This month saw the 100th anniversary of International Woman’s Day, and I had the fortune to start the day by attending a business breakfast in the beautiful surroundings of Gordon Ramsay’s D’Oyly Carte private room at The Savoy.
The event brought together a number of leading women in the vent, hospitality and travel industries to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing women working in the sector. I was happy to agree with a number of people around the table and say that yes, the industry may have a predominately male headcount, but is by no means “male dominated”. It was good to hear of other companies like ours where in reality- this, and the glass ceiling, may at last be becoming an out-dated concept. It was interesting to meet with such a successful and clear minded group, and the topics up for debate (and opinions thereon… ) were thought-provoking and varied.
Due to this, and possibly the lovely breakfast and tour of the amazing kitchens… the time flew by. Unfortunately this meant we did not get to fully discuss a particular agenda topic I would have been keen (having lately returned to the IT industry) to learn the groups views on – The impact of technology on the work/life balance.
Travelling back on assorted tubes and trains I used the quiet time to get to grips with my new smartphone- catching up with emails, reviewing documents, checking news feeds etc and downloading random free stuff like every App Store newbie. As I happily used my new Tube App and Location Me to get on the right route home, it got me thinking… I wondered how the different people I’d met that morning would be using and experiencing technology in general, and what the next “hot technology” to hit the masses would be.
For example it is perhaps not too far away that we may no longer expect to exchange business cards as I did that morning, but instead soon you may use your phone to take a photo of a small “QR code” (a digital picture code) perhaps held in someone’s wallet panel, and suddenly – their details appear straight into your contacts list, and an email has been sent to them with yours! Similarly, there is much developments surrounding cashless and NFC payment systems being linked to phone devices, not cards. When will I be able to pay for my journey and my coffee by passing my phone (ready in hand thank you Tube Map) over an exit barrier or shop counter?
These types of technologies are already being trialled in the events and travel industry and I look forward to them becoming mainstream in the future.
I can’t answer as to the other attendees’ experiences of technology to date, but I will probably ask a couple of them out of interest. Having only recently entered into the realm of Twitter & LinkedIn, I have already been contacted by a few of the other breakfast attendees (and some old friends!) and have found connecting my face to face networking with my digital/social media really does throw open the doors for informal but invaluable knowledge sharing and keeping in touch with my contacts, friends and the world in general.