Naomi Timperley is a non-executive director and consultant at Alt Theory, a growth and innovation agency. Naomi is now working with IN4.0 Group and The Landing at MediaCityUK to create FreelanceHER 100, an accelerator to help kick-start the freelance careers of women who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. She also sits on multiple boards, including FutureEverything and the Salford Business School Industry Advisory Board, and has featured in Computer Weekly’s list of the Top 50 Most Influential Women in UK IT 2018, 2019 and 2020.
“The women have been supportive of each other and learnt not only from the programme but also from each other. The camaraderie amongst the women has been a joy to watch.”
Growth and innovation
I am a freelance growth and innovation consultant with Alt Theory, co-founder of Tech North Advocates and project director of FreelanceHER 100, a fully-funded, community-driven programme to kick-start the creative digital tech and media careers of 100 women impacted by COVID-19. This programme was developed in response to the huge number of women who had lost their jobs and taken up freelancing to support themselves and their families.
FreelanceHER 100 – designed around real life
It was great to feature in Womanthology back in December to share our plans for FreelanceHER 100. The launch went incredibly well and we had nearly 200 applications.
We designed the programme to be as flexible as possible. We have our workshops delivered live on Tuesdays at three different times via zoom and peer mentoring is also scheduled at times to make sessions as assessable as possible to the women, many of whom might be homeschooling kids or caring for others alongside running their businesses. That is one of the things I love most about the programme – it is designed around real life.
Community is at the heart of the programme and we’ve created a platform so all of the women can get to know each other and hopefully collaborate. Communication has also been key.
The impact has been and above and beyond our wildest dreams. The women have been supportive of each other and learnt not only from the programme but also from each other. The camaraderie amongst the women has been a joy to watch.
Some feedback from the participants
“In just three short mentoring sessions we have all made progress and I really can’t praise our mentor enough for how adept she is at providing words of encouragement. No bulls**t, just action with grace.”
“It’s been such a good programme and it’s lovely to connect with so many diverse women and share our stories about ‘us’ and approaches and challenges in our businesses.”
“I’m loving the way we’re sharing our skills and experiences to help one another succeed.”
The importance of International Women’s Day
Every day is International Women’s Day in my eyes. Being part of this programme, I have seen the true spirit of women lifting each other and in a short amount of time we have a group of women who will be a community well beyond the programme finishing. Women are still marginalised, underpaid and still don’t get the opportunities of their male counterparts. This has to change.
Coming up next
We are halfway through the FreelanceHER 100 programme and we are working on a plan to run more programmes in the future due to the overwhelming response we have had to this one.
I’m also working with some brilliant clients with Alt Theory and continue to support the organisations who’s boards I sit on as well as the tech communities and ecosystems across the UK. Tech is a huge enabler as the economy starts trying to recover so it means so much to me to be able to play my part in helping the UK to build back better.