Skiller Whale has announced the appointment of seasoned tech leader Meri Williams to its advisory board, who joins at a critical inflection point for the startup. After securing $2.9M in seed funding in early 2022, the deep coaching platform has gone from strength to strength, recently naming digitally native brands such as Kayak and Omnipresent as its customers. In the midst of a burgeoning recession, Skiller Whale’s innovative learning approach is transforming the effectiveness of tech teams.
Meri brings to Skiller Whale vast expertise in rapidly scaling technology organisations while also nurturing talent and building diverse workforces. She worked as CTO for a number of large tech organisations; is a published author; chair of the LeadDev conference series and serves on Flagstone and Stonewall’s boards.
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, amongst others, Meri is passionate about closing the huge diversity, equity and inclusion gap within the sector. The tech industry is woefully underrepresented amongst certain groups – in the UK only 26% of tech employees are women and just 15.2% are BAME. 29% of young LGBT people avoid STEM careers because of negative stereotypes and fear of discrimination.
“There’s a mistaken belief that tech is a meritocracy, but unfortunately we are as prone to bias as any other industry. Skiller Whale’s offering is entirely unique and I’ve witnessed how it can transform tech teams. In fact, I wish I’d had this in my toolbox earlier in my career. I believe that Deep Coaching is essential for the long-term health and success of our industry and I’ll be advocating for more tech companies to adopt Skiller Whale’s approach to meaningfully upskill their teams.”
Meri’s appointment signals Skiller Whale’s commitment to levelling the playing field, and she believes that the startup’s unique approach can propel this important work forward. Skiller Whale offers high-level tech coaching for developers via expert-led sessions tailored to the individual. This way of learning builds confidence, which is crucial as underrepresented groups are more likely to suffer from imposter syndrome. It also works better for people who are time poor, requiring no home study time and benefitting caregivers, for example, who are disproportionately represented by women.
Skiller Whale CEO and co-founder Hywel Carver, adds:
“I think Meri is a fantastic tech leader, and I’m delighted to have her join our advisory board. We know that Deep Coaching has the potential to transform skills development within tech teams, helping to support the important work of building more diverse and inclusive workforces. Meri shares our values and our vision, and I can’t wait to work together.”
About Skiller Whale
Skiller Whale is an online live training platform that changes what tech teams are capable of, with live, remote, expert-led 1-hour group sessions tailored to each individual’s needs. Revolutionising developer learning with small expert-led classes to upskill tech teams, their approach allows for a greater degree of flexibility and easier integration with busy tech teams’ schedules. https://www.skillerwhale.com/