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Future of the workplace 2030+ | Unily

Unily logo

How will technology and artificial intelligence change the way we work? What will the offices of the future look like? What skills will be valued and how can we futureproof both our business' and our personal success?

Unily has joined forces with prominent futurists at Kjaer Global to explore predictions for the workplace of 2030 and beyond. The Future of the Workplace 2030+ report synthesizes opinions from thought leaders and industry insiders to explore the challenges and opportunities that will present themselves to businesses over the coming decade.

Featuring interviews from renowned entrepreneur Seth Godin, as well as senior leaders from global brands Shell, L'Oreal, and Mars, we discover how those individuals currently shaping the future of business see the enterprises of tomorrow operating. Underpinned by globally recognized methodology established by Kjaer Global, the report is a pioneering vision of the future workplace.


Sky Women in Tech Scholars Group featured

Sky awards £125,000 to five new Women in Technology Scholars

Sky Women in Tech Scholars Group shot[1]

Sky has announced its second cohort of Women in Technology Scholars, awarding five talented women a total of £125,000 to accelerate a business idea which harnesses technology innovation.

The winners are a diverse mix of ages and industry experience however, they share a desire to use technology to bring about positive change. The five Scholars will focus on: improving children’s cultural experiences; helping the elderly stay independent; interactive television; advancing agriculture and educating young people on mental health.

From hundreds of applications, ten high quality candidates were shortlisted, before the impressive final five were selected by a panel that included Tech Talent Charter CEO, Debbie Forster MBE, who said, “It’s been fantastic to help select such a brilliant group of women with ideas that can help shape the future of tech."

"It’s vital that organisations like Sky take action like this to deliver greater diversity in the UK Tech workforce and better reflect the make-up of the population.”

At present, just 22 per cent of the UK core STEM employment is female*. As a leading UK technology organisation serving 23.7 million customers, Sky wants to attract and attain women of all ages and levels to our technology teams and to help achieve this we have introduced a range of programmes, including our Get Into Tech coding course and our Sky Software Academy and Apprenticeships.

New research shows that nearly half of boys are advised to consider a career in tech – compared to only one in five girls. And by 18-years-old 48 per cent of girls have already discounted a career in technology completely.

Sky’s Group Chief Information Security Officer, Elaine Bucknor, said, “I was blown away with the ingenuity of the projects presented and the calibre of talent and creativity."

"It’s widely acknowledged that attracting women into technology is a challenge, so we have a responsibility to bring about change."

"Boys are more than twice as likely to be encouraged to work in tech, so it’s little wonder that half the girls we spoke to had ruled out working in the industry by the time they reached 18-years-old."

"Our Women in Technology Scholars programme enables us to nurture new talent and highlight inspiring role models to encourage others to follow.”

Sky’s Women in Technology Scholars for 2019 are:

  • Olga Kravchenko (24, Ukrainian): Olga’s VR App Musemio transforms the way children experience culture by using engaging VR elements to educate. She now plans to develop the App so that parents and families can track how their children are learning, whilst also continuing to help cultural institutions improve how they interact with younger digital generations.
  • Colleen Wong (43, British/Canadian): With no technical experience Colleen left her job in investment banking to start the successful My Gator Watch. Now, the inspirational mother of two plans to evolve the product from a tracker for kids, to a wearable mobile device for seniors that can track location and detect falls, to help the elderly maintain independence.
  • Rebecca Saw (23, British): Rebecca is looking to create never-before seen interactive story-telling that will mix linear television and gaming to provide viewers with a dynamic blended reality.  She recently worked on Traitor, at VR-live theatre thriller that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.
  •  Mary Murphy (20, Irish): Our youngest Scholar, Mary, alongside her twin sister was a CEO at 16 years old after designing and manufacturing the Sheep Marking Gun to help on her family farm. She will continue to engineer agritech products and develop a new software-based product that could prevent sheep theft
  • Rachel Clancy (27, Irish): Rachel is looking to develop a game she has made called ‘Get Closer’, where players open dialogue with a forest creature who needs their help. The game teaches young people how to talk about emotions and support themselves and others through mental health issues.

