Blendoor app aims to take unconscious biasness out of tech recruitment

A blind-recruitment mobile app called Blendoor has launched in a bid to tackle gender and minority imbalances across the tech sector.

Unveiled by CEO and founder Stephanie Lampkin, during Salesforce’s Dreamforce show in San Francisco this week, the app aims to address unconscious biasness within the tech sector’s recruitment process.Multi-ethnic business people in office

The app hides the applicant’s name and photo, to ensure any biasness is removed from the early stage of the recruitment process, and that candidates are selected on skills. The aim is to conceal the applicant’s school, orientation or gender in the early stages of the application process.

Through a series of swipes recruiters can screen potential candidates and job seekers can search through job opportunities. When there is a match between skills required and the candidate’s interest the app enables the recruitment process to move forward. The app is integrated with LinkedIN and Facebook.

The app will also recommend career development opportunities, such as courses and events of interest, to candidates based on their behaviours.

According to Lampkin the app was developed as a response to her own challenges faced working in IT. During her Dreamforce presentation she highlighted that 91% of tech sector workers are white or Asian and 75% of them are male. She noted that Google has 55,000 engineers but only 12 are African American women.

Lampkin has a technical background herself having learnt to code from the age of 13. She went on to study an engineering degree at Stanford University followed by an MBA from MIT. She has worked at several technology companies including Microsoft.

For the first time the Dreamforce conference has dedicated an entire day to women in technology, where CEO Marc Benioff and founder Parker Harris will discuss Salesforce’s efforts around diversity. Talks will also take place from YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and actress and business owner Jessica Alba.

WeAreTheCity Top 50 Rising Star Winners | Announcement

Rising Stars Top 50 winners- bannersWeAreTheCity are proud to announce the winners of their Top 50 Rising Star awards. The Rising Star awards were introduced to showcase the UK pipeline of female talent below management and to create female 50 role models across 10 different industries and professions.  

The awards were entered by 340 individuals were judged by a panel of 14 independent judges. Over 15,000 public votes were received for the 100 shortlisted nominees from across 112 countries.  The awards were kindly sponsored and supported by Morgan Stanley, Societe Generale, BNY Mellon, Newton Investments, Reed Smith, Twenty Recruitment, Ladbrokes, Guardian Women in Leadership, EY, Barclays, Bloomberg, RBS and the Government Equalities Office.

Vanessa Vallely, MD of WeAreTheCity said “It has been a total honour to run this years awards and highlight the achievements of so many amazing women, the calibre of entries was truly phenomenal.  WeAreTheCity is very much about supporting the female pipeline and introducing these awards was a perfect opportunity to showcase the amazing talent of women across the UK.  We are exceptionally proud of our winners and look forward to following their future success.  We wouldn't have been able to launch these awards without the support of so many organisations who took no convincing to support these women and recognise their achievements.  Both myself, my team, our sponsors, judges and supporters are very much looking forward to celebrating with all of our winners at the House of Lords in September”.

Once again, we would like to congratulate all our winners and extend a sincere thanks to our shortlist, judges, sponsors and to everyone who supported Rising Stars 2015.


The winners of each category can be found here

Proudly sponsored by:

A career in Technology is not what you expect | RBS Graduate Programme

Female Graduate in technology


When you think of a career in Technology, what springs to mind?

  • Being at the forefront of cutting edge developments, innovation, creativity and helping to drive businesses forward?
  • Whether studying a related Degree or not, a career in here could provide you with the experiences you least expect
  • We all use it, so why not be a part of it, helping to build our bank for the future
  • Keep an open mind, and remember:

It’s not all about coding!

  • Graduates use a range of skills and the wide variety of roles and our people reflect this (only 3 of our Graduates studied Computer Science in our 2014 intake).
  • All roles will be technical in nature, so an analytical mindset will help, but these roles are suitable for Graduates interested in a wide range of careers – Graduates go on to be Business Analysts or Project Managers as well as Software Developers

You don’t need experience

  • Learning and development is at the very heart of the Graduate Programme.
  • A complete training programme is provided to bring everyone up to the same level.
  • Your Manager provides you with a project that has been pre approved with clearly defined objectives which are achievable at your level of experience.
  • The Services Graduate Programme will bring a greater breadth of opportunities, and we still have opportunities available in Edinburgh starting this September.


