Digital Female Leader Awards, DFLA

Become the face of the digital future! Apply for The Digital Female Leader Award

Digital Female Leader Awards, DFLA

Become the face of the digital future and apply for The Digital Female Leader Award!

The DFLA, an initiative from Global Digital Women, are looking for female founders and designers from companies, politics and society, who are driving digitisation forward and have a lasting impact.

Applications are open until 29 July 2020 and can be submitted in 18 categories including Digital Transformation, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Career or Diversity. Applications can be submitted online here. In addition to your own application there is also the possibility to nominate friends, colleagues and / or role models.

There will be three finalists in each category and the winner will be announced at the awards ceremony on 28th November 2020.

In addition, the winner of the Audience Award will be chosen by a vote among our community. The voting will take place in August.


Further information can be found at:

WeAreTechWomen covers the latest female centric news stories from around the world, focusing on women in technology, careers and current affairs. You can find all the latest gender news here.

Don’t forget, you can also follow us via our social media channels for the latest up-to-date gender news. Click to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Cloud computing featured

Data and computers don’t care about gender – and neither does the cloud!

Cloud computing

Article provided by Lori MacVittie, Principal Threat Evangelist, F5 Networks

Although 2019 was a landmark year for women in tech, with government data revealing over one million women in the UK now work in STEM-related sectors, there is no room for complacency.

As a proportion of the tech workforce, women make up a meagre 16 per cent – a stat that hasn’t moved in the last decade. In fact, in 2019 it dropped 1,500 places from the previous year.

While the wheels are in motion to facilitate greater tech diversity across the world (with varying levels of success), there are still misconceptions about the industry’s ability to support female talent and produce role models in leadership positions. Everyone needs to do more to change that, particularly as we face worldwide shortages in disciplines like security and cloud computing.

Beating the bias

I’m lucky that I come from the Midwest of the US. The area is full of insurance companies and programming jobs with strong female representation. This includes my own mother, who worked as a programmer in the 70s. It just seemed to be part of our culture to have women in these kinds of positions. Fortunately, I haven’t come across many substantial career roadblocks based on my gender.

That being said, like so many other women, I’ve experienced gender-driven bias throughout my career. I’ve dealt with long-standing, ubiquitous issues. This includes male colleagues who won’t take direction from a woman, and dealing with people being taken aback when they realise – lo and behold – that I, and other women in the industry, actually know what we’re talking about! It’s not unusual after speaking at an event to be approached by people who are shocked at my ability to deliver an educational and insightful talk.

We can’t let bias bring us down or stop us from working to achieve our goals. It’s something we must overcome together as an industry, and as a society.

Welcome to the cloud!

It’s important to remember that tech is the fastest-growing industry and there are so many areas within the sector where women can flourish – some more easily than others.

For example, cloud computing has boomed in the last decade. Coincidental or not, its rise was accompanied by a significant drive to support women ‘in cloud’. In fact, cloud as a technology is often credited for democratising the resources needed for women to become entrepreneurs. Anecdotally, I think that the cloud industry has definitely been less challenging to establish credibility in than other technological industries.

That being said, I don’t see the range of opportunities being any different, except within the start-up space. Here, for example, cloud can make it easier to drive an idea to fruition, thanks to the wide range of options it offers. In fact, we’ve seen a recent explosion of women-led start-ups based in (and on) the cloud because of this.

The adoption of cloud-based solutions in the workplace has also meant that it’s easier to balance work and life. The tools you need to work with are accessible from anywhere, even at home. This alone can alleviate stress on women who struggle with work-life balance.

Wherever you go in tech, in the current climate, it’s likely that you’ll end up in a male-dominated environment. If that makes you uncomfortable, then that’s OK. Help and support is there. Make sure you find a mentor early on, or friend who you can share experiences with and lean on. In addition, it is useful to find a business or educational body that will provide the right support to help you lead a successful career.

As an industry, it’s also important that we address a widespread tendency to dismiss women in technology that aren’t in a hands-on role. We need to support and promote all women – irrespective of job title or function.

Whoever you are, whatever you wear, or whatever personality you have, is irrelevant. There’s a role for you in tech. Be bold, be yourself and don’t be put off. If we want change, we need to be the forerunners!