Sky’s Women in Technology Scholars will receive financial investment and have access to an expert network of mentors and leading industry executives to accelerate their innovation. Following the success of previous years, Sky has increased the number of scholars on the scheme from three to five, emphasising its position that female potential must be supported for the successful and inclusive future of the technology industry.

Ministry of Defence featured

Ministry of Defence appoints first female Chief Scientific Adviser

Ministry of Defence

The Ministry of Defence has appointed its first female Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Dame Angela McLean.

McLean will be the first female to hold the role and joins the Department as a distinguished academic with a commitment to science-driven policy. The MOD’s Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) oversees the Department’s core research programme, leads technology strategy, and works closely with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) to develop battle-winning capabilities.

Recent CSA-funded successes include the launch of pioneering space technology, improved body armour for our personnel, and a life-saving test for sepsis.

Professor McLean is currently a Senior Research Fellow in Theoretical Life Science at All Souls College in Oxford University and has previously held a number of other academic appointments, including as a Research Fellow at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt made the announcement on International Women in Engineering Day.

Speaking about the announcement, Mourdant said, "The Chief Scientific Adviser plays a key role in ensuring that our armed forces stay at the cutting edge of technology and innovation."

"It's poignant that we appoint Professor McLean as our first female Chief Scientific Adviser on International Women in Engineering Day, where we look to increase female participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics."

"As a highly respected scientist, Professor McLean is a role model to all those wanting to pursue a career in this area, and will bring extensive knowledge and expertise to the role."

Speaking of her appointment, McLean added, "This is an exciting time to be joining the Ministry of Defence, with so much important research going on to keep our armed forces at the forefront of innovation and technology."

"Britain's military has a distinguished record in developing and using science and I plan to make sure that we continue to build on that tradition."

"I hope to use my skills and experience from the range of issues I've worked on to continue our world-leading reputation in science and technology."

Government calls on more women in engineering, highlighting them as 'an absolute necessity'

The government has called for more women to think about a career in engineering, highlighting them as 'an absolute necessity' for the future of transport.

Women currently represent just 12 per cent of the engineering workforce and 18 per cent of the transport sector workforce. Hiring more women is essential for the delivery of major transport infrastructure projects like HS2 and Heathrow expansion.

It is estimated that by 2033 there will be a combined shortfall of around 341,000 jobs in the sector.

The call follows the convening of a roundtable on women in transport this week by the Department for Transport’s Permanent Secretary Bernadette Kelly, attended by senior female leaders in the sector. Representatives from the Royal Academy of Engineering, Ford, Heathrow Airport, Network Rail, the Women in Maritime Taskforce, and Virgin Atlantic were present.

Key points of discussion included unconscious bias, challenging perceptions, and parent policies.

To coincide with International Women in Engineering Day today, the government is also celebrating the success of the Year of Engineering campaign in increasing the awareness of opportunities in engineering. The campaign delivered an estimated 5.1 million experiences of engineering for young people in 2018 – far exceeding the one million target.

Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport, Bernadette Kelly said, "We want to challenge traditional perceptions of engineering to ensure our transport industry has the skills it needs for the future."

"This isn't just the right thing to do, it's necessary for engineering and transport to thrive."

"We simply need more engineers and people in the industry as investment grows."

"Currently, we're not making use of a huge section of society and that can't continue."

"Building on progress and productive conversations with industry, I hope to help women across the country and of all ages see there are amazing careers in transport - from building site to boardroom."

HS2 minister Nusrat Ghani added, "In this country, we build roads, rail track, we expand airports, and we need engineers from all corners of the country to help us deliver our ambitions."

"Engineers are also at the heart of developing greener and more accesible transport, using innovation to design a better world that works for everyone."

"The engineering and transport worlds have been male for too long."

"A more diverse workforce will not only mean more opportunties for women, but will help the industry reach its potential."

