Spring & change

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but a few updates for anyone who still may be reading. (Hi mum!)

I’ve thrown the towel in at my PR agency job. I’ve been in agency land – design, advertising, PR – for 12 years now, which is insane. I’m possibly institutionalised and need a break, a different way of working…

You may recall last summer, when I was grounded on UK soil while my visa was processed, that I took a coding course. I really enjoyed it, and it stretched my brain in all sorts of new and agonising (that’s Javascript) ways. More than that, I felt inspired by their mission to help more women succeed in technology and beyond. Plus the founder, Anisah, and Kate, lead teacher, are wonderful, warm and funny humans who I feel like I’ve known for eons.

I don’t know how it really came up (or who said it first) but at some stage the suggestion was made that I should join full-time. So I am. Goodbye ridiculous salary, job that I can do with my eyes closed and client services; and onwards to start-up life, bootstrapping and flinging myself into the unknown as the 23 Code Street marketing manager.

Before I do this, I’m heading to Dubai, Melbourne and Auckland to catch up with my friends and whanau. I’ve never even transited through the Middle East (despite the number of times I’ve criss-crossed the planet) and I haven’t been to Melbourne since 2009.

New season, new me.

Why don’t men* like women in tech?

This morning, I checked LinkedIn as I usually do and amongst the kittens (no seriously, who is putting all these kittens there?) I spotted this:

Zalando

Names have been blurred to protect the douche-y.

Zalando is a huge tech company in Germany where a former colleague of mine, a woman, works as a front end developer. A big well done to them, as they are obviously trying to recruit more diversely and support their employees.

But what is up with the second comment? Here is a clearly talented and interesting woman, representing her employers in a professional capacity. And once again a man is taking the opportunity in a public forum to degrade someone based on their gender/looks.  FYI, an arm tattoo never was, and never will be what the urban dictionary defines as a ‘tramp stamp’. Why don’t some* men like women in tech?

I am new to the development side of digital, having a digital marketing background, but the more time I spend talking to people, the more I realise what a HUGE problem there is in our agencies and our start-ups. Where are the women? Where are the people of colour, different socio-economic backgrounds, and ages? We can’t all be sub-30 white dudes with a potty mouth. Intellectually, I have always known this but I have only recently become witness to the indifference of the technology industry.

I was angry enough to politely ask this chap to think about what he was saying and whether it was the right forum – which for some reason was subsequently deleted. Now I AM VERY ANGRY. If this was a guy holding a dog talking about his love of agile, who happened to have a forearm tattoo, I struggle to think where an insult or ‘assessment’ like the above would come into it.

And from here on in I will make it my mission to champion women/diversity in tech at every opportunity. Starting with my own team, support of 23 Code Street and beyond…!

* Of course not every man is an ass-hat and are very valued allies. It’s a broad generalisation, but yeah, its getting a bit awkward.

PS. Kittens. Perfect for blogs, not so much LinkedIn in my opinion.

Some things… June 2016

Lion ring

Sharla-La jewellery. I love my lion head door knocker ring. Sharla told me she loves casting things from miniatures, and this wee beastie is from a doll’s house.

Orange is the New Black. Colour me obsessed. I am smitten with this show. Belatedly as usual. But just in time to binge watch three series of prison life and be fresh and ready for season four.

23 Code Street.  Teaching women to code through short evening courses, 23 Code Street is a social enterprise that enables a disadvantaged woman in India to learn how to code for every paying student. I am starting a course on Monday night, and I am so pumped! I never use that word, so yeah, immeasurable excitement.

Vermicomposting. I have approximately 1600 to 2000 composting worms in my backyard eagerly devouring kitchen waste – coffee grounds, teabags, vegetable peelings… Good work guys!  It’s been a little tough setting up – referring to Google often with questions like do worms like  tomatoes – but we are getting there with all of the household food waste being split between a 330L compost bin and the wormery.

The Art of Dim Sum. Who doesn’t love a food documentary? I recently really enjoyed The Art of Dim Sum, a short documentary about a Hong Kong dim sum eatery, Sam Hai Yat (Pokfulam Road), and the craft of making delicious ‘little bundles of joy’.

My resolve

Hope you are all having wonderful evenings. I have prebooked my Thai delivery, have a movie lined up (Wild, the story of Cheryl Strayed) and a hot water bottle. Tomorrow at 6.30am I’ll be helping with breakfast at my homeless shelter I volunteer at, then a yoga workshop! A virtuous start to the year? Perhaps. Or peaking early…

Anyway, I wanted to share my single resolve this year. Nothing about losing weight, being kind or making a truckload of money. That would be nice though. All I’m going to do is pick up one piece of litter a day. Start small, lowball. If things tally up, great.

If everyone in London picked up one crumpled water bottle a day, or an empty crisp packet, imagine how clean it would be… Clean canals, empty green fields, sparkling high streets. Wishful thinking but you’ve got to start somewhere.

One thing a day.
That’s all.
Be the change you want to see.
Make good in 2016.

Ten days of pigeons

Baby pigeons - ten days

Have you ever wondered where all the baby pigeons are? You’re not alone – a quick Google search for this yields approximately 3,090,000 results.

My boss recently found an anonymous fledgling, and after an extended adventure, dropped the poor chick off at a wildlife rescue centre. It turned out it was a (very exotic) baby pigeon, approximately aged 6-7 days old. They promised to rehabilitate it as much as possible… but it might have been too early.

The above is an amazing illustration of just how fast these little dudes grow – from egg to woah in just ten days! Plus, they’re complete homebodies, staying in their nests until they reach maturity. No wonder we never see them – they’ve barely taken their first breath before they’re feathered and ready to go.  Human infants could learn something from them…

[Via Pinterest]