WOMEN ROCK

WOMEN ROCK.

Thanks for being here and welcome to Women Rock – a voice for diversity in tech! Here you will find some of the most inspirational stories about ED&I in the tech industry. Women Rock was created by SR2 co-founder and all-round positive vibe advocate Alicia and exists to help transform the industry and create a positive movement!

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” – An interview with Michelle Brideau.
WOMEN ROCK2019-03-26

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” – An interview with Michelle Brideau.

I first met Michelle 6 months ago when she was looking for a new role in Tech! Michelle has been a software developer for 4 years although wanted to take a step back from coding and try out a new challenge, but still staying within the tech industry which hasn’t come as easy as riding a bike. She is a great example of empowering women in tech and also has a passion for cycling where she promotes women in the sport too. Together we’ve explored a few options and we are really close to finding her dream role! Here’s her story and thoughts on the tech industry.MICHELLE, YOU WERE A WEB DEVELOPER FOR SKY FOR ALMOST 5 YEARS.. TELL US ABOUT YOUR TIME THERE?I started at Sky working on different areas of the Sky.com website, including things like Broadband Shield Settings and the PayPerView events page which was interesting when there was a major boxing event causing significant spikes in traffic. The company decided to move that department to Leeds in a money-saving exercise, and I was then assigned to the new NowTV team responsible for rebuilding the web apps for the launch of a new product. We had the fun of deciding the full tech stack from the start as a team. We decided on using ReactJS which meant I went from being a Ruby developer to a Javascript developer. I enjoyed my time at Sky, I worked on enthusiastic teams with positive attitudes.WHAT MADE YOU GET INTO SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT?I quit a job that was not working out how I’d envisioned and was considering various options when I saw an ad for Makers Academy, a 10 week coding bootcamp. I’ve always enjoyed computers, there was always one in my house even before that was the norm, but I was under the impression that software development wasn’t for me, perhaps it was the 2000 page C++, .net or Java reference books I’d seen. So when I saw the ad for the bootcamp I thought, if they think they can teach me to code in 10 weeks it can’t be as hard as I thought and after only 10 weeks I would have a good idea if I liked it as well.YOU WERE PART OF CYCLING’S UK’S 100 WOMEN IN CYCLING 2018 – HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE AND INSPIRE WOMEN TO TAKE PART IN CYCLING?My way of inspiring other women to give cycling a try is to be an example, someone who isn’t an athlete getting out there and enjoying it. Hopefully being relatable will make someone think that they should give it a go. I also try to show it doesn’t have to be complicated, we women have enough complications in our lives and cycling should be fun! In future, I hope to tell stories of other women who cycle. I’ve met so many inspiring women who have challenged (and surprised) themselves with what they can do on a bike.WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN A YEAR?I recently relocated to Bristol from London, I’m currently looking for a role with a company doing something that excites me. If all goes to plan, I’ll be working with a great team on something I feel passionate about enjoying Bristol and the laidback South West lifestyle.WHY DO YOU THINK THERE’S A LACK OF FEMALE TALENT ACROSS THE TECH SPACE?I think the reason is similar to why there is a lack of women in cycling. Women don’t see it as an option for them because they don’t see other others they can relate to doing it, so they don’t see it as an option for themselves. I also feel there’s a misconception about what the work is like. I found it to be much more about creative problem solving than I realised. It would also be great to see the tech space do more to address the work-life balance issues which would attract and keep more women and prevent the burn out that you see developers face after years of coding.WHAT’S ONE PIECE OF ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN GETTING INTO TECH?There’s a lot to know, and it changes quickly. You will never know it all, learn where and how to find help and get yourself unstuck, that’s a skill that will serve you well.WHO’S YOUR ROLE MODEL?Annie Londonderry, the first woman to cycle around the world (in 1894). She was married with 3 children and only learned to ride a few days before she set off. I love the thought of her handing the children to her husband and riding away. Her bike was super heavy, the clothes women wore at the time weren’t exactly cycling friendly, and she carried a pearl-handled pistol. She was a very determined women not afraid of a challenge and some logistics – No Excuses for her, which is a mantra I try to live by.WHAT IS THE ONE APP ON YOUR PHONE YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT?Not an easy one to answer! I’d have to say Dashlane, it’s my password, ID, credit card, secure note keeper app. I’d be lost trying to remember all my passwords. It also tells me when a website has been breached so I can change that password.Thank you Michelle, you rock!#womenrockA voice of diversity in tech.

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‘Dad Jokes’ – An interview with the team at Huggg
WOMEN ROCK2019-03-19

