BBC Future Media Women In Technology Event

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Normally when you mention the words Arduino, dynamic streaming, or multi-platform people's eyes glaze over like a branded donut, however aprox 100 ladies were invited to the new BBC offices at Quay House, MediaCity:UK in Salford, UK, to talk about the Future Media and technology plans to be hosted in the North West.

Hooked in by Arduino based Daleks that link with on screen actions via wifi from the Research and Development department labs, there were lots of little stalls set up selling their latest ideas and wares. Coffee and a chance to chat with some of the BBC staff flew by and it was soon time for the presentations.

Introductions from Phil Fearnly, General Manager of News and Knowledge and presentations and discussions from Victoria Jaye, Head of IPTV and BBC Vision; Mary McCarthy, Executive Product Manager for Future Media; and Daniel Danker, General Manager for Programmes and On-Demand for Future Media.
Issues included online strategies for desktop, mobile, tablet and tv mediums; internet connected digital tv, links with Adobe to focus on http dynamic streaming, processes of constant evolution and how Twitter has changed the way people submit feedback.

Data given at the evening included, people spend 19.5 hours with the BBC per week across platforms and media, only 20 percent of people use the iplayer on a weekly basis, and the BBC have a higher than average percentage of females in a technical role (22percent).

It seemed to be a positive step forward for the BBC and female technical people in the North West, and will hopefully become a showcase for good practice in future. They might have a way to go before they get recruitment processes spot on, but it is very positive to see @BBCNorth interested in local female in SET networking groups including Manchester Girl Geeks and Plug-In-Lancashire, as a potential hub of qualified applicants to promote to.