Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, She's In CTRL, Level Up 800x600

Grab your copy of Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon's new book, She's In CTRL, now!

Level Up Summit - Anne-Marie Imafidon

Grab your copy of Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE’s new book, She’s In CTRL – out today!

She’s In CTRL - Anne Marie ImafidonShe’s In CTRL is an inspirational exploration of why women are under-represented in tech, why it matters, and what we can do about it.

The tech world might feel beyond reach, particularly if you’re a woman. With increasingly frank admission women are woefully under-represented in tech – roughly a mere quarter of the UK STEM workforce – the dangerous fact is clear our technology is the product of a series of big decisions made by a small number of people, mainly men. Our lives have gone digital, but our technology risks being tailored to a section of society whose lived experience may be far from our own.

In She’s In CTRL, computer scientist Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, a dynamic advocate for women in STEM, calls time on women being cut out of the tech story. Technology is not an unchangeable force, nor the preserve of the elite, she argues. It is in our homes and in our hands. In her powerful book about women, tech and daring to dream, Dr Imafidon shows we have more agency than we think, drawing on her own experience and the stories of other pioneers and innovators who have, against the odds, transformed technology.

The world needs more women in tech and, in her inspiring narrative, Dr Imafidon shows not only why this is but how we can all play our part in ensuring a future that’s evenly distributed.

BUY YOUR COPY

Meet Anne-Marie at our Level Up Summit on 06 December

Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, Founder, Stemettes & Author of She’s In CTRL, is just one of our amazing speakers at our upcoming summit on 06 December. Anne-Marie will sharing stories from her book, including how she founded the amazing tech organisation Stemettes, why she believes women need to take back tech, the importance of role models and her top tips for for a successful technology career, and much more.

Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE

Hear from Anne-Marie about why you should join us at Level 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. 

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NIYO Group Bootcamp

Looking to get into tech & business? Apply for NIYO Group's Bootcamp for Black Female Entrepreneurs today!

NIYO Group Bootcamp

Are you interested in getting into tech and business? NIYO Group’s new bootcamp could be for you!

NIYO Group have launched their NIYO FoundHer accelerator – a Bootcamp specifically designed for Black Female entrepreneurs to champion diversity in innovation and entrepreneurship.

NIYO group has trained 100s of Black women under their Bootcamp brand; in XR, Data Analytics & Project Management, Software Development (in partnership with Coding Black Females), and Software & Systems Architecture. With the NIYO FoundHer Bootcamp, they are looking to build on their success by expanding their offerings to include Black Female entrepreneurs looking to launch or scale Tech driven businesses that leave a positive impact on those who engage with them.

The launch of the Bootcamp is timely, as recent research conducted by Aston University’s Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CRME) and NatWest, highlights that “an estimated 250,000 ethnic minority-led firms contribute around £25bn per annum to the UK economy. However, this contribution and ambition of Ethnic Minority Led Business are often constrained by multiple barriers throughout their entrepreneurial journey, particularly in accessing financial resources, wider markets, and appropriate support. Although ethnic minorities in the UK are consistently more entrepreneurial than the population generally, they are less likely to operate established or mature firms that generate stable income”. 

The NIYO FoundHer Bootcamp aims to break down the barriers faced by Ethnic Minority led businesses, but with a focus on Black Female-led businesses.

Speaking about the bootcamp, Oyinkansola Adebayo, CEO & Founder of NIYO Group said, “This Bootcamp was curated by myself and Laolu (COO at NIYO Group) with women like us in mind.”

“We have poured out our experience in business and the things we wish we were taught at the beginning of our journey.”

“This is not just like another accelerator, but an accelerator that enables our students to go to market as quickly as possible and supports them with the foundations for them to build thriving businesses”

Laolu Dada, COO at NIYO Group added, “We have waited a long time to launch this programme, and now is a perfect time.”

“The FoundHer Bootcamp is set up to break the barriers numerous Black females experience when launching a digital business”.

Over 16 weeks, the Bootcamp will cover areas a business needs to launch and scale.

The programme includes training on product development, pricing, sales, market research, raising finance, risk management, selling with PR, marketing and growth hacking, and building a brand identity. Participants will also be mentored by business experts and will get the opportunity to win £5,000 for their business. 

When do applications open?

Applications are open until the 14th of October 2022, to England-based businesses developing creative Tech solutions or looking for how to use Tech to scale (in delivery, quality assurance, or operations).

The Bootcamp will commence on the 9th of November 2022 and will last 16 weeks, culminating in a Demo Day in early 2023, at which several participants will have the opportunity to present their business to potential clients and investors. 

