Flavilla Fongang featured

Inspirational Woman: Flavilla Fongang | Founder, 3 Colours Rule & TLA Black Women In Tech

Flavilla Fongang

Flavilla Fongang is a serial entrepreneur, author and the founder of 3 Colours Rule, an award-winning branding and neuromarketing agency.

Computer Weekly named her among the top 5 most influential women in tech in the UK. Through her agency, she has helped her clients scale their brand nationally and internationally. She was awarded the “She’s Mercedes” businesswoman award by Mercedes Benz. Flavilla Fongang is a respected brand strategist with neuromarketing expertise and the creator of the D.A.C. system and The “Beyond marketing” strategy. Flavilla is the brand advisor for the BBC and provides regularly actionable brand strategy advice on live radio and TV. She is also the founder of Tech London Advocates for Black Women in Tech.  She hosts Tech Brains Talk podcast providing insights and advice to tech entrepreneurs and companies. She is also the author of “99 strategies to get customers”.

She has been a keynote speaker for the most prestigious international events, such as AdWeek, HubSpot, DMWF, MozCon, AdWorld, Upgrade100, CTA, MarTech and many more.

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

I run an award-winning branding and neuromarketing agency called 3 Colours Rule. I was named by Computer Weekly named the top 5 most influential women in tech in the UK. Through my agency, I help clients scale their brand nationally and internationally. I was awarded the “She’s Mercedes” businesswoman award by Mercedes Benz. I’m a brand strategist with neuromarketing expertise and the creator of the D.A.C. system and The “Beyond marketing” strategy. I’m the brand advisor for the BBC and provided regularly actionable brand strategy advice on live radio and TV. I was also the founder of Tech London Advocates for Black Women in Tech.  I host Tech Brains Talk podcast providing insights and advice to tech entrepreneurs and companies. I’m also the author of “99 strategies to get customers”.

I have been a keynote speaker for the most prestigious international events, such as AdWeek, HubSpot, DMWF, MozCon, AdWorld, Upgrade100, CTA, MarTech and many more.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Not really, I must say, lol. The only thing I wanted from my career was creativity, excitement and impact. I’m really happy with this so far.

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

Oh yes many! Opportunities were often given to the same people, so I decided to create my own opportunities. When they didn’t give me a seat at the table, I made my own table and brought the right people around me. As the women in a men’s world, my imposter syndrome used to kick in, but I now remind myself that I’m a Queen, the most piece of a chess board. If there isn’t like me in the room, I’m essential,

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

I’m so lucky to have achieved so many amazing things. I’m really proud of creating Tech London Advocates Black Women in Tech. TLA Black Women has become bigger than me with Black women and allies around the world who have been able to connect. I’m so happy to have created a network where Black women can recognise themselves, feel valued, be themselves and no longer feel alone. That is important to me.

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

I’m fearless which means if I want to do something. I do it. I embrace fear and move forward. I remind myself that fear is a liar that will prevent me to take risks in life. My biggest achievements have been achieved by not worrying about what others think of me, trust myself and doing it.

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

If you are requested to do a task, always go beyond, always exceed expectations. It’s okay if people underestimate you, surprise them.

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

Oh yes, many barriers and unfortunately there are invisible. We are now we seeing more and more allies understanding that we, as minorities, can’t fight these disparities alone. To overcome we need to carry on highlighting the work women have done so we can change the narrative and aspire young girls to believe in themselves.

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

We need more leaders within businesses supporting women to give them the experience and the know-how to progress within their career. We need to create working environments that don’t require women to choose between their children and their career.  We need more allies, especially more white men at the top, to champion change as they hold the power.

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?

Wake up anyone who isn’t aware of their privilege so they think about hiring or promoting women as a necessity.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

I recommend listening to my podcast, Tech Brains Talk to hear wise advice and amazing strategies from great entrepreneurs. My favourite app is blinkist, to discover summary audio books. I invite everyone to discover TLA Black Women in Tech who welcome Black women and allies. I also recommend reading 15 minutes per day. I love this book: Never Spilt The Difference.


