Inclusivity, Imagination & Inspiring Stories – Sky’s Tech Talk at Leeds Digital Festival is One You Need to See

· Andrew Porter-Emery · Digital & Tech

Find out how Sky are making their Leeds office a place where everyone can work.

Sky Welcome Back Event

Sky take inclusivity very seriously. They're hosting an event as part of Leeds Digital Festival to talk about the steps they've taken, and you'll get to hear from Sky staff with inspiring stories to share. Find out more.

Want to know why Sky is renowned as a great place to work? This talk about how they’re making their Leeds base an inclusive space for all is a great place to start.

Leeds Digital Festival is just around the corner, and one of the highlights is a talk and panel discussion about Inclusive Tech, hosted by Sky. Their Leeds Dock offices are home to an incredibly diverse team of around 650 employees, working on everything from Sky Sports to website experience to the next technological leap forward. It’s a place known for its collaborative, open spirit, support for employees and push for inclusion. But don’t just take our word for it – go and meet them on Tuesday 27th September 2022 and see how you’d fit in.

Meet the Sky team & see where you fit in

Sky Welcome Back Event

Head to Sky Lounge at the DoubleTree by Hilton and you’ll get to see not one but two panels from Sky. At the first, a number of Sky employees, all from different backgrounds, will talk about their tech careers, life at Sky and how the company champions inclusion. Then some of Sky’s senior leaders will talk about their career journeys, the future of the company and the opportunities that come along with it.

This isn’t one of those stuffy panels where you just have to sit and soak it all up. Aside from the inspiring stories, you’ll also be able to stick around afterwards for a drink and some food with the Sky team. That means you can get your questions answered about what it’s really like to work at Sky, the rich range of tech jobs available at their Leeds HQ and what the next steps are, no matter your background.

Hear how Sky empowers their employees

Sky Welcome Event

Sophia Chambers will be one of the panelists. She’s a Senior Engineering Manager at Sky who, in her own words, works on stuff under the hood at the likes of Sky Sports and Sky News. Her career path is unusual, in that she was teaching herself to code at nine years old, but then segued into being a dental nurse. She had her first child at 16, and then two more by the time she was 22 – something that saw her put into a box by some employers. It’s a box she’s been taking apart ever since.

One of the things she’s keen to stress about Sky – and tech as a whole – is that there are so many roles that people don’t even know exist, and more ways than ever to get into them. She’s a member of Code First Girls, a social enterprise that delivers free coding courses to women, but also runs a non-profit called The Donny Job Shop, which helps people to find work and training. It’s all about breaking down the barriers to a career in tech, no matter the path you’ve taken.

Why inclusion and accessibility aren’t just buzzwords

Sky Welcome Back Event

Sky helps to foster Sophia’s career not just through the culture of the workplace, but through actively promoting inclusion in its workforce. “It’s the most diverse place I’ve worked,” Sophia told us. “The support network helps everyone from parents to people with disabilities and mental health issues.” These people coming together, working collaboratively and sharing ideas helps to drive successful products for an equally diverse customer base.

It’s something echoed by Joanne Reavell, Software Developer at Sky, a fellow panelist and an accessibility advocate at the company. She spends one day of her week working with the Products Inclusion Head on helping to make sure the websites and products Sky produce are truly inclusive. Again, it’s the diversity of their team that helps their products make sense to users. “Because of the diversity of the team, when we’re in the office, it’s a nice, buzzy and friendly place to work,” Joanne told us.

Why everyone has a chance to shine at Sky

Sky Welcome Back Event

So, what does a member of the team at Sky look like? According to Andrew Ellis, Senior UX Designer at Sky Sports & News, it looks like you. “I don’t think you can pigeonhole a Sky employee,” he told us, which he feels is a testament to the work Sky have done in reaching out to different communities and demographics. He thinks it’s to the benefit of the business that he has colleagues from Romania, India and more, plus team members who don’t have English as their first language – it helps people to push past their normal social group into other areas.

Everybody has the ability to be creative and innovative, according to Andrew, and Sky’s culture fosters that by giving people a chance to have a go at things outside their comfort zone, to work with different teams and with proper support. They have mental health first aiders, and they also have targets around representation that are so much more than a box ticking exercise – they recognise that a diverse team can work better for a diverse customer base. Want to hear more? Join Andrew and the other panellists at the Leeds Digital Festival.

Inclusive Tech, hosted by Sky, is at Sky Lounge, DoubleTree by Hilton, from 4.30 to 7.30pm on Tuesday 27th September 2022. Book your free tickets below.