Shining a light on the equality problem in STEM this Ada Lovelace Day

gender equality

By Industry Experts

Not only are education institutions seeing a continued low proportion of women opting for STEM subjects and ultimately taking up roles in these fields, but a recent report has revealed more than half of women in the tech industry leave by a mid-point in their career.

This is double the rate of men and due in part to weak management, a lack of perceived opportunities, and a poor work-life balance.

Ada Lovelace Day presents the perfect opportunity to reflect on the personal experiences of women in tech and hear what they think companies must do to encourage greater equality in the workplace.

Natacha Robert, Divisional Finance Director, Civica, explains that studying STEM gives you the best foundation for your future career. “In my current job as Divisional Finance Director, my STEM background and knowledge has no doubt informed many of my leadership decisions, resulting in more scientifically grounded and logical decision-making. I found that having a STEM background has given me a better understanding of my peers’ specialities, related to software development and system architecture. I firmly believe that studying STEM subjects equips you with problem-solving skills and teaches you how to apply knowledge and skills to real-world professional challenges, giving you the ability to maximise results.”

But according to Lindsey Kneuven, Chief Impact Officer at Pluralsight and Executive Director of Pluralsight One, there is still a long way to go. “Despite the increased awareness around STEM’s gender imbalance, the problem is systemic. According to a recent UNESCO report, women represent just 35 per cent of STEM students globally. We must accelerate the pace of change to achieve gender equity and ensure the voices, expertise, power and perspectives of women are included to help shape the future.”

Esther Mahr, Conversational Experience Designer, IPsoft, echoes this. “When I look around at industry gatherings, among a sea of engineers, developers, program managers, business analysts and service delivery heads, I still see too few female faces. And it’s not just a lack of female representation – we are a rather homogeneous industry.

“While one day is a good start to creating awareness, more needs to be done to encourage girls to take up STEM subjects. As technology – and in particular AI – becomes an integral part of our world, we have to equip younger generations with the necessary skills they will need to be successful in their future working lives.”

Barbara Schretter, Team Lead Data Science, Celonis, agrees that, it’s important to encourage more women of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels to explore working in technology. “Hopefully by making them more visible, the next generation of female technology professionals can find role models and become inspired to pursue a career in technology.

“It’s a good idea to involve companies in such projects as there will be more and more people needed in tech in the future,” explains Schretter. “The sooner young people start with coding, the better it will be for their future careers. Even if they don’t programme on their own, to have a basic understanding of coding can’t do any harm. Having companies involved in such projects might also help them get excited about building their own scripts or solving various problems through scripting.”

But, while the number of girls studying STEM subjects has risen, “we need to ensure we continue to highlight more role models and the opportunities technology presents for girls’ and young women’s future careers,” explains Jayne Stone, Chief Marketing Officer, Vuealta

“As business leaders, we need to make an active effort to work in collaboration with schools, colleges, parents and media, to ensure girls can learn about these role models and feel confident and equipped to study STEM subjects and hopefully, a career in STEM. We also need to broaden our role models to make it clear that a career in technology doesn’t mean you’ll be confined to one discipline, and it doesn’t necessarily require qualifications in STEM fields.

“From example, Vuealta enables its customers to transform their business planning and supply chain operations through the use of technology, but you don’t have to necessarily be an expert in IT to work within this industry.”

As explained by Joanne Warner, Head of Customer Service, Natterbox though, there is still a cultural change needed within the workplace as well. “It was only after I had my second child that I felt that my gender was at the heart of an issue at work. Some of my management and colleagues thought that my commitment and motivations within the workplace had changed. But this only made me even more determined to prove that work ethic is not defined by gender or children. Everyone will always come across workplace challenges, but I enjoy sometimes having to prove myself – it’s what keeps us engaged with our work and motivated to push forward.

Warner believes “we need diversity to thrive and evolve, so it’s vital that businesses and education organisations continue to promote all opportunities as equal. Spending time and investment in understanding people’s motivations and strengths can produce the most innovative and loyal employees or students.”

Lori MacVittie, Principal Threat Evangelist, F5 Networks thinks “there is a tendency to dismiss women in technology that aren’t in a hands-on role, but we need to support and promote all women in the technology industry because ultimately not everyone that wants a slice of the tech world wants to sit and code all day.

