In this post I share the top things that resonated with me from the Women of Silicon Roundabout 2021 conference.


What makes you get out of bed everyday and feel excited to go to your workplace or nowadays, for many of us, to go to the dining room and start working? Lorraine Barnes, partner at Deloitte Digital says

it is our sense of purpose and our ability to connect our personal purpose with our work that motivates us.

It is not surprising that many have had time to reflect on that sense of purpose during the pandemic. We see the result of that in what is now referred to as The “Great Resignation”. Many have quit their jobs to pursue a life where they prioritise their wellbeing.


Companies are now fighting to attract talent. As companies grow and scale their teams, it becomes crucial to look ahead. You shouldn’t only hire the people that you need now, but rather, create the roles that you may need in the future as your organisation grows.

Ela Osterberger and Mahana Mansfield from Deliveroo talked about “how to scale at pace in a battle of talent.” They mentioned the article Give away your legos and other commandments for scaling startups that inspired their thinking around this.

In the article, Molly Graham gives a brilliant metaphor explaining how the emotions we feel when we give away our responsibilities to new members of the team are not different from how kids feel when they give away their legos. There’s a feeling of anxiety that stems from a worry that the new person might take your job, might not do it as well or might even do it better. She explains that

“If you personally want to grow as fast as your company, you have to give away your job every couple months.”

She also talks about how hiring has a network effect and how the first 100 people you hire will define the next 200.

On the topic of nurturing talent, Lena Smart, Chief information Security Officer at MongoDB talked about how she retains talent and how she helped one of her colleagues make the move to cybersecurity. She made the point that:

Teaching someone a technical skill they are missing is much easier than teaching them years of embedded organisational culture.


Organisational culture plays a key role in aligning our personal purpose with that of the organisation we belong to. Denise Bryant, Channel Director of NetApp, talked about corporate citizenship and mentioned how today’s consumers buy brands not solely based on price or quality but also on the brand’s alignment with their ethical principles.

“With the move to cloud technology, businesses are starting to lose track of how much data they are producing and storing”.

We need to optimise our data and reduce digital waste. It is not just about moving our data somewhere else.

PWC warned that big business is “greenwashing” its environmental credentials. It is our responsibility to ask our organisation what their carbon footprint is.

Photo from Women of Silicon Roundabout

We all have a role in looking at the data that we are generating. Now is the time to start building a more sustainable future.