When I joined Chime in September, one of the biggest draws was the chance to work with powerhouse women. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to not only collaborate with my Chime ladies but a myriad of female agency owners too.
The opportunity to turn up the volume on digital career opportunities and bridge the digital skills gap by taking part in the BIMA digital day, was exciting enough on its own, however, when we found out we were going to the fabulous Wally Hall, an all-girls school, we were over the moon.
It was quite daunting, preparing to spend a day with 60 Year-8 girls, something I’ve not done since I was at an all-girls school myself! But we needn’t have worried, the staff were very welcoming and we were blown away by how polite and interested the girls were.
Demonstrating to the girls how a career in digital could look, the different opportunities and potential for success - it was a joy to see their understanding deepen and the inquisitive cogs start turning.
Following our explanations and the Year 8s splitting into teams and choosing their agency names, it was time to get down to business.
BIMA challenged us and the girls to answer briefs from Royal Mail & Primark; looking at how digital solutions could help drive sustainability and innovation, where tech could improve customer relations and where digital skills could be employed to revolutionise big brands.
To say the girls impressed us with how engaged they were is an understatement. They employed what they’d learnt about the digital landscape to come up with some outstanding ideas, including incentivising customers, apps and loyalty schemes and how to improve accessibility both in-store and digitally.
During the pitches, we were taken aback by the girls' enthusiasm, the use of different presentation styles and how clearly they showed they understood the brief.
From left: Rachel Baines, Hannah Williams, Claire Hutchings - Chime Agency, Jason and Katie Hancock - Hancock & Rowe
Our winning team, Primark Awoken, demonstrated wonderfully how small innovations can have massive impacts and with a clever mix of competitor analysis, end-user research and testing their unique idea they presented a well formulated pitch that understood the brief.
Primark Awoken focused on educating the customer, utilising digital solutions, such as screens within the changing rooms that showed the end user where the materials for their chosen items had been sourced, how they were made and how they could eventually be recycled.
The team also used these screens to help with accessibility and inclusivity – showing the items on a range of models with different body shapes and the size they were wearing, alongside the models' height and measurements. The team predicted this would be beneficial for customers of every shape and size to feel thought about but also, on a practical level, chose the right items for them.
We extend our congratulations to all the girls but especially the team behind Primark Awoken and we wish them all the luck now they are through to the National stage of the competition and have a chance to win prizes for their school.
The Chime Team loved our day going back to school and, honestly, we learnt a lot.
Unfortunately, the digital skills gap is still of great concern and should be for all employers & employees – including schools and universities. We felt really fortunate to be able to play a role, however small, with BIMA to begin to bridge that gap and we look forward to continuing on this mission.