Laura Barnes talks about the cloud and why events like Woman of the Year are important

‘Our industry must keep evolving’

An industry such as ours is always evolving. While wearable tech and the Internet of Things are giving us all reason to step back and think where our trade may be heading, many traditional retailers are still wondering whether to start selling cloud services.

That’s fine – these changes are a part of our industry and it will depend on your business whether you embrace them – but there are a few other changes that need to happen more quickly.

Our first ever Woman of the Year event took place in October, where the industry got together to celebrate some of its leading female role models.These included the achievements of one in particular: Dell UK’s Sarah Shields, first ever winner of the PCR Woman of the Year award.

After receiving her award, Sarah told me why she thinks events like this are important.

“Women have an incredible amount to offer the IT industry, the way we think and the way we communicate. It’s about how we approach business and how we get more people to enjoy this amazing industry,” she said.

I couldn’t agree more. As a woman working within the tech industry I have had a few experiences that simply wouldn’t have happened if I were a man.

One notable instance was walking into a small press conference and sitting down next to a gentleman who took one look at me, then stood up and announced: “Ooh, look everyone! A woman is here!”

Once the conference had finished he turned to me and whispered: “Did you understand all that? Let me know if you need me to explain anything?”

So, while our event was bursting with female tech talent, there is still a lot of work to be done and the industry must keep evolving until it is no longer a surprise to see a woman at a press conference.

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