FIND OUT MORE & APPLY

coronavirus covid-19 vaccine in hands of pharmacuetical bio research scientist, biohealth

Women entering the health technology sector: Top tips on securing a role

coronavirus covid-19 vaccine in hands of pharmacuetical bio research scientist, biohealth

Article by Hannah Jones, Head of People and Culture at Radar Healthcare

In a traditionally male-dominated industry like health technology, which is growing and evolving at a rapid rate, it is important for HR teams to be recruiting the right talent.

Candidates need to be passionate about the sector, and have the willingness to adapt their career trajectories through internal training and career development opportunities.

I also believe that the appetite from females to work in the health technology sector is also growing, due in part to the huge surge in digital health products marketed towards women (dubbed by some as ‘FemTech’).

These kinds of female focused products, which include ovulation and menstrual trackers, as well as contraceptive microchips, are overwhelmingly headed up by female CEO’s, and seeing women in these kind of leadership roles is no doubt inspiring a new generation of young workers to enter our field.

The gender divide within health technology

Here at Radar Healthcare, our gender split is around 60/40 in favour of males across the company, but with females much more likely to be working in customer facing or marketing roles as opposed to their male counterparts, who dominate the more technical roles.

I believe there are a number of reasons behind why women are less inclined to be applying for roles within the sector at present. Firstly, it might not feel like the most accessible industry to step into without any previous experience, when in fact there is a huge abundance of progression available in order to help place suitable candidates into roles in which they will flourish.

Some of the female employees here at Radar Healthcare have joined the company after previously working within more traditional healthcare settings. One notable member of staff previously worked in a care home and was already working on certain elements of auditing prior to her career changes. This previous experience helps her to understand the Radar Healthcare products more thoroughly, as she has the ability to grasp precisely how the end user will be benefitting from our software and systems.

Secondly, the A-Levels and University choices associated with the health tech sector are more alligned with subjects more likely to have been considered male focused. Therefore, when female graduates see roles advertised they may feel less confident in their ability to apply, or focus on elements of the job they feel they won’t be able to do, rather than the ones they know they can.

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

Advice for those looking to work in health technology

There are definitely some key points to bear in mind if you are looking to change career paths and feel like health technology might be a good fit for you.

First of all, research and actively look for organisations that are going to give you the opportunity to carry out varied training and that look to promote individuals in entry level roles to more senior roles internally, rather than recruiting externally. Here at Radar Healthcare, we’ve seen employees join the company as customer support specialists that have now progressed to become project managers and customer success managers.

When hiring for a role in an industry like health tech, it’s a really good sign if a candidate is able to demonstrate a passion and purpose behind why they’ve chosen to work and build a career within the sector. This is especially true when hiring for entry level or junior roles, as experience is likely to limited among the majority of applicants looking to fill the role, so explanations surrounding why one is interested in the role and evidence of any networking they’ve undertaken prior to the interview is always welcome.

Have any previous personal circumstances or life events drawn you to want to work in our sector? Or have you been inspired by a particular mentor or elder relative to follow their path? Providing the background to your interest in health tech will help recruiters piece together how well you’d fit into an organisation and how the hire could be mutually beneficial.

I also really appreciate it when candidates come to interviews armed with their own specific questions for us about the role and what will be expected of them should they be offered the job. This shows that someone has really thought about how the job offer will mutually benefit both them and the organisation hiring for a position.

I’d also strongly recommend that you tailor your CV and application/cover letter for each organisation you apply for. Trust me, as someone who has seen her fair share of CV’s and job applications over the years, it’s instantly obvious which candidates have taken the time to adjust these vital documents to fit in with the role in question. They will highlight your passion for wanting to work in the health sector, and it will help the company know you are really dedicated to work for them and build a career, rather than seeing it as merely a job.

Finally, it’s worth thinking about what your personal interests or volunteer opportunities say about you when hiring for roles within the healthcare sector, as well as any external efforts you’ve made to build connections within the industry. These are things that will all lead towards helping you stand out within a pile of CV’s.


She Talks Tech podcast - In the Lounge with Jonathan Kewley, Co-Head of the Clifford Chance Tech Group, 800x600

Listen to our latest She Talks Tech podcast - In the Lounge with Jonathan Kewley, Co-Head of the Clifford Chance Tech Group

She Talks Tech podcast - In the Lounge with Jonathan Kewley, Co-Head of the Clifford Chance Tech Group

In this episode of SheTalksTech we hear from Jonathan Kewley – Co-Head of the Clifford Chance Tech Group. 