Lori MacVittieAbout the author

Lori MacVittie has been working at F5 for just under 14 years. Having started out as a marketing manager, she has worked her way up to becoming Principal Technical Evangelist in the Office of the CTO.

During her career, Lori has been an application developer, system engineer, consultant, writer, author, strategist, and evangelist. Her specialities include: application development, application integration, application infrastructure, application delivery, application security, cloud, SDN, and DevOps.

If you are a job seeker or someone looking to boost their career, then WeAreTechWomen has thousands of free career-related articles. From interview tips, CV advice to training and working from home, you can find all our career advice articles here.

Natalia Pereldik

Inspirational Woman: Natalia Pereldik | Co-Founder, Funexpected

Natalia Pereldik

Natalia Pereldik is Co-Founder and CEO of Funexpected LTD, developer of the Funexpected Math app, which aims to help children aged three-seven years acquire mathematical thinking, and become comfortable with math from an early age.

Following a career in the investment banking industry that spanned over 15 years, Natalia Pereldik co-founded Funexpected in 2018, and is responsible for managing the overall operations of the company.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I’m Natalia Pereldik – Co-Founder of Funexpected company and the Funexpected Math app, which helps kids aged 3-7 years acquire mathematical thinking, and become comfortable with math from an early age.

After graduating in 2003, specialising in Mathematics, I went on to study the same subject at MA level. I spent the following 15 years in investment banking, and worked my way up to Executive Director level. However, once my first child turned three years old, I realised that I still had a huge amount of passion and love for mathematics, and co-founded Funexpected with a former classmate of mine, Alexandra Kazilo. Together we developed the Funexpected Math app.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Not at all. Five years ago, if you had asked me what I would be doing in the next few years, I would never have thought I would be the Co-Founder of a company making educational products for children!

This spontaneity might have stemmed from the fact that I am genuinely interested in a wide range of quite differing fields. At school, I wanted to become a journalist, then changed my mind to a theatre actor - before finally opting to go into mathematics.

While I was at university, I understood that I was never meant to be a researcher, and switched my gaze and started studying economics. It was at this point where I decided to go into investment banking. Those years in particular were very exciting, but after my second child was born I felt that it was time for  a change - and that’s when I decided to become an entrepreneur.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

I definitely have, but I guess this is true for most careers. I would say that the biggest challenges for myself came with co-founding the company. Though in the years leading up to Funexpected, I was working in quite a tough industry, I still needed to get used to the amount of failures that an entrepreneur faces. It took a lot of grit and determination - but you get used to it eventually and we got there in the end.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

Without a doubt, Funexpected has been my biggest career achievement. We are still a young and small company, but more than 100,000 families worldwide have installed our app already. I am extremely proud of our team, and so grateful to the parents and families who have chosen to use our app.

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

My family. They have always believed in me and I have enormous support from my husband and kids in everything I do.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

Firstly I would say that you have to be ready to learn constantly. Fields and industries are changing so rapidly that you can’t afford not to. I would also advise anyone to find great mentors. I would say this is universal for any career - learn from people. Not only will they teach you what they know, but they are likely to inspire you as well.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

Unfortunately, I think there are, and they begin at childhood - from families and in school. Many still believe - and support - the idea that their daughters are not very well suited to STEM. Sometimes, this is a subconscious decision. A parent or teacher will be trying to support a child while she is struggling with her work, telling her phrases like “Oh, that’s okay, you just aren’t a maths person.” And the girls just lose all enthusiasm for the subject.

Then again, the percentage of women in the STEM industry is low, and quite often girls feel that they need to be really ‘outstanding’ to be successful. I think that the more women role models we see, the sooner we will move away from gender stereotypes. Unfortunately, it’s still going to take some time before we get there.

What do you think companies can do to support to progress the careers of women working in technology?

For now, I believe that it is very important to ensure that there is a healthy percentage of women in different teams. We need initiatives that help women to find mentors and support their move to more senior positions.

It’s also imperative that we work with children and the educational system, that we speak with parents and change this bias (subconscious or not) in their attitude towards their children. Very often, we find that a kid’s opinion of mathematics, for example, is already decided upon by the time they are 12-13 years old. It’s so important to show children different opportunities and scenarios before that.

