A network aimed at supporting women in Wales to progress in tech sector careers has launched.

Digital Women Wales is a new mentorship scheme where women working in the Welsh tech sector can access advice and support from peers and industry role models.

The initiative, which is free-of-charge and open to women working in the tech or digital sectors, has been created after extensive industry research by Newport-based digital growth organisation Innovation Point – the team behind the annual tech conference, Digital Festival – and headline sponsors GoCompare, which is also based in Newport.

Mentors on the scheme include leading names in the digital space, such as Gemma Hallett, founder of miFuture and part of the Top Women in Welsh Technology announced at Digital Festival in May last year.

She’s joined by Caroline Thompson at BeTheSpark, and Natalie Jakomis, director of group data at GoCompare, listed in the DataIQ 100 2019 power list of the most influential data and analytics practitioners in the UK.

Gemma Hallett, founder of careers app company miFuture, said: “Mentors have been invaluable at all stages of my career, from my time as an international rugby player for Wales through to teaching and then embarking on a tech entrepreneurship journey.

"As you grow in your career or as a company, it’s vital that you level up your mentors and continue to make connections with people who can share different insights and experiences. Digital Women Wales is a great opportunity for women in the tech sector here to do just that.”

Digital Women Wales will host monthly breakfast meet-up events at alternating venues across Wales. The events will each have specific themes, such as finance, talent and leadership, and provide attendees with opportunities to build relationships with industry insiders, discuss challenges faced by women in the tech sector and identify more specific ways in which they can be supported.

Jo Golley, Head of Engagement at Innovation Point said: “It’s a sad reality that in 2019, half of Wales’ working population face barriers each day which stop them from reaching their career potential.

"It’s fair to suggest that this is magnified in the male-dominated tech sector. To push half the talent pool to one side is economically ridiculous. Digital Women Wales is our way of working alongside leaders in the sector to change this, from the front.”

For more information visit: www.innovationpoint.uk/digital-womens.