WE50 awards featured

WES announces UK’s Top 50 Women in Engineering 2019

WE50 Awards

In celebration of International Women in Engineering Day 2019, the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) has announced the winners of the Top 50 Women in Engineering: Current and Former Apprentices (WE50).

Now in its fourth year, the WE50 continues to showcase the extensive female talent across the sector, this year focusing on women currently serving as apprentices or those who have previously undertaken an apprenticeship.

The 2019 awards attracted a large number of high-quality nominations from a broad range of industries. The 50 winners and ‘highly commended’ nominees came from many different sectors including professional services, pharmaceutical, aerospace, facilities management and automotive.

Speaking about the awards, Dawn Childs, WES President said, “Since the inception of the Top 50 Women in Engineering list in 2016, WES has been privileged to be able to identify, and thus help showcase, some amazing women in engineering."

"Every year a different focus is chosen to ensure that we can shine a light on female engineers at different stages of their career and who have come to engineering through many different paths."

"Apprenticeships remain one of the key routes for technical education and subsequently, to qualifying as an engineer."

"Consequently, we have looked at current and former apprentices in the WE50 list this year."

"The breadth and depth of roles and industries covered by the entries was simply breathtaking and the achievements of the individual entrants were stunning – we have definitely found another truly inspirational list of female engineers!”

The WE50 were judged by a panel of industry experts and head judge, Dawn Fitt, commented, “As a former Engineering Technician Apprentice it has been a pleasure to see first-hand the fantastic achievements of both current and former apprentices."

"This is particularly heartening given the push to increase the number of apprenticeships within the UK."

"I believe that this year’s list showcases the career opportunities for any woman wanting to pursue an engineering apprenticeship.”

The WE50 awards take place each year to coincide with International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) on 23 June, a day endorsed by UNESCO patronage since 2016. INWED celebrates the achievements of women in engineering and related roles and highlights the opportunities available to engineers of the future. This year INWED takes place on WES’ centenary, 100 years on from the day the society was founded.

The 2019 WE50 winners have been published in a Guardian newspaper supplement today, Monday 24 June 2019. The awards will be presented at the WES Afternoon Tea event at the Royal Academy of Engineering on the afternoon of 24 June. A full list of the WE50 winners is available at www.inwed.org.uk/we50-2019.


Inspirational Woman: Tanja Lichtensteiger | Engineering Manager, Sky Betting & Gaming


Tanja Lichtensteiger

I'm Tanja Lichtensteiger and I'm an Engineering Manager at Sky Betting and Gaming based at its offices in Wellington Place, Leeds.

I manage six software engineering Squads and we are all responsible for making our Sky Bet product the best in the industry. I have been working professionally in technology for 18 years since starting as an apprentice software engineer at 16 years old.  I discovered my enjoyment for software engineering when I started coding at eight years old and haven't stopped since.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Not at all, which would surprise many friends as they have me down as a planner. I stumbled into tech after learning how to code at eight years old and that led me to where I am now. I knew Technology was an industry I wanted to get into as I grew older but I struggled to find the right path. A lot of doors closed on me, including University, so I can't say things ever went to plan. I feel lucky that I was able to land a very good apprenticeship in Switzerland which set the foundation of my career. Since then I've just focused on working hard, learning as much as I can and consistently building great tech products. I never sought the next step, somehow the right opportunities just naturally came my way and I grabbed them.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

 As a mixed-race woman in Tech I can say from my experience that sexism and racism existed in technology when I started 18 years ago and are present even now. Phrases as "Women aren’t as technical as men",  "Women don't belong in tech" or "why are you here? Aren't you the cleaner?" bring up memories of past challenges. Thankfully the environment has much improved with a lot more support and people willing to stand up to do what's right. More of us willing to use our voice.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