“Fundamentally, STEM has a brand problem and there is a stereotype of the type of women who work in STEM roles. We might think of introverts and people that wear all black and no heels, but that’s just not the case! Whatever kind of woman you are, what you wear or what personality you have, is irrelevant. There’s a role for you.”

Kneuven concludes, “now is the time for companies to prove they are not merely interested in rhetoric but are committed to achieving lasting change in the STEM industry within our lifetime. We must eliminate the barriers that prevent girls’ participation, radically disrupt our education systems and hiring practices to ensure true inclusion and inspire the next generation of talent to pursue their own promising STEM careers. It’s time for all leaders to evaluate how they can make a difference and move the industry forward with equal representation.”

Ada Lovelace featured

Inspirational quotes: Ada Lovelace | The first computer programmer

Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace was a mathematician and writer, known for her work on Charles Babbage’s proposed mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine.

Lovelace was the first to recognise that the machine had applications beyond pure calculation and published the first algorithm intended to be carried out by such a machine.

As a result, Lovelace is regarded as one of the first computer programmers.

Today, marks Ada Lovelace Day – an annual event celebrated on the second Tuesday of October. The day began in 2009 with the aim of raising the profile of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), and to create new role models for girls and women.

In honour of Ada Lovelace Day, WeAreTechWomen take a look at Lovelace’s most inspiring quotes.

“That brain of mine is something more than merely mortal; as time will show.”

“If you can’t give me poetry, can’t you give me poetical science?”

“I never am really satisfied that I understand anything; because, understand it well as I may, my comprehension can only be an infinitesimal fraction of all I want to understand about the many connections and relations which occur to me, how the matter in question was first thought of or arrived at…”

“Religion to me is science and science is religion.”

“The more I study, the more insatiable do I feel my genius for it to be.”

“Your best and wisest refuge from all troubles is in your science.”

“The science of operations, as derived from mathematics more especially, is a science of itself, and has its own abstract truth and value.”

“Imagination is the Discovering Faculty, pre-eminently. It is that which penetrates into the unseen worlds around us, the worlds of Science.”

“Mathematical science shows what is. It is the language of unseen relations between things. But to use and apply that language, we must be able to fully to appreciate, to feel, to seize the unseen, the unconscious.”

“As soon as I have got flying to perfection, I have got a scheme about a steam engine.”

Ada Lovelace Day: Tech’s most influential women share their views

Tuesday 11th October marks Ada Lovelace Day, an annual celebration championing the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Lovelace, who helped implement visionary insights on computing, leaves a lasting legacy of the importance of female diversity. Yet, despite her achievements, there were one million women in STEM roles in 2020, equating to only 24% of the STEM workforce.

With a cross parliamentary report concluding that bringing women into the STEM workforce is an “economic imperative”, what more can be done to ensure women are encouraged into these fields? Some of the most influential women in the tech sector share their thoughts.

Early encouragement is key

Sofia Ceppi SecondmindThough she lived two centuries ago, much of the modern tech sector can learn from Lovelace’s legacy. According to Sofia Ceppi, Research Integration Lead at Secondmind, her work reminds us we should, “Not see the STEM world as one just for men… women must be shown the possibilities for them in STEM without bias. Ada’s mother was a mathematician and encouraged Ada to pursue the subject herself. We must remove the imposition of biases that can happen from an early age, so that all girls – and everybody for that matter – do not see the STEM world as one just for men.”

Daniela Da CruzTackling the gender imbalance at its roots is vital, says Daniela da Cruz, Head of Engineering of SAST and Engines at Checkmarx, “Engage girls from a young age, and develop their sense of STEM identity. Positive and early exposure will make the difference and lead us to a future where women in STEM is the norm.”

Learning from role models

Like Lovelace’s mother, da Cruz believes role models are the best way to open up the sector, “Young people are motivated by seeing those they admire in positions of power. Whether it’s their favourite sporting star, business person, or pop star, young girls need relatable role models whose footsteps they can follow in. At the moment, there just isn’t enough visibility of these women in the STEM field.”

Julie Lerman PluralsightThis was the case for Julie Lerman, Pluralsight Author and Software Coach: “I had an amazing role model growing up (my mother) and was raised with the belief that I could do whatever I wanted. It never occurred to me, even when consistently being one of the only women in the room, that I didn’t belong in tech. I want to share this attitude with anyone who is typically told or shown that they don’t belong in tech. There are many communities and businesses that are welcoming that have a healthy, diverse environment where you are seen and heard, where you are given opportunity to learn and grow.”

