhaps that's wherewe can attract people's work, but the back end, really it isn't.And it is a certain type of person who's able to work in that environmentand I'm certain there as many women as men in that pool. But wejust need to make sure that we're we're finding them. Definitely. He saidat the beginning that you were hoping your future wasn't in tax. What areyou hoping that the future holds be? Well, so what? I don'twork day to day operationally in the business anymore. I happen time for years, for and half years, when I made myself redundant as Managing Director,so and got a very capable of managing director to replace me. So forthe last few years I've been doing I was a trustee of girls that well, I said, I've also been there on the board at the local collegeand then began to think about what, what did I want to do next, because I don't think being sitting on my board was going to be enough. And so I'll just started my psychotherapy training just I did a foundation stillat last year and I'm started this year. So training that to be a cupof sector. Wow, that's very exciting. Hm, that there's alittle bit likeful circule. Yeah, because you know, this is undoubtedly thisgives me the opportunity to do that in a way that I wouldn't be ableto do and also to be able to do it in a way that Iwant to be able to, where I can actually have enough of time tothink about it. For Really Lucky and provide to have that. Lots ofpeople who are training with our working full time in their jobs and then doingthis. So but yeah, it's getting back to really where I came from. Yeah, they acted and when you...

...over this woman, well, I'msaying it's interesting because that's that's you know, that's an industry that has been completelytransformed by circuits in a way that was completely accelerated by Covid I don'tthink. Well, where I'm training to have a stop relationships. They hada very small online offering because they're they're some international customers, but very smallvirtual offering and all of their all of their therapeutic work went online in away that I think that nobody thought that you would be able to deliver therapyin that way. So, yeah, so I think it actually tech inthe future of that particular industry will be really interesting. And how have youfound, you know, shift to working, promparing, doing more remote working,training for a whole new career remote as well? How you found it'sreally hard for me not to look at it through the Lens of the painof having an office space that we are contractually bound to maintain, lovely officespace. Yeah, that's quite hard for me not to look at it throughthose glasses because that's what I see all and I all I see while we'resitting here, and you can make me want to cry because there's not enoughpeople sitting in the space. So if we didn't have this, I knowI would be looking at it differently. I know that I'd been looking atquite okay, where's the opportunity? I think that there's a really big challengein in honoring people's autonomy, but also the responsibility that you have when you'releading an organization to drive people to do things that they might not necessarily chooseto do. So, you know, I really believe that people work betterwhen they're together in terms of making a connection and I think people think morecreatively and you bears ideas off people in a way that you can't do.You can do but you can't do as well remotely, and I don't thinkpeople will necessarily choose that for themselves. So I think there's there's a realtension going forward in in allowing an honoring people's autonomy and balancing that with quiteclear principles about how you get the best in an organization, because really anyorganization is only as good as it's people, and if it's people are two distributed, I don't think that there's a I'm not sure where the heart inthe bus is, and if the people aren't connected to the heart, thenyou get problems in terms of and that's definitely what in this industry, that'swhat we're seeing. You know, it's incredibly difficult to recruit at the moment, almost impossible to go through and really really difficult to retain, and Ithink that's because the the bit that made businesses really sticky was the culture andhow we hung out together and and if you haven't got that, then whydo not pick up the phone and go to the next place that offer isoffering the same packets or a better package. You know, people love not home, to get up and go into the office. MM, they wantto be able to, you know, do their early meetings in their JAMASand coming at yeah, so that makes a challenge. Then I think aboutwhat what do we do with work space? Because if we want to have aplace where people will come and collaborate, and I went to on a Webinarlast week that they were talking about the forces, which was connect,collaborate, celebrate and creativity. So those forces. If that's where you thinkyour work that's what your work space needs to give the opportunity for people todo then what do we do with our work space when we're not doing thatin them? So who's going to come to the office on a Friday afternoon? So that was the time that we always used have beers together where wecelebrate at the end of the working week.

But most offices now, I thinkeverybody who's mandated that, they're all like their employees, have to getback in. They've got this Tuesday, Thursday, problem. So they've gotthis. You can see it in the station here. Yeah, so whatdo we do with our workspace? Is that mean they're not like empty,like this on the times when our people aren't collaborating and connecting being creative?I think there might be the end of the desk. That's my kind ofinstinct that we might need to get really creative about how we furnish our spacesso that we can knock them down and knock them up into different, differentthings, completely different purpose. You know, do we have we turn our ourspaces into gym's on in the afternoons because snow is coming into you know, what we're what are the things where it's difficult to find space for?Now Bars, concert venues, pop up, theaters, you know, all ofthose things where space is slightly more difficult. And can we can wekind of be a little bit more creative intent of what we do with it, but I think that will mean the end of the desk, because youcan't knock desk smom down very easily. Amazing idea that I love that.I like that every thinking what you use an office for. If you wantto be a space for creativity of stuff and coming either and you can.Yeah, he's something taking different. Yeah, yeah, I da. I meanit kind of easy to say. I suspect it's likely harder to it'sa cute on. I think you're right in that that would be really effectiveand actually it sounds very much like everything we've been talking about. Say.All comes back to whether you're wanting to get more women into the industry,whether you want to recruit more people, whether you're wanting to kind of makeyour office were creative. It all comes back to really working on what youwant the culture of your business be like, what you want that that you forthe heart of your business to look like. Yeah, yeah, Ithink so. And I yeah, I mean that's that's it's hard to dothat remotely, because culture is generated by the people, not for the people. And and yeah, I know there are always going to be people whostick their necks up, who will lead that more than other people, andthe trick is to try to get to the bottom up. And it's abit like there will always be people that come into the office. I've beencoming in. There's always some people here. But how do you how do youget the people who don't, who aren't wanting to do that, tocome in so that you get there thinking, yeah, they're creativity as well.And unfortunately I think the only way you can do that as to Mandata, because that, you know, if you're more introverted and you're you're notreally you're you know, you're having the best time ever in your bedroom andyou can't believe you luck and you've saving yourself. Tendered a day. I'mplanning sport and Blah, blah, blah, all of that. How how elseare we going to get people to come in? We know if wedon't make them, and we need to hear those views, because those viewsare just as important as the sort of louder, slightly more easy to success. Like you said, that's the tricky job of leadership is yet balance,allowing people they're also going to be in their freedom. But yeah, sothank you. Yeah, Bain Claire, that's been absolutely fantastic and really interesting. Thank you so much, and I'm going to go away and have alot of things about what we could do with opposite. Yeah, and Isaid, really idea something that needs to be talked about a lot more.Thank you so much. Really appreciate really great touch you and that's it forus for this month. You can find us and more information at watch this, space dot UK, and he's doing this on social media at at watchthis spce is coming to be our friends...

...and hang out with us, andwe will see you next time on the reimagination at work.

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