On Wednesday 11 November 2015, we brought together more than thirty fashion designers, leading journalists and CEOs of major brands, retailers and manufacturers at the UK Houses of Parliament to discuss how sustainability can be taken to scale in the fashion and textiles industry and how the new Mysource.io platform will make that possible.
Throughout my ten years of working in fashion and sustainability, I've seen some incredibly inspiring things. There are thousands of professionals and businesses changing the way business is done, and creating products that have a positive impact. I've seen some of our industry's most creative minds tackle the challenge of sustainability and come up with gems.
I've just finished watching the second and final episode of BBC's Girls Can Code and I have to admit I found it fascinating - although not for the reasons I'd expected. From the title I'd assumed this would be a look at 'coding' whereas in fact it was more about inspiring women to consider careers in the tech industry and female entrepreneurship. Something I wholeheartedly support.
It's the reality that when people picture a successful entrepreneur that can build and scale a business, they picture a man. It's also the reality that women themselves often assume certain things are not achievable or possible. A British documentary maker summarised this perfectly: "If she does not see it, she can't be it."
I believe strongly that it is the responsibility of women across the globe that have achieved success in the digital and IT sector to give something back. We can capture the imagination of young women and give them the confidence to believe they can create the great tech innovations that will define our future. Through increased mentorship and by actively trying to create the conditions in which enterprising women can thrive, we can ensure that future generations of aspiring female tech entrepreneurs have the support they need to achieve similar success - and most importantly, in greater numbers. Quite simply, we must send the elevator back down.
From the humble foundations that Ada Lovelace set us, my biggest piece of advice for women is to gain more confidence. It's time to break down the barriers that you are setting yourselves. From the many conversations I have with people in my own organisation, I see women that are holding themselves back every day because of a tendency to over-analyse.