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Vacancy Spotlight: Senior Developer – EY’s Hive | EY

EY Logo 2022

It is our mission to transform the working lives of finance and tax professionals.

We are responsible for the innovation and development of human-centric products within EY.  Our approach is to prototypes ideas, get feedback from our customers and scale the very best ideas.

At the heart of our business, is our people. Good people, supported by good internal practice, are the building blocks for making the impossible possible. We are looking for a Senior Developer that will help support us to build and release engaging, innovative applications to market quickly.

What you will do:

  • Implement technical solutions that are resilient, scalable and manageable
  • Coach and encourage colleagues through constant learning to improve their skills
  • On some projects, lead the development for a scrum team
  • Collaborate with the product development teams (designers, business analysts, product owners, developers and quality assurance) to deliver amazing experiences for our customers.
  • Develop ideas with business analysts to find a pragmatic approach to the rapid delivery of prototypes
  • Work closely with the Product Owner and Scrum Master to develop the backlog and sprint pipeline

You are:

  • Empathetic – you take the time to understand what drives other team members, what motivates them and how to achieve mutual objectives
  • Humble – you actively seek feedback and feel comfortable providing it to others. You are not overly influenced by organisational hierarchy
  • Motivated – you are excited by what you do, and you bring an enthusiasm to your job
  • Adaptable – you are comfortable re-evaluating your view when presented with contrasting facts and your opinions

What you definitely need:

As a senior full-stack developer you should have strong commercial development experience, we have a preferred technology stack, however, we are not prescriptive about the technologies you have experience using, as long you as you are eager to use the best available technology for the project and open to working with new tools and approaches:

  • A work attitude that is empathetic, humble, motivated and adaptable (see above)
  • 5+ years of commercial development experience, focussed on Java development (preferably web-based applications)
  • Experience building solutions that are resilient, scalable and manageable
  • Experience working with Rest APIs
  • Experience working with databases.
  • Experience with continuous integration and automated deployment
  • Experience in Agile development environment and familiar with Agile ceremonies (e.g. stand-up, backlog refinement, sprint planning)
  • Working with QAs and automated testing (e.g. TDD / BDD)
  • Use of GIT or similar for code control and management

What you might also have:

  • Working knowledge of Angular 2+
  • Experience deploying web applications on large cloud-based services provider (e.g. AWS / Azure) and familiar with the underlying architecture
  • Understanding of NoSQL database technologies (e.g. MongoDB)
  • Set up and use of virtual environments and sandboxes

Suggested reading

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empowering junior women in the workplace featured

How to empower junior women within your business

empowering junior women in the workplace

Veronique Barbosa is the Co-Founder and COO of Flux, a digital receipts and rewards platform that lives inside your banking app and is currently partnered with the likes of Just Eat, KFC, itsu, and EAT.

For women in business, it’s no secret that getting ahead can be a challenge (to say the least).

Just one in five of Britain’s six million businesses is run by a woman.

Only 32 per cent of directorships on FTSE 100 boards are held by women.

And across the top ranking companies globally, only 18 per cent have a female leader – a figure that’s barely shifted in the last few years.

When it comes to women working in the technology sector, specifically, it’s the same story – or rather depressingly, a little worse. Currently, just 17 per cent of people working in tech are women.

Clearly, there’s a lot of work to be done, and it’s my firm belief that if we are to tackle and finally overcome the issue of gender equality in the workplace, empowering junior women is a huge part of the puzzle.

In my career to date – both as COO and co-founder of Flux, and prior to that as Head of Partnerships at Revolut – I’ve been lucky enough to have hired and managed many talented and inspirational women. Here are three things I’ve learnt along the way about how best to empower junior women within your business.

Recognising the barriers

It might sound counterintuitive, but the first step to overcoming the barriers for women in business, is to recognise those barriers. It’s the job of managers and senior leaders within business to acknowledge the challenges facing women, and seek to understand them: where do these barriers stem from? How are they perpetrated? How much of the problem is in deep-rooted bias (a sub-conscious preference shown towards male candidates at interview, for instance), and how much is down to practical systems in place within your business (such as flexible working policies or maternity and paternity leave)?

