Colt hosts a panel discussion to promote women in technology

Colt hosts a panel discussion to promote women in technology

 May 10, 2023

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Colt Technology Services is committed to championing gender equality, supporting its Women+@Colt community alongside the Women@Ciena network via an event addressing a Spotlight on Women’s Progression in the Tech Industry - a lively panel discussion followed by in-person networking.

Women at Ciena

Women's progression within the technology industry 

The number of women in senior management positions in UK businesses is at a record high, according to a recent study with the global average standing at 32 per cent. But this isn't translating to the technology industry where only 5 per cent of leadership positions are held by women.

A 2021 study from Forbes found only 21 per cent of women in the study said they believed the technology industry was a place where they could thrive, with that number falling precipitously low to 8 per cent for women of color. And a post-pandemic study by Deloitte suggests that 51 per cent of women are less optimistic about their career prospects than before the pandemic.

The event addresses women’s progression in the technology industry in terms of what the data tells us; what factors may be preventing women reaching the same senior levels as men; and what can be done collectively to make positive change.

The hosts and panellists are: 

  • Laura Perrott, Colt's Global Director for Brand & Digital
  • Mark Beeden, Colt's Chief of Staff
  • Elham Fardad, Founder of Migrant Leaders
  • Mitali Gohel, Senior Program Manager at Amazon & Co-Founder of Women@Tech
  • Mark Burton, Managing Director UK & West Europe for Ciena

Strategic vision and management 

Colt's Global Director for Brand & Digital, Laura Perrott, is originally from New Zealand and joined Colt in 2010 from Gen-i, Telecom New Zealand's (now Spark) B2B business. Progressing through several roles in sales and marketing, Laura is now responsible for the strategic vision and management of Colt's global brand, inbound lead generation, and digital marketing strategy including global campaigns, corporate website, and marketing automation. Laura is the Events and Partnerships lead for Women+@Colt and volunteers as Head of Strategy for Women@Tech.

Driving digital development and customer experience 

Mark, meanwhile, is Chief of Staff at Colt and a member of the company's Leadership Team, reporting directly to the company's Chief Executive Keri Gilder. In his role, Mark helps execute the CEO’s strategic agenda, drives the development of Colt’s digital and customer experience strategy, and supports the implementation of Colt’s key initiatives in collaboration with teams across the business. Mark has been with Colt since 2012, initially as Chief Marketing Officer and most recently as VP Customer Experience and Service Management.

Promoting diversity and gender balance

Women+@Colt aims to promote diversity and gender balance, engaging employees to support Colt’s women to thrive. At the time of creation, 25 per cent of Colt was made up of women. That number has increased to 30 per cent of its workforce, but it still has a way to go. As a network, it connects all kinds of people together via events to discuss important issues, mentoring to support women’s development, and partnering with schools to work on equal opportunities for girls.

Bridge the gender gap in the tech industry  

Colt is dedicated to supporting more women into tech roles. 

Ready to build a career in an inclusion workplace environment?

Colt offers many exciting job opportunities


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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.


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