Girls Talk London: Black Girls Tech Summit

Hosted by LinkedIn and Facebook

Hello, Hello!

We have a lot to unpack here, this event was nothing short of amazing!

Three letters… WOW!

I’ll briefly touch on my key highlights of the day and what really made the event for me. Every speaker/panellist added value in their own way which definitely resonated with me.

Photographer: mannysvantage |

Let’s Talk About It!

The event kicked off with a lot of enthusiasm from the audience. We were fired up, ready to go at 9:00 am.

The host @NissyTee came through with a good word early in the morning:

Photographer: mannysvantage |


Paulette Rowe, Head of Payments and Financial Services Partnerships at Facebook

Photographer: mannysvantage |

The opening speaker was Paulette Rowe, Head of Payments and Financial Services Partnerships at Facebook. You may recall that I wrote about Paulette in a previous blog post, BLACK HISTORY MONTH AT FACEBOOK.

Paulette started the day off with encouraging words:

  • As a black woman, we have to be present! We cannot be invisible during this digital transformation.
  • If you want to make an impact on the world, technology is where it’s at!
  • Technology is where the growth is going to be, this is where a lot of jobs are going to be.

I must admit it was definitely a wake-up call for me. I definitely don’t want to get left behind in the digital transformation. I need to be more consistent with my coding, especially because I have the capacity to.

My motto for 2020 is: ‘Take up Space’.

Ade Adefulu, Head of Sales Strategy & Operations, EMEA & Latin America at LinkedIn

Photographer: mannysvantage |

First of all, Ade has the most amazing personality! He was very engaging and connected with the audience very well! I found myself laughing hard whilst writing away in my notepad trying to keep up with the words of wisdom he shared.

Ade shared his top tips with us, I’m really glad I jotted them down.

Ade’s Top Tips:

  2. BE PREPARED – You have to bring something to the table.
  3. BE INTENTIONAL – Think about what you want from your career.
  4. BE PERSISTENT – You will receive ‘no’s’ from time to time.


Session 1: Personal Branding and Landing your Dream Job with LinkedIn

Photographer: mannysvantage |

@Asha_Recruiter (left) highlighted the fact that ‘Women will apply to a role if they tick 100% of the boxes on (HBR, 2014).

I can 100% relate, that is so, me! I even end up questioning if I’m experienced enough with the requirements that I do meet.

We might as well give it our best shot and apply for the role, what’s the worst that can happen? There are thousands of jobs out there.

I had the opportunity to pull Asha to the side to discuss my user experience using the LinkedIn app. My feed is quite clunky and I’d prefer not to see posts that aren’t relevant to me. Asha navigated my feed whilst on my phone and directed me to the ‘unfollow’ user button! This works like a charm! Although, I do have a fair amount to go through.

The one thing that I really appreciated about the summit was how accessible and receptive the speakers were. We were encouraged to network with them during the breaks and they were happy to mingle!

Session 2: Facebook Product Demo – Occulus VR

This session definitely added value to the summit! I was so happy to try out Occulus VR! It felt super real, I saw a T-Rex come at me and I literally jumped out of the way!

Myself trying out Occulus VR

In a previous session, I asked one of the FB employees whether the $2bn acquisition of Occulus was worth it. I asked this because it seemed like an expensive purchase for hardware tech, this was years before Googles’ recent acquisition of FitBit. They mentioned that it was and the future use case is telepresence.

Session 3: Badgemaking with Facebook

We were able to create our own badges at the Facebook badgemaking workstation.

My creative juices weren’t really flowing so I stuck with what I like best and voilĂ :

Final Session: Instagram Story School

This session was pretty cool! Employees working on Instagram at Facebook gave us pretty useful hacks to get more creative with IG stories.

I clearly haven’t been using Instagram to its full potential.

I’ll be nice and share 2 hacks I learned:

Accessing the secret colour palette:

Drawing 101:

Our group of 3 combined everything we learned and created a boomerang, coloured the background blue, added stickers, a pool and text with different colours. Think it’s safe to say we aced Instagram school!

Me playing peek-a-boo


During the early hours of the event, I wasn’t able to network much; I used the breaks as my chance to Usain Bolt to the bathroom. Downsides of drinking 2L of water a day!

However, this all changed towards the end of the day. During a panel session, the audience had the opportunity to grab the mic and mention who our ‘cheerleaders’ are, either in our professional lives or our personal lives.

Me being me, I shot my hand up to be handed the mic.

I mentioned that my cheerleaders were sat right next to me, @xEtsAx
& @AfuaDanquah1 and that we all started teaching ourselves how to code this year. To my surprise, a number of women approached us during the break and mentioned that they’re also learning how to code. We shared a number of resources and workshops with them. This included: Codecademy, freecodecamp, Codebar, @codingblackfems and doing Codewars.

I connected with a few on LinkedIn and Twitter, hopefully, we get to catch up do a bit of group programming.

The End of an Eventful day

The summit really blew my expectations! I really didn’t want it to end.

It was the perfect balance of great speakers, practical sessions, networking and a lot of food!

A big THANK YOU to Vanessa, the founder of @girlstalklondon
and the team for putting together such a wonderful and very much needed event for Black Women!

That’s all from me folks,

Rach, Millennial, Rach @MillennialRach

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