Once you can answer some of these questions – even if only in part – you are one step closer to being able to break down the biases and address the problems.

Champion change

Secondly, communication plays a vital role. When it comes to business leaders and business founders, there is plenty of data to back up the suggestion that women hold themselves back. In a recent All-Party Parliamentary Group survey, female respondents cited social expectations and gender stereotypes as some of the reasons preventing them from applying for a new position or a promotion.

Meanwhile, data from the Young Women’s Trust found that 54% of women aged 18-30 said they lack self-confidence when it comes to applying for jobs, compared to 39% of men.

Empowering junior women in business starts with getting them through the door in the first place, and that means championing the opportunities that are there. It starts in the education system, but doesn’t stop there; young women need to be made aware firstly that the opportunities are available to them, and secondly equipped with the confidence to apply for them.

Mentoring

Finally, I urge all business leaders to consider introducing mentoring initiatives within their business. These needn’t be directed solely at female employees – after all, we can all benefit from some guidance in our career – but what I would say is that these initiatives should be tailored, and accessible to all. For young women who are starting out in their career, there is huge value in having visible female role models, who have trodden a similar path and can share their own experiences of overcoming certain challenges.

Of course, depending on the size of a business, frequent and readily available mentoring isn’t always a possibility, so I also point my team in the direction of the many useful resources available in literature and online. Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In is a book I often turn to, and I’m also a regular listener to the Girl Boss podcast.

I am very thankful for the growing community of women who are committed to lifting each other up. Whatever stage of career we’re at, we can all benefit from seeing and sharing relatable, real-life success stories. We might have a way to go, but we’re making unprecedented progress: let’s celebrate that.

Discover more like this



Free training courses - WeAreTechWomen (800 × 600 px)

Get into tech with these free training courses

Are you in the tech industry and looking to learn new skills? Or do you want a career change and are unsure of where to start?

There are an abundance of companies and social enterprises that can provide you with free training. Here at WeAreTechWomen, we have pulled together a number of great opportunities for you to explore.

A number of these organisations provide online distance learning, whereas some also provide the opportunity to join them at events and to be part of their communities!

Go explore, and if we have missed an organisation that provides these opportunities for women to get into tech, you can drop us a note at [email protected].

Code First Girls


Code First Girls has become the largest provider of free coding courses for women in the UK, having delivered over £40 million worth of free technology education and teaching three times as many women to code as the entire UK university undergraduate system!

Find out more

Coding Black Females


Coding Black Females was created in 2017. We are a nonprofit organisation, and our primary aim is to provide opportunities for Black female developers to develop themselves, meet familiar faces, network, receive support and build relationships through having regular meetups.

Find out more

OpenLearn


Produced by The Open University, a world leader in open and distance learning, all OpenLearn courses are free to study. We offer nearly 1000 free courses across eight different subject areas. Find free science, maths and technology courses below.

Find out more

TechUP Women


TechUP is a training programme that focuses on training individuals from minority groups into tech careers. Working closely with industry the TechUP team creates a programme tailored to industry needs whilst also ensuring every participant gets an amazing learning experience.

Find out more

LinkedIn Learning


Advance your career with LinkedIn Learning. Learn from courses taught by industry experts in leadership, management, marketing, programming, IT, photography, graphic design, web and interactive design, 3D animation and much more.

Find out more

Trailhead by Salesforce


Start your adventure by learning the way you want with Salesforce’s Trailhead. Learn at your own pace with learning paths designed just for you, take classes taught by Salesforce experts, and get answers from fellow Trailblazers in our community.

Find out more

Discover more free training courses


We've rounded-up a number of different organisations that offer free coding clubs, training courses and ways you can get into the tech industry.

LEARN MORE

The World of AI featured

What are AI-driven hiring assessments and how do they work?

The World of AI featured

By Dr Gema Ruiz de Huydobro, IO Psychology consultant at HireVue

As anyone who has gone through it recently will well know, looking for a new job is practically full-time work in itself.