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


Kickstart for Airnow’s cyber women

Paige Quinn-Jaggar and Ayman Farooq really are pioneers in the male-dominated world of cybersecurity. Sadly, they are also the exception to the rule with women making up just 8% of professionals in a technology sector that is constantly growing in profile and importance.

With ever-growing threats from around the globe, increasing in both intensity and complexity, the role of cybersecurity becomes ever more important. Protecting sensitive and critical data is a key priority in both public and private sectors. 

Paige, who works within the marketing department of Leeds-based Airnow Cybersecurity, has benefited from the Government’s Kickstart scheme along with Airnow colleague Ayman Farooq who has established herself in sales.

Kickstart provided funding to employers to create jobs for those aged 16 to 24. The scheme, which ran until the start of May 2022, has benefited many young jobseekers across the UK.

Paige, who started with Airnow in 2021, explained: “Women are clearly within the minority but schemes such as Kickstart have sought to redress the balance and has given myself and Ayman a foot up into the fast-moving world of cybersecurity.

The kickstart scheme has helped to create a more diverse workforce as companies have recruited individuals that perhaps might never have considered a career in technology.

“It may well be that women are simply unaware of the opportunities or that this sector is considered too technical or traditionally male dominated but a big part of it, in my opinion, is down to education and the way girls in school are not encouraged to go down the tech route.

“Women account for just 8% of employees in cybersecurity and only 19% in technology as a whole. Those are shocking figures and represent some of the worst disparities across all industries. 

Level Up Summit 2022

Don’t miss our Level Up Summit on 06 December, where we’re tackling the barriers for women in tech head on. Join us for keynotes, panels, Q&A’s & breakout sessions on finance, people management, negotiation, influencing skills, confidence building, building internal networks, maximising the power of mentorship, and much more. 

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“Whilst it’s a shame to see the Kickstart scheme come to an end, it’s heartening to see that there are other initiatives aimed at encouraging women into a cybersecurity career.

“The CyberFirst programme, for instance, includes some positive initiatives that are helping to buck the trend. It was launched in 2016 by the National Cyber Security Centre, which forms part of GCHQ, and includes female only competitions as well as training and apprenticeships.

“That is a good place to start for any woman interested in cybersecurity.

“Anything the men can do; we can do just as well given the chance. We just need those chances!” concluded Paige. 


Inspirational Woman: Melissa Snover | Founder & CEO, Nourished

Meet Melissa Snover | Founder & CEO, Nourish3d

Melissa Snover

Melissa Snover has been an entrepreneur since the age of 23 and has built a reputation for being one of the leading visionaries in the world of food technology and 3D printing.

She is currently the founder and CEO of Rem3dy Group, which pioneers 3D-printed personalised health solutions across nutrition and medicine under the brands Nourished and Scripted.

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

I’m the founder and CEO of Rem3dy Group, a start-up that is developing 3D-printed personalised health solutions in both medicine (Scripted) and preventative health (Nourished).

I began my career as an entrepreneur after studying Business Management and Political Science at the University of Colorado Boulder, and the renowned Lancaster University, in Great Britain. At 23 I co-founded the financial services company Burton Mortgage Services, which I managed to guide to treble-figure growth in its first three years. In 2009 I sold my interest in Burton Mortgage Services and then redirected my focus to the confectionery industry.

In 2010, I set up my first consumer goods brand, Goody Good Stuff, which created the world’s first vegan, natural and allergen free confectionary. When I initially launched GGS, vegan products were not mainstream, meaning that we soon became market leaders in our field and were stocked in twenty-seven countries worldwide.  However, I became frustrated by the limitations of mainstream manufacturing as I couldn’t create the bespoke flavours and textures my individual customers wanted in an impactful and scalable way. I sold Goody Good Stuff to Cloetta in 2013 and started to explore my vision for real customisation in the confectionary industry. During this time, I met with the team at Katjes and considered how we could use 3D printing technology to introduce real customisation into the confectionery industry.

After an intense period of R&D, I developed and patented a 3D printer that could create personalised gummy candy on the spot and Katjes Magic Candy Factory was born. We launched this concept into specialist retail and theme parks all over the world and delighted guests at events hosted by organisations such as Facebook, Nickelodeon and CitiBank.