The future you shape at RBS has the potential to be impressive. We’re an international financial services organisation operating in the UK, Europe, the Americas and Asia. We have a clear vision for the future and you’ll help make it a reality.

RBS is a bank with a history of looking ahead. Since we were established by Royal Charter in 1727, we have granted the world’s first overdraft, launched the first mobile bank and developed the first fully functional smartphone banking app.

Graduate opportunities in Technology & Transformation:


RBS is an empowering place to work. We believe there’s a right way to do business and we’ve created a fair, open, honest culture that will value the part you play. Get ready to drive positive change as you rise to the challenge of building a better bank for our customers.

We have high expectations of our employees and we’ll give you the tools and support to deliver on them. After all, the sooner you reach your potential, the sooner you can start shaping our future. Expect exposure to live projects and lots of responsibility from the word go, supported by a formal induction and structured training from industry experts.

Alongside your professional progress, we’re equally interested in your personal, ethical and social development. You’ll find four deeply-held values driving your work at RBS: serving customers, working together, doing the right thing and thinking long term. These are the principles making us a stronger bank and they’re something you need to believe in.

Prepare for broader horizons too. We’re an international bank with graduate opportunities on an impressive scale, whatever your degree subject. We have careers for analytical minds, strategic thinkers, technology heads and business brains. Wherever you join, you’ll get to see a huge range of business areas, with genuine internal mobility on offer.

What you can expect

An experience that spans all of the Services divisions including: technology development, infrastructure, technical architecture, transformation and change. The holistic approach will give you insight into how we impact the customer and work towards simplifying and creating new solutions for them. Technology & Transformation is a diverse field with functions and specialist teams in over 30 countries. It’s the key to everything we do and allows us to trade across time zones, perform complex calculations, transfer funds and disseminate information.

As a graduate based in Edinburgh, you'll complete placements around our business. You could work on major international change programmes or the delivery of next-generation solutions and play a vital part in building and maintaining the technology which allows us to retain our competitive edge. Throughout, your work will touch all aspects of RBS, so variety – and the chance to explore the full spectrum of what we do – is guaranteed.

Who we are looking for

You don’t need to come to us with advanced technical skills. Many of our graduate trainees have degrees in engineering, mathematics, economics, computing and sciences. But we’ll consider anyone showing a keen interest in and aptitude for technology. Plus, as well as technical development you will be encouraged to develop broader capabilities such as communication, project management, team working and influencing skills.

It’s also important that you’re resilient, articulate and great with people. This isn’t an inward-looking business area: you’ll establish and maintain strong relationships with stakeholders at all levels and work across different sites as you do so.

Whatever your degree discipline, we ask all our graduates to have a minimum 2:1. We’ll also consider your top three A-level (or equivalent) grades from the first sitting (excluding General Studies) and look for a minimum of 300 UCAS points.



Announcing WeAreTheCity’s Top 50 Rising Star Awards “Shining a spotlight on the female talent pipeline”

Rising Stars - Female talent awards

Nominations open 1st June 2015 - click here

WeAreTheCity is delighted to announce the launch of the WATC Top 50 Rising Stars Awards for 2015.  

These new awards are the first to focus on the UK's female talent pipeline below management level and will celebrate 50 female individual contributors that represent the leaders & role models of tomorrow.   We hope that by raising the profile of our short list and winners, we will also encourage organisations to consider how they strengthen the development of their female pipeline in the future.

Recognising that careers for women may follow different timescales, the Top 50 Rising Star awards will not have any age restrictions included within the criteria. We feel we have a responsibility to ensure that female talent regardless of age and background receives the necessary support and skills to transition into key decision-making roles within our organisations.

"The need for more women in senior leadership roles is widely recognised. At Barclays, we want to go further - we believe in cultivating a pipeline of female talent across all levels of the organisation, from the executive assistant right through to the boardroom. These awards recognise the considerable achievements of talented women and our sponsorship reflects our commitment to support the women that come through our ranks to stay until leadership." - Mark McLane, Managing Director, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Barclays PLC

WeAreTheCity will use its extensive reach across the UK & Ireland to find 50 high-achieving women across 10 key industries and professions

The WATC awards will be officially launched on 01 June 2015 with support from organisations such as Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Lloyds, Societe Generale, Reed Smith, Ladbrokes & Twenty Recruitment.

