annkempsterA group which supports and promotes women working in the digital sector is coming to Manchester.

300 seconds started in London earlier this year and is branching out with its first regional event in Manchester in November.

One of the founders, Ann Kempster explained that the group had formed in order to help address a problem which is often commented on – a lack of female speakers in technology and digital fields.

“The three of us (also Sharon O’Dea and Hadley Beeman ) go to a lot of techie events and government related web and digital things and we keep seeing a lot of male only panels and those events in the wider tech world as well.

“The issue of under-representation of women is something that comes up a lot at these sort of events as well so we thought we would do something about it rather than constantly just talking about it.”

And so they came up with the idea of 300 seconds. It’s a quick fire format for female speakers which is intended to give new speakers confidence and profile in their chosen space.

As the website points out: “Standing up in front of an audience for half an hour can be daunting even to the seasoned pro. But five minutes – just 300 seconds – well, that’s not so hard, is it?

“By opening up speaking opportunities to the full diversity of experiences and opinions in our industry, we can give audiences opportunities to learn more about the personal and professional passions of our peers.”

Listen to more of Sarah Hartley’s interview with Ann here.

The idea has won the backing of many in the technology sphere and Kempster hopes the Manchester date will be the first of many future events in different locations around the country.

Sign-up here if you’d be interested in speaking at the Manchester event. The date and exact venue will be announced in the near future but, in the meantime, the organisers can be contacted via the website.