Codegirl at 1 Angel Square

On Tuesday evening we screened the film Codegirl at 1 Angel Square. It is an outstanding film about a global competition which encourages young women to create digital services, and shows the craziness of our current gender imbalance in our approach to technology and digital services. The evening was the brainchild of the amazing Danielle Haugedal-Wilson, one of the leading technology architects here at Co-op Digital.

It was great to see so many people from Manchester and the North West in attendance and we look forward to seeing them again during future events and community activity that we will be hosting throughout 2016 as we ramp up our digital team.

A few people have asked me for some of the facts I presented, so below is the brief speech I made on the night – Thanks to Russell Davies for researching these statistics.


“Good evening.

Thank you for coming tonight to our screening of Codegirl the first of many such events as we work with the digital community in Manchester.

I’m Mike Bracken, I’m Chief Digital Officer here at the Co-op and I’m acutely aware that I’m both the wrong gender and the wrong age to be standing on this stage, so I’m just going to say a few quick things and then I’m going to let you get on with the movie.

First of all – thank you to you all for coming. I’m hoping this will be the first of many similar events we’ll host here at the Co-op and I hope to see many of you again.

Secondly – thanks to my colleagues at the Co-op who helped to organise and publicise this event – Polly, Nicola, Paul, Vicky and the hospitality crew who have been amazing.

Thirdly, most importantly, I want to thank Danielle whose idea this whole screening was. Thanks Danielle!

And finally, I’ve been trying to think of something practical and useful I can say so that when you leave here this evening, inspired and excited, you are armed with some facts you can use to cause practical change wherever you work.

So I did some digging and here are some useful things to remember:

According to McKinsey and I quote:  “Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.”

i.e. companies with more women in them perform better.

According to the Harvard Business Review and Carnegie Mellon University  Harvard Business Review and Carnegie Mellon University .

i.e. teams with more women in them are smarter.

According to the VC firm First Round First Round and I quote again  “companies with a female founder performed 63% better than our investments with all-male founding teams.”

i.e. start-ups with female leaders make more money.

We’re likely to have 1 million vacancies in the tech sector by 2020. Let’s make sure more than half of them are filled by women.

And now, let’s watch the movie.”


Mike Bracken. Chief Digital Officer, The Co-operative Group


8 thoughts on “Codegirl at 1 Angel Square

  1. Richard Sullivan (Group Talent, Leadership and Performance) February 25, 2016 / 5:18 pm

    Congratulations Danielle – a very worthwhile event and long overdue.

    The same under-representation applies to delivery drivers where there is also a shortage in the Co-op – let’s hope we can get the head of logistics to front up a similar event sometime !

    The stats about women lorry drivers are also equally favourable – they have better relations with customers and are less likely to damage the load or the vehicle.



    Group Talent, Leadership and Performance

    Richard Sullivan
    Senior Leadership Development Manager

    Dept 11203
    7th Floor
    1, Angel Square,
    M60 0AG

    Telephone: 08437 519298
    Mobile: 07738 701 390

    Letters Postal Address as above
    Parcels Postal Address as follows:
    Co-operative Group, care of Swiss Post Solutions Ltd, Unit 550, Metroplex Business Park, Broadway, Salford Quays, Manchester M50 2UE

    • jordanjmcdowell February 25, 2016 / 5:27 pm

      Thanks for the insight Richard!

  2. Sarah February 26, 2016 / 8:33 am

    Hi Mike – I came along to the screening this week after being recommended by a dev where I work. A small group of us came and we were speechless when we left. A truly inspiring film and fantastic that the Co-op hosted it. Since, I’ve been getting updated with all things co-op digital and I’m so impressed. It’s great to see a business I already respected branch out into more digital behaviour. I’m about to leave for a summer of travelling, but if not, I’d be sending out an employment pitch. It was excellent, thank you for a co-hosting a great night.

    • jordanjmcdowell February 26, 2016 / 11:01 am

      Thanks a lot Sarah, it’s our pleasure. Keep us in mind for when you return from your travels! ^Jordan

  3. Kat R. March 7, 2016 / 5:26 pm

    We could really use more opportunities for women to get trained in coding, people are starting to call for more women in coding but the opportunities for training aren’t particularly widespread (especially post-19).

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