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Barrat

Interview with Georgie Barrat

Georgie Barrat is one of the UK’s leading technology journalists. A sought-after and charismatic speaker, her speaking topics revolve around social media trends, Generation Z, and women in technology. In this interview with A-Speakers, she shares her opinion on what can be done to get more women to join the tech industry, and gives her best tips for how to build a personal brand.

Who or what inspires you most?

When I’m not actively concentrating on completing a task, I often have those lightning bolt moments of inspiration. They usually come when I’m out running or meditating. It may not feel like the most efficient use of time, but if I know I need to come up with a creative concept I will make sure to do both of these activities. Once those organic moments of inspiration happen I find things come together quickly and easily.

 

Do you have a favourite experience from your speaking career?

I presented an award ceremony alongside Sir Berners Lee for the Open Data Institute. To be able to speak alongside the creator of the World Wide Web was a phenomenal experience.

 

What kinds of clients have you worked with in the past?

I predominantly work with tech clients including HP, Acer, EE, Carphone Warehouse, Mobile World Congress, Sony, Tech City News and Intel. But I also have hosted tech focused discussions and stages at other conferences like Retail Week Live, Adobe Marketing and Hudson Recruitment.

 

In your opinion, what can be done to encourage young women to seek out a career in tech, and how should the industry change to accomodate them?

Changing the way young women view IT as a career path is a key part in counteracting the industry’s gender imbalance. This doesn’t necessarily mean ‘pinkifying’ technology, more it’s to redefine it away from some of the negative stereotypes. Coding as a career is highly creative and sociable, it allows you to travel and shape the world. It’s an undersubscribed, increasingly growing and hugely lucrative industry. Interestingly, the tech sector has one of the lowest pay gaps between male and female staff of any industry, with women working in science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) careers earning, on average, 30% more than those in non-STEM areas. All this needs to be broadcast loud and clear to young women, ideally through appropriate role models. The industry itself needs to implement big changes to the way it recruits, develops and retains female talent. This cultural shift across all three areas will not only combat Europe’s digital skills gap, it will ensure that technology that is meant for all, is built by all.

 

What are your 3 best tips for young entrepreneurs wishing to create a successful personal brand?

1) Get experimenting to work out what your personal brand is. It could be a skill, personality trait, job title, specialist interest – anything that makes you stand out from the crowd.

2) Once you’ve landed upon that sweet spot, start establishing your professional identity online because this is the first place that people will look if they want to do business with you.

3) You now have an online presence – time to get networking with it. Use social media platforms to target individuals and companies who are in keeping with the brand you’ve established. They’ll quickly see that you’re the person that they want to invest in or do business with.

 

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