The nominations process opens on 01 June 2015 for all categories and will take place online at   A shortlist of 10 for each category will be judged by WeAreTheCity and published during July. Judging of the final 5 winners for each category will take place with the category sponsors & independent judges during August. The 50 winners will be announced in September where they will be invited to celebrate their awards at a champagne reception.

  • Rising Stars in Banking
  • Rising Stars in Consulting
  • Rising Stars in Investment Management
  • Rising Stars in Law
  • Rising Stars in Technology
  • Rising Stars in Insurance
  • Rising Stars in Media & Journalism
  • Rising Stars Personal & Exec Assistants
  • Rising Stars in Recruitment & HR
  • Rising Stars in Sport

Sponsors of each category will be announced on the 1st of June

Criteria for entries
  • Open to all women regardless of age
  • Nominees must be below management
  • Nominees must be working within the industry of the category they are nominated for
  • Individuals can nominate themselves
How we define a rising star
  • Someone who is making a difference in their industry
  • Someone who demonstrates passion and drive
  • Someone who gives back or inspires others
  • Someone who is recognised by others as having the potential to become a future leader in their industry
The Process
  • 01 June: Nominations open for all categories
  • 26 June: Nominations close for all categories
  • 20 July: Top 10 short list from each category announced/public voting opens for all shortlisted nominees
  • 31 July: Public voting closes for all shortlisted nominees
  • 01 September: Top 5 Rising Stars for each category announced
  • Sept TBC: Top 50 Rising Stars drinks reception and awards for winners, guests and sponsors
Don't delay, visit us to nominate your rising star on the 1st of June

Rising Stars logo

60 Seconds with... Kate Russell, BBC Click presenter and technology journalist

kate russell BBC Click By Adam LeachWe caught up with Kate Russell at the recent Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Women Talk IT: event and asked her to share her top career tips in just 60 seconds.  A tall order, but she managed it! 

These 60 second career clips are normally reserved for our careers club members, however, as a special treat we decided to share Kate’s clip for the benefit of all WeAreTheCity members.

60 Seconds with.. are a series of short videos exclusively on WeAreTheCity Careers Club. To see more and find out more about joining Careers Club, click here

Kate Russell is a journalist, reporter, and author who has been writing about gaming, technology and the Internet since 1995. Best known for weekly appearances on the BBC’s technology programme she frequently appears on TV radio and in magazines as a technology expert, and also has regular columns in National Geographic Traveller and the BBC’s Focus magazines. She is the author of two books; Working the Cloud, a guide to using the internet in business; and Elite: Mostly Harmless, Kate’s debut science fiction novel set in the gaming world of Elite, which achieved over 400% of its funding goal on Kickstarter. In addition, Kate speaks regularly at technology events and conferences, and in schools and universities, inspiring the next generation of technologists. She is also very involved in UK and global policy meetings to help shape the way the internet is governed.

To find out more click here

Follow Kate on Twitter here

Women 5.0 Event | In pictures

On the 26th February 2015, 200 female technologists from all sectors attended the Morgan Stanley & WeAreTheCity Women 5.0 'The Changing Face of Women in Technology'
Women 5.0 Auditorium
Morgan Stanley Auditorium

With fantastic, inspiring and engaging speeches from;

  • Dame Stephanie Shirley, Technology Icon, British Businesswoman and Philanthropist
  • India Gary-Martin, Ex-Chief Operating Officer, Technology & Ops, Entrepreneur
  • Ulla Harker, Morgan Stanley, Executive Director

Panelists and Facilitation

  • Gerard Hester, Morgan Stanley, Managing Director
  • Vanessa Vallely, Managing Director, WeAreTheCity
  • Amina Elderfield, Morgan Stanley, Executive Director

We would also like to thank all of our guests for their engagement as well as the logistic teams at Morgan Stanley and WeAreTheCity.   We look forward to seeing you at Women 6.0 next year.

