March brings the new month-long Spring Forward event series – a debut Brighton-based festival that celebrates of the role of women in digital culture.
Timed to run alongside Women's History Month, the festival aims to encourage women to take a greater role in the digital industry, which continues to be largely dominated by men.
Subjects covered by the month's three Spring Forward events include user experience, public speaking and technology, and should help instil further confidence in female attendees that work within the digital industry. Each event will take place at Brighton's newest creative event space, 68 Middle Street.
The first of the three events took place at on 4 March. It was titled Ladies that UX, was completely free to attend, and is part of a regular informal meet up for women in the UX sector to discuss anything and everything to do with user experience. You can see a photo from a previous Ladies that UX above.
The second event – SheSays Brighton: Be Brave! Make Your Mark - is set to take place on 18 March. Speakers including artist Rachel Mortimer, Brilliant Noise 'data queen' Beth Granter and illustrator and designer Alice Parsons will be there to inspire the audience over a drink or two. SheSays is a global network for women in the creative and marketing businesses, and hosts events outside of Spring Forward in addition to offering mentorship (below).
The third and final event will take place on 26 March, and is hosted by 300 Seconds. It's designed to help women gain confidence and experience in public speaking, and is part of a series of events by 300 Seconds by and for the digital community.
Viviana Doctorovich, co-founder of Ladies that UX and Senior UX Designer at Clearleft says: "It's very exciting to be involved in the birth of the Spring Forward Festival. Whilst efforts are currently being made to address the gender imbalance in the digital industry, I believe many women are still struggling to find a voice in a mainly male dominated work place."
"We hope that in the creation of this festival, we'll be able to support women to set up events that are aimed at the specific needs of women working in the digital domain," she continues. "Our dream is that Spring Forward will encourage them to take a more active role on shaping the future of the industry."