Rosie GallanczRosie Gallancz, Software Engineer at VMware Pivotal Labs, echoes this, “While I’ve been lucky to have opportunities and role models to help guide me along the way, that’s sadly by no means the case for all women and girls getting into engineering – and there’s certainly still lots of lip service to diversity and inclusion in the industry.”

“Additionally, in my earlier days in the industry, I found previous clients of mine tended to direct questions and presentations to the men in the room. I was lucky to have a strong mentor to put a stop to this behaviour and that has spurred me on to strive for working environments where gender has no bearing on ability to answer technical questions.”

Jen Rodvold Sopra SteriaWe can’t “forget the importance of role models,” voiced Jen Rodvold, Head of Digital Ethics & Tech for Good at Sopra Steria. She added that the thousands of women already working in STEM can also “help to inspire the next generation, showing that girls and women can thrive in these exciting careers.”

Embracing diverse skillsets and experiences 

Still, it was not just Lovelace’s technical intelligence which drove her. Ceppi believes her work proves “the value of different perspectives. Her love of poetry meant Ada embraced her intuition and imagination, using this to challenge assumptions and effectively apply science and mathematical concepts to problems.”

Susan FazelpoorInterestingly, Susan Fazelpoor, COO at Demand Science, argues, “While having an education in STEM can provide some incredible career paths, you do not need it to get involved in tech. This is something I don’t think many people fully realise; therefore, they don’t even try. To help change this perception, it is important that businesses fully communicate to both employees and prospective workers what they can offer and what skills these workers need to demonstrate if they want to secure these roles. Often just having that conversation can make a huge difference to a person’s career.”

“STEM skills can be taught to anyone,” echoed Clair Griffin, Projects Director at Vysiion, recalling her own untraditional route into tech, “Business’ need to expand their hiring reach beyond the usual candidates and take more risks. My first boss employed me as a software engineer even though I had no previous coding experience.”

Valuing broader skills and a wider range of backgrounds is ultimately vital in opening STEM up to women, continued Fazelpoor, “If we all take steps to encourage a diverse set of voices, we will be able to truly take advantage of all the exciting areas of technology that are being developed.

“As my father used to say, ‘there is nothing you can’t do, just be yourself’.”

Challenging stereotypes and changing culture

Nan Craig, Data Analyst at Faethm AI argues that “present-day underrepresentation is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the issues facing women in the STEM industry,” with threats from automation meaning businesses should put reskilling women at the top of the agenda.

“Faethm data for example shows that in the ‘Professional, Scientific and Technical Services’ sector, women currently occupy over 70% of administrative roles, but 42.5% of the work these roles require is likely to be automated over the next 5 years. If we contrast this with the predicted rate of automation across the sector as a whole, which is quite low at 13%, then we get a strong indication that women in STEM are likely to be disproportionately affected by automation.”

Ursula Morgenstern CognizantAnother significant barrier to changing the STEM sector is how entrenched the gender imbalance is. According to Ursula Morgenstern, President, Global Growth Markets at Cognizant, better gender representation “requires a change in the organisation culture and the creation of a sense of belonging where women can become their best selves.”

She continues, “I truly believe that affinity groups are critical in building a diverse workforce and providing support beyond financial aids for childcare. For example, Cognizant’s Women Empowered group comprises approximately 1,142 members from across UK and Ireland and has been pivotal in breaking genders barriers.”

The pandemic brought to light the inequalities women face as part of the workforce, says Rodvold, “Despite gender parity advancements, women are still more likely to have a disproportionate responsibility for caring and domestic duties that make it harder for them to progress – or even stay – in work.”

Kate GregoryUltimately, the responsibility for culture change doesn’t lie with women, voiced Kate Gregory, Pluralsight Author and C++ Expert, “I tell young women today that if you find a horrible co-worker or a horrible employment environment, that’s not about you, it’s about them, and better workplaces and co-workers exist. Don’t let the bad ones push you out. Find a place with less bad ones. I know that’s hard work, but at least it’s possible. You don’t need to quit tech because of a horrible workplace. They are the ones who are not good enough; you’re terrific.”