See below for pictures of this fantastic event;


Inspirational Woman: Kate Russell | TV Presenter | BBC Click

By Adam Leach
By Adam Leach

Kate Russell is a journalist, reporter and author who has been writing about gaming, technology and the Internet since 1995. Best known for weekly appearances on BBC technology programme Click, she is a frequent face on TV, radio and in magazines as a technology expert, with regular columns in National Geographic Traveller and BBC Focus magazines. She is author of two books; Working the Cloud, a business book about the internet and Elite: Mostly Harmless, her debut science fiction novel based in the gaming world of Elite, which achieved over 400% of its funding goal on Kickstarter. In addition, Kate speaks regularly at technology events and conferences and in schools and universities, inspiring the next generation of technologists. She is also very involved in UK and global policy meetings to help shape the way the internet is governed. For more information visit

Also not to be missed!  Watch our Exclusive 60 Seconds With.... video with Kate Russell - view here

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

When I meet people socially and they ask me what I do, I generally describe myself as a writer, as that is core to every aspect of my work and it’s the writing part that really makes me happy. If you asked someone who knows me through my work what I do they would most likely describe me as a TV presenter, as this is by far the most visible part of my career. Like so many freelancers these days though, I have a portfolio career that consists of many things, including TV reporting, magazine column writing, blogging, speaking at conferences and on panels, hosting awards ceremonies, lecturing at schools and universities and I give commentary on radio shows and other random media outlets. I have also now published two books, a business book about the internet and a science fiction novel based on the computer game that first sparked my passion for technology. We travelled a lot when I was growing up - around the UK but also spending time abroad in Kenya and Central America. This was because of my father’s work as an engineer. As far as education goes, I didn’t get on well with the rigid structure of academia back in the 70s and 80s when I was in school, so left at aged 17 and have made my own way through life sucking up as much knowledge as possible about the things that interest me and taking every strange career opportunity that fell in my path which sounded like it could be fun and enough of a challenge to hold my interest.

When I was 15 I told the careers officer in school I wanted to be a dolphin trainer.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

When I was 15 I told the careers officer in school I wanted to be a dolphin trainer. They sent me to a dog kennels for work experience and I spent the entire week mincing and bagging up green tripe to sell in the shop. That was the closest I ever got to actually planning a career. Because I had no qualifications after leaving school I didn’t think there were any real ‘career paths’ open to me. I would change jobs every 6 months to a year because I would get bored of the routine and lack of challenge in the kinds of roles I was going for - estate agency, payroll clerk, waitress, barmaid, cleaner, etc. So my only real career plan was to keep scouring the newspapers for a job that sounded more exciting that the one I was currently doing.

Have you faced any challenges along the way and if so, how did you deal with them?

Life is full of challenges - I’m pretty sure that’s not just the case for me. I love challenges, they make me feel alive and keep me alert and striving to improve, so I deal with them by embracing them. Since going freelance 20 years ago the main challenges have been around managing my finances so that I can ride the quiet periods without getting too stressed, and maintaining my motivation to deliver great content to deadline in spite of the distractions around me at home.

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

There is no such thing as a typical work day! Seriously! But if I am spending the day in my office it starts about 7.30am with coffee and ploughing through emails & social media… by about 9 or 10am I have generally cleared the decks and can get on with whatever contract I am working on that day - it could be research, writing, building a presentation, planning a lecture, developing a talk, writing scripts, recording screenshots, writing blog content, working on my next book, marketing my current books, broadcast streaming… anything really. I am generally working on at least 3 contracts at any one time, so I will do a bit on each depending on my schedule - which is blocked out by the hour in my diary. The day ends when I have crossed the last thing off my list. Then I quickly check my communications channels to make sure everything can wait until the next day before heading to the kitchen to cook dinner!

Tell us a little bit about your role on BBC Click, how did that come about?

I have worked on BBC Click for 10 years now, creating 4 minutes of broadcast content reporting on developments on the web and now in mobile apps. I was brought into that team by Chris Long, who was my producer when I presented a technology show on Sky. Previous to that my first break into TV and journalism came in 1995 when I was selling CD manufacturing to games companies and one of my clients dared me to apply for a job presenting a weekly show on Nickelodeon and ITV about computer games. There is more about that journey in a blog post I wrote a few months ago here.