Following the success of using 3D printers in the food industry, I decided to optimise our technology to cater to the health and wellness industry and founded my current business Rem3dy Health.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I never set out to become an entrepreneur, but instead have followed by passions and adapted my skills to compliment my career. Nutrition has always been a passion of mine, but the idea for Nourished came to me completely by accident. At the time I was popping multiple different vitamin pills each day. I travel a lot for work and one day, when I was travelling through Dusseldorf Airport, I accidentally spilt a whole bag of vitamins across the floor. As I was scrambling to pick them all up in my suit and heels, I realised there must be a more effective way to take all your supplements in one go.

After the success of Katjes Magic Candy Factory, I knew that personalised products were the future. In the 21st century, you can personalise everything from your clothes to your home wear, so why not your health and nutrition? I believe that products specifically created for the consumers’ needs are critical in the health industry and the use of our of patented 3D printing technology has enabled us to create bespoke solutions on a mass scale and in real time.

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

We launched Nourished two and a half months before the Covid-19 pandemic, so it wasn’t the best time to start a new business. The pandemic proved to be a challenging time for most businesses, so being in our infancy was a very fragile time for us. However, Nourished was able to thrive due to the rising demand for health and wellness products, our onsite manufacturing and our agile start-up mentality. The company grew from four to forty-four employees, with subscriber growth of 300% in just nine months.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

After setting up Nourished in 2019 the company has gone from strength to strength. Hearing all the amazing customer feedback is a big reward for me. It’s amazing to hear how much Nourished has helped people feel like the best version of themselves, whether this is by increasing their energy levels or helping to improve their skin. Customer feedback is vital to me, so listening to how much Nourished has had a positive impact on people’s lives is a hugely rewarding.

Another achievement I am very proud of was in 2019 when we raised the highest-ever female founder seed round in UK history for Rem3dy. I’m am a passionate advocate for women’s equal access to finance and wholeheartedly hope that accomplishments such as this help to inspire and motivate a new generation of female founders.

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

I think remaining resilient in the face of challenges has been a major factor in the success of my businesses. After the start of the pandemic, our team consistently preserved and pivoted to the ever-evolving landscape, enabling our business to grow and develop. We have also been extremely efficient in refining our supply chain, choosing local suppliers wherever possible and manufacturing our products onsite in Birmingham. This has enabled us to adapt extremely quickly to consumer demands and market trends and introduce new products to the Nourished line-up.

Level Up Summit 2022

Don’t miss our Level Up Summit on 06 December, where we’re tackling the barriers for women in tech head on. Join us for keynotes, panels, Q&A’s & breakout sessions on finance, people management, negotiation, influencing skills, confidence building, building internal networks, maximising the power of mentorship, and much more. 

BUY YOUR TICKETS

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

Commit your time and efforts into establishing your brand and compile data so you know exactly what your customers want. It is important to create a business that delivers a clear benefit to the end consumer, rather than just developing a technology which you think is cool.

The technology industry is still very male-dominated, but you should never let this affect your decision or confidence as a female entrepreneur. It is by breaking down these stereotypes and traditions that will encourage other women in our industry to pursue their dreams and develop their skillsets.

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

You just need to look at the numbers to see that there are far fewer women in the technology sector than men. However, I do believe change is possible and while there is a significant way to go, women are starting to pave their way in STEM and pursue careers that that have previously been dominated by men.

Female role models are integral to the technology industry as they encourage even more women to be ambitious and strive for their goals. Once you see one person who has made it, you soon realise that you too could walk in their shoes. Seeing women breaking down those gender barriers, being confident in their own abilities and achieving significant funding for their projects will all encourage other women to do the same.

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

I think businesses need to work more to understand the level of gender diversity in their company, and if they find it is lacking, put in place a robust plan to attract and keep women in their workforce.

Working with universities and other higher education institutions is a great place to start and there are some incredible programmes that promote STEM to girls in schools which show them that they can join a career in tech and be very successful.

There are 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?

We really need to educate women and girls that a successful job in technology is a realistic career option for them. We should provide them with mentors in the industry, provide internships and expose children in schools to technology at an earlier age so they understand exactly how vital it is in our day-to-day lives.