After a long career it's pretty hard to decide on one. Personally I feel it's the individual achievements I gained through working with technologists more than technical achievements that mean more to me now. Whether if it's helping coach a budding software engineer into an extremely capable technical lead over the span of a few years or helping a squad upskill on new technology that they're excited about. Don't get me wrong, I love building and successfully delivering amazing technical solutions, but the tech we build will eventually go out of date. Those individual moments of growth are with these people for the rest of their lives.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Resilience. I'm passionate about technology, but I believe that passion would've died a certain death if I listened to the feedback that I "did not belong here" or took every stumble as the end. That bouncebackability needs to be practiced and nurtured, embrace the struggle and come out stronger for it. Because if you can stand up after every fall, you can achieve anything.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I believe mentoring is a very valuable opportunity for both mentor and mentee to grow. I mentee a couple of women in technology and I find the process not only benefits them, but msyelf as well. It gives me a lot of food for thought. Either different perspectives on tackling a problem or new challenges I would not have come across. It's satisfying to see my mentees successfully take the steps forward that they want in their career. By being a mentor I am paying forward what others have done for me. I have a couple of informal mentors both in Tech and outside, who I came across naturally and now consider good friends. I believe in having a growth mindset and allow myself to constantly learn from people around me.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?

Employers need to realise that hiring those only from traditional paths (University degrees) isn't wise as it excludes amazing talent who come with transferrable skills from other walks of life.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Some people will find fault in you no matter what, do it anyway!

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

I'm looking forward to watching my squads grow not just as excellent technologists but as great human beings while we, together, go solve some extremely complex technical challenges that face Sky Betting and Gaming. It's exciting and something I can't wait to get my teeth into. I know that after it, myself and my squads would have gained so much in knowledge and levelled up significantly.

NTT Security launches Women in Cybersecurity Awards in Europe

Women in Cybersecurity Awards

NTT Security, the specialised security company and centre of excellence in security for NTT Group, has launched its inaugural Women in Cybersecurity Awards as part of an initiative to recognise and inspire talented female professionals and newcomers in the cybersecurity industry.

The new awards, developed in partnership with Global Digital Women (GDW), will recognise the voices of women in cybersecurity across Europe and change perceptions of them as well as inspire young women to consider a career in the sector. With women representing 26 per cent of NTT Security workforce in Europe, the project also forms part of NTT Security’s long-term drive to improve upon the gender gap.

Applicants can apply themselves or nominate female experts in the cybersecurity industry. There are two categories: ‘Newcomer’, which celebrates women who have been working in the cybersecurity sector for under 5 years or who have recently completed a cybersecurity-based degree and ‘Professional’ for women who have been managing a cybersecurity team or been involved with the industry for five or more years.

The awards are open for entries from now until 16th August in the DACH region: Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and until 13th September in Northern Europe: UK, Benelux and Nordics. Finalists will be chosen by a panel of independent experts, with the winners announced at Information Security World (ISW), a series of established industry events held by NTT Security in Vienna on 17th September and London on 15th October 2019.

Speaking about the awards, Kai Grunwitz, SVP NTT Security EMEA, said, “For as long as anyone can remember, the industry has suffered from a major gender imbalance problem."

"When viewed in the context of the global cyber skills shortages, it’s clear we are reaching crisis point."

“With the new Women in Cybersecurity Awards, we have made it our mission to give talented women in our industry the visibility they deserve and thank them for the work they do every day in this field."

"We also want to encourage more women to make a name for themselves in cybersecurity."

"There are already a lot more female role models out there today, but there is still a long way to go."

"We still don’t have enough women working in the industry and recruiters are failing to deliver on diversity promises.”

The latest figures from (ISC)² last year put the global cybersecurity skills shortfall at 2.9m professionals, with women occupying just under a quarter (24 per cent) of roles. This is an improvement on the 11 per cent previously estimated. Furthermore, men still dominate the industry all the way to the top, occupying a large majority (87 per cent) of CISO roles at Fortune 500 firms.

Kai concluded, “Our industry needs to continue pushing for more women in cybersecurity and, while the gender diversity problem won’t change overnight, we hope NTT Security’s new awards will help increase the visibility of the profession among females.”