Every application requires a significant time investment to tailor your CV and cover letter before completing any specific requirements for the company in question (such as a multiple-choice questionnaire or aptitude test). If you’re then invited to an initial interview, you will need to spend even more time preparing for a short conversation, which too often provides limited opportunity to showcase your full potential.

Meanwhile, organisations continue to drown in endless piles of CVs and struggle to differentiate the deluge of applications. For instance, a financial services company opening new banking centers internationally has been receiving nearly 100,000 job applications each month for well over a year. Such high volumes of applications have led many companies to invest in both on-demand video interviewing and pre-hire assessment tests driven by artificial intelligence (AI). This helps both recruiters and candidates save time and begins to democratise the hiring process by offering all candidates an equal opportunity to be considered for the role. However, if you’re invited to a video interview or AI-driven assessment for the first time, it’s perfectly natural to feel a little apprehensive about how it will work.

Is there really anything to be nervous about?

The role of AI in recruitment

AI in recruitment typically involves machine-learning algorithms which analyse your answers to questions and provide insights to help hiring managers make more informed decisions at an early stage in the interview process. Rather than submitting a CV and cover letter, you may be invited to complete a short video interview and/or games-based assessment to apply for the role. We’ll explain these in more detail later.

Following your assessment, the AI algorithm (also called an assessment model) helps the recruiter to make a more informed decision by evaluating your submission and measuring data points which are scientifically proven to be predictive of successful performance in the specific job role for which you’re applying. A pool of candidates, ranked by their fit for the role, is presented to the recruiter, who then reviews the recommended shortlist, and decides which to progress to the next round.

Sounding straightforward so far? Now let’s look at how video and games-based assessments work in more detail…

Video interviews

If you’re invited to take an AI-powered video interview, you will likely receive instructions via email and will need to follow the link to enter the interview, so you can choose to complete it at a time and place convenient to you from either a computer or smartphone. Most AI-powered video interviews take 20 to 30 minutes to complete. It’s important to note that this video interview may only be the first step in your interviewing process, as those who are successful are very likely to meet one or more people face-to-face later in the process.

You should expect a format which is similar to a traditional interview in which you are asked a series of questions. The questions will be relevant to the success in the role you are applying for and every candidate will be asked the same set of questions. This creates a much fairer process for all candidates and helps to minimise bias.

While it’s natural for most people to feel a little self-conscious on camera, keep in mind that you’re u

nlikely to lose out on the job simply because you don’t smile enough, don’t make enough eye contact, or blink too much. When building assessments, only data features related to success in the role are leveraged. Physical appearance and other demographic factor-related data that have nothing to do with it are not considered – on the contrary, assessments should always be tested for adverse impact to avoid anybody to be adversely impacted in this regard.

Game-based assessments 

Games are another popular part of AI-powered assessments, as they are scientifically proven to measure cognitive skills including problem-solving and working memory, as well as job-relevant personality traits. Their accuracy is similar (and often increasingly higher) when compared to longer and more repetitive psychometric tests.

Again, you will receive an email with a link to enter the assessment, and it can be completed on your smartphone from any location and typically takes just 15 minutes. Safe to say, a game-based assessment is typically more fun than a traditional psychometric test containing hundreds of fill-in-the-circle questions!

Game-based assessments will also be tailored to the role you’re applying for. For example, both entry- and mid-level jobs require cognitive skills, but a manager may need to demonstrate more sophisticated organisational and problem-solving skills.

Preparing for success

Regardless of the type of interview, preparation is key. If you’re invited to a video interview with an AI assessment, take the time to practice potential interview questions, or take advantage of the practice tests often offered with most games-based assessments. This will ensure you aren’t taken by surprise and can showcase your full potential.

It’s also a good idea to create a calm environment where you won’t be disturbed. These types of interviews provide an opportunity to choose a time and location that suits you, so you won’t need to worry about taking time off work, the bus being late or getting lost en route!

Finally, take a deep breath and remember that the premise of this technology is to give everyone an equal opportunity to be recognised as a great candidate for a job, regardless of background, gender or race.  Given the increased awareness on the importance of hiring impartially, businesses have more need than ever to ensure they’re reflecting this in the interview process. Good luck!