There is currently only 17 per cent of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

To change this biased attitude that many have about girls being bad in STEM fields.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech, eg Podcasts, networking events, books, conferences, websites etc?

Personally, I take inspiration in reading about the paths of other women and in speaking with them about their experiences..

There is a great group on Facebook called Female Founders Community, where female founders of businesses across the world come together to share their experiences and offer advice for others.

There are also some really interesting TED talks that discuss the roles of women in tech in great depths. Two I would specifically recommend would be ‘Why do ambitious women have flat heads?’, given by Dame Stephanie Shirley, and ‘Why we have too few women leaders’ from Sheryl Sandberg.

WeAreTechWomen has a back catalogue of thousands of Inspirational Woman interviews, including Professor Sue Black OBE, Debbie Forster MBE, Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE and many more. You can read about all our amazing women here.

Anahita Mahmoudi

TechWomen100: What happened next for Anahita Mahmoudi

Anahita MahmoudiIn this ongoing series, we speak to our winners about life after winning a TechWomen100 Award.

Now in their fourth year, the TechWomen100 Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of women in tech – the emerging tech talent and role models for the future.

We spoke with Anahita Mahmoudi, who won a TechWomen100 Award in 2019.

Born and raised in Iran, Anahita called England home in 2009. She came to London in her early 20s and embraced her diverse spirit. By her early 30s she was one of the top 100 women in the technology sector, a public speaker, a coach, a peace activist and a yoga instructor with a passion for dancing.

Anahita is an experienced business consultant, professional and life coach, where she dedicates her time to helping individuals and organisations to become educated, ethical, and aware of their full potential to embrace change in the workplace and life. Her focus now lies in leadership and transformational coaching. Her ethos considers connecting to true values of life as they lead us in the transition from the present time to a new future world.

How did you feel when it was announced that you’d won a TechWomen100 award?

It was a huge honour to receive an award in recognition of my work. Looking back, I feel this award was not for me, it was for all women; the activists, the doctors and nurses, the mothers and daughters, the teachers and students, who are not only excelling in their roles, but who are  recognising their power and giving something back to our industry and the wider community.

The more we learn about who we are and what we have to bring to our societies and communities, the more we achieve and change. In our present time, there is no job that women have not done and more women are becoming change makers. This for me is the beauty, the magic of our time!

Please tell us what has happened in your career since winning the TechWomen100 award?

Press coverage: I was interviewed by ‘Where Women Work” who aim to inspire and support women career in STEM. Read the full article here

Promotion: I was appointed as a leader of ‘emerging talents’ community in my company to engage, equip and lead classified junior employees to acquire and develop the skills they need to grow within the organisation

Community: I became a Personal Development coach at Code Your Future and currently working with them to empower their students to start their career in the industry

Supported the Future Global Leaders programme (sponsored by Queen Mary University) that aims to build the skills, mindset and cultural agility needed in a future global leader.

Delivered a lightening talk to the students of the school that where I studied, 23 years ago. I am currently working with the headmaster to introduce a series of inspiration talks for their pupils.

Lastly, I am working on introducing an award system for the Women Network Group within the Business Unit where I work.

What advice would you give to someone else going through the award’s process?

Look outside of your day job and think about the values that you are bringing to your team and community.

What tips would you give to our other members to enhance their careers? 

  • All of us dedicating our lives to get money. Do not let that to strain your ambition in reaching what you truly want.
  • A lot of us lose a lot of time, a lot of resources, working on the old stories of our society.
  • Tap into your potentials, explore new opportunities, work on creating new stories.
  • Lastly, learn more and teach more.

The 2020 TechWomen100 Awards are open for nominations on 03 August 2020. Our awards focus solely on women working in tech below director level. We hope that by highlighting the accolades of up-and-coming inspirational female tech talent, we can help to create a new generation of female role models for the industry, and a pipeline of future leaders.

woman and man looking at a computer screen with coding, carving a career in tech

Carving a career in tech

woman and man looking at a computer screen with coding, carving a career in tech

Article provided by Becs Roycroft, Senior Director of Global Emerging Talent Operations at mthree

There’s no arguing that when it comes to reducing the gender gap in technology, we still have a long way to go.

