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Blog | Apr 29, 2020

Women in RPA – Part 2: A Proactive Approach to Gender Equality in RPA

By Nina Michell
Global Corporate Event Manager
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Redressing the balance of women in technology is a key aim for Blue Prism. As the innovators behind robotic process automation (RPA) we know the immense value of supporting diversity and equality within the technology sector. And our ‘Women in RPA’ (WIRPA) initiative is providing a community and platform for women who want to push the envelope.

In Part 2 of this 4-part series, we hear from Cari Williams, Director, EMEA Strategic Program Management, and Sophie Rawlins, Account Director at Blue Prism to find out how Women in RPA events are pushing for a proactive approach to gender equality in RPA.

Supporting women in the RPA space

Blue Prism’s Women in RPA (WIRPA) initiative will soon celebrate its one-year anniversary. That’s 12 months of pushing for change within the RPA and technology sectors, proving a community, forum and platform for women’s voice to be heard – and helping to drive enhanced female representation and diversity within the sector.

To achieve this, it’s been important to create a safe place for women to share their experiences of working in the industry, helping others to push the envelope. We asked Cari Willians and Sophie Rawlins if this is a key benefit for women that engage with the WIRPA initiative.

Sophie: “One of the key benefits of WIRPA is for women to have a sense of belonging. We want WIRPA to be a place of continuous learning and a platform for people to have a voice. Our ‘She Said’ series gives women this voice, and we’re also launching a new initiative to encompass more user-driven content into our platform. This is something I’m really excited about so watch this space.”

Cari: “A core benefit of WIRPA is being able to share experiences and advice with others. We’re particularly proud to demonstrate this within our culture at Blue Prism. We actively encourage other women (or indeed men) to share advice with each other and continuously learn from one another. Learning from peers is the best source of personal development in my opinion.”

Promoting WIRPA on the global stage

Blue Prism was delighted to be asked to speak at the Women of Silicon Valley and Women of Silicon Roundabout events. Sadly, both events have now been postponed until later in 2020 due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, but WIRPA is still keen to get involved.

Cari: “We originally attended the Women of Silicon Roundabout event in London as guests and were totally inspired by the atmosphere. We immediately knew that we wanted to be a part of the experience going forward.”

Sophie: “As WIRPA, we want to be part of something bigger. Women in Technology is a global initiative that has a far wider reach and influence than we currently do. It’s a chance to connect and network with those who are also part of the wider technology space, and to discover the great work being done by others. We can meet people running similar programs for their organisations, share best practice and educate one and other.”

Cari: “With these events taking place all over the world, sponsoring ‘Women in Tech’ events is a great fit for our objective to be a truly global initiative – whether it’s in person, or via online digital events during the current crisis.”

Sophie: “Sponsorship is also an opportunity to promote RPA and Intelligent Automation as a global industry in its own right. These events give us a platform to introduce those who know nothing about Blue Prism and the RPA industry we created almost 20 years ago, with the hope that we’ll inspire women looking for a new challenge to take a leap into RPA.”

The future of women in technology

The evolution of a more diverse technology sector is something that will take time. How do you see the future of women in technology? Is the outlook positive?

Cari: “I really do believe we’re progressing in a positive direction and will eventually get to a place where equality is talked about less, simply because it’s less of an issue. Unfortunately, I don’t think this will happen overnight and we still have a long way to go, but the progress that has been made is encouraging.”

Sophie: “The future of women in technology is bright, but only if we continue to push and do more. EY's recent article raises some important points. We’re over 100 years on from the start of the Women’s Rights movement, but it’s estimated that it will take another 108 years to close the overall gender gap. In the disruptive and transformative age we live in, it surprises me that we still don’t anticipate making our mark on the gender equality challenge.”

Cari: “I think the way to accelerate equality in the technology industry is to encourage younger girls and boys to pursue STEM subjects from a young age and continue this through to university. The WIRPA initiative has been proactive in visiting schools to demonstrate there are many other options to the traditional roles and advocate the benefits of pursuing a career in technology.”

Sophie: “There are so many benefits for us to push for gender equality; not only will we benefit socially, but economically too. With the right mindset, and with the right champions, I believe we’re all capable of making a difference!”

Join the WIRPA community and push for change

At Blue Prism, we’re always driven to deliver a positive impact within the RPA sector. Setting up our WIRPA initiative has been an incredibly valuable journey for everyone involved – helping us push for positive change and redress the gender balance within the technology industry.

In Part 3 of this 4-part series, we’ll hear from Carla Marzari, Innovation Engineer at Blue Prism. Carla is a key member of the Blue Prism Innovation Center and specializes in communicating the benefits of Intelligent Automation, the current-day applications of automation and her experiences of being an ambitious woman in the RPA sector.

Get involved in our Women in RPA initiative

Hear from our Blue Prism experts, Carla Marzari, Innovation Engineer on May 14 talking about Intelligent Automation: An Overview Of Current Day Applications And Benefits and Sam Shaw, Head of Customer Support EMEA on June 10 covering Boost your Future Intelligently with Automation.

We look forward to having you join us!

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