Tech Returners... The beginning

Aug 1st, 2018

In the Summer of 2017 Tech Returners was just an idea, scribbled down on the back of one of my 4-year old son Ethan's drawings.

But then it began to take shape and developed over the coming days, weeks and months, with endless lists of ideas about how to bring it to life, and make a difference to those who want to re-join the exciting world of tech.

Become a Tech Returner

Now, in November 2017, I have just launched the very first "Become a Tech Returner" course for seven amazing returners who are all keen to:

  • Upskill to launch their own business
  • To learn, develop and progress into a career in tech
  • To grow in confidence

But why and how did this happen?

My passion for supporting women in tech started during my maternity leave with my son. I spent time wondering if I was the only one who felt alone during my leave and lacking the confidence to go back to work, and feeling guilty about balancing work-life and parenthood.

I started connecting with others in the same boat. Sharing my journey on the challenges and successes with others in the tech community up and down the country via meetups and talks at conferences.

The support, recognition and growing numbers of women with the same experiences was overwhelming. I decided to do something, and set up WIT North (Women in Technology) with a fantastic team.

Over the course of the last two years I have met so many amazing women who are rich with talent and have so much passion for the sector, but who share common issues that crop up time and time again. And those are, the lack of support, recognition, and understanding of people (men and women) returning from a career break whether maternity leave, raising children and caring for others.

The factors that stood out for me following these conversations was a diminished confidence following a career break; a desire to continue personal and career development but an absence of access to information and networks. And, the elephant in the room for most employers, a massive lack of flexibility and opportunities available to us.

So, the Tech Returners story began with my vision that I wanted to change this for people who have taken time out from working. And offer the right support and opportunities for development — not just for individuals, but also to educate employers about the talent they are missing out on.