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Women of Wearables - Supporting Women in Tech

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by Startacus Admin

Women of Wearables

No one could deny that technology is a pretty exciting field to be working in right now. Despite some trepidation from the more cynical amongst us, virtual reality, augmented reality, wearable technology, and fashion technology have all seen a rapid upswing in development- typical of technologies which are moving away from mere novelty, towards a more mainstream presence.

In the recent past, there has been an explicit drive encouraging women to enter what has traditionally been seen as a male-dominated industry, with many believing that technological development as a whole has suffered from a chronic underrepresentation of women.

This remains a very loaded issue.  For reasons related to fair and equitable treatment some are opposed to schemes or programmes which seem to direct assistance towards one particular gender, whilst others believe that targeted support for underrepresented factions can only be a good thing- not just for those directly involved, but for everyone in our society, who will benefit from their skill and ingenuity.  

Women Of Wearables is an organisation which holds the latter opinion in high regard.  Founders  Michelle Hua and Marija Butkovic are both ex-lawers turned entrepreneurs responsible for founding wearable tech startups Made With Glove and Kisha Smart Umbrella, who are now on a mission to help other women fulfill their potential in the world of tech.   

Their aim is to inspire, support and connect women working in wearable tech, fashion tech, IoT and VR/AR by giving them the visibility, support, mentorship and connections they need to have success in building hardware and software products.  Much of the work that they do is centred around events and workshops which offer the opportunity to gain vital skills, develop networks, and get direct connections with others working within their field.

Amongst their global community are female founders, product and UX designers, developers, smart textile designers, executives, and managers, but they believe that working with young people is vitally important to equip the next generation of female technology innovators to reach their potential in the years ahead.  To this end, WoW delivers workshops to girls between the ages of 10-18 / women to make their own wearable and e-textiles projects.

women of wearables“Through this, WoW helps the gender and diversity gap that is apparent in these industries and encourages and inspires girls to choose STEM subjects for a career.”

Of course, the work that they do is centred around the burgeoning fields of both wearable and fashion technology.  WoW cofounder Marija Butkovic told us a little about the growth of these technologies, and how their development sits in relation to a number of other high potential sectors.

“We’ve seen wearables in the form of devices to now wearables incorporating e-textiles and smart garments. The trend in the wearables industry is now shifting into the 2nd wave to smart clothing. Fashion will always be at the forefront of wearables because in order for people to wear something, it needs incorporate fashion. 

AR and VR are also a form of wearables and the explosion of the AR/VR industry has seen gaming as the initial sole use of AR/VR. Now it is moving into the education, medicine and healthcare, tourism, fashion and film industries to enhance a user’s experience. We are only just scratching the surface of what AR/VR can do”

Well done to the team at Women of Wearables for all of their good work to support women working in technology! 

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Published on: 2nd June 2017

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