Despite increased awareness of the problem, the fact remains women remain underrepresented at every level.

It is promising that businesses and governments around the world are taking action to attract more women into technology. But to really succeed in recruiting as many women as possible into these roles, we must also take a micro-level view.

As someone who works on recruiting the best emerging young talent, I believe we need to go back to basics by committing to spreading positive messages about the diverse and rewarding careers technology can offer women. So, here I’d like to cover just a few of the benefits:

Job stability

As long as technology is the driving force behind the world, technology candidates will always be in demand. Technology professionals benefit from higher salaries and better job prospects, and now that the coronavirus pandemic has put science and technology under the spotlight, demand is likely to skyrocket. And given the industry is a huge champion for learning and adaptability, working in technology can help you reach the proper balance between growth and security.

Flexible career paths

From web development to cybersecurity, software engineer to AI, the range of roles within technology is huge. And the soft skills, emotional intelligence and technical know-how acquired through these roles can help you go anywhere in your career. Furthermore, roles are in abundance across the globe from leading technology companies to smaller niche organisations.

Making a difference

Beyond making things simpler for people day-to-day, technology can have a meaningful impact by invoking systemic change. When working in tech you have the opportunity to really make a difference in the world by helping to solve critical global issues, such as access to education and climate change.

Equal opportunities

From personal experience I’ve learnt that you don’t have to work in a technical role to succeed in this industry. Technology needs more than just developers and software engineers, it also requires HR experts, communications professionals and great financial minds. So if you don’t see yourself pursuing a technical career, there are still a great number of opportunities to learn more and expand your career prospects.

Becs RoycroftAbout the author

Becs Roycroft is a Senior Director of Global Emerging Talent Operations at mthree - an emerging talent and training partner to global, blue-chip enterprises focusing on their technology and business operations. mthree is owned by John Wiley & Sons, the third largest research, publishing and education provider globally.  Becs is passionate about creating diverse and inclusive careers pathways in technology and has over 18 years experience working in recruitment and management across a variety of companies, sectors and industries. At mthree, Becs is responsible for Alumni and student engagement, client services operations and Re-Skill services globally.

WeAreTechWomen covers the latest female centric news stories from around the world, focusing on women in technology, careers and current affairs. You can find all the latest gender news here. 

Don’t forget, you can also follow us via our social media channels for the latest up-to-date gender news. Click to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Medical technology concept. Med tech. Electronic medical record.

Succeeding in MedTech | Stephanie Monty

Medical technology concept. Medtech. Electronic medical record.

The UK’s MedTech industry is booming, and female-led start-ups are leading the way.

Starting my own business had never been part of the plan, and medical devices were certainly not on my radar.

I was studying Industrial Design and Technology at Brunel University with the intention of specialising in furniture design, when family circumstances dictated a completely different path.

My two younger brothers suffer from Crohn’s Disease, an incurable inflammatory bowel disease. Watching them battle this chronic disease, I became all too familiar with the significant challenges they, and many other people like them, face. The ever-present reality of invasive bowel surgery with the prospect of a stoma[1] can be scary to say the least.

Keen to understand what having a stoma would mean, I began researching ostomy[2] devices.  Despite the wealth of appliances available, it was clear to me that there was opportunity for improvement. State-of-the-art devices seem to focus on output collection and their clinical aesthetic merely compounds users' psychological struggles making daily activities like socialising and intimacy, challenges fraught with anxiety.

Many ostomates report feelings of disgust and embarrassment, and there is undoubtedly a social stigma that exacerbates this. There is no doubt that stoma surgery saves lives, yet for even the most body confident ostomates[3], current products are stigmatising and the lack of choice is frustrating. This was a lightbulb moment for me. It was at that moment that furniture design was abandoned and Ostique was born.

The Ostique journey began with the development of an ostomy prototype at Brunel. After exhibiting at New Designers, Made in Brunel and London Design Week and following considerable media and public interest, Ostique won an Innovate UK grant and we were off!

Setting up your own business can be a lonely task and, as the founder - who is somewhat of a control freak - it can be tempting to feel as though you must do everything yourself. However, I knew that if Ostique was going to work, I needed a team of passionate and skilled individuals who could help me drive the business forward. Running a start-up is a rollercoaster of highs, lows, long hours and a lot of hard work. Having the right team who can build each other up when things are challenging and to cheer with you when things go well, is what will get you through.

