Heather Black from Supermums has recently launched a podcast to promote women in tech and it is already doing well in the tech podcast charts. She tells workingmums.co.uk why now is the time to promote women in tech.
Heather Black set up Supermums to train mums to be able to work in well paid, flexi jobs in the tech sector. In early July she launched the Mums On Cloud Nine Podcast to empower women to learn more about jobs in tech and help them build a more resilient career. The podcast has already hit the top 20s in the Global Technology Chart and she aims to drive it to the top. She spoke to workingmums.co.uk about why now is the time to promote it.
workingmums.co.uk: When we last spoke to you in November, you were about to launch the podcast and an accompanying book. How did Covid-19 affect your plans?
Heather Black: We managed to secure a sponsor for the podcast, but they were dealing with Covid-related marketing so it got delayed, so we decided to launch without this initially and to include them in the next series.
wms: What subjects does it cover and have you adapted these since you first conceived of the podcast?
HB: We recorded all of the sessions earlier in the year, but the sessions are very much aligned and probably even more relevant given a lot of people are facing redundancy and job losses. We want to help people think about a career in a more future-proof industry.
wms: What format does the podcast series take?
HB: The majority of the series consists of interviews with guest speakers who are influential or supportive of women in tech. With a session released each week are themes focused on helping women explore their potential, creating a life they love, creating their own success and creating a vision for change with coaching tools and techniques.
wms: Were you surprised by how well it has done? Why do you think that is?
HB: We launched the podcast with a summit helping women be stronger right now, which had nearly 1,000 subscribers. We wanted to raise awareness and find a global audience who was interested in the topics we were discussing and strive to learn and draw strength from others.
wms: Do you think the issues around upskilling women with tech skills are now more urgent, given the sectors where women predominate – such as retail and hospitality – are expected to be some of the worst affected by Covid-19?
HB: Absolutely, the tech industry offers more resilient careers that are not completely failsafe, but will bounce back quicker than other industries. There is a shortage of talent in the tech sector so there is more scope for job opportunities to come your way.
wms: What do you think women can do to help themselves get the skills they need for the kind of jobs that will be available?
HB: Cloud computing and business analysis are the most in-demand skills according to Linked In. The journey of changing career and securing a new job, requires more than just training, however. It requires access to work experience, mentoring, references, sponsorship, peer support and employment support. It’s why we put together the package that we offer at www.supermums.org.
wms: What about employers? and Government?
HB: Some employers in our sector froze their recruitment plans for a while as the future was uncertain, but we are seeing opportunities opening up again now as the economy is bouncing back. Despite this, our recruitment agency had the best sales quarter during the Covid lockdown ironically. The other benefit is that flexibility is now the norm which is opening up more jobs for mums.
wms: What are your plans for the future of the podcast and do you have any other plans to drive forward the upskilling agenda?
HB: We will keep running the podcast as long as it proves popular to inspire, inform and motivate women globally. Alongside the podcast at Supermums, we share motivational blogs, case studies and have a great Facebook community group where we support women to achieve their success. We continue to drive forward the upskilling agenda.