‘Dad Jokes’ – An interview with the team at Huggg

One of the things we love most about working in Runway East is we are constantly rubbing shoulders with mega talented techies, often from awesome, game-changing companies…None more exciting than our next door neighbours (+1) huggg!huggg make spreading happiness about as easy as it can be. Their product enables the sending (and receiving) of treats from coffees to cocktails, cinema tickets to ice cream. It’s awesome. If you don’t have the app – download it now!!Paul’s built a great team since launching and I caught up with a few of the ladies and him to run through their careers and what life is like at huggg.Follow on social:Twitter: @huggg_ukInstagram: @huggg_ukMEET THE TEAMOlivia Red O’Brien – PR + Communications Manager.Caragh Jones – Partner Communications.Claire Sharpe – Community Manager.Becky Smith – B2B Strategist.Ashley Porciuncula – VP Product.Paul Wickers – Founder & CEO.PAUL, FORBES LISTED HUGGG ONE START-UP TO WATCH FOR 2019, COULD YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE COMPANY?huggg is a platform which enables friends to send real things to one another, in messages.So, imagine your friend is having a bad day and you want to cheer them up. You can use huggg to send them a coffee, cake or cinema ticket emoji, which means you just paid for them to walk next door and pick up the real thing.It’s like a message, sprinkled with a touch of magic.YOU SPENT YEARS IN FINANCIAL SERVICES, WHERE DID THE IDEA OF HUGGG COME FROM?The idea came, whilst I was at work. I was researching the greeting card market for a project, and wondering if we do everything – from finding a spouse to heating our homes – from the comfort of our very own smartphones, why can’t we do the same for a real-life cup of coffee, cocktail or cupcake?The rest, as they say, is history!YOU HAVE GROWN VERY QUICKLY AND BUILT AN AMAZINGLY DIVERSE TEAM … HOW HAVE YOU DONE THIS?We guide everything by one simple principle – do the right thing. So when it comes to hiring, we don’t just pay lip service to diversity, we try to make a point of making sure that we root out any prejudice in the way that we hire.So, for example, we run the job ads through software that spots for language that injects unconscious bias. And we place our diversity language at the very top of our job ads, not at the bottom, to make a statement as to its importance.It would be impossible for us to build a mass-appeal product without understanding all corners of our audience, so diversity is key in helping us to do that, but, honestly, that’s not the driver.WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST STRENGTH?Holding huge quantities of detail and logic in my head and being able to recall and apply it fast.WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WEAKNESS?Not being able to keep bad jokes from somehow finding their way out of my mouth.WHAT’S NEXT FOR HUGGG?We are about to, simultaneously, launch national supply, undertake our first integrations into other people’s audiences and undertake some large B2B projects. Doesn’t sound stressful at all.WHO’S YOUR SQUAD?That’s not fair. I have a wife and 4 children for a start, so I’m screwed whichever way I answer that!WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTE?”That really low one we got when we had our windows done”Thanks Paul, love the business and your dad jokes!LADIES, HUGGG HAVE A REALLY DIVERSE TEAM. HOW DO YOU THINK THIS HAS BENEFITTED YOUR ROLE OR THE BUSINESS?Olivia: Having a team made up of people of all genders, backgrounds and ethnicities is so important to us at huggg. If you don’t enrich your workplace with diversity and varied experience, you’ll end up limiting your business and excluding audiences without even realising it. We want to talk to everyone and get the whole world huggging – and in order to do that we need to listen to as many voices as we can.Caragh: When you’re working on a new product or communicating something new to the world, diversity of feedback and ideas is so important. And how has it benefited me or my role? Well, I love the team I work in and learn new things from them everyday. If you’ve not gained a new perspective or learnt something from your team members in a while, you probably need to switch things up a bit…Claire: I’m lucky in my role at huggg. I get to speak not only to our wide range of users, but also the entire team either to feedback thoughts from users, or ask their opinion on suggested features. Having such a wide range of opinions to draw from really makes my life a lot easier and gives me the chance to reconsider my own position on things. Plus it just makes for a fun office and really good lunchtime chat.Becky: The diversity of the huggg team has helped me in my role, as our different job experiences and skills complement each other, so there’s always useful insights and opinions to make the most of.It also helps huggg meet our users needs because our diverse life experiences ensures we can relate to more of our users, whether it’s Millennials, mums, marketers or managers.Ashley: We don’t see diversity as a nice-to-have or a luxury. It’s a requirement to build a product that speaks to people, and a team where everyone is invested. We’re constantly challenging ourselves to bring more voices and experiences into the team, and therefore into the apps that we’re building, because we know that it’s the only way to build something that people love.WHAT IS YOUR FOCUS AT WORK GOING TO BE ON FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF MONTHS?Olivia: Continuing to get huggg into the pockets of kind, generous and thoughtful humans – and making sure they love it when they do have it.Caragh: Partner marketing! So that means working closely with our amazing partners to help them market their products, build an engaged community of hugggers and have fun whilst doing it.Claire: The next couple of months is a REALLY long time at huggg. We work in 2 week sprints and priorities can change so fast. My priorities will always be talking to our brilliant community and looking after our very special power hugggersBecky: Preparing huggg go to market strategy for using huggg within business, for customers and employees.Ashley: We will continue to add new features and products into our main mobile app, and have a lot happening under the surface with our API. We’re also looking to build out the team with more developers to help us keep up with all of the amazing ideas in our backlog.WHO’S YOUR SQUAD?Olivia: I know too many amazing women to choose, so I’ll go for one from each category: I couldn’t live without my bestie Jess, my mama Charlene and the dulcet tones and general greatness of Queen Florence Welch.Caragh: Emily Coxhead (because everyone needs happy news in their life), The Black Madonna (Sashay away!), Natasha Bedingfield (release you inhibitions I hope you’re all singing it now)Claire: Lex Lethal (roller derby buddy), my not so little sister Sarah and Baddie Winkle. Serena Williams will be on standby though. That’s one hell of a squad!Becky: Ali, Helen, Katie, Ana (not 3 but I can’t exclude the 4th member of my squad)!Ashley: My partner, Daniel, who is always there to support me in every way, no matter what. Olivia, our PR and Communications manager, who I can put 100% of my trust into. She knocks it out of the park every time! And Helen Mirren, who I very much want to be when I grow up, because she is the epitome of confidence and speaking her truth.FAVOURITE QUOTES!Olivia: ” …But what if it all goes right?”Caragh: ”Busy people get more done”Claire: ”I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life…. if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be”. – Roald DahlBecky: ”In this life we will never be apart, for we grew to the same beat of our mothers heart”.Ashley: ”Know what? Bitches get stuff done.” – Tina FeyThank you so much Ladies, you are all amazing keep rocking!

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“Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination” – An interview with Charlotte Bella
WOMEN ROCK2019-03-05

“Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination” – An interview with Charlotte Bella

