Girl Geeks invited to dinner in Barnsley

23 August 2010

Self-proclaimed girl geeks from across South Yorkshire are being urged to share their passion and ideas around all things techy at a Barnsley networking event.

The inaugural Girl Geek Dinner South Yorkshire, at the Digital Media Centre in County Way, will bring together women working and studying in creative, digital and technology sectors across the region.

The event is funded by business support programme Enterprising Barnsley as part of creative networking events being delivered to local creative sector ventures by Creative Barnsley and is open to all Barnsley businesses.
The concept for Girl Geek Dinners began in London five years ago. Founder Sarah Blow, now a community manager at Tweetmeme, wanted to provide a platform where women working in science and technology could meet to share their experiences and challenges.
Successful gatherings are already up and running in Leeds and York and an informal Sheffield-based group called Geek Girls Allowed has been working with Creative Barnsley and Barnsley Development Agency (BDA) on the planning of the forthcoming event.
Tracey Johnson, Creative and Digital Industries Sector Specialist at BDA, said:   “We’re keen to create an environment for women in creativity and technology in Barnsley and the rest of South Yorkshire to have a voice as it’s an area where women are still under represented.
“The dinner is a great opportunity to share innovative knowledge and contacts and interest is strong.  The aim is to run these main dinner events twice a year.  Men are allowed but only if invited by a girl geek.”
Among those already signed up to attend is Emily Young, a Barnsley-based web and graphics designer who is studying for a Foundation Degree in web design.
She said: “I feel that the creative sector in Barnsley is very well looked after and catered for. However it’s hard work being a girl geek and it’s even harder keeping up with the latest technology trends.  To combat both of these we have the Girl Geek Dinners to keep us in the loop.   It will be great to get together with other women who won’t look at you blankly for mentioning a computer!
“I really like what I have read about other Girl Geek Dinners and what they have achieved has been brilliant. There isn’t anything else quite like this and whilst other networking events provide great opportunities, the Girl Geek Dinner will be more for me.”
The Enterprising Barnsley programme offers business support in the town and is supported financially by the European Union.   Enterprising Barnsley has attracted £2.89m investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.
Marketing and networks manager James Herbert said: “Networking events are a major strand of the work Enterprising Barnsley does to help stimulate and develop business in key sectors, providing business people with the opportunity to explore new markets, meet potential clients and generate fresh ideas.
“The Girl Geek Dinner South Yorkshire is a chance for some of the many talented women in creative and digital fields to come together to make connections that will hopefully help their work to flourish.”   
The Girl Geek Dinner South Yorkshire, from 6-9pm on Thursday, September 2nd, will feature speakers Silvia Novak, consumer marketing manager at Faber Books, and Rain Ashford, senior producer at BBC Learning. There will also be exclusive preview of an interactive artwork 'QRChing', by Barnsley artist Jo Pearson, reflecting on social media, eastern philosophy and emerging technologies.

Places are free and anyone who wants to
sign up should visit
Notes to News Editors:
Photographers and reporters are welcome to attend the event. For more information contact Tracey Johnson on 01226 787520 or 07789 653473 or at
Enterprising Barnsley is a partnership between Barnsley Development Agency, Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre, University Campus Barnsley and Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce. It is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to provide an integrated programme of business support. For further information, contact James Herbert, marketing and networks manager, on 01226 249590 or email
Additional media contacts: Kate Betts on 01226 766900 or 07910 165 444 or at or Deborah Wain on 07903 466228 or at

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