Jonathan made press headlines last year regarding a manifesto he wrote in his bid to become managing partner for Clifford Chance. In the manifesto, he calls for the appointment of a chief happiness officer as well as micro retreats for staff. You can imagine the headlines! In a Law firm! Surely not…

Jonathan also talks about his career as a tech lawyer, his passion for equity, diversity and inclusion and how he has built an inclusive culture across the team he leads.

If you want to find out more about Jonathan, you can connect with him on LinkedIn.

LISTEN HERE

‘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.

Listen to more episodes of She Talks Tech here


female data scientist, woman leading team

Not just a woman in tech: thriving in a male-dominated field

female data scientist, woman leading team

Heather Delaney is Founder and MD of Gallium Ventures, a London-based communications consultancy leading in the technology sector.

Born in Silicon Valley, Heather grew up in the world’s preeminent hub for technology. Now based in London, Heather has built up a wealth of expertise working across both sides of the Atlantic for global and local organisations, and has been integral to the growth of several well-recognised European and Silicon Valley businesses.

Here, she shares valuable insights on the journey of women successfully operating in a male-dominated field.

My beginnings in Silicon Valley meant I was immediately immersed in the world of technology. I grew up having access to the founders and leaders of tech companies that are now household names, and remember noticing how few women there were at a senior level. Those who did work in the space tended to be in the creative departments, while few were working in coding or programming, and there certainly weren’t any in the C-suite. However, we were at the cusp of change and, in the decade following, more women were taking up roles in the developer and the executive field. Those women are now at an age where they are at C-suite level, and because of the struggle they went through to make it more accessible for the later generations, we are now seeing even more women in the industry.

I say struggle because it wasn’t an easy ride. For a woman to be taken seriously in tech and given the same opportunities as her male counterparts she needed to work twice as hard—not because she lacked the skills, but because she couldn’t leave any room for criticism. There was an unspoken responsibility on the shoulders of each of these women to demonstrate their capability at the highest level, because there was an acute awareness that they could make a real difference for those to come.

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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I was personally inspired by my mother and grandmother, who served respectively in the police force and in the Air Force as a pilot. They were both pioneers in their fields, working in sectors that were not particularly welcoming to women at the time, and they didn’t only face challenges in the work itself, but with male colleagues too. They faced these challenges head-on, persevered and stood as amazing examples, to me, of determination and of not letting yourself be defined or limited by societal expectations.

For years, especially early in my career, I realised that I was the only woman in the room. I’ve walked in meetings where people thought I was the secretary, when I was actually running teams and leading projects. However, the tech industry back then is very different from what it is now. Things have been changing slowly, over time—there is less of a stigma, women’s voices are heard more and more, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

If there is one thing I’ve learnt—and that remains with me—is that we each have a role to play and every effort in the right direction matters. It’s not so much a matter of forging a path for other women to follow, but rather opening up the space for others to join you. I am hoping in a future where the narrative will shift from women in tech (or any other field) to intelligent and passionate professionals—regardless of their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation—in tech/medicine/STEM etc.

Technology itself has been beneficial for enabling women to get into any industry they dream of, pursuing their passions and refining their skills. The internet, for instance, has provided access to news, entertainment, job opportunities, flexible working, and much more. Women who are staying at home as mothers or carers now have more opportunities than ever to train and educate themselves. In fact, you can see more and more women picking up coding and programming through online classes and workshops, which is something that would never have been possible before.

Today, we find incredible women who are winning BAFTAs for video game development and creating all kinds of award-winning technology. An entire discipline of technology—femtech—is significantly powered by and tailored for women. We all matter when it comes to moving the industry forward and broadening the scope for diversity and inclusivity. For a field that depends so strongly on innovation, increased diversity can only be a good thing. There are significant challenges that we face as a people, such as climate change or the gender health gap, which I believe technology can be used to help solve serious problems. There is plenty of room at the table for everyone who wants to be a part of the solution.

Heather DelaneyAbout the author

Heather Delaney, Founder of award-winning communications consultancy Gallium Ventures, is a world-leading expert in growing brands and launching products or services, creatively. Heather specialises in building and fixing global organisations and startups alike — from their communications strategy, to product development and everything in between.

Follow Heather Delaney on LinkedIn and Twitter


UK Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Liz Truss hold a meeting at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on September 15, 2021.