Charlotte is one of my favourite people on Twitter, one of the organisers of Ladies that UX Bristol, a group we are really proud to sponsor. She also introduced me to CLICSargent a charity I love to support personally. She is now a Product Owner at Travel Chapter and smashing it! We caught up and spoke about her 10 year career in tech and also why looking for a job as a parent who wants to work part-time was one of the toughest things she’s ever done…….Q1. WHAT DOES YOUR DAY TO DAY LOOK LIKE AS PRODUCT OWNER AT TRAVEL CHAPTER?Every day there is a new problem to solve, to get involved with and to research and provide evidence for a solution. I think that’s the number one thing I love about what I do and with an organisation with so much legacy it’s not something that will slow down any time soon. I work with a great Interaction Designer and together with other colleagues from across the organisation we will solve small problems such as ‘how might we make it easier for customers to view their booking details’ to larger scale issues such as ‘how might we make it easier for users to register and view their holiday itineraries’?Q2. YOU ARE CO-ORGANISER OF LADIES THAT UX, COULD YOU TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE GROUP?LTUX Bristol is part of a wider global social enterprise started in 2013 in Manchester when its founders Lizzie Dyson and Georgie Bottomley recognised that it was hard to find other female role models in the sector. The group creates a space for women from all levels to engage and talk about their experiences, both positive and negative, and get the support and inspiration that they are looking for. In a sector with a high proportion of men in it, Ladies that UX is all about giving women the chance to meet up to support each other, push the UX boundaries, and promote female skill and talent. We often get told that our group is really inclusive and that it makes UX accessible to any level of interest and experience and that’s really amazing feedback as other groups can often seem overwhelming if you’re new to UX due to the depth of the subject matter.HOW DO YOU JUGGLE YOUR CAREER AND BEING A MUM?Haha, I’m really not sure some days. I’m SO unbelievably lucky that I work for such a flexible employer. I only started working at Travel Chapter in January and before that I was job searching for around six months as I really wanted to find the right company to work for. I think it’s important that parents feel protected and cared for, it’s really tough, especially as my partner and I both have senior roles and obviously it is expected that you give more of yourself to your career the higher up the ladder you go, but my family comes first. I think if I didn’t have my iPhone there’s no way I’d be able to juggle it all, LTUX, work and family life, something would have to give, but it allows me to be flexible on the go and respond to urgent situations without being tied to a desk. I’m also super organised so I ensure that anyone who relies on me at work will be fully up to date where they need to be if I know I’m not going to be around. Lastly, we don’t have family around in Bristol but we are lucky to have such a flexible childminder. I literally have no idea how I’d get by without her, she will have our little girl at the drop of a hat and has even been over to babysit so we can have date nights.YOU HAVE BEEN IN THE TECH INDUSTRY FOR 10 YEARS, AND I’M ASSUMING, YEP THAT YOU HAVE BEEN OUTNUMBERED BEING A FEMALE, BUT I KNOW THAT HASN’T STOPPED YOU GETTING WHERE YOU ARE TODAY. I’M ALSO GUESSING IT HASN’T BEEN EASY, WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?I think looking for a job in Product/UX as a parent who wants to work part-time (so I can spend a day a week with my little girl) has been one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. So many organisations are inflexible as they might work in five-day design sprints that require a product owner overseeing the process or they simply don’t allow more senior roles/roles with line management to be part-time due to other members of staff that rely on you. I was in danger of my career suffering where I was previously as they weren’t as digitally advanced as other sectors and there was literally no one to learn from and no role to move in to. I really didn’t want the fact that I was a mum to stop me from realising my ambitions so I didn’t give up (as hard as it was) until I found the right job. Although it doesn’t make it any easier when you get feedback that ‘it was a close call but we went with this guy because xyz’. The other person is almost always a man and it does make your brain go in to overdrive wondering if they really got the job because they were better than you, or was it because they were an easier person to onboard as they didn’t have the same baggage as a woman might have.WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR WOMEN WHO WANT TO GET INTO PRODUCT ROLES?Find a great female mentor and get to know the strategic and business side of things. These are all things I wish I had done early on and I am still looking for a female mentor. Look to upskill yourself across the design side of things too so you can illustrate your points clearly. I’m signed up to IDF and am taking online courses and of course I co-organise and attend the LTUX events too as well as UCD Bristol and Product Tank. A great mix of empathy, common sense and business understanding makes a great product manager. If you know you’re good enough, don’t ever give up and find a great recruiter who can fight your corner.HOW HAS ONE MOMENT GOT YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?It’s hard to pinpoint one single moment as I feel that my progression has come in ripples not in waves which has given me time to take stock and learn from significant micro-events before going on to the next opportunity. I’m proactive and I am constantly networking, learning and trying to be better every day and I’m open to the opportunities that come from that.WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTE?I need to be transparent here and say I literally found this on the internet as I didn’t have a favourite quote that wasn’t a line from a film or TV show. Hopefully it illustrates my curious and creative nature; “Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.” Mae Jemison Otherwise; “I know a cracking owl sanctuary”WHO’S YOUR SQUAD?MY LITTLE GIRL, EMMELINE – I WANT TO HELP HER TO REALISE HER POTENTIAL AND THE OPPORTUNITIES OUT THERE FOR HER FROM A VERY EARLY AGE WHICH WILL HOPEFULLY ENABLE HER TO BE A KIND AND SUCCESSFUL PERSON. SHE LIFTS ME UP, IS A GREAT CHEERLEADER AND SHE TRUSTS ME WHICH HELPS ME TO CONFIDENTLY LEAD MY FAMILY JAMEELA JAMIL – SHE’S AN INCREDIBLE ACTIVIST THAT USES HER PLATFORM TO DO GOOD AND ENCOURAGES WOMEN TO BE COMFORTABLE WITH WHO THEY ARE AND NOT TO CONFORM TO ANYONE’S STANDARDS BUT THEIR OWN. SHE WOULD BE GREAT AT HELPING MY ALL FEMALE SQUAD GET THEIR VOICE HEARD.MY MUM – MY INTEREST IN TECHNOLOGY STARTED VERY EARLY ON, I HAD A GAMEGEAR AND AN AMSTRAD COMPUTER IN MY BEDROOM AT THE AGE OF NINE. I REMEMBER MY MUM SITTING AT THE PC LITERALLY TYPING IN THE CODE FROM A MANUAL FOR HOURS SO THAT I COULD USE CERTAIN SOFTWARE. IF ANY OF THE CODE WAS TYPED IN INCORRECTLY SHE WOULD ONLY KNOW AT THE END THEN SHE’D HAVE TO GO THROUGH AND REVIEW IT ALL AGAIN. THAT LEVEL OF DEDICATION AND QA IS SOMETHING YOU DEFINITELY NEED IN A SQUAD!Thank you so much for being involved in Women Rock and everything you do for the industry.Ladies that UX Bristol meet on the last Thursday of each month. You can join the group here 

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“There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.” – An interview with Gill Cooke
WOMEN ROCK2019-02-19

“There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.” – An interview with Gill Cooke

