Tech and digital experts will meet in Manchester next month to discuss how to successfully transform the region’s business landscape, following recent research that found there is a worsening gender and skills gap in the industry.

Organised by independent trade association, Manchester Digital, Digital Revolution will examine the global trends and events that will impact Greater Manchester's digital and technology businesses in the coming years.

BusinessCloud editor Chris Maguire, who will speak on the subject of fake news, said: "With the rise of social media, the pressure to authenticate news has never been stronger.

"There is a danger that the public will lose faith in what they're reading - and we all have a responsibility to guard against that."

The panel of experts include Alison Ross, customer experience and operations director at Auto Trader, Tom Forth, associate at ODI Leeds, Martin Bryant, community editor at Tech North, Jonathan Schofield, editor of Manchester Confidential, and Nicola Woods, consultant at OBI Property.

The event has also confirmed two speakers who are on the Tech North Northern Voices initiative – a six-month speaker training programme that aims to address challenges like the gender and regional imbalances at conferences.

Grace Blakeley, researcher at IPPR North think tank, will be talking about how much of the recent political turbulence has been driven by technology and globalisation.

While Claudia Wootten, group product owner at the Department for Work and Pensions, will explore what the threat of cyber crime and intrusive surveillance powers will do to the universal internet as we know it.

Grace Blakeley said: “It’s excellent to see more events giving a voice to women working in technology. It gives us a platform to share experiences with aspiring talent, and therefore help grow the number of women studying and applying for jobs in the sector.”

Claudia Wootten added: “It’s not always well understood why there isn’t currently an even split of women and men working in the tech sector, or indeed, what it means.

"That’s why events such as this are so significant – they are driving interest and uncovering the vast amount of career paths available for women working in technology.

"What we must communicate is that technology can, and frequently does, empower ordinary people.”

Manchester Digital

The conference takes place on Friday 5 May from 10am at Citylabs 1.0 on Nelson Street in Manchester.

Katie Gallagher, managing director at Manchester Digital, said: “The event is a proven forum for ideas and development and our panel of experts will offer insightful discussions about the digital ecosystem in the North West and beyond, as well as tackle some of the key issues that our industry is currently facing.

“It also offers a great chance to network with like-minded individuals who are motivated by progress and want to get a glimpse into the future of their businesses.”

Tickets are now on sale and are priced at £32 for Manchester Digital members and £46 for non-members. For more information on this year’s conference go to: https://www.manchesterdigital.com/events/digital-revolution-conference-2017