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, shares its 6 tech policy priorities for the new PM

UK Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Liz Truss hold a meeting at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on September 15, 2021.

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT has today shared its top tech priorities for the new Prime Minister.

Liz Truss has been announced as the new leader of the Conservative Party and the UK’s next prime minister, following a leadership race.

Following the announcement, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, has urged the new Prime Minister to unlock the potential of technology to reimagine the UK’s approach to fields like health and the economy.

Digital skills are an investment not an overhead

The UK economy needs between 178,000 to 234,000 data roles, with almost half of businesses (46 per cent) struggling to recruit them, according to the government’s Data Skills Gap report.

Our IT workforce underpins our modern world; investing in tech, data, AI and cyber security skills is vital to the UK PLC’s competitiveness. Data is now the driving force of the world’s modern economies, according to the same report.

The Data Science profession is key to economic growth

The Alliance for Data Science Professionals, co-founded by BCS, awarded the first group of data scientists with its new standard this year. Government should work with the Alliance to ensure the UK has a strong pipeline of trusted data scientists to drive growth in the economy.

Computing education and skills are a priority to close the digital divide

Over 90 per cent of parents in England think learning computing at school is important for their child’s future, according to a BCS-YouGov survey.

Teaching AI, Data Science and Cyber Security, starting in primary school, is essential for young people to thrive. The UK needs to double the amount of students leaving school with a high-quality computing qualification, from fewer than 100,000/year now to at least 200,000/year.

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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Digital technology can secure a sustainable future

The IPCC have stated Net Zero goals can only be achieved with the support of digital technology – we need a transformation in expertise and data analysis to make that difference.

Organisations like the Met Office are leading the way with strategic investment in computing capability. To scale this up across the economy requires government to partner with industry. 

Digital healthcare will transform patient outcomes

The government’s Plan for Digital Health and Social Care states expert digital skills are needed throughout all healthcare professions.

The government can best grow a community of competent, trusted digital health professionals by working with the Federation of Informatics Professionals (FEDIP).

Crucially, online safety, privacy and trust need a fundamental review

Only 14 per cent of tech professionals believe the Online Safety Bill is ‘fit for purpose’, according to a poll of BCS members; and 58 per cent feel the bill would have a negative effect on freedom of speech. IT professionals are committed to building a safe online world, with a focus on education and guidance alongside proportionate regulation.

A third of all businesses lack the advanced cyber security skills they needed to keep safe. We need cyber security practitioners who are professionally registered, and whenever possible be Chartered. BCS welcomes the government’s ambition to embed high standards of professional practice and career pathways across cyber security.

Half (53 per cent) of UK adults have no faith in the use of algorithms to make judgements about them, according to BCS polling, conducted with YouGov. Improving understanding of AI and algorithms by policy makers and growing public technology trust is a priority.


Inspirational Woman: Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE | Founder, Stemettes; Speaker; Presenter & Author, She's In CTRL

Meet Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, Founder, Stemettes; Speaker; Presenter & Author, She's In CTRL

Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE

Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon is a keynote speaker, presenter, and co-founder of the award-winning social enterprise, Stemettes. Voted the most influential woman in tech in the UK of 2020 by Computer Weekly and featured among the top 10 BAME leaders in tech by The Financial Times.

A recognised and respected thought-leader in the tech space and trustee at the Institute for the Future of Work, Anne-Marie has spoken across the globe for some of the world’s biggest digital companies and conferences, including Facebook, Amazon, Google, Mercedes Benz, Fujitsu and Mastercard.

Anne-Marie is the temporary Arithmetician on Countdown, the world’s longest running gameshow. She also hosts the highly popular Women Tech Charge podcast for the Evening Standard, and is a sought-after presenter and conference facilitator, conducting live interviews with famous faces from the tech world and beyond, including Jack Dorsey and Sir Lewis Hamilton. Her first book She’s In CTRL is to be published by Transworld in September 2022

Anne-Marie has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from the Open University, Glasgow Caledonian University, Kent University, Bristol University and Coventry University, and in June of 2017 was made an Honorary Fellow at Keble College, Oxford. She sits on the Board of Durham University’s Computer Science Department, which, in recognition of her work as Head Stemette, offers a scholarship to young women in her name. In 2019 she became a visiting professor for Sunderland University. She is on the board of the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Music and Sport’s Digital Skills Partnership, the British Library Advisory Council, the Research England Council and is a trustee at the Urban Development Music Foundation and the Women of the World Foundation.

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

I grew up in East London, where I was the eldest of five. I was a child prodigy and always really loved maths and technology.