Since starting Women Rock the group has grown and grown and has introduced me and the girls to some unbelievable women further afield then just Bristol, where we originally started. We are super lucky to have Gill in the Women Rock network and an inspirational role model for the tech industry. Gill isn’t just a Digital and Agile transformation leader, head of planning and delivery at Three, she is also leading the Women in Tech within the business and also the Founder of STEMConnext.  How she does it all as well as bringing up two girls is very impressive and her story even more so. Thanks so much Gill, looking forward to collaborating together soon.AS THE HEAD OF PLANNING AND DELIVERY AT THREE, WHAT DOES YOUR DAY TO DAY LOOK LIKE?My days are pretty varied, which is how I like it, I could be managing budget or headcount, chatting to new starters about working at Three, attending large planning sessions, having catch ups with my direct reports or in leadership team meetings. Over and above my day job, I might be on Linkedin making new connections, having calls with potential panellists for my #STEMConnext networking events or attending the Diversity & Inclusion strategy sessions.YOU HAVE WORKED AT THREE FOR ALMOST 10 YEARS AND HAVE PROGRESSED FROM PROJECT MANAGER TO PROGRAMMER MANAGER TO YOUR ROLE NOW. HOW HAVE YOU DONE SO?Honestly I don’t know, I genuinely thought I would last 3 months as I moved from an exciting career in TV to Telecomms and I didn’t understand any of the the acronyms! However I obviously did something right! My transferable skills of organisation, scheduling and budgeting worked well, I passed my Prince 2 training and I seemed to be good at delivering projects. A key milestone for me was changing to part time hours – initially 4 days a week and then 4 days (30hours) over 5 days to fit in with my daughters starting school. I applied for Lead Project Manager in the Online team and then the Programme Manager role (all part time) and in 2017 I was seconded into the Head of Planning and Delivery for Online & Digital (the website) and my secondment was made permanent at the end of the year. Luckily my bosses were more interested in the outcomes I delivered rather than the hours I was in the office which is rare I know. I think I have progressed thanks to having some fantastic and supportive line managers.YOU RUN WOMEN IN TECH AT THREE, VOLUNTEER FOR STEM EVENTS AND YOU ARE ALSO ORGANISING YOUR OWN NETWORKING EVENTS IN GLASGOW AND BERKSHIRE. COULD YOU TELL ME ABOUT THOSE?I have always been passionate about developing people and investing in the future. When I worked in TV I established a work experience scheme and most people I employed as runners are now very well-known producers/directors. This became even more important when I became a parent so I love volunteering for career events and demonstrating that you don’t have to be technical to work in Tech. As part of my personal development last year I decided to increase my network outside of Three and I wanted to attend Women in Tech networking events but they were all in London and very hard to get to for a 6/6.30pm start. When I was asked to take over the leadership of the employee group Women in Tech @ Three, I saw this as an opportunity. In Berkshire and the M4 corridor we have so many tech and science companies that I recognised a real gap in the market – I researched and there were no STEM networking events in the area so I decided to organise a networking event that I would want to go to… luckily about 80 other people wanted to go too! I launched #STEMConnext (named by my husband) and went live on Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/stemconnext/ and I haven’t looked back since. Our Facebook group already has 200 members in only 4 months and the registration for our second networking event in Berkshire has just gone live and I’m planning our first in Glasgow! Our group vision is to bring STEM women and men together in their local area – to connect, collaborate and converse.AND ALSO COULD YOU TELL ME ABOUT ADVIZA PARTNERSHIP, I HAVEN’T HEARD OF IT BEFORE?Worlds of Opportunity (www.woop.org.uk) is a programme managed by the Adviza Partnership which was set up in Berkshire and along with Learning to work (www.learningtowork.org.uk), they connect schools with businesses for Career Fairs, work experience and apprenticeships. I’m delighted to be a STEM Champion and working with them to promote career fairs and volunteering within my network.HOW DO YOU JUGGLE BEING A MUM, YOUR JOB AND ALSO EVERYTHING YOU DO OUTSIDE OF YOUR ROLE?I guess by accepting that I’m not perfect at anything and I don’t have to be, all I can do is my best. I’m not a perfect mum, but I’m a good mum and I do my best. I’m not a perfect career woman, I do my best but I get things wrong sometimes and I prioritise and am good at time managements. The things that are important to me are my family and my friends and if I remember that, then sometimes things have to give. I work hard and am on my phone or laptop when my kids are chilling and watching telly or doing homework, but if they need me I turn them off. I work late a lot especially when I’m organising an event but that is my choice and so I don’t have anyone to blame but myself but I believe that with small steps I am making the world a better place for my daughters so that is what motivates me.WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE GETTING WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?I worked in a TV for 11 years so my biggest challenge was being made redundant and making the decision to completely change industries. I made the hard decision to go back to work earlier than I planned when my second daughter was only 6 months old. I took a massive pay cut and would have to start from scratch again, but I didn’t want to miss out on the perfect logistical job (no more commuting) and I’m still there 4 promotions and 9 years later.IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT THE TECH INDUSTRY WHAT WOULD IT BE?I would change “one” BIG thing! I want to change all tech and big industries and haul them into the 21st century on mindset, culture, behaviours, flexibility, inclusivity, diversity and bring them into the Digital age!WHAT’S NEXT?I’d love to make a career out of my STEMConnext brand somehow, organise networking events and be paid for what I am doing outside of my day job – driving diversity and equality changes, challenging the perception of girls in STEM at a young age by attending career fairs and meeting amazing, inspiring, like-minded people at conferences and networking events.WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTE?There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made. – Michelle ObamaCulture eats Strategy for Breakfast – Peter DruckerBe kind, do what is right and try to make the world a better place – Me to my girls….WHO’S YOUR SQUAD?My best friend, my sisters and my husband.#STEMConnext’s next event: 20th March 2019 at Bourne End, BucksWhy do so many of us feel like frauds? A panel of experts will discuss why about 70% of men and women suffer from Imposter Syndrome and lack of self-confidence.Please come along to join the discussion and get some tips and advice on how to challenge this perception and build your confidence:https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/stemconnext-berkshire-tackling-imposter-syndrome-tickets-54800636178#Womenrocka voice of diversity in tech@womenrockbristol

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People acting together as a group can accomplish things which no individual acting alone could ever hope to bring about.
WOMEN ROCK2019-02-12

People acting together as a group can accomplish things which no individual acting alone could ever hope to bring about.

