Women of Silicon 2023: Daemon analyst consultant, Naomi Pearse, on the impact of conferences for women in tech

Inclusivity is woven into the fabric of how we treat everyone at Daemon. We love celebrating the tremendous diversity of our workforce.


Last year we spoke about inclusivity at Daemon with Jane Lockwood, our COO, after she attended the Women of Silicon Roundabout in London. This year, we went back again. Women are 50% of the workforce, but only make up about 26.7% of tech positions, and over the past 2 years, that number hasn’t been increasing.  


Statistics like that are why the Women of Silicon Roundabout is so essential and why it’s so important for Daemon to continue to help drive change forward. Change isn’t just about looking at the way things are for women already in the industry; it’s about what we can do for women entering the industry. 


With that in mind, we interviewed one of the brilliant hires we made after the conference last year. Naomi Pearse is one of our analyst consultants, and she recently made the transition from design to tech. We also spoke to Helette Gelderblom, our Head of Brand & Marketing, to get her thoughts on the event. This is what they had to say: 


Hi Naomi, you first met Daemon at the Women of Silicon Roundabout in 2022, and now you’re a fantastic new part of the team. You’re coming back for more in 2023! What inspired you about the conference this year? 

One of the things that really stood out to me was just how many different types of people were present this year. When people say “women in tech” they often think “female software engineer” - but this year I met people from finance departments, marketing, and internal comms, too. 


There’s a real sense of solidarity when so many women are talking and having the same positive experiences in the industry. We spoke about company culture, and work-life balance. Those conversations have been really inspiring.


Naomi Pearse Daemon Women of Silicon Roundabout 2023

That’s amazing! Did anyone stand out?

One woman who stuck with me was someone who had been in the industry for 15 years as a software engineer. She was telling me about how she works more as a project manager now, but still manages to get a bit of coding in. 

Most roles I’m familiar with tend to exist in one sphere or the other, so meeting someone who has a role that does both - perhaps a role I could see myself going for in the future - has been a real inspiration. Especially when I wasn’t aware that it could be an option! 


Why are events like Women of Silicon important?

So many women in tech work as the sole woman in a team of men, so it’s really nice to be able to connect together. You get to look up the career ladder and see so many wonderful women in the positions they’re in today, but there’s also the opportunity to speak to people closer to your level, too.

There was one woman I spoke to who told me she’d just done a boot camp, as I had, and she was approaching prospective employees, as I had. My immediate thought was “you were me a year ago!” She was doing everything right. When I was taking the steps I took to land my job at Daemon, it was very nerve-racking and networking alone was hard. Being able to tell her she was headed in the right direction was incredibly validating.

Building that sense of community must be really important with these events. 

It is. Women can often have a different way of thinking about things and approaching problems. There’s a set of shared experiences we have that brings with it slightly different energy, and we need to be able to discuss those experiences while working in male-dominated spaces. Interestingly, while tech is a male-dominated field, events like these mean my professional network is more women than men. So community building really does come from this.  

Daemon Women of Silicon Roundabout

I also think that these events show women entering the industry that tech doesn’t have to be scary. Even though the industry is male-dominated, it still attracts really lovely women and lovely people - it was so nice to see the men bringing their skills and experience and allyship to the cause. 


There aren’t a lot of women in the industry, but to people thinking of entering it, these events show that you don't need to be intimidated. 


Helette, we’d like to ask you a question, too. How does the event leave you feeling about Daemon as a place to work?

I’d say the event has left me feeling incredibly optimistic! Definitely inspired. 


As a business, we want to provide a great service, and the way to do that is to attract the best talent. And great talent comes from recognising the importance of a mix of people from a range of backgrounds. These conversations help draw focus into doing that on an industry-wide scale.


One of the things I found moving was in seeing the willingness to connect. The questions people had and the way people responded to them - there was a difference to other events. We had some men from our team attend, and I really liked hearing from them afterwards. They were basically saying it's the most positive event they've been to. It was lovely seeing them recognise that difference. 


Back to you Naomi. Given this is your second time coming to the event, could you reflect a little on what it was like to go to the first one, too? How has it affected your career since? 

I actually almost didn’t go to the event last year! I’m so glad I did, but at the time nobody seemed to be hiring, and junior positions were drying up. My perspective was “well if there are no jobs out there, I may as well not worry about that and see if I can make connections.” 


One of the things I love is just how much you can learn that isn’t readily available elsewhere. There are so many different roles that people have in so many departments. A lot of the conversations I had were just centred on finding out more about different people’s roles within their companies and how they got to where they are today. 


These events also help showcase what a company is like and what they do. I didn’t find out about Daemon until attending the event last year. And here we are.


What advice would you give to other up and coming women in technology? How can they get more involved?

I’d say to keep turning up to these events. There are so many events out there for women - both online and in-person. They’re great for all the reasons we’ve talked about, and they’re great for forming connections. Staying in touch with those connections is important too.

Daemon Women of Silicon Roundabout 2024

The tech industry has historically been harder for women, so we’re lucky to be at a point where there’s a real, concerted effort to redress that balance. The point of these sorts of events is to get to a place where we no longer need them. As more women enter the industry, these events might start to plateau. It’s important to make the most of them and the opportunities they bring. 


Connect with Naomi on LinkedIn here, or click here to find out more about our upcoming roles:

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