After studying at Oxford, I went to work in The City and was invited to speak at the largest women in tech conference in the world, the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.

There were thousands of women there, and I reliased my experience of maths and technology hadn’t just been strange because I’d had it so early, it was strange because I’d been a girl. I set about trying to change that with Stemettes.

Our latest project, the Stemettes Society, is a closed social network for girls, young women and non-binary people under the age of 25 who are interested in STEM.

We want to help them become role models and changemakers who can support eachother.
That could be with advice on making decisions about their GCSE or A-levels, or just having girls at University saying, ‘Hey, ask me anything’.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

For me, it goes in cycles. I’m constantly changing where I think I’m going to end up. I think it has to be like that because technology is constantly changing.

At first I wanted to be a management consultant, then I wanted to work in a bank. Now I honestly don’t know (I’ve got aspirations around broadcasting).

I’m constantly trying to evaluate what I’m best placed to do and what fits my idea of success, which has always been to wake up in the morning and do what I want.

I’d advise having a ‘Plan A’, so you know what direction you’re heading, but also to be open to new information so you can update it and build a new ‘Plan B’.

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

My biggest challenge remains the same: having to work with people.

Anything that involves human beings has always been a challenge for me—I’m used to maths algorithms that just work, even when they are difficult.

I’m constantly learning how to manage, how to hire, how to deal with partners. At Stemettes we’re now adding a charity side, so figuring out how to work with donors will be another massively different kind of relationship.

People are messy. You have to understand that you can’t see everything, what’s happening internally. You have to learn how to be okay with uncertainty. But you can always learn from talking to people.

I’ve learned to never assume who a person is or how they will be. You have to expect the unexpected without any kind of prejudgement.

Join Anne-Marie at our Level Up Summit on 06 December!

Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, Founder, Stemettes & Author of She’s In CTRL, is just one of our amazing speakers at our upcoming summit on 06 December. Anne-Marie will sharing stories from her book, including how she founded the amazing tech organisation Stemettes, why she believes women need to take back tech, the importance of role models and her top tips for for a successful technology career, and much more.

GET YOUR TICKETS

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

I usually say Outbox, our tech incubator for teenage girls, but really it has to be all the programs we run at Stemettes because of the impact they have in changing perceptions.

We’re giving girls an opportunity to grow up with a different social norm and giving them a shared experience of what a majority female industry looks like.

That will stay with them forever. It’s a shared bond.

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

Ultimately, I’m a problem solver.

I can focus and see a problem as something clearly defined. That means that other people can support and help without too much work or convincing.

When I was a child prodigy I was solving maths problems rather than societal problems but it’s possible it’s the same thing, just more complex.

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

Always find your tribe. You don’t have to do it alone.

In the press and media, it’s always Mark Zuckerberg or some other figurehead they bang on about. You don’t see that they have a team, advisors and mentors behind them.

Alexander Bell didn’t invent the telephone on his own.

Your people could be alongside you or ahead of you, and you should work hard to help those behind you because it’s an investment. It pays back multiple times over.

How important is it to see female tech role models in the media?

It’s incredibly important. If you see someone like Yewande Biala (a smart biochemist who went to university early) on Love Island, that helps to normalise women in STEM.

It’s crazy that scientists still just exist just on The Big Bang Theory or The IT Crowd as some kind of sectioned-off programme, never just eating or cooking or kissing someone.

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

Yes there are barriers, but if something is worth doing, you will always face barriers.

There’s a sense of purpose for any woman in the industry at the moment, whether you like it or not. Technology is going in a certain direction—and like colonies of ants or bees—we all have a part to play in pulling it back to where it needs to.

That means taking on counterproductive work policies, and the people hiding biases within your workplace who will get in your way.

We have to face those things and change them with our own power and influence through communication and collaboration. It’s a hard fight, but it’s the good fight. And if you hit a wall, you need to make a door.

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

Be willing to listen. There’s a distinct lack of listening right now.

If a company genuinely wants to change, there will be people facing bias in that organization who are crying out for change. Those people are leaving exit interviews, they are raising issues with affinity networks, they are speaking out loud.

Organisations have to make sure they are listening otherwise they can’t know what action to take.

There is currently on 15% 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? 

Compulsory shared parental leave.

If someone is part of the making of a baby and they have to stay away from work, there’s a lot of intangible things they will learn. When they come back to the organization, they’re a fresh set of eyes and are able to see the holes they couldn’t before.