The first person to join the Ostique team was Toni Schneider. She is a qualified solicitor with a completely different skillset to me. We have known each other for 20 years and in spite of  warnings about mixing business with friendship, we are a formidable team. Having Toni to share the responsibility with has made a huge difference to the success of the business. We complement each other and having someone that you trust and believe in by your side really cannot be underestimated.

Once those foundations were laid, I needed to consider the complexities of navigating the medtech world; clinical trials and regulatory approval are not areas that you can improvise! I was conscious of my lack of experience in this respect, and if you get this part wrong, many months (not to mention thousands of pounds!) can be wasted. Even the best idea can fall flat if one is not respectful of the specific industry one is in and does not understand its regulatory requirements, and the medtech industry is understandably particularly unforgiving.

We have therefore worked hard to build relationships with experts in this area and court their opinion to ensure we are on track for success. One thing that has really surprised me is how many talented and successful people are keen to provide support and guidance to start-ups; there is an incredible amount of positivity and goodwill out there. I really would advise any new business to spend some time researching and reaching out to individuals that inspire them.

With the support of these advisors Ostique has come a long way. We now have an innovative solution and patented technology that has the potential to disrupt the ostomy market. As we enter a period of clinical trials and regulatory submissions, we feel we have reached a significant milestone and are excited about the opportunities this next stage of the journey will bring.

In addition to surrounding yourself with talented people, I would also recommend any start-up to regularly remind themselves of why they started the business in the first place. This is something that we have kept at the heart of Ostique’s development. Yes, this is a business; yes, we want it to be a success; but, most of all, we want to change the lives of people living with a stoma. It sounds so simple, but it is so easy to get caught up in your own vision that you forget that you might not have all the answers. By keeping the patient front and centre of everything you do and regularly asking for their opinion, you’re far more likely to end up with the right solution. This is where start-ups can gain the edge over larger corporates.

To us stoma products are not just consumables. They are game changers. Considering our holistic and inclusive design approach, our products have the potential to give people back their dignity, their self-belief and their confidence. Ostique is about more than just innovation and design. It is also about our community and the incredible differences we can make to people’s lives. This is what inspired Ostique in the first place and this is what keeps us going every single day.

[1] A stoma is an opening on the surface of the abdomen which has been surgically created to divert the flow of faeces or urine. People who have had stoma surgery are sometimes known as ‘ostomates’ or ‘ostomists’.

[2]  Ostomy: an artificial opening in an organ of the body, created during an operation such as a colostomy, ileostomy, or gastrostomy; a stoma

[3] people with a stoma

Stephanie MontyAbout the author

Stephanie Monty is the founder and CEO of Ostique Ltd. Both of her brothers suffer from Crohn's disease, and witnessing first-hand the devastating consequences of bowel disease is what inspired her to create Ostique’s innovative ostomy products. Ostique’s key innovation is to combine customisable aesthetics and innovative material technology to improve users’ quality of life, optimise patient outcomes, and promote positive body image.

Stephanie graduated from The University of Manchester with a 2:1 (Hons) in History followed by a First in Industrial Design and Technology at Brunel University. She has won The Brunel James Dyson Award for Innovation, and was a National Finalist in the Santander Entrepreneurs Awards. She has been featured in several printed publications including Dezeen, Possibility magazine and Dirty Furniture magazine, featured on the BBC in 2018, and most recently won an Innovate UK grant for her work with Ostique.

WeAreTechWomen covers the latest female centric news stories from around the world, focusing on women in technology, careers and current affairs. You can find all the latest gender news here.

Don’t forget, you can also follow us via our social media channels for the latest up-to-date gender news. Click to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Join us again - enhance your learning with our WeAreTechWomen conference digital pass

WATW- Conference stats- blue woman

Did you miss our conference on 26 June? You can now buy a digital pass which will enable you to watch all 72 sessions over a 14-day period!


Whether you are a technologist or not, tech is something that already is and will become a fundamental part of our work and lives. We built this year’s WeAreTechWomen conference for individuals who are not only working in tech, but for those who are interested in entering the industry.

