TWO Basingstoke women have hosted an event in London encouraging more of their peers to get involved in data technology.

Roisin McCarthy and Rachel Keane organised the event to bring together the data technology community with a government minister giving her endorsement to the get-together.

This year’s event took place in Westminster on November 29, and was opened by chief secretary to the treasury Liz Truss, who had invited the pair to an International Women’s Day event in London in March earlier this year.

Rachel said: “It was wonderful to have Liz Truss open the event, and it was phenomenal and a rip-roaring success.”

This year, around 4,000 people attended the event, growing even further from last year.

Both Roisin and Rachel are co-founders of the Women in Data event, but both work for Basingstoke-based firm Datatech Analytics, as business lead and management consultant respectively.

As the pair were recruiting in 2014, they realised that they were placing fewer women in the sector, and decided that rather than sit still, they would do something about it and so set up the first event in 2015.

Roisin said: “We wanted people to connect with others of the same mind, and hear from them on stage. We also wanted set up and get people involved in a connected community and equip women to get involved.”

Rachel added: “Before we had set up Women in Data, the industry was crying out for an event. People needed good role models for each stage in the career progression, from a few months in to 20 years and more.

“That’s why we have had so many amazing speakers sharing their journeys with people coming to the event, to give people the confidence to become role models in their own right.

“It’s been incredible, the people we’ve had have been inspiring. We aren’t here to burn bras or bash beards, we want to bring people together and join in.”

The event itself was a gathering of 1,000 female data professionals, as well as panels featuring prominent female figures in the industry. The event also promoted the value of gender diversity and the importance of data-driven intelligence.

Roisin said: “In the UK, we are going to need thousands more people in the data industry each year. If we can mobilise women we could make a massive dent in that number, and would give an advantage to us and help us stay ahead.

“We want to give women the confidence they need, and not to feel like imposters in the role. People can’t be what they can’t see, and we want to give them access to that.”

There are plans in the works for approximately 14 more, smaller events that will take place across the south of England in 2019.

Roisin added: “Basingstoke is an exciting space to do business, with good access to London, so people are coming here. We know that data leaders are in Basingstoke and it is a a great to place to be.”

For more information about the event and future events, as well as to learn more about the work that goes on and get involved, go to