If you don’t have an understanding of what it’s like to be at home, you end up making backwards policies that say certain things must happen in the office at certain times. So if you don’t understand about external responsibilities you can’t bring about long-lasting change.

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

The second season of my podcast Women Tech Charge is actually coming up in October, so you should tune in to that.

In terms of books, I’d recommend Inferior by Angela Saini  (it’s all about how science has got women wrong). And there’s my kid’s book called How to be a Math Whiz which is due out later in the year.

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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Gender diversity in fintech: Making a difference from the inside out

Diverse-group-of-stylish-people-standing-together.-Society-or-population-social-diversity

Article by Rosie McConnell, Head of Product, IFX Payments

The Fintech industry is often admired for its unmatched level of growth. Fintechs are behind the rapid product development that has transformed the finance industry and the way consumers manage and understand their money. 

However, for an industry that is so progressive and forward thinking, there’s still a large imbalance in gender diversity from entry level and junior roles all the way through to senior management and C-suite.

It’s a topic covered frequently both by the media, and also internally by businesses wanting to address this themselves. Yet every year, we continue to see significantly disproportionate numbers in gender diversity.  So why aren’t we seeing a change?

At IFX, we pride ourselves on having a strong 40:60 female:male split – substantially higher than the industry standard.

I’m approaching my tenth year in the industry, and I find myself in a unique position, now that I’ve sat on both sides of the hiring table.  As I reflect on what I’ve observed, I can offer some key learnings from my own personal experience to offer businesses some food for thought on their mission to be more inclusive.

The applications

Hiring power goes hand in hand with the opportunity to drive change. Within my three years here, FX has gone through incredible growth and I’m proud to now be in a position of having hiring power and being able to utilise it as a tool to challenge gender disparity across the sector.

When I went through the process of looking to hire myself, I observed that when I offered two roles, one junior and one senior, there was a clear gender split in terms of applications that didn’t necessarily reflect the candidate’s experience and skill sets.

Frequently I found that women were applying to junior roles even when their experience was more suited to the senior, and vice versa with male candidates.  Being in a position of hiring power, I felt it was important to give the applicant this feedback and encourage greater confidence and constructive criticism in their abilities.

This observation made me actively relook at our external messaging about roles at IFX and consider the ways in which we are describing our company, the roles and responsibilities, and the commitment we are asking people to make. Here I outline my top three observations:

1. Job requirements

The first step in guaranteeing that you’re appealing to the candidates with the most suitable skill set is to ensure, as the person hiring, you have clear definitions of the difference between a senior and junior and what the exact experience and expectations are of someone at this level.

Mapping core competencies, skills and experience to seniority, and identifying the best way to surface this in your interview with the candidates will help you know when a candidate is being bullish or under-selling themselves.

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2. Language 

Once these clear benchmarks are set, it is then key that the job application is appealing and attractive to everyone at that level.  As an employer, consider how company policy is reflected in the language of the job posting and how this will be digested by the person reading it.

I noticed that job posts can be filled with language and phrasing that is more likely to appeal to men, and by making simple switches to more gender neutral and inclusive language, I could make our roles more attractive to a broader range of candidates. I urge those with hiring power to review their current job ads and analyse the perception the language used is giving out to potential hires.

3. Equally appealing

Ultimately a role and company culture should appeal to candidates of any gender, as well as anyone of any race or social and economic backgrounds.

Topics affecting the candidates welfare are those which are most likely to be asked in an interview so addressing them in the job posting will likely attract quality talent.  Think about the work from home protocol, mentoring and parental leave allowances.

Tailoring management

Industries which have been historically dominated by men, often lack the management teams who possess skills suited to the growing female workforce. But with workplaces becoming more diverse, managers need to learn to deal with different communication styles and ways of working to make it more appealing to females across the board.  Ultimately, for those in managerial positions, the goal is to pull the best out of your team in order to create better products.  The more we work with our team, the better the results will be.  So what’s the answer?  As women in the industry, we need to introduce more empathy to management in order to nurture female talent and drive greater change.

Looking ahead

I think it’s a complicated problem, and we’re starting to understand that businesses taking a one-size-fits-all approach to diversifying their workforce isn’t always effective. I would argue we must analyse and really understand each individual process, culture and positioning to be able to make meaningful change, that is not curtailed or dependent on external factors.

Innovation and delivering the best work for clients can only happen if the teams are actually varied in thought and I put some of our best ideas at IFX down to the diverse teams we hire.

