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Manchester Tech Festival announces TalkTalk as Women in Tech track sponsor

This year’s inaugural Manchester Tech Festival has received the backing of another huge name in business after connectivity provider TalkTalk becomes the sponsor of the event’s Women in Tech track.

The company, whose broadband network covers 96% of the UK population, is headquartered in neighbouring Salford with strong female leadership at all levels of the organisation and a consistent improvement in its gender pay gap over several years.

Manchester Tech Festival will be held from 17th-21st October. It is an event that’s for the tech community, by the tech community, and will feature a week-long programme of events right across the city as a space for software engineers, startups & scaleups, investors, product owners and practitioners to come together.

Helen McHugh (pictured right), Head of North West Engagement at TalkTalk, commented: “Manchester is one of the fastest growing tech hubs in Europe. From start-ups to blue-chips, our region is thriving. However, some people feel that more than others.

“Only 19% of tech workers in the UK are women. There’s a big gender pay gap too. We want to do what we can to help change that and to make the North West the best place in Britain for women to work in tech. That’s why we are delighted to sponsor the women in tech stream at the inaugural Manchester Tech Festival. We’re really looking forward to seeing the festival develop this year and beyond,” she added.

“At the Manchester Tech Festival’s core is diversity and inclusion; it’s in our DNA,” said Naomi Timperley (pictured left), co-founder and Head of Growth and Innovation at the Manchester Tech Festival.

“TalkTalk’s Women in Tech campaign is a timely reminder to the industry that we still have a very real problem with the lack of women in technology. We believe it’s time to change that,” she added.

Similarly, inclusion is at the core of TalkTalk’s activities and over the last year the company has identified opportunities to help create a more inclusive tech ecosystem across the North West. This has included roundtable events discussing attracting and retaining talent, board representation and visibility, together with the company’s Women in Tech summit which was held in partnership with the University of Salford.

The conversations, advice and recommendations from this summit have been drawn together in a report which the company hope will act as a catalyst for future events, conversations and interventions. The report is available to read here.

The Salford-based connectivity provider also launched the TalkTalk North West Women in Tech awards in 2021, with the aim of recognising the outstanding women doing important work across all levels of the region’s diverse technology industry. This year’s event has just been announced, encouraging nominations from all areas and levels of the tech industry across the region. Nominations can be made here.

Manchester Tech Festival also recently launched its Call for Papers, inviting people to submit proposals to be considered for a speaking slot at the event. Further details can be found here: