On Wednesday 28th October, Yard’s Megan attended a day for inspirational women held by Girlguiding Cymru to speak to some of the Guides about her role as a Web Developer. The event was organised as a result of an education and employment survey last year which reflected that many of the Guides felt that they still identified some job roles as typically male due to a lack of female role models in those industries. Here’s Megan’s account of the day:
How did you get involved with the event?
Earlier this year I attended a Chwarae Teg event called #NotJustForBoys which was an all girls event designed to promote stereotypically male dominated fields to encourage more women to consider them as a future career path. The representatives from Girlguiding Cymru approached me as I was carrying out a demonstration and discussing how I got into the role, and asked me if I would be interested in volunteering at the event – of course I said yes!
What did the day involve?
Throughout the day there were workshops which were presented by inspirational women from various fields. For example, there were two women who had started their own businesses; a lady who had a unique job as an Auctioneer and an engineer. Then there was me! Initially I was scheduled to do two presentations to groups of around 20-25 girls, but by the end of the day I was asked to stay to do an extra presentation as so many of the guides had found it interesting!
I knew beforehand that I wanted maximum impact from the time I had – I didn’t want to go in and use a lot of technical jargon and have people with no idea what I was talking about! I started off each session by writing keywords on the board such as Software Developer, Web Development and Data Analytics, and then asked the girls to shout out words that they thought related to my job.
I then asked the girls to make some guesses as to the sort of courses and qualifications that you would need for this kind of role, before giving them a brief history of my school and university career. I included some slightly embarrassing moments such as mistakes I made at college as I wanted them to see that it really is an attainable career!
For a practical demonstration, I used miniature shopping trolleys and some copies of album covers to demonstrate analytics. It’s such a great demonstration as it gives you a physical representation of the customer journey and the girls were fascinated to think that companies could monitor things like the time customer’s spent on the page, where they clicked afterwards and what steps they would take before purchasing the item.
To demonstrate the coding aspect of my job, I connected a Raspberry Pi to various pieces of fruit which were programmed to play different drum noises when they were touched by someone. This really got people’s attention and ensured that the session finished on a high. Lots of the Guides stayed behind in their break to chat to me about which courses they should consider enrolling in and find out more about what I do which was fantastic.
It was great to see so many of the girls express an interest in what I do, and I hope I inspired some of them to consider a similar career path for themselves – thanks for having me Girlguiding Cymru!
-Megan Castleton, Web Developer, Yard