About the Rosie McConnellauthor

In her role as the Head of Product at IFX, Rosie McConnell is responsible for establishing the deliverables and objectives for IFX’s product offering. With over 10 years of experience in the Fintech sector, Rosie plays a key role in defining and prioritizing product roadmaps for IFX as well as taking ownership for product development and the technological innovation of IFX.

With a decade of industry experience under her belt, Rosie began her career at WorldPay in 2012 before joining Thomas Cook Money in 2018 after which she joined IFX.

Her goal for the year ahead is to drive IFX’s expansion of payment global coverage whilst prioritising traceability and transparency of funds. She is also working on adapting IFX’S virtual iban offering so that the product offers greater level of flexibility and transparency.

Rosie is a passionate champion of value-led change in an industry that is predominantly dominated by men, through helping to advance the Women in Fintech agenda as well as working towards maintaining a cognitively biased team which relies on people from all backgrounds and experiences working together.


Business Woman in tech. Stronger together, Happy women or girls standing together , girls, power, strong, strength, feminism Feminine, woman empowerment, vector illustration.

Why counter-stereotypical female role models are so important

Business Woman in tech. Stronger together, Happy women or girls standing together , girls, power, strong, strength, feminism Feminine, woman empowerment, vector illustration.Article by Alexandra Niessen-Ruenzi, Professor of Finance and Corporate Governance at the University of Mannheim, Business School

Over the last three decades, the lessening gap between the numbers of men and women in higher education and full-time employment has been its own kind of “grand convergence”.

Nevertheless, for now, gender pay parity remains a thing of the future, in part because women are still underrepresented in lucrative professions such as STEM, business, and finance.

Perhaps one reason for this has to do with women’s personal preferences. However, research on this topic has also suggested it could be caused by biases against women and a lack of female role models in these industries whose presence would encourage women to strive for positions in male-dominated industries.

It is noteworthy that the gender pay gap is significantly lower in US states where counter-stereotypical female role models are more popular. This suggests that women who achieve success in occupations that are traditionally perceived as the territory of men inspire other women to do likewise, which mitigates the effects of stereotypes arising from gender norms on women’s career choices.

Admiration for counter-stereotypical female role models is associated with women making decisions that improve their earning potential. For instance, entering high-earning occupations such as STEM, taking on senior-ranked positions, seeking higher education qualifications, and waiting until later in life to start having children.

To define a counter-stereotypical female role model, I, alongside fellow researchers Mengqiao Du from Mannheim Business School and Vidhi Chhaochharia from the University of Miami, analysed qualitative information from 46 cross-sectional Gallup surveys conducted from 1951-2014.

Respondents to these surveys identified a total of 247 famous women whom they said they admired. We sorted these role models into 14 categories depending on their primary occupation.

We compared these career categories to labour market information taken from the Current Population Survey and responses to questions about gender differences in the General Social Survey recorded over a period of around 50 years. This enabled us to get a clear understanding of gender norms at the state level, and helped us sort the 14 categories into stereotypical or counter-stereotypical career paths for a woman.

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We classify counter-stereotypical female role models as women who are deemed admirable for their work as politicians, writers or journalists, businesswomen, astronauts, scientists, athletes, or activists. In contrast, stereotypical female role models are looked up to as famous wives, mothers, daughters, friends or other family members, nurses, religious persons, or entertainment figures.

The number of respondents who identified counter-stereotypical famous women as admirable has changed strongly over time. From 1950-2014, the percentage of people who look up to stereotypical female role models dropped from 80 percent to around 30 percent; meanwhile, the percentage of people who admired counter-stereotypical female role models rose from below 20 percent to 50 percent.

The real turning point seems to have been in the 1980s, as this was when counter-stereotypical women started to become more popular as role models than women who held more conventional positions.

Naturally, both gender norms and counter-stereotypical female role models play a part in women’s choices, but are such role models more likely to stem from states that already have relatively liberal gender norms? This does not appear to be the case, as we find that 46.5 percent of the counter-stereotypical female role models we identified from the Gallup surveys come from states with liberal gender norms, whereas 53.5 percent originate from states with overall more conservative views.

This suggests that counter-stereotypical role models are not just reflections of a state that is already far more liberally-minded. Furthermore, over time, observing women in atypical professions and positions alters people’s perceptions about which roles in society are supposed to be filled by a particular gender.

For this reason, counter-stereotypical female role models are a sort of square one for changing gender norms at the state level. If admiration for them increases significantly, the associated effects should propel women’s earnings closer to gender parity with men. This means that at some point, female role models that were once counter-stereotypical will cease to be so. They will instead reflect the new normal.