To learn more about the Women in Cybersecurity Awards, visit www.women-in-cybersecurity-awards.com/en/

Digital Leaders Week featured

Margot James MP launches Digital Leaders Week 2019

Digital Leaders Week

Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, Margot James MP has today launched Digital Leaders Week 2019.

The week has over 240 events hosted across the whole UK, dedicated to increasing understanding of and leadership of digital transformation.

The platform and programme for professional digital leaders promoting digital transformation and building the UK’s digital confidence across all sectors, is proud to announce the UK’s 3rd Digital Leaders Week has arrived. The week will raise awareness of the opportunities in place to support leadership and to support transformation by leveraging innovation, skills and experience from across the tech sector and the country.

Across the UK, from the 17 - 21 June, over 240 events will offer 15,000 leaders free access to best practice; allowing them to build stronger networks and provide a better understanding of the need to adopt new thinking and embrace innovation.

Digital Transformation is essential for the future of the UK economy and especially crucial outside of a changed relationship with our European neighbours and in the context of a changing trading relationship with the rest of the world. The linchpin of this new world will be the quality of the nation's Digital Leadership and how these leaders drive outcomes inside government, enterprise, SMEs and of course, within the third sector.

Digital Leaders know that unless they were born in the 1990s, they are likely to be a 'digital immigrant' - someone whose ability to use a smartphone, tablet and interact via social media networks does not come as naturally as it does for 'digital natives'. As with any immigrant into a foreign culture, there are new languages, attitudes and mind-sets that must be learned.

Digital Leaders Week 2019 is here to enable the leaders of today become the leaders for a new Digital Industrial Age. Over 230 events across Britain will offer 15,000 leaders free access to best practice, allow them to build stronger networks and provide a better understanding of the need to adopt new thinking and embrace innovation. They will hear first-hand the stories that will inspire digital change through people, outcomes and personal accountability.

Digital Leaders, the nationwide programme for promoting effective, long-term digital transformation across government, industry and charities, has today announced the finalists who make up the Digital Leaders 100 (DL100) list for 2019 and opened the public vote.

Launching Digital Leaders Week, Digital Minister Margot James said, "I really want to congratulate everyone involved in Digital Leaders Week."

"This is a fabulous series of programmes and events across the UK and it is going to bring people together, make connections, help people learn and celebrate and champion our great tech sector."

Welcoming the Minister to the launch Russell Haworth, Chair of Digital Leaders said, "It’s important to have a National Week that reminds us all that Digital Transformation remains essential for a positive future for the UK economy and our transformation of government services."

"Digital Leadership and how our leaders drive outcomes inside government, enterprise and the third sector is an essential ingredient of success."

Robin Knowles CEO of Digital Leaders added, "We are so pleased to have the Digital Minister with us this morning to get us underway."

"Thank you to over 100 partners supporting this UK wide week of activities that will help build our national confidence #UKWide."

"Ever region is taking part and we have activities across all of our 15 topic areas."

"Doubling the size this year and the inclusion of so many regional conferences shows that digital transformation is #NotjustLondon."

PhabLabs, encouraging girls into STEM

EU photonics project gets thousands of girls into STEM

PhabLabs, encouraging girls into STEM

Thousands of young women and girls have had the chance to explore the world of science, engineering, and light technologies thanks to a European photonics research consortium that has created their girls in STEM ecosystem, a series of 33 workshops and 11 Photonics Challenger projects across 10 European countries in a bid to tackle the underrepresentation of women in science.

According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), less than 30 per cent of the world's researchers are women.

However, a new outreach project has been tackling this underrepresentation by engaging young female minds with STEM, in the hope that they will pursue a career within the photonics, science or engineering industries.

Staged in ten countries across Europe, a total of 1,221 girls have attended the ‘Phablabs 4.0’ initiatives since last year. The workshops have created novel and innovative problems for students to solve using lasers and photonics, the technology around the emission, manipulation and detection of light.

PhabLabs, encouraging girls into STEM

Combining a ‘Fab Lab’ – or a fabrication laboratory - with the world of photonics, theworkshops and Challenger Projects offer a glimpse into careers in photonics, engineering, computer coding, and robotics. 