The benefits for the whole industry

Kat Judd LucidWelcoming more women into the sector should be a business priority, according to Kat Judd, SVP People & Culture at Lucid, “Businesses have a great opportunity at the moment to help change the narrative around women in tech, and it is important they do not pass it up.” She adds, “The new hybrid way of working is a golden opportunity to encourage women to stay in roles, and help them reach those leadership positions that many may have felt were unattainable in the past.”

qlik-Poornima-Ramaswamy-970x550Developing fields like AI need women to succeed. “Since AI analyses patterns that are based on historical data,” notes Poornima Ramaswamy, Executive Vice President, Global Solutions and Partners at Qlik. “Models can be skewed if they lack demographic categories such as a balanced representation of female data. To avoid gender bias – or any bias, in fact – and develop inclusive solutions, we therefore need to make sure that not only the target audience of a solution is representative, but so, too, are the teams creating them.”

“Diversity brings different viewpoints and characteristics to the table, which is fundamental to achieving inclusive innovation and solutions.”

Roisin Wherry Grayce“There’s a growing digital skills gap in the country,” says Roisin Wherry, Internal IT & Innovation Manager at Grayce. “So it’s imperative that we encourage as many individuals as possible to follow their aspirations in the STEM sector – especially considering the diverse talent pool the UK has at its disposal.”

World Mental Health Day | Supporting wellbeing in the workplace

mindfulness, woman practising meditation, mindful wellbeing

In the run up to World Mental Health Day, business leaders and CEOs from the tech industry talk to us about the impact the last eighteen months has had on their teams’ mental wellbeing and how they’re planning to support them through the transition to hybrid working.

James Hallahan, Director of Hays Technology, UK & IrelandJames Hallahan, Director of Hays Technology, UK & Ireland

“In a recent survey we looked at the effects of the pandemic on the world of work. 34% of technology professionals said the most negative impact was the blurring of the work-life balance and 25% said it was an increase in workload. Working from home has made it more difficult for people to ‘switch off’ at the end of the day.

“However, remote working is here to stay and we are seeing an increase in the numbers of IT employees contracted to work from home, so it’s really important that organisations make sure they look after their remote workers and help them avoid burn-out. They can do this by implementing strategies that encourage people to take proper breaks and switch off their computers at the end of the day. These need to be embedded in company culture and senior leaders must be seen to be walking the walk so that everyone knows is the acceptable way to behave.

“At Hays we have launched mental health initiatives for all our employees, customers and candidates. POWR is an app for all staff to help them develop skills for improved personal wellbeing, and Hays Thrive is a free product for all of our customers. We offer online courses to help organisations find better ways to support their employees, which was vital during lockdown and the subsequent months of remote learning. There was a course specifically designed to support mental health during uncertain times. Our candidate-focused product includes free training for upskilling in different areas and also training in resilience and mental health.”

Alex Arundale Chief People Officer at AdvancedAlex Arundale, Chief People Officer, Advanced

“It’s vital for an individual’s wellbeing that they can bring their authentic selves to work. One of the things we’ve learned from lockdown, when we all had a virtual window into each other’s homes, is that we are all different. Our lives, our experiences and the things that matter to each of us are what drives us and it’s that diversity that enriches the businesses we work for. But people can only be fully themselves in the workplace if they feel safe, accepted and welcomed there. Businesses that actively promote a diversity and inclusion policy and have a clear strategy about how to implement it are giving themselves a competitive edge. They recognise that employees who feel genuinely valued for who they are, and are properly rewarded for their work, demonstrate greater loyalty, are more likely to stay with the business, and are more effective and productive within their roles. We’ve used data collected for our recent Diversity Pay Gap Report to help us understand who is represented where in the business so we can take steps to promote more opportunities for everyone at all levels. In order to gain deeper insights we invite all employees to adopt the role of Diversity Leader and have set up employee resource groups, including Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ Team Rainbow, Women’s Network and Disability Inclusion Network.  They help us to shape policy and strategies for increasing diversity. People are usually most committed to changes when they feel they have a stake in them and have some ownership over the solutions.”

Marco Fanizzi VP & GM of Commvault EMEA_0480Marco Fanizzi, VP and General Manager of Commvault, EMEA

“The potential issue I’m keeping a close eye on at the moment is whether a short term increase in team productivity that we have seen from the shift to more home working will have a longer term impact on our people’s mental wellbeing.

“Our CEO has taken strong, proactive measures by designating four mental wellbeing days for all employees globally, in addition to regular leave. It is very important for us to give our employees clear additional consideration to adjust to the continually evolving balance of personal and work elements in their lives.  These are important for us to keep our employees well and focused on their wellbeing, but we are also still identifying and working on resolving emerging issues around employee wellbeing in other ways.