You don't have to miss out!

Our conference is now available as a digital pass for individuals who didn’t manage to secure a ticket the first time around. With your ticket, you can access the platform for the next 14 days in order to gain a deeper understanding of over 25 different areas of tech. Thanks to the help of over 108 global speakers we have covered everything from Technology Trends, AI, Cyber, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Robotics, Drones, Internet of Things, Wearables, Agile, DevOps, Fintech, Payments, Sustainability, Entrepreneurship, HealthTech and Diversity & Inclusion, Neurodiversity, Mental Health in Tech, Returnships and Flexible Working.

Here is what some of our attendees said who attended the day

"The #WeareTechWomen Conference last Friday, led and hosted by WeAreTechWomen was a truly amazing event. Incredible speakers and a true smorgasbord of topics!"

"Amazing virtual conference from @watc_wearetech #WATWDIL2020Vanessa Vallely OBE CCMI what a day!"

"By far the best online conference I have attended for Women in Tech, can’t wait till next year! Thank you team WeAreTechWomen."

Still not convinced? Take a look at the feedback on our Twitter feed here and our hashtag #WATWDIL2020.

WeAreTechWomen Virtual Conference speakers

By joining the conference via your digital pass, you will also have access to a number of fireside chats including Jacqueline de Rojas in conversation with Baroness Lane Fox, Julia Streets in conversation with Dame Wendy Hall and Vanessa Vallely OBE in conversation with Professor Sue Black and Sharmadean Reid, Founder of Beautystack. Other speakers include, Baroness Joanna Shields, Edwina Dunn OBE, Anne-Marie Imafidon, as well as leading campaigners, academics and thought leaders in the world of tech.

Not only do we have an abundance of inspiring keynotes, we also have over 15 panels where experts in their fields will share their thoughts on what’s next for tech post pandemic, how can companies become carbon neutral, how we foster more diversity in tech, plus many more.

You can also visit all of our sponsors in our virtual exhibition hall. Check out their special offers, find out about jobs and gain insights as to what they are doing for women in tech within their organisations.

As well as having our on-demand stage with over five hours of extra content, you will also have access to our kids stage! All pass holders will also be able to visit the kid’s stage with their children, nieces or nephews to engage them in the world of tech. This stage features a variety of interactive sessions, such as lessons about AI and Cyber, as well as learning to code. These sessions were kindly provided by our partners, TechSheCan, Raspberry Pi, Girlguiding &

So what are you waiting for?



Tech Conference Sponsors NEW

DigitalHealth.London Accelerator

Five days left to apply to DigitalHealth.London Accelerator

DigitalHealth.London Accelerator

There are just five days left to apply to the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator - the deadline for applications is Sunday 5th July 2020.

Digital products and services are providing vital innovation, support and capacity to the NHS response to COVID-19 and the health and social care challenges ahead.

The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme is looking for the latest digital health SMEs that are ready to transform the NHS and social care in London.

Now in its fifth consecutive year, the NHS delivered programme, funded in part by the European Regional Development Fund, has supported some of the biggest and most effective digital innovations now being used by the NHS. The Accelerator has supported 105 digital health SMEs with 114 new pilots and contracts gained directly related to the support of the Accelerator. For every £1 spent on the programme it is estimated over £14 is saved for the NHS.

DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator aims to speed up the adoption of technology in London’s NHS, relieving high pressure on services and empowering patients to manage their health. It works with up to 20 high potential SMEs over a 12-month period, giving bespoke support and advice, a programme of expert-led workshops and events and brokering meaningful connections between innovators and NHS organisations with specific challenges. The companies that are successful in getting onto the Accelerator programme are chosen through a rigorous and highly competitive selection process, involving expert NHS and industry panel assessments, interviews and due diligence checks. Companies that have a product or solution that is well-defined and are ready to start building their evidence base are likely to benefit the most from the type of support offered through the programme.

Through-out the 12 months the programme focuses on engagement with different elements of the health and care system. Company suitability is assessed based both on product maturity (meaning products that are ready to be trailed or bought that have high potential to meet NHS challenges) and on the company’s capacity to benefit from the programme (meaning companies have enough time and staff to engage).