Gema Ruiz de HuydobroAbout the author

Dr Gema Ruiz de Huydobro is an accomplished business psychologist with over ten years experience in both academic and business fields. In her current role as I-O Psychology Consultant at HireVue Gema is responsible for designing scientifically validated pre-hire assessments to enable organisations to identify high quality candidates while minimising bias in the selection process.


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Vacancy Spotlight: Head of Fundraising | Tech She Can

Tech She Can logo NEW

Tech She Can are recruiting for a Head of Fundraising to join them.

Tech She Can was founded in 2018 by Sheridan Ash MBE with 18 like-minded individuals who are all passionate about improving the pipeline of women going into technology roles. Recognising that the gender imbalance couldn’t be solved by a single organisation, and that collaboration was needed across sectors, government and educators, the founding members joined forces to set up The Tech She Can Charter.

Since 2018, Tech She Can membership has grown ten-fold to over 200 member organisations.

The role  

  • 1-3 days/week
  • £35-40k pa (pro-rata’ed to 0.2-0.4FTE), depending on experience
  • Contract type: 2-year fixed-term contract or 1-2 year Secondment (with 3-month probation)
  • Responsible for developing, managing and stewarding a new philanthropic portfolio of Foundations and Trusts, major prospects and high-net worth individuals, large government and public sector grants, regular giving, digital fundraising platforms – ultimately growing our revenue streams and charitable income

The context

  • Flexible working pattern and hybrid/remote working
  • Inclusive, supportive team, positive and friendly culture
  • Start-up environment with scope to define role and remit
  • We champion equality and diversity and recognise the benefits this brings. We are actively seeking candidates from diverse backgrounds.
  • It’s an exciting time to join us: in 2021 we achieved independent charity status; we’re scaling the team in line with our new strategy; and we’re committed to growing our relationships and philanthropic income with Foundations and Trusts, to complement our support from our industry members

Key stakeholders

  • Internal: Executive team, Trustee Board, Steering Group
  • External: Foundations and Trusts, charitable organisations – particularly those with an educational, skills and social mobility focus, UK government departments (including DfE, DCMS, DWP, BEIS)
  • Reports to: co-CEO / COO
  • Direct reports: N/A

About you

Essentials

  • Mission-aligned: your passion for diversity in STEAMB and supporting women in technology is evident; you get it
  • People oriented: you’re friendly, approachable, and a team player; you thrive when working across sectors
  • Excellent analytical, written and verbal communicator: whether it’s drafting grant applications and proposals, developing financial plans, or presenting to major prospects and senior leaders, you’re articulate, passionate and across the detail
  • Good governance: you are mindful of, and have a firm understanding of, charity governance and best practice
  • Can-do mindset: we’re a small, fast-paced start-up on a big mission so you’ll need to hit the ground running, and work with us on common goals and to short timescales.
  • You must also be legally able to work in the UK.

Desirable

  • Connected: you’ll bring your own networks with in-depth understanding of the institutional funding landscape, leaders, trends, opportunities and challenges
  • Compelling experience: you’ll have a stellar background in researching and stewarding individual prospects and relationships with Foundations and Trusts, and in securing philanthropic income –  ideally in the charitable / skills / education sector(s); you’ll influence and inspire our new and existing supporters

Role responsibilities

  • Define our philanthropic fundraising strategy for financial sustainability and design the portfolio in order to grow this new mode of income from zero
  • Research, identify, coordinate and prepare proposals for philanthropic funding via large grants, Foundations and Trusts
  • Devise, collate, monitor and report on fundraising OKRs and KPIs
  • Ensure compliance with the charitable aims, conduct due diligence and inform good governance processes
  • Lead on institutional donor grant agreement/contract negotiations and compliance
  • Support collective insight and design new initiatives via CRM
  • Represent the charity externally as an ambassador across high-profile networks
  • Plan and coordinate stakeholder management and partnership approaches alongside the executive team

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The irony of artificial intelligence: Addressing inequality in AI

artificial intelligence

There is a cruel irony in the world of AI; the representation of gender identity, race and ethnicity and sexual orientation is itself ‘artificial’; it doesn’t represent society and therefore this leads to unbalanced outcomes for the people the industry is intended to serve.