“Looking further ahead we want to be completely flexible and will offer a hybrid environment so they can come into the office setting when they need to. We also have specific approaches for different people – senior people are generally more independent, for instance, but we will still offer a development place for young talent to meet, learn and share the environment with others and in time, get back to normality.”

“Our working lives must be flexible, sustainable, fair, without differences, and with diversity and inclusion providing a foundation for a positive shared future.” 

Sam Fuller MD and founder of The Wellbeing ProjectSam Fuller, Founder and MD, The Wellbeing Project

“Our Wraw Resilience Report 2021 looked at how different groups were coping with wellbeing and resilience and we found that women experienced a greater drop in their resilience during the pandemic, experiencing a decline that’s 68% larger than men. Resilience is an important indicator of overall wellbeing as it reflects the ability to deal with challenges and bounce back. The lower scores for women may indicate that they have struggled more because of additional challenges around domestic responsibilities, home schooling and fitting the demands of their family in with their work. Even in these enlightened times, not all employers are as understanding about those challenges as they could be. When we look closer a the data, we can also see that middle adulthood appears to be very challenging, with people aged 36-45 years having the lowest scores for energy than the other age groups. Again, this may be a reflection of other pressures, including family life, alongside higher than average self-imposed work pressures and expectations. It is very important that senior leaders model healthy behaviours so that the rest of the organisation can see that is acceptable to take a proper lunch break, and to stop answering emails at the end of contracted hours.”

Janette MartinJanette Martin, CEO, 360 Resourcing

“Our company culture at Talos360 is very much about being open, honest, friendly fun and unafraid to say what we think. Challenge is key to learning, development and innovation, and it’s a principle that is encouraged and enacted by everyone, including the senior leadership team. Transparency and authenticity are crucial, if we want people to keep bringing the best of themselves to work every day. We also work hard get to know every member of our team, and that is invaluable when it comes to spotting when people are struggling or might be at risk of burnout. We understand that everyone is human and our lives can sometimes get complicated, and no one should feel embarrassed about that. Regular communication to make sure people are doing ok, combined with leaders behaving in the way we want and expect everyone else to behave, is really important for maintaining a healthy and happy workforce. Our fortnightly ‘Tribe’ meetings, in the office and via Teams for those working remotely, are an opportunity to share our news, both business and personal.”

Leading menopause experts team up with Women in Data for game-changing initiative: MenopauseX


Women in Data, Newson Health and the Balance App are joining forces for a joint initiative, MenopauseX.

This ground-breaking collaboration will provide cutting edge data insights and bridge data gaps that exist here in the UK, and beyond, by including women from minority backgrounds.

Cross collaboration will generate previously non-existent/scarce insights, demonstrate the cost of the menopause to the economy and, in turn, improve the health and wellbeing of menopausal women and trans/non-binary people everywhere.

Women in Data’s research has shown that women are often stepping into roles with greater responsibility and influence during this time in their working life. This career-crucial time can often be impacted by menopause and we know that it is affecting women’s workplace performance, wellbeing and overall effectiveness.

MenopauseX’s insights will be used to improve the health and wellbeing of women the world over. To gain truly valuable intelligence, our project design, resources, contributions, data and interpretation will be inclusive and reflective of society.

The project’s commitment to inclusion will be met by addressing gaps in menopause data, for example women from minority backgrounds and non-binary people. Our collective strategy is designed to support identities that have previously been omitted from research studies, who are often more adversely affected earlier in life and with greater health implications.

The collective of subject matter experts includes:

Women in Data, a highly skilled community that supports and develops the careers of women in data and technology. Women in Data® helps women at all stages of their careers through networking, mentoring, selected partner-backed jobs promotion, and its free-to- attend flagship annual event. Based on evidence that, to accelerate change, awareness needs to be generated among younger age groups, Girls in Data was launched at the BBC in 2020. Women in Data® has attracted the support of Data luminaries and organisations committed to inclusion and diversity. To increase the number of visible female role models, Women in Data® launched the prestigious annual promotion Twenty in Data and Technology, which is entering its fifth year.

Newson Health logoNewson Health Research and Education, a not-for-profit centre of excellence dedicated to the perimenopause and menopause, that provides healthcare professionals, training and knowledge about treatment options for the menopause including the safe prescribing of HRT.

