Digital Communities: Week 4 Overview

by O2 Business

Week 4 of our Digital Communities initiative in St Helens is done and dusted. We’re continuing to inspire local residents and organisations to embrace digital while giving them the opportunity to try out flexible working from our digital hub.

Last Wednesday, Telefonica UK’s Chief Operating Officer Derek McManus took to the stage to discuss diversity and inclusion. Together with our HR team, Derek led a session on the importance of a diverse workforce. He explained that businesses need to embrace skills, behaviours and experience found in individuals from all backgrounds in order to thrive in today’s competitive market, and to successfully engage with an equally diverse range of customers. Attendees from St Helens Council were encouraged to think about how they can create a truly diverse environment – not just for the benefit of employees, but also to help them connect better with their citizens.

One area the session explored was gender in technology. Digital careers are sometimes viewed as a male-dominated area; a preconception that O2’s diversity and inclusion agenda sets out to challenge. This self-perpetuating pattern is partly due to the fact that most people naturally gravitate towards similar people in their social lives, and the same is true in the workplace. For example, men working in technology publish job adverts that inadvertently appeal to other males. Men are recruited into the roles, these men will eventually begin recruiting and the cycle begins all over again. Our Digital Communities initiative is working to ensure that everyone in the St Helens area has the chance to find digitally focused work that suits them. Check out our Digital Skills Exchange to see how we’re supporting young people in particular.

On Thursday, the Digital Hub’s experts turned their focus to helping some tech novices. Digital Communities aims to open the benefits of technology to everyone – our Tech Taster sessions have been created to show you don’t need a degree in Computer Science to make technology work for you. This was an opportunity for those with limited experience to get some quick tips, ask questions and learn skills to help them in their daily lives. Attendees were shown how to use tablets and given a mini masterclass in setting up social media profiles. Attendees were shown the importance of building a professional-looking CV using a computer, how to attach it to an email and also offered advice for staying secure online. One tip is to make sure that your password and payment card details aren’t stored if you’re using a public computer. It’s this sort of guidance that might seem obvious to some, but is valuable insight for newcomers.

This week, we’re offering another introductory session. And, we’ll be turning the spotlight on small businesses with sessions on digital marketing and customer communications. You can keep up-to-date with Digital Communities by visiting the website or searching for #HelloStHelens on Twitter.