It’s also important that we teach people how diverse this space is, and that working in the technology sector doesn’t mean you are limited to coding. Those preconceptions can add barriers to people wanting to enter the industry, so we need to spread awareness of how exciting and vast the technology sector is.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

I think networking is hugely important for advancing your career in technology. I find it incredibly interesting speaking to other people in my field at events across the country and abroad, to learn how they face challenges and grow their businesses.


Interviewing while Black: How tech companies can increase its pipeline of candidates by embracing enhanced hiring techniques

Tech Interview Featured

Article by Portia Kibble Smith, Head of D&I at Karat

Job interviews can make even the most confident person feel vulnerable.

But interview anxiety can be especially detrimental for people who are already under pressure to conform to cultural norms and present themselves a certain way. Unfortunately, these anxieties are amplified for Black engineers and undergraduates entering the tech industry with little to no interview practice/experience and who also face a compounding effect of racial bias and stereotyping in white-male dominated spaces.

According to a recent study from Karat, these challenges were even more acute for Black females, who face a compounding effect of gender and racial bias in white-male-dominated spaces. According to the report, black females reported feeling extreme levels of interview anxiety twice as frequently as their male counterparts. Thirty-seven percent of black women rated their interview anxiety at a 9 or 10 on a scale of 0 to 10 compared to just 18% of black men. Black females also demonstrated high levels of imposter syndrome more frequently than men (40% compared to 31%).

After years within the industry, I know the high-pressure interview situations. As one of the first Black women in tech in the 1980s, I was determined to climb the corporate ladder despite countless obstacles. D&I programs were “virtually nonexistent” in those days. But one opportunity led to another and I eventually became an executive recruiter at Sprint, helping the company build inroads into leading MBA programs and HBCUs in pursuit of the best candidates for roles as future officers of the company/firm.

When I first started at IBM, I was the only Black woman on the sales team and garnered many strange looks and comments from customers. At the time, women and minorities were rarely given the opportunity to work in the large accounts division in sales. I’ve even faced meetings with customers who would get up and leave because I didn’t “look” like I worked at IBM. Nevertheless, despite all of the negativity and racism, I showed up and didn’t allow anyone to intimidate me from reaching success.

But for those just entering the field, this process and the anxieties associated with interviewing can result in physical reactions. Many black women go into interviews knowing they need to perform at a higher level than their peers and are more self-conscious because they are intentionally trying to avoid the perceived stereotypes of “aggressive behaviors.” This includes the natural reaction to stress like sweat, physically shifting, and involuntary body language, which can be perceived as being deceptive or not allowing the candidate to focus on acing the interview to secure the job.

Some of the participants of the Access Gap Report stated the following about their interviewing experiences:

My greatest challenge is not seeing a lot of women, especially Black women, in the field. I am so nervous that interviewers won’t like me or that I will say something that makes it seem that I am unable to do the job or any job in the field for that matter. Also, because I am a dark skin plus-sized woman, I worry about not looking the part for someone in a business setting.

Closing the Access Gap Within Tech

Socioeconomic factors such as access to personal computers and computer science education at an early age require long-term investments and systemic changes to American primary education. Still, there are also immediate ways for organizations to build more equity into hiring today. Here are three steps organizations can take to improve diversity hiring and increase retention of technical talent.

Make the interview process transparent

When candidates have inside knowledge of a company and its hiring process, they are better prepared due to networking or referrals. Hiring managers should ask themselves if a candidate who is interviewing without knowing anyone at their company has the same understanding of the interview process and questions as one who has an “in” with someone on the team.

Failing to do this will artificially benefit people from similar backgrounds as your existing team, resulting in hires that consciously or unconsciously prioritize interpersonal relationships and subjective “likeability” over skill. Consequently, this leads to less diverse and ultimately less effective teams, hurting both the efficiency and equity of the hiring process.

Create interview practice opportunities with second chances

Offer multiple interview opportunities to candidates. One way to do this is by giving candidates the ability to redo their technical interview if they’re not satisfied with their performance.

In fact, the preliminary results from Karat’s Brilliant Black Minds practice interview program also reinforce this best practice. Brilliant Black Minds offers HBCU computer science students multiple practice interviews. After each interview, students received written and verbal feedback on their strengths and opportunities for growth, followed by a second interview opportunity. Seventy-six percent of participants who received practice interviews focusing on data structures maintained or improved their scores, and 85% of participants who received algorithm interviews maintained or improved.