Balance logoThe Balance App, a free award-winning menopause support app with the ambition to make menopause support inclusive and accessible to all. The app has already supported hundreds of thousands of women worldwide to share their insights and experience, track their symptoms, and access expert help, diagnosis and treatment.


Charisma Buxton

In Her Shoes: Charisma Buxton | Big Data Developer, Morgan Stanley

Charisma Buxton

Charisma Buxton joined Morgan Stanley in 2017 via the Technology Analyst Program in Glasgow, following completion of her Masters’ degree in Data Science from the University of Dundee.

In 2020, Charisma joined the Cybersecurity team as a Data Scientist. Charisma recently moved over to Legal, Compliance and Governance and is currently working as a Big Data developer in Legal and Compliances’ Resilience Team in London.

On a typical workday, how do you start your day and how does it end?

My typical workday starts with a mug of hot chocolate and reviewing emails. I check my Jira board to prioritise tasks for the day, then check my to-do list to see items from the previous day that need to be completed. From there it’s mostly meetings or working on my ongoing projects. The day ends with me updating my Jira boards and updating my to-do list.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Sort of; I knew I wanted to be in technology and a career that involves me working with computers. I also knew I wanted to build and innovate. What I didn’t know was where I would be working and which companies would allow me the space to build, innovate and grow my career, and that’s what I’ve been doing since joining Morgan Stanley.

What do you love about working for Morgan Stanley?

As a black woman, choosing a company to work for has to be a very careful process because an inclusive and diverse workplace is very important. Also, being able to give back and volunteer to my community is very important to me. These are part of the firm’s core values; it’s important to the Firm , which makes Morgan Stanley a good fit for me. The culture and working with smart, friendly and welcoming people has been vital to me and these are just some of the reasons why I love working here.

Have you faced any challenges along the way and if so, how did you overcome these challenges?

Naturally, I have faced some challenges in my career. One of them being not having a lot of women working alongside me in technology and often being the only woman on the team. I decided to help combat this disparity by mentoring young women who want to get into technology and by helping with campus recruitment. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to see you and then realise they can also be standing there in the next two to three years. Like they say, representation matters.

Have you benefited from coaching, mentoring or the sponsorship of others?

I am really grateful for all the formal and informal coaching, mentoring and sponsorship I have received so far from senior figures at Morgan Stanley. It has been an important part of my career and these colleagues have been helping me improve my skills, develop my career, advocate for me and help demonstrate my skills.

Do you believe in the power of networking? If so, where do you network?

Networking is important when it comes to sharing ideas and finding out what others are working on that might interest you. Internally, I am a part of Women In Tech (WIT) and a number of other organisations. Externally, I attend WIT events and hackathons which are great spaces to meet people with shared interests.

What advice would you give to those who aspire to a career in tech?

You should definitely do it; even if you find that the area you start in doesn’t work for you, technology is huge, there are so many other exciting areas you can transition into. You just need the passion and the drive, and you’re set to go.

What does the future hold for you?

My teacher in primary school wrote in one of my reports that the sky is the limit and I’ve been living with that phrase when it comes to my career since then. I aim to keep developing my technical skills, growing my network and to keep building and innovating. Also, to keep giving back through mentoring and sharing my experiences and making sure other young women in Tech also know that sky is the limit.

At Morgan Stanley, our rich history and culture of innovation helps the firm stay on the cutting-edge. Join our team of world-class technologists in solving complex client and business challenges—and make an impact every day.


Yetty Adesalu

This Black woman can! Yetty Adesalu shares her journey with DWP Digital

This Black woman can! Meet Yetty Adesalu, Business Analyst for DWP Digital

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is ‘Break the Bias’, which promotes the imagining of a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. Yetty Adesalu, DWP Digital, Business Analyst shares how she’s been able to excel in her career and takes us through her journey.

Yetty Adesalu

In my personal life, I have a passion to help people.  For example, I was inspired to take part in the Great Manchester Run a few years back, to raise funds for a local food bank that I support.

In my career I’m a subject matter expert and business analyst with over 18 years’ experience working in the banking sector before I moved into the Civil Service.

Working at DWP Digital means that I can actively become involved in projects that help me to combine my passion for change with my passion for helping people.

My career in banking gave me a varied background in trade finance, project and change management, relationship management, product management, business development, research and development, accounting controls and reconciliations, correspondent banking, financial analysis and advisory services.