Deadline for applications is midnight, Sunday 5 July 2020.

Find out more & apply

WeAreTechWomen covers the latest female centric news stories from around the world, focusing on women in technology, careers and current affairs. You can find all the latest gender news here.

Don’t forget, you can also follow us via our social media channels for the latest up-to-date gender news. Click to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Inspirational Woman: Piyali Mitra | MD, Pods Programme Lead, Group Technology, Barclays

Piyali Mitra

Piyali Mitra is the Pods Programme Lead at Barclays.

Piyali joined Barclays in 2016 and is currently responsible for enabling cross-functional collaboration and accelerated delivery for the bank’s group wide growth initiatives.

Piyali’s brand is complex problem solving, backed by thorough analysis, strategic thinking and a client/shareholder mindset. An influencer, mentor and a keen collaborator, she is comfortable challenging the status quo to deliver the right outcome. Piyali is an advocate for nurturing diversity of thought and experience at the work place. She believes any business requires a balanced workforce that accurately represents the society which they serve, in order to build the solutions their customers truly need.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I grew up in Mumbai, India, as the youngest of four daughters. I am a qualified Chartered Accountant, and have worked across three continents in Investment Banking, Corporate Finance, and delivering complex Transformational Programmes for global banks. Currently, I am a Managing Director within Group Technology at Barclays, leading on a key strategic priority for the Group COO bringing cross-functional teams together and enabling delivery of our growth initiatives.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

The only thing I planned for in my career is change! Growing up in Mumbai, which is famous for Bollywood movies, I always wanted to do something in the creative industry – following in the footsteps of my grandfather, a successful Hindi film producer and director of his time. That idea changed very early, when in college numbers, accounting and financial management fascinated me. Since then I qualified as an accountant and decided I wanted to be an Investment Banker closing multi-million dollar deals – and as luck would have it, I joined a large US bank in Mumbai and within a year transferred to Wall Street – something I had never dreamt of, let alone plan! I’ve not looked back since then, only embracing change and the opportunities and challenges it brings

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

Absolutely – I have faced challenges. The mantra that gets me through challenges has been around my mind-set of embracing it – knowing that there is something to learn, and something to take away from a tricky or difficult situation has been instrumental in allowing me to face the challenge. Analysing the why and the what, and becoming aware and tackling the issue at hand rather than ignoring it. To be more specific – about five years ago – I made a wrong career move. Being true to myself, understanding why that role and organisation was not right for me and being able to be honest and have those discussions with a number of stakeholders, allowed me to get out of the role, introspect and truly understand in what context I will flourish and then target specific opportunities.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

My biggest career achievement has been my ability to successfully span Front Office, Finance Restructuring, and Operations roles. I have always strived to become an SME and gain deep knowledge, whilst also maintaining a broader perspective by doing different roles that enable me to look at the same circumstances, problems and think about solutions from a variety of lenses. Also adopting an infinite learning mind-set has allowed me to be successful in these varied roles and not feel like an imposter (most of time).

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

Believing in myself. Period. If you don’t believe in yourself how will someone else? And, of course I do have doubts time and again, but I use it to identify and further harness any weak spots to become better and play my A game!

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

Your career is a marathon not a sprint. Enjoy the small achievements along the way, there will be short-term setbacks but it’s not game over, so keep your chin up, and keep your eye on the end goal.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

I do think there is an unconscious bias that exists for any form of diversity. One way to deal with this is to ensure both managers and colleagues are clear on what they bring to the table, what expectations they set around work life balance and how they will deliver the work. There are many unsaid things, which then leads to expectation mismatch – and clear communication can solve this easily.

What do you think companies can do to support to progress the careers of women working in technology?

I think men have to take part in diversity conversations and supporting the progress of women. It’s not a token or an allowance women are looking for, and it’s not just for women to bring other women up. For any company to truly support diversity of all kinds, they need to believe in the why – and that why needs to be a business imperative that the senior management truly believe in. For example, diversity is good for business as it mirrors the societies we serve. They need to articulate this “why” clearly – and promote women who are competent to prominent roles – and walk the talk.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech, eg Podcasts, networking events, books, conferences, websites etc?

