Black Female Voices in tech, were celebrated last month as part of Black History Month. The setting was the GTA Black Women in Tech Festival.  Let me take share this great event with you that I was privileged enough to attend. The GTA Black Women in Tech celebration takes places around the ‘The Voices in the Shadow’ book. This showcases the journeys of 51 Black women in the UK who impacted the tech industry. In turn, it gives Black women and young Black girls the empowerment they need for them to feel that there is a place for them to flourish professionally.

There were two strands at the event a professional route and an entrepreneurial route. I chose the entrepreneurial route as this is of most relevance to me in my Portfolio career (education consultant, coach, author, speaker) it did not disappoint. The entrepreneur route was opened by Suki Fuller who was recently recognised as the most influential woman in UK tech 2023 by Computer Weekly.  

Measuring success

There was then a short fire side style chat between Lorraine Wright- Boateng and Eric Collins (CEO of Impact X). This was insightful and it was great to hear Eric’s thoughts around success including, that success is relative and it is also incremental.

GTA Black Women in Tech Festival - Beverly Clarke

Learning from inspirational women

After that there was a panel of very influential women who all shared insights from their journeys in tech. Takeaways from this session included:

  • How searchable are you
  • Who is your core audience
  • Managing cash flow
  • Knowing your strategic objectives
  • Using generative AI tools to do things quicker
  • Using tech to do things better


Also “Test and Learn” –  can you do something small before going big? Don’t do everything at once. Hit certain milestones, test – learn and then move.

Another point that resonated with me was around finding your cheerleaders –  who are the people in your corner – this resonated because, it is something that I talk about in my coaching – who do you have supporting you – who is your network?

Growing as an entrepreneur

Businesswoman Oyin Adebayo also shared her insights of think fast and be adaptable, including why and how you need to be able to pivot when necessary and also to pivot strategically.  She also repeated the message of always having the right people around you and in your network/your business circle along with calculated risk management as an essential part of growth.

I particularly liked her words around “being stubborn about your ideas”. This was a point that I was able to relate to, as someone who has crafted a portfolio career. Within my portfolio career there are elements that are not profitable but I see as beneficial, such as those with social impact.

Oyin also spoke about how she stayed motivated and what she did around problem solving. With my educator hat on and being a former teacher, it was good to hear this being spoken about.  Problem solving is also one of the top skills that the World Economic Forum identifies that we need to instil in our learners, to help them to better adapt to the digital world and it is something that I reference in one of my keynote talks around  the impact of technology on self, community and society. Oyin also spoke about having strong support system outside of your business – your friends and family. Think about outside of your business contacts who else is supporting you. This is important to help you to adapt and to innovate in the face of any uncertainty that business may face. Her closing statements included again many words to which I can relate “for every risk there is a reward”.

Highlighting soft skills

The morning continued with another panel discussion and some of the highlights from this included Danielle Nyarko talking about building your soft skills such as communication, problem solving and building relationships. These she identified as being essential skills in her success and the success of businesses. Again music to my ears because this is a key aspect of what I speak about in my coaching and also it is how I have managed to build a successful career. She also spoke about investing in your personal development and how this leads to increased confidence. Through that increased confidence you are more likely to be a better creator, leading you to create better products.


Let me rewind, at the start of the conference we were given name badges. However, none of the badges had names or job titles.  The instructions given were to put our superpowers onto the badge and then to use this as an introduction to others. Panellist Sarah had left her name badge blank this made me chuckle, because I had also done the same. She explained that as an entrepreneur she did not have just one superpower she had many! This made me smile.  The skills of adaptability, problem solving, communicating, self-belief, financial management, pivoting and many more come into play on a daily basis these are some of my superpowers

Sarah then shared some of her inspiration.  I particularly liked her statement of –  “what’s not OK is not to have tried”. I think that this is important for all of us to take away. Sarah asked us to think of a child learning to walk – how many times do they fall and get up and try again and again, until they are standing and walking and running. This is what you do in business. This is part of the entrepreneurial mindset

Other insights gained from this panel were:

  • To stay on top of trends
  • Adaptability was also repeated
  • Using artificial intelligence to push us forward
  • When you build a network – build a diverse network

Well Being

As an entrepreneur well-being is also very important.  This was emphasised. A well-being structure needs to be in place for you to reach each and every one of your milestones in your entrepreneurial journey. For example, in my entrepreneurial journey I incorporate as many gym visits that I can in a week, along with daily walks and healthy eating.  I also make time for relaxation. An additional part of wellbeing is celebrating small wins in addition to big wins.  This is part of the motivation that keeps me and other entrepreneurs moving forward you can see some of my motivational clips on my TikTok and Instagram channels.

Networking & Sharing knowledge

Over lunch I practised what I talk about in coaching and  I networked with lots of others – growing my network beyond my own knowledge and skill set.

In the afternoon I was privileged to sit and to listen to “Dragons Den” style pitching where entrepreneurs were pitching to a panel of founders. Pitches received immediate feedback on their business proposition.  I gained further knowledge around pitching and running a business

Audience questions were also taken and I was very pleased to receive excellent advice on how to direct and navigate some of my future entrepreneurial endeavours.  It turned out that when I was asking questions some of my words resonated with someone else in the audience who came up to me afterward to ask about supporting her child with a career in tech.  I will share some of the advice I gave here. One of the areas that I have noted in my work, is that there are lots of competitions and challenges available for young people in tech,  But they never get to the hands and to the consciousness of those that need them the most!

For any school aged young person wishing to enter a tech career, I would recommend them to start getting involved in competitions and challenges while at school.  These help to develop a range of technical and soft skills. Parents if your child’s school is not highlighting these opportunities for your child, I recommend you to:

  • Share the opportunities below with the school
  • Bookmark the sites I mention
  • Register with the competitions/challenges so that you don’t miss out on start dates
  • Encourage your young person to enter, this is one way of ensuring better social mobility through tech.

 Below I have listed a few competitions/challenges that

See this link here for more – Competitions and challenges 

Also, if your child’s school is not currently talking to your child about Artificial Intelligence and other disruptive tech, please share with them curriculums on AI that I have written – some used in K12

Thanks to the founders and all involved

GTA Black Women in Tech was a full day of inspiration.  Congratulations to the 51 women in the book.  I’m already looking forward to the next event – founders Flavilla Fongang and Russ Shaw CBE , have made an impact and created a legacy.

Reach out today

To find out more about My Portfolio career of education consulting, coaching, authoring and speaking explore my website and reach out today.