Diversity in the workplace is critical in providing a wide range of perspectives and lived experiences for the design and implementation of an AI system and removing bias from the equation.

Take women for example: the percentage of female AI PhD graduates and tenure-track computer science (CS) faculty have remained low for more than a decade. Female graduates of AI PhD programs in North America have accounted for less than 18% of all PhD graduates on average, according to an annual survey from the Computing Research Association (CRA). Furthermore, women make up just 26% of data and AI positions in the workforce according to a 2020 World Economic Forum report.

Then you look at race and the picture is even more concerning; just 2.4% of PhD graduates in the same survey were African American, compared to 45% white. Women in Machine Learning and Black in AI groups have gone some way to reducing the gap but much more work is needed in this area to encourage representation across the board. Plus, these statistics do not focus on those with learning disabilities, hidden disabilities or people with low incomes. We are just touching the surface of inequality.

This problem lies beyond the remit of traditional recruitment; it starts with early STEM education which shows young women and girls how AI roles can impact their life. It’s also the case that girls are dissuaded from STEM careers as there is a false belief that they don’t excel in those subjects.

The responsibility lies with women already in the field who can mentor and inspire the next generation of AI leaders. Companies are recognising that they need diversity embedded deep within their organisations to really achieve great things. Those women already in the industry need to stand up and be counted.

The problem is women struggle to gain credibility and feel the need to ‘earn their stripes’ compared to their male counterparts. It also needs to be recognised that AI professionals do not all need to come from a computer science background; mathematical, ethical and business heads are required too.

From the words of those who have been there:

“Don’t be afraid to venture into an unfamiliar discipline to maximize your opportunity for impact.”

“However, doing so effectively requires engaging with collaborators from other disciplines openly, constructively, and with respect: One needs to be willing to ask naive questions in order to learn.” Daphne Koller CEO & Founder Insitro.

As well as encouraging women to enter the world of AI, there is also much work to be done on retention of those staff. “Many women feel they are not treated the same as men in AI, and it is driving many of them out. Over half (58 percent) of all our women respondents said they left an employer due to different treatment of men and women.” (Deloitte). Pay and career path are the main areas where women receive unfavourable treatment compared to their male counterparts; that can be easily rectified. More education is needed on the career paths available too.

Typically, emerging professions hire from closed networks before they become mainstream. AI is at that stage. So, what’s the solution? We need to encourage women from non-tech backgrounds to enter the world of AI as well as encouraging girls into STEM subjects. To be truly diverse, the workforce needs to contain that blend of skills.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become embedded in everyday life around the world, touching how we work, play, purchase and communicate. Whilst we agree that AI is largely technical, it also includes politics, labour, culture and capital. To understand AI operationalised or in context, one needs to understand: What part of society being improved by AI? For whom is this improvement being done? Who decides the remit of the AI that is rolled out to society?

Who is leading the way through this maze? Kate Crawford’s book ‘Atlas in AI’ gives an insightful account of how this sector is developing whilst Deloitte has formed an academy to address inequality in AI (We and AI). There also trailblazers such as Kay Firth-Butterfield, Beena Ammanath and Joy Buolamwini who are inspiring the next generation through their work. It is these people we should look to for the answer to ‘what next?’.

It’s imperative that we get the next steps right in this field, that we encourage girls into AI careers, that we welcome a range of skills and that those who have succeeded show others the way. It’s critical that diversity becomes embedded in all organisations so that they can truly serve the population they are intended for, otherwise we are building a false world for the future.

Sandra MottohAbout the author

Sandra Mottoh, who after working in Regulatory Compliance and Governance in the banking sector for the past 20 years, is now also focussing her social enterprise ‘AI White Box’ to identify the compliance gaps in the emerging AI sector. As a black woman, she is also passionately campaigning to help more women enter the world of AI, particularly those coming from financially challenged and ethic minority backgrounds.