I enjoy Azeem Azhar’ Exponential View podcast, I also enjoy HBR Ideacast podcast and Thrive Global podcast by Arianna Huffington. In terms of Books – Start with Why by Simon Sinek and How Women Rise by Marshall Goldsmith and Sally Helgesin are pretty good reads.

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WeAreTechWomen Conference 2020: In Words

WeAreTechWomen conference 2020

WeAreTechWomen, the technology arm of WeAreTheCity, hosted its first virtual, full-day conference for female technologists.

The conference, proudly sponsored and supported by Accenture, BAE Systems, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Dell Technologies, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, NatWest, Oliver Wyman, OpenFin; PwC; and RBC; saw over 1,000 delegates log on, from across the technology sector and a range of companies including Sky, Aviva, RAF, Finding Ada, Stemettes, Mastercard, Three, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Shell and Monzo.

The conference consisted of six stages, with over 60 speakers, 20 exhibitors and over 15 Q&A panels. Delegates could shape their own learning as well as revisiting sessions they may have missed, with a 30-day playback.

The morning began with a number of keynotes from inspirational role models in tech, including Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, President, techUK; Dame Stephanie Shirley CH, IT Entrepreneur & Philanthropist; and Edwina Dunn OBE, Chairman, Starcount and Founder, The Female Lead.

Jacqueline de RojasSpeaking during her keynote about digital inclusion, Jacqueline de Rojas CBE said, "We need to more to make sure no one is left behind."

"Women make up 47 per cent of the UK workforce but only 17 per cent of the tech workforce, and only 15 per cent from a minority ethnic background."

"Diversity matters because equality is a noble cause, it's good for business and to create a digital world that works for everyone."

Dame Stephanie Shirley 1Speaking during her keynote, Dame Stephanie Shirley CH said, "I pioneered the concept of women returners and began a crusade for women - a company of women, a company for women, and early social business."

"For years, I was the 'first woman this' and the 'only woman that'...I couldn't even open the company's bank account without getting my husband's permission..."

"Never ever take today's freedoms lightly."

Across the day, delegates enjoyed listening to a number of high-profile speakers including Professor Sue Black OBE, Professor of Computer Science & Technology Evangelist; Martha Lane-Fox CBE, Entrepreneur & Co-Founder, & Founder, Dot Everything; Sharmadean Reid, Founder, WAH Nails & Beautystack; Baroness Joanna Shields OBE, Group CEO, BenevolentAI; Wincie Wong, Head of Rose Review Implementation, NatWest; Sam Smethers, Chief Executive, The Fawcett Society; Mark Martin, Computer science lead, South Bank Engineering UTC aka Urban Teacher - UK Black Tech; and Anne Boden MBE, CEO & Founder, Starling Bank.

Throughout the day, delegates heard about topics such as AI, Cyber Security, Robotics & Drones, Virtual & Augmented Reality, Fintech, Green Tech, Health Tech, and many more. Attendees could also pose their questions to speakers via a number of virtual Q&A sessions. Topics ranged from the future of tech after COVID-19, data ethics, the future of banking, and health tech.

WeAreTechWomen Conference panel

Those attending the conference also had the opportunity to view two more exclusive stages - on-demand and the KiDS stage. The on-demand stage featured over five hours of content, including a fireside chat with Dame Wendy Hall; a look at how Formula 1 team, Williams is supporting women in engineering; Trinity, a keynote speaking robot; and gaming with Kate Russell.

The KiDS stage was designed for children, aged five to 15. WeAreTechWomen are avid supporters of encouraging children to enter the world of technology, and delegates were actively encouraged 'bring along' their own children, nieces or nephews. The stage featured a variety of interactive sessions, such as lessons about AI and Cyber, as well as learning to code. These sessions were kindly provided by our partners, TechSheCan, Raspberry Pi, Girlguiding & Code First Girls.

Networking booths - WeAreTechWomen conference

Networking and visiting an exhibition hall were still on the agenda - albeit virtually. On the day, there were several networking lounges for delegates to attend and chat in group forums and personal one-to-one chat rooms. The exhibition hall featured 13 booths, where attendees could meet and engage with sponsors, download handouts and documents, chat with experts and watch additional videos.

Check out more of the conference buzz here.

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