You’ve probably seen that at SR2 we’ve grown quite a bit over the last couple of months and I wanted to introduce our 3 new brilliant ladies to the team. Steph, Amy and Char are all experienced technical recruiters and have seen first hand the challenges around recruiting women in technical roles! I am over the moon to have them on board and also to have them as ambassadors for Women Rock, they are all going to be working on projects for the brand throughout the year… stay tuned! Here is a bit about all of them <3Charlotte.WHY DID YOU JOIN SR2?Because they’re bloody amazing. No, because they treat people like human beings whether it’s the people that work here or clients. Everything SR2 do is for a good reason, whether it’s to help our Bristol community or our Tech community!WHAT DOES YOUR DAY TO DAY LOOK LIKE?Get into work early and grab a coffee and if Boris is in then I’ll probably make a fuss of him and then carry on with my recruitment duties. We always work hard but there’s never a day where we don’t have a laugh!WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL?My sister is my role model! So proud of everything she does whether it’s her kind heart of how hard she works day to day. She is the most honest and real person I know and she reminds me every day to stay positive and be true to myself.WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS AND AMBITIONS FOR WOMEN ROCK?I honestly and truly believe Women Rock has the ability to go ALL THE WAY. The whole concept is unreal and I find it so empowering that we have the utilities and tools to be able to help and change women’s (and men) thoughts and expectations of their future. For me, I was unaware that getting into tech was even an option as I went to a very traditional school where the norm was to study History or English. I feel so strongly about making younger people aware that this is a thing, probably more so now than ever!WHAT DO YOU THINK THE CHALLENGES ARE FOR THE WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY?I mentioned before how passionate I was around making younger women aware that yes, tech is not just for men but is a great career choice for us ladies too! I think we need to encourage women in tech to speak out and make other people aware that it’s an amazing and empowering option for everyone involved.WHAT DO YOU LOVE TO EAT AND DRINK?This is very important. Very important indeed.. Eating wise – any PASTA or Italian based cuisine. Drink wise, it’ll have to be either a nice traditional ginger beer or a gin and tonic with a twist.WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE WORLD?My favourite place every is a place called Banyuls-Sur-Mer in the South of France, it’s a tiny little seaside cove and does the most amazing Sangria and also.. fun fact – has a rock that looks like a head!WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING OUTSIDE OF WORK?Well, I do love a glass of wine and going to the gym (not at the same of course) if I’m not gyming then you’ll find me having a few drinks with my friends or doing yoga!WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTE?‘The best revenge is massive success” – Frank SinatraWHO’S YOUR SQUAD?My squad would include my sister, obviously my friend Lauren and celeb wise I would have to have Leonardo Dicaprio because he’s my favourite actor ever and love the fact that he uses his platform to help save our planet #SquadGoalsAMY.WHY DID YOU JOIN SR2?I joined SR2 to be around a group of genuinely nice people, who are trying to make a good name for themselves. Recruitment can have a really bad reputation in the tech industry, so it’s great to be around people who are trying to actually give back and help not only the tech community, but the Bristol community as a whole.WHAT DOES YOUR DAY TO DAY LOOK LIKE AT SR2?I get into work, go through the job boards and my ad response to see if there are any new candidates who are looking for a job. I then have a cup of coffee and begin reaching out to local hiring managers! Once I know what my candidate is looking for in their next role I’ll reach out to companies who I know will fit the bill. Hopefully I’ll be able to generate some opportunities that they would get excited about! Aside from this, I’ll spend my day writing up new adverts for candidates, networking on Linkedin and helping promote our own brand “Women in Tech!”WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL?My Mum, she can have so much on her own plate and still be the most compassionate and selfless person, and she makes it look so easy!WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS AND AMBITIONS FOR WOMEN ROCK?I have 2:1) To support the women already in tech. It’s a well known fact that the tech industry is a male dominated industry, so to support those women who are there making waves in the tech world and make sure they know we think they rock!2) To encourage women who want to get into tech, whether that’s students or women in other industries, to show them that it’s not just a job for men, introduce them to all the amazing things other women are currently achieving and how they can be a part of it too!WHAT DO YOU THINK THE CHALLENGES ARE FOR THE WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY?From speaking to my clients, it’s clear they are aware that there is an issue with diversity in the tech world and many are crying out for more female developers in their team. What I think is the main challenge is breaking that stereotype with the younger generation when they are considering what career might suit them. Out of all the girl’s in my year I can’t think of one person that went into tech, let alone considered it. Breaking the stereotype at this age and showcasing to young girls how exciting a job in the tech world can be, would bring in a new generation of female techies and role models for even younger generations to aspire toWHAT DO YOU LOVE TO EAT AND DRINK? THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.Eating = anything with cheese. Literally anything. Drinking = Green tea if I’m feeling healthy, rhubarb G&T if I’m not!WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE WORLD?Bali! I just spent 2.5 months there and its just such a beautiful islandWHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING OUTSIDE OF WORK?I love practicing and teaching yoga! It helps keep me sane in what can be a very stressful job. I’m also a big fan of sitting on the sofa with a big blanket, cup of tea and one of my cats, watching Netflix!WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTE?It’s a long one, but resonates so much:“People tend to burden themselves with so many choices. But, in the end, you can throw it all away and just make one basic, underlying decision: do you want to be happy, or do you not want to be happy? Once you make that choice, your path through life becomes completely clear”Michael Singer- Untethered Soul, definitely recommend a read!WHO’S YOUR SQUAD?1) My best friend Mel, practically a sister and would hold my hand through anything2) Zooey Deschanel, I feel like we would get on and sing songs round a campfire3) Can my cat be one?? He just gets me!STEPH.WHY DID YOU JOIN SR2?I joined SR2 January this year, still a newbie! I had been working for a large corporate recruiter for a year. I had started to get itchy feet before Christmas, as I didn’t feel I was getting the best out of myself in the environment, which I was working in. Chris reached out to me and told me about SR2 and how they were doing things. I was already very much aware of SR2 and always loved their presence online and the involvement they had in local charities and supporting Diversity in the workplace. Anyway, I arranged to meet up with Chris for a cheeky gin and tonic in the Alma pub, from there we just chatted away for a couple of hours and I instantly got the feeling that SR2 was the sort of place I had always wanted to work with. He offered me the position and I got started just after Christmas, it’s been the best start to my year and every day I feel more motivated and genuinely enjoy my job, throwing myself into the world of Java in Bristol and trying to be as fully immersed within the market as I can be. In a nutshell, I joined SR2 because I want to make a difference within the recruitment industry and by being a part of their wider vision and ideas is the best way for me to do this.WHAT DOES YOUR DAY-TO-DAY LOOK LIKE AT SR2?It looks like me boiling the kettle to make copious amounts of coffee. I love to play with Boris (our office dog) and then when I do actually get my head down to do some real work… I focus my day around the candidates I am working with at that time, getting a head start and always making conscious decisions with my market in mind. Honestly, no day is the same in my job. It very much depends on who is on the market and what is happening within my market at that point in time, it’s everything from speaking to new candidates on the job boards, reaching out to Java developers on LinkedIn and building relationships, arranging coffee meetings to get a better understanding of what someone is looking for in a more personable way. Other day-to-day things include, reading up on TechSpark and TechNation to stay up to date on things happening within the industry. Lunch times usually consist of a walk around Castle Park if I fancy getting out of the office, I love working in the centre of Bristol because pretty much everything you could possibly ‘fancy’ for lunch is right there!WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL?My role model would have to be my mum, she inspires me to work hard for everything that I want in life, has always supported me with any choices I have made and is one of the main reasons I love to stay fit and healthy as she’s always motivated me to be! She’s great ????WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS AND AMBITIONS FOR WOMEN ROCK?I’m so happy to be one of the 5 Ambassadors of Women Rock, I’ve actually always wanted to get more involved with writing a blog or being part of some kind of growing movement. So women empowerment and promoting diversity in the work place is something that I’m very happy to be a part of. I guess my biggest ambition for us this year would be for Women Rock to be the ‘go to’ face of Diversity within Tech in Bristol. I want us to become a well-known name in all the tech offices across the city. I have plans to arrange more communities’ meetings for the people who support Women Rock and even arrange some activities to raise money for charity, a girls running club or something like that. I’ve also just taken over managing the Women Rock Instagram account, so I’m feeling motivated to reach a wider audience on there for us. I better start getting the hash tags out!WHAT DO YOU THINK THE CHALLENGES ARE FOR THE WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY?I think the main challenge is there aren’t enough women leaders in the industry. When there’s a woman leading from the front, a lot of greatness can happen. When a man is leading from the front, greatness can also happen. So we need to drive the thought process that it’s important to have an equal number of both genders leading and managing across the city so that we can all do even bigger and better things.WHAT DO YOU LOVE TO EAT AND DRINK? THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.I absolutely love a curry; my favourite curry house in Bristol is the Brunel Raj in Clifton Village. Other than that, I would say a really good stone baked sourdough pizza, current favourite is an artichoke pizza at Bosco! When it comes to drinks… If I were going to select any cocktail it would have to be something made with Gin and Rhubarb. If it’s a hot summers day then 100% coronas and lime.WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE WORLD?I absolutely love Bristol, it’s such a cool city and even though I’ve grown up here my whole life, as I get older it just seems to get better and evolve into somewhere even more fantastic. But, my favourite place in the world has got to be Sydney, Australia. I lived there for 2 years on a working holiday visa and pretty much was living the dream out there, I miss the sunshine!WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING OUTSIDE OF WORK?Singing, I love to sing. Anywhere really, I would love to be involved in more open mic nights across Bristol. I enjoy staying fit and healthy, going to gym and making myself stronger is something I have been really motivated to do over the past 8 months. Other things include, seeing friends, going out for brunch/lunch/dinner (I’d eat out for all three everyday if it was feasible). I love a good festival with a group of friends, long walks in the countryside, going to the cinema – The Everyman is my favourite, got to love having your own sofa in the cinema.WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTE?“This too shall pass”.WHO’S YOUR SQUAD?My ultimate squad would have to be my best friend Jenna, because she’s hilarious and pretty much all of my music on Spotify comes from the playlists she makes me. The family member would be my younger sister Lucy, we’re 8 years apart but now she’s at the age where we are like best friends. When it comes to celebrities… it would have to Miley Cyrus, I actually met her once, but forgot to ask her to join my squad.  Thanks girls#womenrocka voice of diversity in tech@womenrockbristol