She Talks Tech podcast on 'Drones, Technology and Storytelling' with Dr Pippa Malmgren, 800x600

Listen to our latest She Talks Tech podcast on 'Drones, Technology and Storytelling' with Dr Pippa Malmgren, H Robotics

She Talks Tech podcast on 'Drones, Technology and Storytelling' with Dr Pippa Malmgren

Today we hear from Dr. Pippa Malmgren – a Former Presidential advisor and a prominent public speaker who co-founded H Robotics.

Pippa shares her predictions for the future economy, and how tech will play a pivotal role. She explains her belief that we are seeing a huge boost of capital for entrepreneurs and how the pandemic will lead to incredible opportunities for businesses as we build back better.

Pippa also shares her expertise on Drones, as a former CEO of a drone company and provides some amazing insights into the journey of drones since 1946, and electric cars in the 1800’s.

Pippa talks about the democratisation of air space, how governments are using drones to gather data and how biotech companies are using the smallest drones to deliver medicines inside the body.

If you want to find out more about Pippa – you can connect with her 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.


How robotics competitions can help get girls into STEM

young Japanese girl making friends with robot

As the Competition Support Manager for VEX Robotics in the UK, Bridie Gaynor has witnessed first-hand the positive impact educational robotics can have on primary and secondary students.

Bridie’s role requires her to travel frequently around the UK to facilitate the smooth running of local and regional events, with the competition season culminating every year for the VEX UK National Finals in March. These events are comprised of the VEX IQ Challenge (VIQC) and the VEX Robotics Competition (VRC), designed respectively for schoolchildren at Key Stage 2 & 3 and Key Stages 3 to 5. Whilst VIQC robots are created by teams of students using plastic, snap-together parts, and VRC robots are built with metal & steel parts, both platforms feature impressive control systems, including a brain that can be programmed using VEXcode IQ Blocks (powered by Scratch Blocks) or VEXcode Text.

What is perhaps most striking about the competitions that Bridie attends is the increasing number of young females who are participating. At the 2019 VEX UK National Finals, more than 50 per cent of the 700 students competing were female, a highly promising figure considering the current STEM shortage and the level of engineering, programming and design skills required to compete. Bridie hopes that she can inspire even more females to take part in the future, as the events continue to grow in stature:

“It’s amazing to think just how many female students are getting involved in VEX competitions and at such a young age, particularly when you consider the lack of gender diversity in STEM industries.”

“What makes VEX stand out from the crowd is the perfectly balanced practical and theoretical aspects of both the VEX IQ system and VEX EDR system.”

“We need to be showing girls that engineering, coding and tech isn’t just for boys, it’s for everyone and there’s so many different avenues in STEM to discover.”

Having worked at VEX Robotics for over six years, Bridie has been part of the journey of several all-girls teams who have been successful in serving as ambassadors for STEM in the wider community, including East Barnet’s Girls of Steel and Welwyn Garden City’s Microbots, both of whom have shared their experiences with tech-industry heavyweights form across the globe.

With the growth of the VEX community and the increasing uptake of female students competing overall, Bridie says it’s important to have more women in leadership roles like her to inspire the future generations:

“What’s fantastic about my job is that I get to serve as something of a role model that girls can look up to.”

“It’s great to be in a position where aspiring STEM students can see that women can really succeed in these industries and take charge of what is typically a male-dominated environment.”

“I truly believe that robotics systems like VEX give females a chance to get involved in STEM in a fun, exciting and engaging capacity, whilst setting students up for future careers in STEM”.

Bridie Gaynor featuredAbout the author

Bridie Gaynor is the Competition Support Manager in the UK for VEX Robotics.

She is responsible for supporting VEX events and teams across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.


Why empowering women in STEM is key to the UK’s digital future

Portrait of four successful women in tech, women in STEM

The UK’s digital future is not just about technology, but people, says Victoria Knight. She explains why it is so important to encourage people from diverse backgrounds to take on tech careers

The UK is currently facing a significant digital skills divide. In cyber alone, approximately half of businesses are lacking the skill sets needed to protect against threats. This stands in the way of achieving important initiatives, such as the government’s levelling up agenda, which is heavily focused on digital development in the North West.