About the author

Alexandra Niessen-RuenziProf. Dr. Alexandra Niessen-Ruenzi holds the Chair of Corporate Governance at the University of Mannheim, Business School. Her research interests lie in the field of empirical financial market research with a special focus on gender differences in capital markets. Alexandra Niessen-Ruenzi’s research results have been published in top international journals and have been awarded several prizes such as the Rothschild Cesarea IDC Award and the SABE Award from the New York Stock Exchange. Her publications have also been well received by the media and have been discussed in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, among others. She is a sought-after speaker on gender topics and regularly presents her research findings at both academic conferences as well as in industry companies and associations.


Shelley Garlington

WeAreTechWomen talks health tech, inclusive cultures & developing a career in tech with Shelley Garlington, Medefer

Meet Shelley Garlington, Business Development Director, Medefer

Shelley Garlington

Shelley Garlington is the Business Development Director at Medefer – a UK-based health-tech startup that is transforming outpatient services for the NHS.

In this piece, we talk health tech, inclusive cultures & developing a career in tech.

I began my career as a student nurse in St James’ Hospital in Leeds. Although I had a passion for patients, I knew early on that I wanted to improve care for patients at a scale where I couldn’t do more than one patient at a time.

I’ve always been an organised, driven and output-orientated individual, so I was keen to find a role that combined these skills. I went into the pharmaceutical industry, where I was able to look at the business world from a healthcare perspective.

This led me into developing a training company for healthcare practitioners. I worked closely with the NHS, and it enabled me to understand the moving parts of NHS Trusts. It was here that I learnt the importance of putting patient voices at the forefront of everything a healthcare organisation does.  I was also constantly looking to identify any gaps in care that could be improved, especially by implementing technology.

The impact on patients was one of the reasons I was initially interested in Medefer – I knew that the use of technology within NHS pathways would make the process more efficient and improve patient access to care. From my own experience when my Mum had breast cancer during the pandemic, I often had to take her into environments that I didn’t feel entirely comfortable with.  I would send consultants pictures of anything they needed to look at and it made me realise this was another, more dignified way to deliver care. The potential impact of virtual care inspired me to work with Medefer.

Creating new partnerships

My job is to create partnerships with healthcare organisations and create noise around the great work that we do. I’m always looking for ways to increase growth and innovation, suggesting new patient pathways that Medefer could transform.

I was recently involved in looking at ways cancer alliance pathways can be improved and how NHS backlogs are associated with increased cancer risk. With this in mind, we launched a pilot programme with Surrey and Sussex Cancer Alliance aimed at early detection of prostate cancer.

Through this, and transforming patient pathways, I use these great patient outcomes to demonstrate to organisations how best we can support hospitals and patients, through new partnerships and alliances.

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Exploring the world of med-tech

I have always been interested in technology and how it can transform many common issues faced by health systems and patients. I thought about how new technology and processes could be used to manage risks and improve outcomes. That mindset makes you want to be around tech interaction. My natural inquisitiveness and inability to stand still meant that I was constantly looking for areas of improvement, and that made Medefer a great fit for me.

Inclusive culture is key

A strong pull for me at Medefer is its purpose. One of the hardest things in sales is selling something you don’t believe in, but Medefer adds so much value to patients lives. They are changing the landscape so rapidly and so differently to anyone that has been in this space before. Waiting lists are a pressing issue and the NHS has always had targets that they have been unable to reach. So, why not think differently?

The culture at Medefer is inclusive. The management team work hard to flatten the structure both in the language that we use and by including all staff whilst we expand and evolve. I am excited to have been involved in the process of becoming who we are today.

Medefer also care about their staff and value them as individuals. As an example, I have dyslexia and dyscalculia and I have never felt comfortable admitting this to any other workplace except Medefer. There is this open and honest culture where Medefer are willing to see the difference in people and work on their strengths, and that makes it a company of the future.

Advice for anyone considering a role in the tech industry

I have worked in a very male-dominated industry, especially as a pharmaceutical rep, and it was difficult starting a company as a single mum. However, I think one of the most important things is to not be afraid of challenging the status quo. You need to believe that you can make a difference.

There are some companies who see people as commodities, and it’s important for your own development to identify them and avoid them. You need to be clear of what you bring to the table, and don’t be afraid to own that.

I have always cared about people and how my job impacts them directly. Yes, I’ve got a natural drive, but at the heart of it, I like people. Remembering this and keeping it at the centre of what I do is the reason that I’ve been successful.