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“When you have exhausted all the possibilities, remember this – you haven’t” – An interview with Will Hardman, Elucidata.
WOMEN ROCK2019-01-30

“When you have exhausted all the possibilities, remember this – you haven’t” – An interview with Will Hardman, Elucidata.

I started working with Will and the team at Elucidata early last year and when they were a team of 2 in Bristol, fast forward 12 months, 2 office moves and an additional 22 people they absolutely smashed 2018 and I have loved every second working with this growing Bristol business.Will and the whole team have fully supported both myself and Women Rock, and from day 1 made it clear that they had a solid mission to have one of the most diverse teams in the city which we have build pretty successfully. I caught up with Will and we talked about how he has built the team and what’s next for Elucidata in 2019 and beyond.CAN YOU TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ELUCIDATA?We build high quality, bespoke software. We’re known for producing solutions that do clever things with data.YOU HAVE GROWN VERY QUICKLY AND BUILDING A DIVERSE TEAM WAS A HIGH PRIORITY FOR YOU. I’D SAY YOU’VE DONE REALLY WELL AT THIS, BUT FROM YOU HOW HAVE YOU BUILD SUCH A GREAT TEAM?Cultural fit is the most important thing we look for when hiring people. This doesn’t mean, however, building a team who all think alike; we have quite a diverse set of personalities, backgrounds and cognitive styles. The key traits we look for are:• People who are able to give and receive candid feedback from their colleagues, and are willing to act upon it;• The ability to work within a group, presenting and defending their ideas and scrutinising those of others. And most importantly, people who are willing to accept the group’s decision and own it;• The ability to work with ill defined or complex problems and work methodically to clarify them or break them down into small, easily understood pieces;• The willingness to take appropriate decisions and be accountable for them, and to be proactive in spotting and resolving problems of all sorts;Generally speaking these attributes are more important as universals than is the depth of programming experience –a range of coding skills and experience levels can be successfully incorporated within a team.HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE IN THE COMPANY AND IN THE BRISTOL OFFICE?25 in Bristol. 34 overall.NOT GIVING AWAY ALL YOUR TRICKS BUT WHAT CAN COMPANIES DO TO FOLLOW IN ELUCIDATA’S FOOTSTEPS?Stick at it! It’s all about having the resilience to keep generating opportunities for your business until some of them start to stick. Don’t get disheartened along the way.WHAT WOULD YOUR ADVICE BE TO WOMEN WHO ARE LOOKING TO GET INTO OR BACK INTO THE INDUSTRY?The same advice I’d give to anyone, really: figure out the totality of your skills: what makes you a good person to work with and a good problem solver. Bringing these skills to the forth is at least as important as the number of technical keywords you can list on your CV.WHAT’S BEEN THE BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE TEAM TO DATE?Not falling out with one another even during the toughest and most demanding of times!I ALWAYS SEE THE TEAM IN THE BAR/CAFÉ DOWNSTAIRS, YOU’RE QUITE A SOCIABLE BUNCH WOULD YOU SAY?I’d agree. And I think that’s a consequence of getting the “cultural fit” right during the hiring process. Building bonds socially also leads to better teamwork in the office.WHAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE THERE FOR PERSONAL GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT?This is a complex area and something we are working with HR specialists to achieve. Our vision is for a situation where goals and objectives and surfaced by each individual and the company finds a way to help manifest them, rather than the other way around.WHAT KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED?I think we have some fantastic opportunities as a company and I want us to make the most of them.WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTE?“When you have exhausted all the possibilities, remember this – you haven’t” – Thomas EdisonThank you so much Will. I defiantly have a soft spot for this business and can’t wait to see what you achieve this year and beyond! #womenrocka voice for women in tech @womenrockbristol