I currently work as a business analyst on a small but important agile team. We provide the products and services that make it easier for colleagues to do their job, especially with the advent of hybrid working from the office and home, enabling them to collaborate with each other and external parties. Although I joined at the start of covid during the first lockdown in March 2020, I had a very welcoming start from my team members who have made me feel included and valued.

Yetty AdesaluOne exciting recent project my team worked on is the Customer Computer Kiosks project which is nationwide throughout DWP Jobcentres. Customer Computers provide citizens with digital access to a defined set of applications, allowing the creation of CVs, the ability to search and apply for job vacancies, and the creation and maintenance of Universal Credit accounts.  My team were responsible for upgrading the devices to the equivalent Windows 10 product managed Microsoft Intune which delivers cloud capabilities for PC and mobile management, with a better user experience, functionality, and greater security. We worked with stakeholders across the DWP estate to ensure that upgrades over 7000 devices, happened seamlessly.

I love working with Microsoft 365 which offers a range of products and makes it easy to collaborate, explore and innovate. As an avid learner, I taught myself to use the power apps to make my job simpler and efficient. As someone who is really interested in everything data, any opportunity to work with data using any of the M365 apps elates me.

What fascinates and excites me most about working in the technology industry is that there are no limits to what is possible. Technology provides an opportunity to learn new skills and push myself to heights that I might previously not have considered.

My advice for women looking for their next tech role/career move is to sharpen your transferable skills. Being in tech requires innovation, determination and efficiency which is a skill that comes naturally to women. Use that to your advantage.

If you’re looking for somewhere you are encouraged to grow and thrive in your profession, whilst maintaining a healthy work-life balance then make sure you look at DWP Digital careers site.


Looking for a somewhere to build your digital career while working for an organisation that celebrates and embraces diversity?


WeAreTechWomen are proud to announce our 2022 TechWomen100 shortlist

WeAreTechWomen is extremely proud to announce the TechWomen100 shortlist for 2022!

Since July 2022, WeAreTechWomen has been searching the UK for the best female tech talent in the country. With the support of headline sponsor Barclays, WeAreTechWomen has now identified a shortlist of 200.

The TechWomen100 awards are the first of their kind to focus solely on the female tech talent pipeline and to also recognise the impact of champions, companies and networks that are leading the way for future generations of tech talent. Highlighting the achievements of these women is part of WeAreTechWomen’s campaign to shine a spotlight on 1,000 future female leaders in technology by 2025.

The shortlist showcases remarkable women within the technology and STEM sector, including Marie Hemingway, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Speak Out Revolution, a not-for-profit with a mission to cancel the culture of silence on harassment in the workplace; Dayo Akinrinade, who built a social audio app to democratise access to mentorship and create a diverse community centred on knowledge sharing; Jessica Heagren, co-founder of That Works For Me, a platform that connects forward-thinking businesses with professional mums looking for flexible work; Priyanka Gangishetty, Senior Azure Customer Engineer at Microsoft and ambassador for women in STEM, aiming to show young girls from all backgrounds that you can achieve your dreams; and Dr Chun Huang, Senior Lecturer at Imperial College London and an award-winning innovator, working to reduce human impact on climate change.

The awards also recognise Champions, Networks and Companies, who are all actively supporting the progression of women in tech and STEM. The TechWomen100 awards also celebrate women in tech from outside the UK, in the Global Award for Achievement category.

The full shortlist includes individuals from leading firms such as Deloitte, KPMG, Santander, Amazon, Royal Air Force, Bloomberg, J.P. Morgan and many more.

Over the nomination period, we received over 1,000 nominations from across the UK and Northern Ireland. The calibre of entries for these awards was exceptional and all of the judges stated how difficult it was to arrive at the shortlist due to the amazing achievements of our nominees.


The public vote of support will open on 04 October for our 200 individual shortlist nominees. Votes can be cast here*.

*Please note there is no public vote for Champions, Companies, Global Award for Achievement or Networks.

Craig Bright, Barclays“At Barclays, we’re focused on improving gender diversity through a workplace environment and culture that enables our female colleagues to fulfil their career aspirations. For me, as a leader in technology, this means really investing in how we attract, retain and develop our female tech talent. Recognising and celebrating female technologists is fundamental towards closing the gender gap and building a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture across the industry. Barclays has been working with WeAreTechWomen since 2015 because they do a fantastic job of shining a spotlight on female role models in technology, and those who support and empower them to realise their full potential. We want to help promote, support and amplify those voices leading positive change and inspiring others, which is why we’re proud to be the headline sponsor for the 2022 TechWomen100 awards.”


