Barnsley business group doubles in size since last International Women’s Day

07/03/2024 |

A BUSINESS group for women working in Barnsley’s tech, digital and creative sector has doubled in size since it was launched on International Women’s Day (IWD) last year.

A BUSINESS group for women working in Barnsley’s tech, digital and creative sector has doubled in size since it was launched on International Women’s Day (IWD) last year.

The Women’s Group at Barnsley’s Digital Media Centre (DMC) has had six meetings in its first year, with each featuring a specialist speaker or two, plus opportunities for networking, sharing knowledge and helping each other tackle business challenges.

Starting with around 15 women at the first session, the number of participants has doubled in a year. More than 30 have booked to attend this week’s International Women’s Day event (Friday March 8). In total, there are more than 40 active members across 27 companies.

Organiser Judy Sidebottom said: “We decided to launch the DMC Women’s Group at last year’s International Women’s Day, after looking at the data around women in tech, and recognising the need to have a space in Barnsley that allows growth and community, and it has gone from strength to strength.

“I think it’s been a success because the members set their own agenda and goals. We learn from each other’s skill sets, or invite other experts in as guest speakers.

“The group reflects the high number of strong female leaders, entrepreneurs and employees who influence the tech and digital ecosystem in Barnsley. We feel this is one of our defining features as a business community and recognise that women are not so well represented across the digital business sector nationally.

“Our aim is to ensure we do everything we can to support businesswomen in Barnsley; and to advance gender parity in technology and innovation.”

Speakers at the Women’s Group have covered subjects such as artificial Intelligence, digital law, social purpose, credit control, confidence building and grants for growth.

Lindsey Watson, founder of Chapter 3 Digital, said: “The Women's Group has been a breath of fresh air. It’s warm, welcoming, and attended by a group of women who really want to get business done. I've left every session feeling like I've learned a lot, met new people and some of the connections we've made are now clients.”

Nicola Tiffany, MD of HMA Digital, said: “The DMC Women’s Group has been a great way to understand what wonderful things other female leaders are getting up to in and around Barnsley. With the agenda led by group members, the topics of discussion have been varied and interesting and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed hearing about other members’ journeys and learning from them along the way.”

The Women’s Group will celebrate International Women’s Day on Friday 8th March, 10:30am - 1pm, with a wellbeing themed event, which will also feature the usual sharing of knowledge, successes and challenges. The event is open to all women with a connection to the DMC’s business community.

Barnsley DMC01 and DMC02 are home to dozens of businesses and have developed a national and international reputation for tech innovation over the past 15 years. Owned and managed by Barnsley Council, the centres are home to the Enterprising Barnsley and Launchpad business support programmes. There’s also a MakerLab and CreatorLab equipped with 3D print, laser cutting, virtual reality and AV tech.

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