Tracy Heatley, a networking and small business marketing expert from Rossendale, supported an event in Birmingham last week organised to help motivate women to further their careers and businesses in the tech industry or enter the tech industry for the first time.
Digital Women Live events invite prominent female business experts operating within the tech industry to share their expertise on operating and excelling in this lucrative and rapidly growing industry.
Making a difference in the tech industry, the events offer women the opportunity to see how to include themselves in the jobs and skills available in the Tech industry. They aim to close the gender gap and ensure women can fully participate in the digital economy. Data from 2022 has shown that if the slow pace of change continues in the tech industry, a 50/50 gender split will not be achieved until 2060.
The average tech salary is higher than the average for most vacancies in the UK, and it is steadily increasing at a time when the average wage for most other jobs on the market has decreased. Whilst due to a lack of skilled workers in the UK, many positions are left unfilled.
In order to tap into these opportunities, women need to learn how to network more effectively. “Women still struggle when it comes to networking to find the opportunities that are out there.” says Tracy, “ When I started networking, I was the rare woman in a group, things are different now, but 51% of the population is women, and in networking the balance is still off! ”
Why networking like a Spice Girl is key
Tracy spoke to the audience on how to build connections and a support network around you to help you excel. How to network like the Spice Girls so that you get what you really really want – something she has mastered throughout the years.
“Specific is terrific,” says Tracy, when it comes to networking in order to get the most out of your time, energy and resources.
According to Tracy, who has been training people in the art of effective networking since 2012,many people network without an aim in mind and actually do not know what to do to maximise networking opportunites. They often think networking is about getting business or a job opportunity that day from the people in the room rather than what it’s really about, finding your support network. Something Tracy describes as your ‘Vibe Tribe’.
Also, many people are unaware of the different kinds of networking which exist; from casual or open networking groups to the more committed or formal groups.
“What you are really looking for when your networking is a group where you feel included, comfortable and supported as an individual. Your networking roadmap is really important. I honestly believe that your network is your GPS to success,” says Tracy.
Tracy’s approach to networking
Tracy shared the 4 C’s of networking, Competence, Credibility, Clarity, and Connectivity, which she has used since starting her own North West BoB Clubs networking clubs in 2007 to guide and support her members in the right direction.
She now manages eight groups in total throughout the North West, which all meet fortnightly on weekdays for breakfast and connection at 7 am.
There is a network for everyone
“You need to find the right kind of networking for you. If you do not feel comfortable, keep trying until you find one that you do like. They are all different.”
Tracy spoke about how introverts, and other personality types who might ordinarily describe themselves as being incompetent and awkward when it comes to networking are actually misjudging their worth and abilities. In her experience, introverts make great networkers as they are generally brilliant listeners, and in networking, listening is a crucial skill.
A number of audience members who connected to Tracy’s advice and supportive words who ordinarily struggle or avoid networking for various reasons thanked Tracy at the end for helping them find the strength to get back out there to find their connections.
If you want to learn how to network to get what you really, really want like the Rossendale Spice Girl herself, you can join her on 7th June, for a networking workshop at the Red Hall Hotel, in Buryl from 12.15-4.30pm, more details can be found at: www.tracyheatley.com