Foster inclusion with support and mentoring

Not seeing people within production, leadership, and C-suite roles can make the candidate feel out of place. According to Code2040, “while Black and Latinx people earn nearly 20% of computer science bachelor’s degrees, they make up only around 5% of the technical workforce at top tech companies. Only 2-5.3% of tech executives are Black and 3.1-5.3% are Latinx.”

Factors that can impact imposter syndrome include first exposure to computer science and the lack of representation within the tech companies – within leadership and C-suite roles.

To address this, engineering teams can create a more inclusive culture by providing support for engineers of color in the form of mentorship opportunities and creating a more transparent structure around roles.

In technical interviews, where applicants are supposed to be judged by “experts” on their skills, bias and perpetuated stereotypes must be checked at the door. And then proactively corrected throughout the recruiting and hiring process to create more equitable experiences and higher retention rates.

COVID-19 presented organizations with the opportunity to get out of their limited referral networks and recruit from new or non-traditional sources – including HBCUs and local colleges. But organizations also must ensure that they’re setting up interviewees and future employees for success in the hiring process by reducing the inconsistencies and bad interviewing practices that cause anxiety and produce false negatives. This can be achieved by adding transparency, creating practice opportunities, and providing career support for employees.

Portia Kibble SmithAbout Author

Portia Kibble Smith is an executive recruiter and diversity & inclusion lead for Karat, a company that conducts technical interviews on behalf of businesses hiring software engineers to create a more predictive, fair, and inclusive process. She has recently been the driving force behind the Real Talk: Diversity in Tech series and the launch of Brilliant Black Minds.


Niki Addison featured

Inspirational Woman: Niki Addison | Customer Success Director, Babble

Meet Niki Addison, Customer Success Director, Babble

Niki Addison

Niki Addison is the Customer Success Director at Babble. In this piece, she talks to us about her career journey to date, why joining the tech sector is her biggest achievement and what companies can to do support women in the industry.

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

I didn’t start my career in tech – I was initially a Buyer for major retailers such as Morrisons Supermarkets, JJB and American Golf. I held a variety of positions during my time in retail, including advising for some of the largest sports retailers in category buying and trading management. All these roles provided me with valuable skills that have helped me in my tech career.

After over 20 years in retail, I made the move to tech eight years ago when I joined Concert Networks, a specialist in VoIP telephony and connectivity. Initially, my role there involved assessing business performance to remove any inefficiencies and, as the company grew, to put robust processes in place to ensure the organisation kept up with the company’s rate of change.

I started at Concert Networks on a part-time basis, which then grew into additional days when I took on the role of Operations Director. Then as my interest and love for the company grew, I was asked to become the Managing Director which diversified my role and deepened my understanding of all aspects of the business.

Last year, Concert Networks was successfully acquired by Babble, and I was offered the opportunity to join Babble and set up a completely new function – Customer Success. The last ten months have been hectic and exciting, developing a function that sits as a jigsaw piece between Sales, Operations and Finance.

My team’s aim is to look at process improvements from the viewpoint of the customer. We want it to be easy to do business with Babble and we strive for speed of resolution on any issues to nurture a happy, satisfied, customer base. We do this by having a set of skilled tech professionals in the team, who each specialise in different pillars of the business, meaning they can quickly resolve any issues with their specific knowledge on a particular sector.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

During my Buying days I certainly did, but then the last eight years have happened without almost any planning. I didn’t plan to work in tech, but I am very glad I do now.

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

There was one occasion when I was asked to execute a strategy I fundamentally disagreed with. I did what I would advise anyone to do in that situation, which was put my reasoning forward and offer an alternative. Unfortunately, on that occasion, it resulted in a parting of ways. I felt I would not be able to stick to my promises if I wasn’t engaged or working on a project I believed in. Knowing when to speak up and when to move on is important.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

Tech is an exciting place to work as it’s always evolving. I would say my biggest career achievement to date is joining the sector. It was a leap of faith after more than 20 years in a very different area of work, yet being able to transfer my skills and continue to develop them through consistent learning means I feel fulfilled and satisfied.