I get most frustrated with people who do not understand technology and are therefore afraid of it, blaming it for all the bad things that happen in the world.

What frustrates you from a technology perspective?

I get most frustrated with people who do not understand technology and are therefore afraid of it, blaming it for all the bad things that happen in the world. There are too many of these types of people in so-called ‘advisory roles’ with government and in the education sector and they try to stifle progress and innovation because they falsely believe that limiting technology’s influence on society will magically make everything better.

Girls have equal access to technology and now there are products, games and entertainment platforms that are fully gender neutral

There is an apparent shortage of women in technology roles, what do you think could be done to encourage more women to pursue technology careers?

That is a huge question and one I have spent a lot of time pondering. In many ways I wish we could stop thinking and talking about gender in relation to technology, but the cancer of discrimination and bias has been allowed to grow deep roots over the past 3 or 4 decades so that’s not an option. Having said that I think the work being done now in schools and universities will really start to pay off over the next few decades. Girls have equal access to technology and now there are products, games and entertainment platforms that are fully gender neutral that will mean more girls evolve with an interest in technology. I watch my young nieces play with tablets and consoles and they all have smartphones. It’s not considered strange that they are into these pieces of tech like it was when I was a teenager getting into computers in the 80s. It’s up to we adults to make sure girls continue to get equal access to technology, and perhaps most importantly that boys have great role models so that they do not grow up with the same biased impressions of the tech world that our generation did. If we all do this job properly it should never even cross our children’s minds to use gender as a measuring stick for whether or not a person might be able to perform well in a tech environment.

I have grown to be fiercely independent and very self-motivated

Have you ever had a mentor or a sponsor or anyone who has helped your career?

I haven’t, no. Not in any formal capacity anyway. I think because of my upbringing I have grown to be fiercely independent and very self-motivated. I am also a perfectionist and find it hard to trust others and let go of control. Having said that though, I have a lot of clients who say lovely things about me and I consider every single person who has contracted me to create content and trusted me to develop creative ideas for them has been a massive help to my career. At the end of the day a freelancer with no clients is simply unemployed! Most recently I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my publisher, Dan Grubb, at Fantastic Books Publishing, who has given me the confidence to really believe in myself as a fiction author. I remember at first he had to keep telling me ‘you ARE a real author,’ and he backed up that supportive attitude with an open mind and incredibly fair treatment. I completely trust him, and at 46 years old this is a fairly new concept for me!

If you could change one thing for women in the workplace, what would it be?

The thing I would change is that gender is ever even considered when assessing a person’s ability or worth to a business.

If you were to look back in five years, what would you see in terms of your achievements?

I am now a bona fide fiction author, earning an actual living that can pay the bills out of telling stories. I have had great success with my first published novel, and I have my fans and readers to thank for that. I cannot believe how lucky I am that people want to pay their hard-earned cash to peek inside my imagination. I am also incredibly fortunate that my public profile allows me to raise money for charity just by doing the things I love. This Christmas I raised over £7,000 for a charity called Special Effect, that helps physically disabled people play video games. The charity has recently honoured me with a Vice Presidency, which alongside publishing my books is definitely one of my proudest achievements.

Tell us about your plans for the future?

My next novel is already signed for publishing and due out as soon as I can get it finished - hopefully in a few months. I actually wrote it 10 years ago and am now doing a rewrite applying the knowledge I have learned since then. I don’t have a plan for the future as such, but my dream for myself is that people continue to be interested in what I have to say and the stories that I tell, and that it brings joy and laughter to them and me; and that it continues to pay the mortgage and put food on my table.


60 Seconds with.. are a series of short videos exclusively on WeAreTheCity Careers Club. To see more and find out more about joining Careers Club, click here

Interview with the Most Influential Woman in UK IT 2014: Wendy Hall

Dame-Wendy-Hall-290px_290X230Solving the gender imbalance in the IT sector is not just an issue for women to sort out, but men too, according to Wendy Hall, professor of computer science at the University of Southampton, who has been named Computer Weekly’s Most Influential Woman in UK IT 2014.