“At WeAreTechWomen, we have made it our personal mission to shine a spotlight on women working in tech. Our strategic aim is to highlight 1,000 female future leaders in technology by 2025.”

“The response to this year’s awards has been fantastic and the calibre of entries has been outstanding. I am so proud to see so many women in tech recognised for their achievements and really look forward to seeing who our final winners will be on 10 October.”


The 2022 awards are kindly powered by Barclays and sponsored by Accenture, BAE Systems, Bank of America, BT, Clifford Chance, Credit SuisseFunding CircleGoldman SachsHuawei, Morgan Stanley, Northern TrustOliver Wyman, PwC and Sky.

We would like to personally thank our judges who all gave up their valuable time to assemble our shortlist and to help WeAreTechWomen recognise the fantastic achievements of all of our amazing nominees.

Congratulations to all of our shortlisted nominees and best of luck in the next round of judging.

The final list will be announced 10 October. Finalists will be invited to attend a virtual award’s ceremony on 06 December.


Barclays logo - NEW 2022


TechWomen100 Sponsors 2022

Recruitment bias is holding the STEM industry back when it comes to inclusion

Front view of diverse business people looking at camera while working together at conference room in a modern office

Recruitment bias is holding the STEM industry back when it comes to inclusion, according to a new report.

The annual STEM Returners Index, a survey of a nationally representative group of more than 750 STEM professionals on a career break who are attempting to return to work or who have recently returned to work, found that recruitment bias was revealed to be the main barrier preventing them from returning to work.

In the survey, which comes at the start of National Inclusion Week, 37 per cent of participants said they experienced bias in the recruitment process due to their age, while 43 per cent of people who identified as BME said they had experienced bias due to race or ethnicity.

Female engineers are more likely to be victims of recruitment bias – 27 per cent of women said they feel they have personally experienced bias in recruitment processes due to their gender compared to eight per cent of men.

STEM Returners is now calling for companies to do more to challenge recruitment bias within their own organisations to help the industry become more inclusive.

Natalie Desty, Director of STEM Returners, is urging recruiters across STEM to update their processes and challenge unconscious bias, so this highly skilled group of people can gain employment and the industry can become more diverse and inclusive.

She said, “There is a distinct lack of diversity and inclusion in STEM industries – that is not news.”

“But there is a talented pool of professionals who are being locked out of roles, which is severely hindering efforts to be more inclusive.”

“The pool of STEM Professionals attempting to return to industry is significantly more diverse than the average STEM organisation.”

“Those attempting to return to work are 51 per cent female and 38 per cent from black and minority ethnic groups, compared to 10 per cent female and six per cent BME working in industry.”

“Companies need to do more to update recruitment practices, challenge unconscious bias and actively seek out diversity, which is proven to increase business success.”

Listen to our latest She Talks Tech podcast on '5G Enabling Digital Transformations of Industries' with Wenbing Yao, Huawei UK

In this episode of She Talks Tech, Wenbing Yao – Vice President at Huawei UK – takes a look at some of the most active industries leading in 5G adoption, including smart ports, manufacturing and robotic chemical site monitoring.

She explains how these latest ‘use’ cases of 5G solutions have helped industrial sectors achieve greater operational efficiencies, cost savings and safer working conditions for employees.

More so, Wenbing describes how the ICT industry has the potential to help reduce global emissions by 20%, despite contributing toward 2% of the world’s carbon emissions.

If you want to find out more about Wenbing, you can connect with her on LinkedIn.


‘She Talks Tech’ brings you stories, lessons and tips from some of the most inspirational women (and men!) in tech.

From robotics and drones, to fintech, neurodiversity and coronavirus apps; these incredible speakers are opening up to give us the latest information on tech in 2022.

Vanessa Valleley OBE, founder of WeAreTheCity and WeAreTechWomen brings you this latest resource to help you rise to the top of the tech industry. Women in tech make up just 21 per cent of the industry in the UK and we want to inspire that to change.

WeAreTechWomen are delighted to bring this very inspiring first series to wherever you normally listen to podcasts!

So subscribe, rate the podcast and give it a 5-star review – and keep listening every Wednesday morning for a new episode of ‘She Talks Tech’.

Produced by Pineapple Audio Production.