International Women's Day on 8 March is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #IChooseToChallenge, which is about celebrating womxn’s achievement, raising awareness against bias and taking action for equality. We spoke to some of SAE’s expert lecturers and staff to find out what being womxn in the creative industry means to them and how they think we can improve opportunities for womxn in the creative industry.
SAE Liverpool Web lecturer Zahra Muhsin said: “I found out early on in my career that I was the kind of person that enjoyed adding software development to my skillset, thus I obtained my Master’s degree in computer-based information systems. In particular, I focused on software engineering web design and development. I have designed and developed websites for industrial firms at a time when personal websites were still rare. From then on, I delved deeper into full-stack web development, search engines optimisation, UX design. Web design and cloud computing technologies have been changing rapidly, thus requiring continuing professional development to catch up with new technologies. This means that there’s a lot of work to be done. Being a woman in tech, I truly believe that we as women need to know our worth and what we bring to the table, without worrying about what others think about us. Also, we need to make sure that a role is a good fit for us as a candidate; otherwise, if a woman gets a job and it is not right for her, it can form other people’s negative opinions and stereotypes. In my opinion, the best way to effectively increase women in tech is getting into schools. Finally, I believe focusing on work and having better relationships with colleagues would effectively help us to succeed and achieve our desired goals."
"BEING A WOMAN IN TECH, I TRULY BELIEVE THAT WE AS WOMEN NEED TO KNOW OUR WORTH AND WHAT WE BRING TO THE TABLE, WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK ABOUT US."
- SAE Liverpool Web lecturer Zahra Muhsin
As well as benefiting from learning under Zahra’s expert tuition, SAE Web students had a chance to hear from inspiring women such as Kathryn Tingle (Technical Programme Manager, Sainsbury’s) at SAE’s ‘Tackling racism in tech’ panel event, hosted last year in conjunction with Black History Month. Kathryn spoke candidly about her experiences of being a woman in the digital sector, acknowledging there is a long way to go before the technology sphere is properly representative and inclusive.
PwC recently published statistics that showed that 16% of females have had a career in technology suggested to them compared to 33% of males, and that only 5% of leadership positions in the technology sector are held by women.
One of these industry-leaders is SAE Liverpool’s Academic Coordinator Kate Corbin, who co-directs an animation festival in Liverpool (CAFC) and partners with the Liverpool Irish Festival. Kate said: "We've been running since 2017 and shifted the highlights of the previous years online last October. We are two women running CAFC and the Irish Festival is headed up by a woman too. Our theme for 2019 was women in animation and I was interviewed by BBC Radio Merseyside about Irish animation as part of a series of interviews during the Liverpool Irish Festival.”
Kate added: “Regarding women in animation/creative industries I would recommend joining a local/national organisation for support and sharing best practice etc. There are various groups around and one I would recommend is Animated Women UK. If you can't find a creative group which takes your fancy then start one up! Networking is crucial to keep your practice relevant and as a supportive resource too.”
Networking is definitely a great way that womxn in the creative industries can build networks and develop their careers to where they want to get to.
SAE students and alumni can sign up to our bespoke networking and mentoring platform, SAE UK Alumni Connect here.
Find out more about SAE’s Creative Womxn campaign here.