Now in its third year, the Computer Weekly Most Influential Women in UK IT awards focus on role models and discuss the vital part that female IT leaders will play in making a difference to the future of IT.

Hall was unveiled as the Most Influential Woman in UK IT 2014 at an event in London on 3 July, which featured talks from male and female industry experts.

Long list of achievements

Hall topped the list due to her many achievements. She started out by studying undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in mathematics at the University of Southampton. She returned to the university in 1984 to join a newly created computer science group. There her team invented the Microcosm hypermedia system.

In 1994, she was appointed as the university's first female professor of engineering. She then served as head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science from 2002 to 2007.

In 2000, she was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list, in addition to becoming a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng).

Along with Tim Berners-Lee, Nigel Shadbolt and Daniel Weitzner, she founded the Web Science Research Initiative, which was launched in 2006.

She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2009 New Year's Honours.


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In her shoes: Lotte Nickel | Vice President - Technology, Morgan Stanley

Lotte Nickel is a Vice President on the Matrix platform, part of the Institutional Securities Group Technology division at Morgan Stanley. Born and brought up in Germany, she did her BSc. at the University for Applied Sciences in Wiesbaden and then moved to Dublin for further studies and graduated with a Master of Science by Research from Trinity College Dublin in 2006.

She is a Careers City Rising Star following her being nominated by Morgan Stanley.

Tell us a little bit about a day in the life of a VP in Technology

Up until a month ago, I was a developer, leading smaller projects doing mostly HTML5 development – which I loved. I was recently appointed as a delivery manager for our Matrix Content– which is a much bigger project.  My new role involves new challenges, requiring me to better manage my schedule, working with and organising my team, while co-ordinating with other groups on the project and managing issues.

What did you study or what experience did you obtain in order to get in to your current role?

I did a BSc in Computer Science in Germany and then a MSc at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. I met some Morgan Stanley representatives at a career event and was fascinated by the variety of technology systems employed by the Firm and by the amazing graduate program that they offered.

Initially, I focussed only on development, but then started to take on more responsibility by leading projects. Another important aspect that helped me develop my career was having a wide network internally and enjoying working with others in a team.

What do you most enjoy about your role?

I enjoy the challenging and time-constrained projects most of all. One of the highlights of my career at Morgan Stanley is the work I did on an HTML5 iPad app, used to support clients (i.e. board members, CFO, CIO) during IPOs. To be on the cutting edge of technology is very interesting and challenging – we only had two months to work on the initial version of the app and had to write a lot of code from scratch, as no libraries existed yet. As the date of an IPO is set in stone, it was great to have a working app ready on time and support the go-live in New York.

Can you tell us a little bit about what is great about working at Morgan Stanley?

To start with, there is the graduate program, which is great in helping to build a global network, brush up on technologies and get to know Morgan Stanley before moving into a team. Then, there is the variety of projects that I work on, without having to move teams. I love to be challenged and keep learning and I feel my role caters to this! Another great thing is the amount and variety  of training opportunities (technology, finance, management, ..), networks, mentors and social events.

Do you network either internal or externally?

Mostly internally. I am on the ‘Social and Charity Committee’ for technology which provides a variety of fun, charitable networking events (such as Summer BBQs, dragon boat racing, bowling, quiz nights,  or wine tasting). It is great to be involved in creating events for others and it means I get to meet many people. As I lived in Ireland for a few years, I am also a member of the Internal Irish Network (Net-Éire).

Tell us about your own career aspirations?

I have recently been promoted to Vice President and started a new role. It is challenging, as I have moved from a mostly developer role to being a delivery manager on a large project. There are many things to learn such as team management, expectation management and budget planning. Once I have mastered the first year as Vice President, I will start looking at working towards promotion to the next level, Executive Director.

What advice would you give to someone wanting a career in Technology?

Technology is a very wide field at Morgan Stanley – from a front-office role working with traders, application development with business exposure, language expert for other technologists to an engineer working on networks – each role has its advantages and different challenges. The one bit of advice I would give is to do internships as early as possible in your career.