Students have been exploring tasks as varied as creating an artwork made from lasers, modifying a cuddly toy with photonics, or building an infrared glove that acts as a remote control where touching two fingers creates a signal.

The more advanced Challenger Projects have tasked students with building an Invisibility Cloak or creating their own hologram. Some students, like Ester Muylaert, 18, from Halle, Belgium, are really excited to discover material they would not learn anywhere else.

Muylaert said, “Phablabs is amazing and interesting."

"We’ve learned lots of new skills that we wouldn’t have picked up in school."

"To see the job in front of me and to meet the person who does that job has given me loads of ideas about what I can do in the future. It’s really made me want to work with photonics.”

The researchers have targeted three age categories with workshops aimed at high school girls (Young Minds), female university students (Students) and women who may have already started their careers (Young Professionals 18+).

PhabLabs, encouraging girls into STEM

One of the results of the PhabLabs 4.0 project has been the publication of a new booklet, A Gender Balanced Approach. The booklet acts as a guide to future Fabrication Laboratories so that organisers in schools or universities can use it as a reference to gain the interest of girls and young women in science and technology.

By creating gender-sensitive material for the workshops and “Photonics Challenger Projects” the organisers have garnered the interest of girls and young women in science, to generate a lasting impact on their personal relation to STEM and Fab Labs.

Supported by the Gender Action Team, the developers have had the backing of the European Commission with funding from Horizon 2020, and support from a number of professionals such as Professor Averil MacDonald from WISE (Women in Science and Engineering).

Speaking about the project, Professor MacDonald said, “We are delighted to be able to open a door into a world of science that some girls and young women may feel is closed.”

“Girls and young women are more likely to consider studying STEM subjects beyond age 16 if they see that the subject keeps their options open.”

“The STEM sectors can only benefit from the talents of these young women."

"More girls and young women deserve the chance to have successful and satisfying careers in science, technology, engineering, manufacturing, mathematics and construction.”

The resources are available as an open resource toolkit for educators to use with their students. 

Discover more about PhabLabs 4.0 below:

Theresa May

Theresa May celebrates UK tech industry at London Tech Week

Theresa May

Prime Minister Theresa May is today celebrating the UK tech industry at London Tech Week.

May will also make a number of ambitious commitments that will ensure the UK remains the largest tech hub in Europe.

These commitments include £153 million government funding, with an additional £205 million pledged by industry, to unlock the potential of quantum technologies, including accelerated drug development from quantum computing; 2,500 places available for the first time for AI and data conversion courses starting next year, to equip tech-driven businesses and people across the country with the skills they need; and launching a study into tech competitiveness to identify opportunities and support for digital businesses to ensure the UK remains the most attractive place to build a tech business.

Speaking about the British tech sector, the Prime Minister is expected to say, "Already we are one of the best places in the world to start and grow a tech business."

"British Tech is growing over one and half times faster than the rest of the economy, adding more than one hundred and thirty billion pounds to our economy every year..."

"But if we are going to maintain our position as a global leader, our challenge is how we develop British Tech and make it even better."

"We want this to be the place everyone thinks of - and comes to - first when they want to develop their world changing tech ideas."

"This is a challenge shared between industry and Government..."

"Today, as we sit on the cusp of the next great industrial revolution, we have the opportunity to work together and ensure that the advances we see transform our world for the better, and for the benefit of everyone."

"Government will back you all the way."

Later today, the Prime Minister will host a roundtable for leading tech companies, including Microsoft UK, Google and Monzo, where they will discuss opportunities to fully harness the power of technology to enhance competitiveness, boost the economy and tackle societal challenges.

This comes as thirteen businesses choose to invest in the UK as the top destination for tech innovation and talent. These include plans for a £1 billion investment by VMware over the next five years; a £12 million investment by Mastek in a new digital skills programme for graduates in Leeds; and a £150 million investment in a new data centre by Markley Group which will create 200 jobs.