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Heatwave leaves thousands of businesses in the UK offline for over 15 hours



Businessman using a laptop
Technical issue has been attributed to unprecedented temperatures affecting cloud and networking equipment at Google's hub in London

As people in the UK battled historic temperatures above 40C in many parts of England, Wales and Scotland, last night, thousands of internet hosting users had another hot issue to worry about: the servers of the Sofia-based web hosting company Siteground went down, taking websites offline and leaving businesses and users unable to access their emails.

Although the company, which was founded in 2004 and currently has over 2,000,000 users, started work to solve the problem on the evening of July 19th, fifteen hours later many companies were still in the dark about when they would be able to trade or contact clients online again.

“We had some planned activities around today’s inflation numbers that we had to pause as emails were down. It was a missed opportunity for them and us,” explains Tom Johnson, founder at ReactivePR, a Peterborough-based digital PR agency with several clients hosted on Siteground.

Besides missed time-sensitive opportunities, Johnson also will have extra work to do when Siteground finally manages to fix the problem.

“We lost quite a bit of work that was uploaded to a staging server yesterday afternoon because Siteground had to restore everything from their backups. Less than ideal. Very frustrating. But at the same time, you have to be reasonable. This was outside of their control. Their comms and customer service, however, are not, and they have been poor,” complains the entrepreneur, who hasn’t received any official information from Siteground and only found out that his websites were offline after being notified by a third-party monitoring app.

Some of those affected by the hosting service disruption in the UK were still looking for answers after being offline for hours.

“We found out yesterday, around 6 pm, after it was reported by customers. No email or alert was provided by Siteground. We made contact via Twitter, as their own portal would not provide any method or tool to communicate with the Siteground support team,” recalls Stuart Hargreaves, COO at London-based cybersecurity company Spambrella, which only had its website fully restored after a 15-hour outage. The business has since opened a ticket with the hosting company to find out more about why the disaster recovery procedure was not initiated at the time of redundancy. “Our site was negatively affected by the outage as we were unable to collect vital information and analytics from website visitors, provide website inquiries to the sales team, or support tickets to the technical team. The loss of business is unquantifiable, but it will be possible to average the inbound lead generation over a similar 15-hour period and find an average on conversions. We can then find a median figure for financial loss,” says Hargreaves.

According to Siteground, the reason so many websites were knocked offline was because data centres used by Google in London buckled under the record-breaking heatwave that hit Britain this week and the replacement of problematic parts not being as fast as expected.

“Instead, as the severity of the incident with our London DC has escalated, sadly, several hours ago we started our disaster recovery procedure. We are now restoring servers from offsite backups in our Amsterdam location and gradually putting them back online in order to mitigate this for our customers,” a Siteground customer service representative acknowledged, mirroring a message already shared on their social media.

Although the company’s technical issue has been attributed to unprecedented temperatures affecting cloud and networking equipment in Google’s South London facility, it isn’t the first time that Siteground, a provider of cloud and email hosting, has suffered major setbacks in recent months. In November 2021, the company had a four-day outage resulting in many customers losing rankings in Google along with a significant amount of website traffic.

“It is almost impossible to quantify sales losses and the negative effect to SEO and Google rankings in the future. Siteground has been exemplary in its delivery to our company over the years, and we support them fully in their recovery. We just hope they find the support they need from Google to provide businesses with compensation as may be required. Spambrella was lightly impacted, but many have been hit hard from this. It is the small businesses that need financial support quickly to recover,” believes Stuart Hargreaves.

Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, Producer and Influencer Marketing Manager working with brands and publications in Europe, America and Asia.


The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project announces 50 nominees



Kim Rihal, founder of social enterprise Equal Education, is one of the 50 women shortlisted for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project
Kim Rihal, founder of social enterprise Equal Education, is one of the 50 women shortlisted for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project

Earlier this year, on International Women’s Day 2023, Häagen-Dazs launched ‘The Rose Project’, a global initiative with a $100,000 (USD) bursary grant inviting nominations to recognise unsung trailblazing women in honour of the brand’s female co-founder Rose Mattus. Yesterday, 23 November, on what would have been Rose Mattus’ birthday, Häagen-Dazs announced the top 50 #WomenWhoDontHoldBack nominees being shortlisted for their achievements and its five globally accomplished Häagen-Dazs Rose Project judges.

Over 2,500 applications were received for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project putting forward pioneering efforts and societal contributions made by women across the globe. From these, 50 talented and inspirational women have been shortlisted and will be put forward to win one of five monetary grants of $20,000 (USD), which will be announced on International Women’s Day 2024, to continue their exceptional work, unleash their potential or give to a cause they are passionate about. The top 50 shortlist includes women from 17 countries hailing from across Europe, Asia, Africa & Middle East, Australia and the Americas.