Diversity and a skilled workforce go hand in hand: we cannot address one without the other. Closing the digital skills gap is dependent on empowering women and girls of all backgrounds to enter into – and stay in – STEM careers.

But fostering the skill sets needed to keep up with a technology market that’s growing exponentially is incredibly challenging, especially when these skills are not nurtured and encouraged from an early stage.

We need to redouble our efforts to break down barriers that prevent people from diverse backgrounds from taking on tech careers. The current statistics are shocking – only 35% of STEM students in higher education in the UK are women. Importantly, it’s too simple to focus solely on gender differences; we also need to look at intersectionality and social mobility.

While there are schemes and organisations dedicated to helping young women and girls navigate or transition to STEM subjects and careers, more needs to be done – and it needs to happen fast. A holistic approach is required, involving governments, education bodies and private sector businesses coming together to address the problem.

The urgent need for diversity in tech

Why is AI facial recognition technology failing to identify black women accurately? The very bedrock of algorithms have bias uploaded in them – and this is because software development teams lack equal representation on both a racial and gender equity level. The same goes in other fields too, from healthcare technology to recruitment.

In light of this, a well-known study on facial recognition bias was conducted in 2018 to appraise three gender classification algorithms. The study showed that all three algorithms had error rates of 34% for darker skinned females compared to lighter skinned males.

The results prompted some tech organisations to take steps to modify testing cohorts and improve data collection to reduce bias. However, we still need more diverse talent at top technology companies to reduce these errors and impacts on wider society.

Opening doors and breaking down barriers

Diverse teams enable new ways of problem solving and can open doors for future generations of talent. We don’t have to look far for examples of this throughout history.

When Sally Ride became the first woman in space for a short flight in 1983, NASA’s medical staff realised they had never considered menstruation in space. Engineers had to examine how toilets and hygiene could be improved, meaning one woman’s period benefitted a whole generation of astronauts.

Another example is Margaret Hamilton, NASA’s ex-Director of Apollo Flight Computer Programming, who developed a unique asynchronous flight software that allowed the safe landing on the moon of the Apollo 11 shuttle after alerts overrode the system. In fact, she even coined the term ‘software engineering ‘and is credited with revolutionising space flight engineering as well as making the 1969 moon landing a reality.

Additionally, Valerie Bath, the first African American to complete a residency in ophthalmology, went on to invent the Laserphaco Probe to help make the removal of cataracts less invasive and risky for patients globally. This was after discovering African Americans were eight times more likely to develop glaucoma. Her research meant that racial biases were accounted for in eye health treatments, revolutionising the healthcare of patients worldwide.

Although we still have a lot of work to do, these women – alongside many others not mentioned here – paved the way for technological advancements that still impact society positively to this day.

Facilitating skills development

Encouraging women into STEM starts with education and play at a very early age. The curriculum in the UK hasn’t changed for decades and it’s hindering progress in closing the skills gap. Teaching STEM subjects is about more than focusing on ‘hard skills’, but also how someone interacts with technology and solves problems.

At the same time, the responsibility lies with organisations. Recruiting female talent should not be a tick-box exercise for businesses, but a staple of any hiring process. Part of this is making STEM jobs more attractive to people from all backgrounds, which involves shifting language in advertisements, rethinking marketing strategies and making learning opportunities, such as apprenticeships, available to a wider demographic. It also means helping women in leadership positions become role models – key for disassembling stereotypes and improving social mobility.

Creating inclusive workplace cultures is essential for retaining diverse digital talent. As an

industry, there’s a long way to go to getting this right. At BAE Systems Digital Intelligence, we are dedicated to ensuring we’re offering equal and fair opportunities – and this is as much about where we work, as it is how we work.

Walking the walk

The UK’s digital future is not just about technology, but people. To narrow the widening skills gap, it is imperative that we provide more choice to women and girls throughout their careers.

That’s why BAE Systems Digital Intelligence holds regular digital and cyber courses to encourage people at all stages of their careers to learn new skills. For example, our partnership with Mindweaver is all about breaking down ethical and gender barriers to technical roles, offering them the opportunity to participate in a 16-week bootcamp coding course. We also partner with Tech Returners to offer courses for those who want to transition to careers in technology.