Level Up Summit 2022

Don’t miss our Level Up Summit on 06 December, where we’re tackling the barriers for women in tech head on. Join us for keynotes, panels, Q&A’s & breakout sessions on finance, people management, negotiation, influencing skills, confidence building, building internal networks, maximising the power of mentorship, and much more. 

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

Integrity – I don’t play games. What you see is what you get. I take ownership.

I also always strive to be a true team player – I want everyone working with me to be the best they can be. They should be better than me in what they specialise in, as it’s impossible for me to know everything, and environments thrive when everyone is learning from each other.

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

Stay up to date and know what’s coming next and how that will affect your customers.

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

I think success is based on the individual, whether male or female. It’s clear there are less women in tech, but if anyone entering tech is focused on what they want to achieve, I think they can overcome any barriers they face along the way.

To women, I’d say look for businesses that believe in your success and don’t focus on gender – they are out there.

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

It’s a sensitive subject but one we shouldn’t shy away from. Women on occasion want more flexibility than men. That isn’t to say men don’t – some do – but being mindful of this is crucial. However, I would advise people search for a business that offers flexibility and who want you on their team because you are great at the role, not because you are there five days a week, 9am to 5pm. More businesses should adopt this mentality too. Providing flexibility for all should be the future of work.

 If you are looking at a move to a tech company, ask yourself; what does their leadership team look like? What’s the mix when you look on LinkedIn? Reach out to people there. I’m fortunate Babble doesn’t hire people because we are filling a “female” quota – we look at “can you be brilliant in the role?” Gender doesn’t matter here, so seek out more businesses like Babble.

There are currently only 21 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?

Do more at high schools and let future generations know that it’s an option for all.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

WeAreTechWomen, obviously!


Rebecca Gray | Kaluza

Rebecca is a self confessed product geek, who is extremely passionate about inspiring and developing the next generation of awe inspiring world-class women product leaders.

She has experience across a range of industries including education, healthcare, financial services and energy. Her expertise lies in helping product leaders to craft and shape their vision and strategy around real user needs. She organises the vibrant Product Tank Bristol community where she’s passionate about sharing best product practices in an inclusive environment to raise the bar of product.


Paulette Watson | Academy Achievers

Global Tech Disruptor + Digital Transformation Consultant

Paulette Watson is the Founder and MD at STEM Academy Achievers Ghana (SAAG) we work with children and young people who experience real trauma and come from undeserving communities in Ghana. We are currently leading on Science Technology Engineering Math activities.

We are currently leading the: #BeMe digital inclusion program - which aims to raise one million women and girls' aspirations in STEM |WEB3-related careers. We wanted to address the disparities around women in the tech space

#BeMe digital inclusion model

Focuses on: Supporting/Advising females in Tech |Web3 industry

It is goal orientated

Outcomes:

  • Access to meaningful employment/training/education
  • Social capital/Social networks
  • Job searching skills
  • Career readiness
  • Employability
  •  Confidence
  • Personal Effectiveness
  • Wellbeing

Paulette is currently involved with the UN pulse on developing an ethical framework for Ghana, "Championing Ethics in AI Technology" helping shape policies to include #BeMe female socially.

  • She is looking at funding projects that include more women and helps them to understand the challenges they are facing on a day-to-day basis in Ghana
  • Collaborating with AI organizations and universities to develop proper training on data evaluation and spotting the potential for bias in data – so we can ensure that #BeMe women are socially included and their human rights protected.
  • Understanding the intersectional implications that AI has on criminal & racial justice, immigration, healthcare, gender equity, and current social movements. Giving the #BeMe females the opportunity to have a voice.
  • Enhancing Skills training – currently we are running an AI Robotic STEM Math session where our #BeMe women are training young people on AI – so we are starting with the young children to get more girls in this field before they start universities.

