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TGT MEETS...Danielle Holmes from Black Nova Designs - IWD

Wednesday 8th March is International Women’s Day - and the theme this year is #embracequity. Danielle Holmes, the Sales and Marketing Director from Black Nova Designs answers some interesting IWD questions...

If you have a team – do you have a gender mix? Are there challenges in achieving this? What are they?

We do have a gender mix here at Black Nova Designs, but we are always hoping for a better balance in the coding and web development sector. It’s a particular challenge for the industry we’re in; the tech sector historically hasn’t appealed to women but that is on the turn. There are some wonderful women-led tech teams leading the way and initiatives supporting and advancing the possibilities for women in tech, from the classroom to the boardroom - Women Who Code and Women in Technology being just two brilliant examples. We saw an article about women in STEM industries recently which quoted someone who suggested that there were admin, marketing and sales jobs which could be perfect for women wanting to break into STEM. We would love to see women in ALL areas of tech, not just roles which were once upon a time considered to be a better fit for women!

What does #embracequity mean to you?

We’re in a better position that we were even 10 years ago but women are still on the whole paid less than men for doing the same job, are proven to be less likely to apply for a job even if they have the same skills as a man and take on the majority of home and family chores alongside their work. SO - there’s still work to do. Here at Black Nova, we give everyone the same flexible work environment, which means those with families can pick their kids up and be there for unmissable moments. We invest in staff and pay people based on the job they do, not their gender. Our mission has always been to ensure everyone can make the most of technology, regardless of their age, gender and business background. I see #embraceequity in a similar light - everyone should be given the same opportunities.

In which of these areas do you support women? As a woman or as an ally?

I’m flying the flag for women in tech! I’ve always been open that I didn’t know much about IT until I met Kyle and then started to learn more when I helped him launch Black Nova Designs to the world. Over the years since I’ve learnt so much and attended so many networking events where other women are astonished that I work in IT. I think women automatically assume they won’t be able to understand some aspects of tech and that they will encounter lots of jargon and complex ideas, but that’s not the case. It’s just a case of getting started and then you’ll find it a welcoming and inclusive space. And if more women embrace IT, we’ll build a gender balanced community which is welcoming to everyone.

Which women have inspired you over the last year generally? Why? 

I’d have to choose the amazing Jade Holland Cooper. She was already an incredibly inspirational businesswoman to me and since she has started her family, she’s become even more relatable. She had her second child just before Christmas last year and it’s a pleasure watching her continue to grow her business, be transparent about overcoming challenges and enjoying the experience of being a mum to two small children.

Which local women have inspired you in the last year? Why?

First up it’s got to be Frank and Vicky who run the Wootton Bassett School of Dance. Their pure motivation and dedication to dance is inspiring, and they have created an encouraging and supportive environment for teaching that really brings out the best in their pupils. Plus, it’s great seeing a local business run by women thriving!

I’ve also been inspired by Jasmine Punter, a friend and fellow businesswoman who has worked so hard on her own photography business year in, year out and made a huge success of it. Plus, she’s always so helpful, kind, positive and gracious. Jasmine has recently bought her own house which is just down the road from me so she’s practically a neighbour too, and it’s been so good to see her achieve her goal of homeownership as a self-employed business owner.

What do you think are the biggest issues facing women this year and beyond?

I’d say that the biggest issue facing women right now is how to achieve equality at work and in the home. We’re aware of the need for more women in tech, in the boardrooms and running businesses and that’s being address in lots of ways, but that is a mountain to climb when the data shows most women still do more than their fair share of at home. I know this isn't the case for everyone and there are amazing husbands and partners who cook, clean, shop, do the school run, and generally take care of things, but the research doesn’t lie - we still have a long way to go. Women will struggle to get a healthy work/life balance while they do most of the work at home, so I’d say this is a huge challenge.

Why do you think it's important to have an International Women's Day?

As well as the points mentioned in my previous answer, International Women's Day is by definition a global day of awareness, and I think that points us to exactly why it’s still important. While the UK and other western countries have changed a lot and there are laws, organisations, and initiatives geared to furthering gender equality that’s not the case for many millions of women around the world. While there are still places where women are second-class citizens without access to education and careers, it’s relevant.

Find out more about Black Nova Designs HERE!

Black Nova Designs

Black Nova Designs

Black Nova Designs is a professional, affordable, I.T. company.

Redman Road, Porte Marsh Ind Est , Calne, Wiltshire, SN11 9PL

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