Conferences,  Events

Empowering Women With Science and Tech

Yesterday was the awesome Empowering Women with Science and Technology conference!
I didn’t get chance to attend last year, but I’m so thrilled I got a ticket this time round!

The Empowering Women is an annual conference that is part of the Leeds International Festival, and this was it’s second year!

The Stalls

When we arrived, there were two stalls which you passed before you entered the main stage area, one for June Sarpong‘s book Diversify and the other was a hand-letter gifting stall by Now Then Sunshine! and I was instantly drawn towards the hand-letter stall. It stood out in its surrounds so much, and I’ve been looking for some inspirational quotes to have framed.

I ended up purchasing two sets!


I picked this one because it’s important to remember that when life gets tough or there are a couple of hurdles you have to get over, you must persist because it will all be worth it in the end.


And I couldn’t resist these 4 mini quote prints! I love that when placed together they make the signature Empowering Women lightning bolt, not to mention the quotes just make you feel so, well… empowered!!!

The Talks

We had eight talks throughout the day, and all of them were inspiring in their own ways but I’m only going to talk about my top three!
Each one of these I either found awe-inspiring or it really resonated with me!

Samantha Payne

Samantha told us about her company Open Bionics, which helps make bionic limbs using 3D printing and machine learning, and are also the most affordable bionic limbs in the world!
She informed us that on average a bionic limb costs between £30,000-£60,000, with some even sky-rocketing to £120,000.
Not only is this out of the price range for the majority of people, but it also becomes an issue when it is a child that requires the limb. This is because a bionic limb doesn’t grow with the child, so on average children go through 2 bionic limbs a year.
Samantha started Open Bionics so that these limbs could become more accessible. Limbs at Open Bionics cost under £10,000 and grow with the child. The width can be adjusted so it stays comfortable, and when the child has fully outgrown the limb, as each limb been 3D printed, they mash-up the material and re-use it to create the next one! But this isn’t the coolest thing. They have links with Disney, Marvel and LucasFilm so they can create all kinds of colourful limbs, and in the style of Frozen, avengers such as Iron Man and a Jedi Knight!

Open Bionics are doing awesome work for accessibility and hopefully, if this year trial goes well, they should be the first bionic limbs available on the NHS!


Linda Liukas

Linda is a programmer, children’s author and all round girl boss! She’s the author of Hello Ruby, which is a book for children that teaches them the basics of coding!
This idea came from the way she learnt how to code, where she always drew a girl in the margins of her coding books when she didn’t understand a certain problem and would explain it to the girl.
It’s such an interactive book, and helps children learn logical thinking through the way dance and brushing their teeth!

She is also the founder of Rails Girls, and initiative to help girls learn Ruby and this happens in over 200 cities worldwide!


Natasha Sayce-Zelem

Nat spoke about the importance of hiring a person due to their human skills (as soft skills makes it sound too job criteria-y) compared to their hard skills, as job skills can be taught unlike human skills!

She also covered how important it is to take a chance on a person and hire them even if they don’t have experience as you don’t know what talent you might be turning away!
This really resonated with me, as having been on an apprenticeship I know this will have happened to me!

It was a great talk and using the medium of film definitely helped people understand what some of us go through!


All in all it was such an interesting day, and I did come out feeling very empowered! There was even a quote that stuck with me all day: If not now… when? and this encouraged me to finally make a clarecodes instagram account! It’s been something I’ve been so nervous about but after hearing a few talks on personal brand, it’s given me a lot more drive to expand my blog and audience!