Digital inclusion goals to the United Nations (UN) sustainable development goals: Education #4 Quality Education: Entrepreneurialism #8 Decent work and economic growth: Innovation #9Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure: Social Inclusio#10 Reduced Inequalities

Additional information

Awards: Most Skillful Shepreneur for the Ghana Ladies in Tech (GLiT) 2021, Wintrade Global Award Women in Engineering 2019; Computer Weekly, listed on the longlist: The 50 Most Influential women in the UK Technology 2021; Nominated as the most influential women in Technology in the UK; shortlisted for the Women in Tech Excellence 2021 and Finalist for the National Diversity Award; where I will be dedicating my win to #BeMe project for raising 1 million BME girls’ aspirations in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers

Paulette is also writing her book on black women and girls’ experiences in getting into the tech industry in the United Kingdom.

Paulette is featured as 100 global women and Ambassador for Mission impact in WEB3 and Metaverse. In addition, Paulette is also a G100 Engineering Global Advisor council member for Digital and technology & WEB3.

Website: www.paulettewatson.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulette-watson/


Neha Malhotra | JP Morgan Chase

Neha Malhotra is an accomplished cybersecurity professional based in Singapore, with over 16 years of work experience spanning across technology and cybersecurity.

She has worked with global financial and consulting firms and has driven large scale, complex security transformations, regulatory compliance, and has a proven track record of implementing numerous security solutions. She started her career as a software developer but found her calling in cybersecurity. She worked hard to attain international and coveted security certifications and with her passion, focus and dedication, she successfully transitioned into a successful cybersecurity career where she continues to work hard and set high goals for herself. She is a role model to many young professionals.

Neha serves on the executive boards of (ISC)² Singapore chapter, Singapore Computer society-Cybersecurity chapter and is the Chair with (ISC)² APAC Events committee. She is a recognized speaker, author, mentor and volunteers her time on an ongoing basis to contribute to the cybersecurity ecosystem and community. Neha has contributed to the AiSP (Association of Security Professionals) Singapore's Body of Knowledge by contributing in their Blockchain security book of knowledge, and has been a judge for their annual cybersecurity awards thrice. She drives initiatives like the (ISC)² Women in Security, is the Singapore chapter ambassador and volunteers as an active mentor with various organizations. Recipient of numerous accolades from her employers and community, including coveted awards like 2022 IFSEC Global Cybersecurity professional award, two (ISC)² Global Achievement awards in 2021, Top 20 Women in Cybersecurity in Singapore, she was also chosen in the revered 2021 Singapore 100 Women in Tech awardee list.

Neha holds CISSP, CCSP, CISM, PMP and blockchain security certifications & believes in being a life-long learner.


Gemma Salus-Robbins | PwC

Gemma started her career in IT Outsourcing where she landed slightly by accident having done a non-technical degree in European Studies and French at university.

Working with global teams to deliver IT services to a range of clients in multiple sectors, Gemma found her passion for high quality IT delivery and client relationship management. Working up from an outsourcing graduate scheme to being the EMEA Account Executive for a multi-tower outsourcing client enabled Gemma to obtain a wide ranging view of the technologies supporting businesses and to be at the forefront of business-led transformation as clients began embracing cloud technologies.

This focus on technology-enabled transformation continued as Gemma joined PwC where she has led a diverse portfolio of technology projects and programmes. Supporting clients to define and implement IT strategies and Operating Models, identifying opportunities for modernisation, consolidation and transformation of legacy estates, and embracing new areas of industry technology like digital rail signalling to help clients transform the world around us.


Amna Habiba | BloomED Foundation (formerly Global Creative Hub)

Amna Habiba is a 16-year-old Pakistani, founder of BloomED Foundation (formerly Global Creative Hub) where she designs safe innovation spaces for marginalized female adolescents, Finalist for Global Student Prize, 2022 Global Teen Leader, international speaker with more than 100K views, STEM enthusiast, and on a mission to change the narrative for girls.

Recipient of Voice of GenZ Award, Young Achiever Award & Young Voices Award, featured by UN & Malala Fund, spoken at World Bank, UNESCO, IFC, and more; she is passionate about using digital for social good and the UN SDGs.

Amna is currently actively working on the STEM Girl innovation, for which she is also a finalist for the HP Girls Save The World Prize. She has organized & led multiple large-scale events for audiences ranging from teacher educators, youth changemakers, to marginalized communities. she is currently the voluntary Director of Youth Innovation & Technology at Teach the Future where she is designing 'Future Leader Program' for young people globally.