Anna Barsby is the Group’s Chief Product and Technology Officer at 888holdings. Founder and Managing Partner at Tessiant. Non-Executive Director at Cumberland Building Society and a former FTSE 100 CIO at Halfords, Morrisons and Asda, turned Entrepreneur. She knows a lot about what it takes to attract, inspire and retain women in tech.
Anna, what inspired you to join the Women in IT UK Summit on 18 May?
I joined 888holdings recently as Chief Product and Technology Officer, and diversity and inclusion is a key companywide focus. We recently celebrated International Women’s Day with activities at all our sites around the world, and I’m keen to continue to sponsor and promote D&I both within our organisation and more widely in the Tech sector.
You are participating in the Designing for Inclusion: Strategies for Embedding Inclusion in Products and Services panel. What will you be talking about?
It’s all about knowing your customers, who you want to attract and appeal to, and then ensuring you have a robust process in place to really understand and react to their needs. The worst thing you can do is make assumptions or impose your own views, and it’s why diverse internal teams are also important to success.
What other session are you most looking forward to and why?
Other than my own – Designing for Inclusion – I think it would be Great Resignations to Great Reinventions. We’ve made great strides amongst younger age groups through STEM in schools and schemes like Code First Girls, but we need to do more for women in the middle age of life. The panel will be sharing some key statistics about women in Technology roles to illustrate how far we’ve come and how far there is still to go.
A larger proportion of women left the workplace during COVID than men, and we need to make it attractive for women to come back – not just for the benefit of our Tech sector but for the wider economy too.
What do you hope delegates will leave with on the day as a consequence of attending?
I want people to come away feeling inspired by the many brilliant women in Tech. When I attend business meetings in my role, it tends to be largely comprised of men. So to be in a room filled with women in Tech is always hugely motivating and refreshes my determination to keep pushing the D&I agenda forwards.
Why should someone attend the Summit this year?
It’s simple – to be inspired. Practically, you’ll hear fresh ideas and enjoy the great lineup of speakers. But it’s not just about the summit itself. Building a network that will continue to support you as a woman in Tech way beyond the summit and as you navigate your career is a huge ongoing benefit.
Hear more from Anna at the Summit on 18 May. To find out more and register for a place, please click here.