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Women Rock 2018 ‘I can, I will ….. watch me!’
WOMEN ROCK2019-01-30

Women Rock 2018 ‘I can, I will ….. watch me!’

Happy New Year to all and Happy 1st Birthday Women Rock. What a year it’s been! An idea that had been a long time coming for me, started by way of numerous notes on my phone up until January 2018, now feels like a genuine movement and something I’m incredibly proud to be spearheading.Since I started my recruitment journey the subject of ‘Women in Tech’ struck a note with me. It’s easy to explain why – I was going weeks working on technical requirements for my clients and having little to no interaction with women. It really drove me mad and got me asking why?! So now, more than ever, I feel it is my responsibility to share experiences of women in tech, to encourage unity and collaboration and to give those experiencing life in tech a platform for their voice to be heard and a chance for them to feel empowered.So, what has happened in 2018 and are we any closer to the mission of making Bristol the most diverse city in tech in the UK by the end of 2025?We have interviewed 27 folks in the industry – we have discussed their stories, successes, challenges and also spoke with numerous organisations about their plans to improve diversity (or where they have already done so we’ve questioned how!)Women Rock has global reach – the average views on each post is around 4500 and they are seen as far as Japan and Canada which is amazing and surprising in equal measure. It was also discussed as a case study at a Tech event in Copenhagen which is amazing.We held our first event with the DevOps group in Cardiff, where we invited 4 brilliant ladies in the industry to talk about their career in tech. We sponsored Bristol’s first Algorave. We attended events. We talked at events, a stand out being WTF by 101 ways. We also sponsored Ladies that UX Bristol and excited to confirm we will be continuing to do so throughout 2019, oh we’ve have shit load of fun and made some amazing friends too!  On the whole we have received some really positive feedback and people seem behind the movement. Taking onboard the constructive feedback you amazing people have shared we intend to make some small changes and then keep pushing this movement forward.As a team 31% of our placements in 2018 we’re female, which in a male dominated industry and our first year, is pretty amazing and something we are really proud of. We have worked with clients who have crossed skilled folks and some who have taken on self-taught developers and Juniors and have given them a chance to show what they can do. We have supported returners and first timers venturing into the IT world for the first time and have even done some pro-bono placements supporting women getting new jobs in IT that didn’t fit within our typical areas of focus as a business.I’m confident that the junior developers which both myself and the team have placed this year, we will be seeing amazing things from them next year! (Lorna, self taught Python Developer, Bristol)In 2019 we are going to be putting more energy and time to Women Rock to help share the message further. Over the last 12 months we have doubled our own headcount and now have a 50/50 male/female split in our own business. We practice what we preach, and this means in 2019 I am going to be supported by the whole team even more but particularly our amazing girls Darcie, Charlotte and Steph.We will also be announcing 2 amazing humans who will be working on growing the brand in their spare time and we plan on launching a mentorship group for Women in Tech. I’ve heard that mentoring isn’t an option for women either entering or in tech already and with our connections we feel this could be an amazing opportunity to support.A special mention and a huge thank you to some stand out people who have fully supported both myself and Women Rock in 2018, Ben Hutchings, Rachel Baker, Georgie Hopkinson, Greg Southey, Helenna Vaughan-Smith, Will Hardman, Jaycee Cheong, Emma Hopkinson-Spark, Richard James, Richard Welsh, Mark Elias, The whole team at DevOps group, Ash Phillips and Nic Alpi for all being such amazing supporters of the brand and for sharing the same passion for all things diversity. All I ask is for every women in the industry to use your influence because whether you believe it or not (and you should) you can promote positive experiences for the minorities in tech!The world is changing, you see examples all of the time. Only a few days ago I was sat on the sofa watching TV and SAS who dares win was on and it was the first series where woman were involved. I am personally praying that one of these badasses win! Look at the 544 women who were selected at BEM, MBE and OBE level. Look at the achievements of Dr Sue Black, of Amali de Alwis, of Debbie Forester, Katie Alcott, Chantelle Bell and Leanne Kemp!Shout about your story and live your best life as a Women in Tech!Roll on 2019 and lets all spread the message and empower and inspire every woman out there to even greater heights and achievements this year!#womenrock

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Codebar Bristol
WOMEN ROCK2019-01-22