The all-female judging panel from across the world has been handpicked for the final selection stage of The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project includes. UK-based author, broadcaster and philanthropist Katie Piper, fashion entrepreneur and advocate for women’s fertility issues, Velda Tan from Singapore and Spanish entrepreneur and creative director Inés Arroyo, are amongst the judges.

“International Women’s Day 2023 marked the launch of The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project to honour the legacy of our co-founder, Rose Mattus, and create a fund platform to provide opportunities to women across all fields around the world who are truly deserving of support and recognition. We were thrilled to receive thousands of nominations across countries and our #WomenWhoDontHoldBack Top 50 shortlist is a compelling and diverse mosaic of trailblazing female narratives that moved us and serve as an inspiration to women everywhere”, says Aurélie Lory, Häagen-Dazs spokesperson.

To find out more about the story of each entrepreneur shortlisted for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project, visit:

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47% of women feel their workplace is not combatting inequality



Katherine Maher, CEO, Web Summit, on Centre Stage during day one of Web Summit 2023 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal
Katherine Maher, CEO, Web Summit, on Centre Stage during day one of Web Summit 2023 | Photo: Eóin Noonan/Web Summit

The proportion of women who feel that their workplace is not taking appropriate measures to combat gender inequality has nearly doubled in a year, a new survey has revealed.

Web Summit, the world’s largest technology event taking place in Lisbon this week, has released its third annual State of Gender Equity in Tech report, which is based on a survey distributed among its women in tech community.

76.1 percent of respondents feel empowered to pursue and/or hold a leadership position; fewer respondents (41.8 %) feel the need to choose between family and career when compared to 2022 (50.4 %); and there is at least one woman in a senior management position in 80.4 percent of respondents’ companies, a similar proportion to last year (81.3%).

The survey found that 70.5 percent of respondents feel pressure to prove their worth compared to male counterparts, while 77.2 percent feel they need to work harder to prove themselves because of their gender.

Over three quarters of respondents (76.1 %) feel empowered to pursue and/or hold a leadership position. And almost half of respondents think that their workplace is not taking appropriate measures to combat gender inequality, increasing from 26 percent in 2022 to 47
percent in 2023.

“While it is encouraging to see progress in some areas, such as those feeling the need to choose between their family and career, there are also some deeply concerning trends within this report. Seeing an increase in those who report having experienced sexism in the workplace in the last year is disheartening in 2023. We hope that this kind of research can breed some positives, and that it will push workplaces – and women within these workplaces – to broach these topics and make progress in these areas,” said Carolyn Quinlan, VP of community at Web Summit.

Last year, 42 percent of attendees at Web Summit were women and 33 percent of speakers were women. In 2023 these numbers have slightly improved with 43 percent of attendees and 38 percent of speakers on stage being women this year.

The women in tech programme at this year’s Web Summit is at capacity, and the women in tech programme at Web Summit Rio 2023 reached capacity in record time.

The WebSummit 2023 is running from November 13th to 16th in Lisbon, Portugal.

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Krispy Kreme to give away free donuts on World Kindness Day



A box of Krispy Kreme donuts opened and with donuts inside
The company, founded in 1937, is giving away 60,000 free doughnuts around the world today | Photo: Clément Proust

American multinational doughnut company and coffeehouse chain, Krispy Kreme, is celebrating “World Kindness Day” today by distributing free donuts in the US and the UK.

The chain is giving away a box of a dozen glazed donuts for free with no purchase necessary. But only the first 500 guests that visit each participating Krispy Kreme US stores on “World Kindness Day”, Monday November 13th, will be able to get a free box of donuts.

Krispy Kreme often gives away free or discounted donuts to generate buzz on special occasions. The company, founded in 1937, traditionally gives out free donuts to customers on National Donut Day, celebrated on the first Friday of June of each year. And in July, a dozen of glazed donuts were sold for 86 cents to celebrate its 86th birthday.

Thousands of free donuts are also expected to be given away today across Krispy Kreme stores in the United Kingdom, with customers being encouraged to ask for the World Kindness Day offer. No purchase necessary.

The company, which operates in over 30 countries around the world, said it wants the brand associated with World Kindness Day to make “meaningful connections” with customers.

“World Kindness Day is an opportunity to make a positive difference by being generous,” Dave Skena, Krispy Kreme’s global chief brand officer, said in a release. “Simple gestures of caring and thanks, including sharing a sweet treat, is a great way to do that.”

Krispy Kreme said that it’s considering expanding a limited partnership it has with McDonald’s to sell more of its donuts at the latter’s location.

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