Portcullis has happily agreed to be this year’s principal sponsor of The Manchester Girl Geeks (MGG); a not-for-profit group which organises networking events and workshops for ladies with an interest in everything related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
It provides the opportunity for members to get together in a relaxed environment, to network and discuss trends or topics and encourage each others interests and individual projects. The group initially started as Girl Geek Dinners that gradually grew into over 60 groups in 20 different countries.
From the dinners they branched out into networking tea parties, starting in Manchester, as an activity oriented and family friendly addition. Today they hold monthly workshops on Sunday afternoons at a place called MadLab in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, which include both hands-on activities such as an introduction to web development and “Build your own PC” sessions, as well as talks on exciting science related topics. All workshops are run by volunteers and are free to attend. People are encouraged to get involved by helping to organise events or giving presentations. New members are always welcome.
The initial sponsorship is for one year and will then be reviewed annually. There is a woefully small percentage of women within the IT Security sector; currently estimated at 7% and falling. Ironically this statistic comes from the female Minister for Cyber-Security; Chloe Smith. When you consider that women have been in the forefront of this industry right from the start with Ada Lovelace through to the magnificent contribution of WRENS at Bletchley and HMS Pembroke during World War II. It is a great pity that so few people within today’s industry are female. As part of our commitment to promoting the involvement of girls and women in technology; some of the technical crew of Portcullis will – from time to time – hold talks and presentations at the Manchester Girl Geeks meetings.