Codebar Bristol

CODEBAR IS A NON-PROFIT INITIATIVE THAT FACILITATES THE GROWTH OF A DIVERSE TECH COMMUNITY BY RUNNING REGULAR PROGRAMMING WORKSHOPS.Our goal is to enable underrepresented people to learn programming in a safe and collaborative environment and expand their career opportunities. To achieve this we run free regular workshops, regular one-off events and try to create opportunities for our students making technology and coding more accessible.Codebar is hosted across 22 different cities across the world from London to Sydney, Manchester to Shanghai and from 2019 we kick off in Bristol!STUDENTS:Our students come from a variety of backgrounds. Some want to become full-time developers, where as some would like to learn the basics of coding in a supportive environment.We offer a welcoming, inclusive and learning-friendly environment, and have a zero tolerance policy towards any form of harassment or inappropriate behavior. Before you sign up, read our code of conduct .If you would like to attend as a student, make sure you meet our eligibility criteria as our workshops are only available to women, LGBTQ, people from underrepresented minority groups.Lastly, when you click the sign up button, you’ll be taken to something called GitHub. After logging in with a GitHub account, you’ll be taken back to the codebar website. If you don’t have an account yet, you’ll need to create one. It doesn’t take long and it’s something that will come in handy when you get started with coding!You can sign up to join our vibrant community and attend our workshops here COACHES:We couldn’t run without you. We encourage new students to work on HTML/CSS/JavaScript, Python or Git. We also help them understand programming concepts. We are always on the lookout for more developers to join our community and help coach at our workshops. You can sign up as a coach hereOur first event is happening on Tuesday 12th February from 6.30pm at Runway East Bristol and kindly sponsored by Immersive Labs. Our normal format is 30 minutes of socialising with food and drinks, followed by a quick overview of what we are going to get up to then coding.We are really pleased with the support so far. Although to enable us to expand Codebar Bristol we are looking for help and further support by local companies to sponsor future workshops in 2019. Please get in touch for more info Bristol@codebar.ioKeep an eye out for an overview on how our first workshop went next month.Thanks for being amazing Bristol.#womenrocka voice for women in tech @codebarbristol@womenrockbristol@bristoltechnol1 

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‘Be confident in the fact you are a woman’ – An interview with Holly Nolan
WOMEN ROCK2019-01-17

‘Be confident in the fact you are a woman’ – An interview with Holly Nolan

Kicking off Women Rock 2019 with a fab interview from the amazingly talented Holly Nolan, Scrum Product Owner at Good Energy.We have been working with Good Energy only for a couple of months and I can’t speak highly enough of them, not only the exciting work they are doing within energy but also their projects around women in tech. I won’t tell you too much as the team are announcing some exciting news around this area soon, so keep an eye out.Thank you to the whole team at Good Energy for your continued support with Women Rock, looking forward to what you achieve this year and beyond!HOLLY, YOU ARE A BA AND PRODUCT OWNER AT GOOD ENERGY, WHAT DOES YOUR DAY TO DAY LOOK LIKE?I make sure we are working on the most beneficial developments to our Feed-in Tariff (FiT) product, a government scheme to support renewable generation. We work in an agile framework so some days I’m working on larger changes with a developer such as web automated applications, prioritising releases, writing user stories and testing functionality, and others I’m developing solutions myself, through SQL or outsourcing partnerships. The main theme everyday is making sure the product delivers the most business value.YOU HAVE BEEN WITH GOOD ENERGY FOR 7 YEARS, FROM MICROGENERATION SPECIALIST TO YOUR ROLE IN TECH TODAY – HOW HAVE YOU GOT THERE?I joined in 2012 and in that year the FiT scheme grew massively. I loved the role and the customers and did everything I could to help customers enjoy their application process. I worked hard to keep up with changes to the scheme and coaching of new staff which led me into position of team leader. I was constantly refining processes and reporting trying to improve the service for our customers and staff. Through coaching I got quite good at team leading, but decided there was more I could do to help improve the service we were offering, and more I could learn in a project role.After working on a larger system change in 2016 I was more aware of the roles available. So in 2017 I put myself on Prince2 project management course, and worked my way into a process change role in supply and soon after moved into IT as Product owner, in the last year I’ve been training in agile, scrum, and SQL Development. I take time to reflect on my future and say yes to as many opportunities as possible.WHEN WE SPOKE YOU MENTIONED YOU ARE WORKING CLOSELY WITH A FEMALE DEVELOPER. WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT WORKING WITH FEMALE DEVELOPERS?On one of my latest projects I was working with a lady new to the company, the relationship formed so quickly and easily, which meant we could celebrate our achievements together. More than anything it’s great to have a balanced view and working environment, working with both male and female colleagues.WHY DO YOU THINK THERE IS A LACK OF FEMALES IN TECHNOLOGY?I think that there’s a misunderstanding about what roles are available within IT and what skills are needed to perform them roles. I’ve found that the majority of the time it’s about team work, building relationships with stakeholders and analytical thinking, which are strong skills found in women. The technical knowledge can be learnt later and varies across departments and companies.WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ONE BIT OF ADVICE FOR WOMEN WHO WANT TO GET INTO TECHNOLOGY?Above everything find a role that you really enjoy, either in a company that you can really believe in or a subject you love, with enjoyment comes development and growth. Being able to laugh and enjoy work will surround you with people who want to help you succeed. Be confident in the fact you are a woman, and be prepared to work hard and gain the respect of those around you. Your passion will shine through.WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR CAREER?Moving from a team leader position to where I am now, I didn’t know where to begin but knew people I’d worked with who I wanted to be like. So I followed their lead, put myself through courses and started to learn the skills I needed to change roles, it’s rewarding trying something new.HAVE YOU EVER SUFFERED FROM THE IMPOSTURE SYNDROME?Yes, but it helps to realise it’s happening, find someone or a mix of people who help you to have confidence in your achievements, and regularly reflect on what you’ve accomplished. I don’t always celebrate my successes, I have a fear of looking arrogant, but I know I need to continue to work on that.I KNOW THAT GOOD ENERGY ARE WORKING ON A COUPLE OF THINGS TO SUPPORT WOMEN IN TECH, COULD YOU TELL ME A BIT ABOUT IT?Good Energy are actively employing women into our IT department, but we realise that the number of female applicants compared to male is low, so we are thinking ahead at how we can influence woman into tech in the future. We’re collaborating with local schools and changing the way IT is viewed within our orgnaisation.We’re giving employees across the company the opportunity to experience more technology, we believe making people more aware of the skills needed in IT and helping them to learn some of these, will over time increase number of female applicants, we’re starting this in January with ‘Code club’, looking at the basics of code and web page development.We’re hoping that women pioneering these events will open them up to greater audience.WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTE?Less of a quote but a belief that positive actions and attitudes help to put you a positive mood, helping you to achieve greater things. It’s as simple as smiling, a smile when you feel stressed or under pressure can boost your positive outlook.WHO’S YOUR SQUAD?My partner, she’s the coolest person I know, she’s amazingly resilient working as a criminal investigator, and she’s fuelled my drive at work.My younger sister, my complete role model, she has a fantastic confidence at work in transport planning, and has an amazing aura when it comes to meeting new people.My Friend, she makes me realise how much we take for granted, living her life in the most environmentally low impact way possible, I would always trust her judgement and know she’d always be there. Thank you Holly.

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