Recognised for her work in gender diversity and advocacy for women in media, Carrie Wootten talks to us about her recent awards
Creative and Digital and Immerse Knowledge Transfer Manager Carrie Wootten has this year lifted not one but two of awards at the Influential Businesswomen Awards for
- Gender Diversity Leader of the Year; and
- Best Advocacy for Women in Media, UK
The Influential Businesswomen Awards recognises gender equality as the only solution for a sustainable global economy. The focus of the awards is to promote and encourage women to take part in entrepreneurial endeavours and provide opportunities in market-based enterprises to lift communities across the world.
Interview with Carrie Wootten
In a recent interview, Carrie tells us what these awards mean to her in her day to day role within KTN.
Tell us a little bit about why you applied for the awards?
I didn’t apply for the Awards, someone anonymously nominated me for it. So the announcement that I had been shortlisted and then won (what turned out to be 2 Awards!) was totally out of the blue. So, a huge thank you from me to that person and I am delighted to be associated with both of these categories.
Has gender diversity been a big influence on the work you have carried out within KTN this year?
There have been two significant examples this year where gender diversity has been prominent in my role in KTN. In Jan 2019 I ran an Immersive Diversity Roundtable to follow up on the work undertaken in the Women in VR Vision report that was produced in late 2018. The report found that only 14% founders of VR companies were women and only 13% of public funding for VR went to women. On the back of this research, I kicked off a campaign to bring together critical members of the VR industry from both research and business support organisations to workshop ideas on how we needed to address these statistics and trends, and what action needed to be taken to change them. Each individual walked away with personal actions and also company actions to follow-up on. Small changes, each having a significant impact.
In addition to this, outside of the KTN, I have been running a mentoring programme for women in the broadcast manufacturing and services sector, a sector dominated by white men. The programme has had huge success and recognition, winning a National Mentoring Award in February this year. The industry sponsorship for the programme has trebled this year and there was a 50% increase in applications too; so no shortage of need for the programme and a desire by the industry to ensure the gender balance within the sector changes.
How delighted are you to receive this award and what does it mean to you in your role in KTN?
I was delighted to be both nominated and awarded winner of both of these awards; it is such a huge honour to be recognised in this way, both for my work within KTN and out with the organisation.
I think it serves as a reminder that this work is really important and there is still a need to continue to support women across the UK. In all of our roles at the KTN, we need to be thinking about diversity and how to ensure we individually help the wider landscape to evolve.
Sue Dunkerton OBE, interim CEO of KTN said, “I am delighted to see this recognition for Carrie’s work on diversity. KTN is a champion for diversity and inclusion in innovation. We already know it makes great business sense, yet it still surprises me how far we are away from parity particularly in new fields such as VR. So, initiatives such as those Carrie describes are essential to change the balance and bring forward the talent we need to advance technologies and solve some of the industrial and societal challenges facing us. We encourage more work like this and will continue to support such initiatives across all of our activities. Thanks to Carrie for being a great role model.”