In addition to these initiatives, we also run seminars and events focused on increasing diversity within STEM. These are regularly hosted throughout the year, of which dates can be found on our dedicated events page.

About the author

Images from the We Are Tech 100 Awards, QE II Centre London 23Jan2020Victoria Knight is the Strategic Campaigns Director for BAE Systems Digital Intelligence, which helps nations, governments and businesses around the world defend themselves against cyber crime.

With over 20 year experience in the tech sector across strategic development, leadership, digital skills growth, diversity and inclusion, Victoria is passionate about our digital & cyber workforce becoming more reflective of society and advocating the exciting opportunities it has to offer.  She is an active STEM Ambassador and member of Greater Manchester’s Cyber Advisory Group.


Vacancy Spotlight: Senior Data Solutions Engineer – Systematic Trading | Invesco

Invesco logo

Invesco is driven by a pure focus on investment. It’s all we do.

We focus on doing work that matters and being a firm that gives a voice to every employee. In fact, we make a promise to our clients and each other to create greater possibilities together. We’re looking for people who have fresh perspectives. Who can come together to share ideas, listen and challenge each other to achieve better solutions for our clients.

The Team

The Systematic Trading Technology team works closely with Traders, Quants, Business Analysts and our global technology partners to build and support Invesco’s trading and trading analytics platform. Our goal is to deliver best in class trading solutions that empowers traders, trade management and the quantitative research teams to perform at the highest level. The team focuses on delivering innovative solutions using the latest technology, optimizing trading workflows, data modelling/analytics and building applications/interfaces that not only make our trading desks effective, but also bring new trader ideas to life!

We never give up.

Your role

As a Senior Data Solutions Engineer, Investment Technology, you will be working on a squad that builds global trading applications and global trading data platforms. The role will see you working on requirements from the business that enables the global trading organisation to automate workflows and allows for opportunities to explore the latest technology stack to improve the current business model.

Sound interesting? The Senior Engineer will liaise with business partners and the wider product owner teams. You will deliver curated data sets to the business and deliver real time data for use by traders directly into the execution management system to implement systematic trading algorithms. We will ask you to work on the buildout of robust data pipelines using modern data engineering tech stack and Cloud architecture as well as the management of application and data integration platforms.

We are looking for someone who can bring expertise as a Software Developer, Data Engineer or Data Solutions Analyst and strong experience with Oracle, SQL Server in writing T-SQL and performance tuning. You will demonstrate a working knowledge of Informatica or any ETL tool with an understanding of Python programming.

The Senior Engineer will bring solid analytical and critical thinking skills with a team player attitude. They will be self-motivated and able to collaborate and communicate well.

The good stuff

We have an outstanding benefits package, which includes

  • Competitive salary and bonus
  • Company-provided healthcare
  • 26 days annual leave + bank holidays
  • Generous pension provisions
  • Income protection
  • Health and wellness benefits
  • Volunteering days
  • Enhanced parental leave
  • Life insurance

Our commitment to you

We recognise that everyone is different and that the way in which people want to work and deliver at their best is different for everyone.  As part of Invesco’s commitment to ensuring our teams have the broad range of experiences and backgrounds required to promote diversity of thought, and to maintaining a positive, engaging work environment, we champion flexible working.

Please feel free to discuss flexible working options with us.

Our commitment to the community and environmental, social and governance investing

We partner with charitable organisations globally to make an impact in the communities where we live and work. Our people are encouraged to support the charities they feel most passionate about.  We are also committed to environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing. We serve our clients in this space as a trusted partner both on specific responsible investment product strategies as well as part of our commitment to deliver a superior investment experience.

Join Us

We’re proud to be a firm that achieves more together. One that is focused on doing work that matters. One that gives a voice to every employee. One that genuinely cares. By coming together to share our ideas, listen, and challenge each other’s perspectives, we get to better solutions for our clients.

Our ambition is high. By working smart and supporting one another, we can continuously push ourselves to grow. We all have the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on our business, our industry and our clients’ lives.

Let’s create greater possibilities together!

FIND OUT MORE & APPLY