Safety tech for women is such a great idea but such a shame too

safecircles womens safety tech hackathon

safecircles womens safety tech hackathon

Paul Sullivan former BBC Apprentice

Paul Sullivan former BBC Apprentice

SafeCircles safety tech hackathon for women’s safety at home, at work and on campus is great but what a world we live in to need it

Looking back on my time on the apprentice, I got a lot of stick on social media about being a bully towards two female members of the cast, I in fact speak to Fran on a regular basis”

— Paul Sullivan

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM, October 4, 2021 / — Former BBC Apprentice Paul Sullivan was sharing his thoughts after recently mentoring a team in a Hackathon with Safecircles that was focused on building safety tech that keeps women safe at home, in the street or on campus.

Invited to the hackathon, Paul was excited to take part as he supports a number of initiatives designed to give women more visibility in the workplace. He felt the subject was an appropriate one given the focus recent events in the news has covered.

Safecircles focus was to bring the tech community together to develop new ideas for launching and incubating tech products and services for women’s safety. They recognise that there is a lack of a unified solution to the risk that women face on a daily basis and therefore welcomed technical, scientific and social solutions to women’s safety issues.

The stats are damning when it comes to women’s safety:

One in three women are subjected to violence globally
32% of women in Britain do not feel safe walking alone at night
40% of women who experience violence do not seek help
137 women are killed by a family member each day

It was reading these numbers that moved Paul to accept a mentors role which he fully embraced, taking time to talk to at least two other teams taking part in the process.

As a mentor, he committed his time to listen to the teams and build relationships and share ideas. Shared knowledge and insights to define best practices in areas the teams may lack experience. Collaborated with other mentors and experts to support the teams, whilst guiding and challenging the teams to focus on facts and not opinion.

In addition, Paul delivered a go-to-market strategy workshop to help the teams understand pricing models and how to build a marketing strategy.

Paul felt that the hackathon brought out the best in him, utilising his skills and knowledge to help others build ideas and products that in turn help others. He said “Looking back on my time on the apprentice, I got a lot of stick on social media about being a bully towards two female members of the cast, I in fact speak to Fran on a regular basis and we’ve swapped business ideas a few times too. I’m the least likely person to bully anyone and I champion a lot of causes that help people from all backgrounds.

I have a lot of respect for SafeCircles on their program, I wouldn’t hesitate to take part in future events they put on and good luck to all of those that took part.”

Moving forward Digital Bias, the company that Paul owns will be working with more programs like this and will also develop his own. He feels the world is going through a lot of change, at a rapid pace and he sees how it affects women in the workplace and men who can’t adapt as fast. The things that are said, the attitudes of male superiority and the everyday catcalling and space invasion of women who simply want to go about their business.

Paul loved the SafeCircles process but feels it’s such a shame that we live in a world where we have to design tools to protect women who should be safe at home, at work or on campus. But in support, will do what he can where he can to help change the narrative.

Paul Sullivan
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