Kate Self | BT

I’m Kate, a 20 year old Degree Apprentice in TV at BT Tower. As well as my operational role, I’m working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Digital and Media Solutions, along with a number of other courses and qualifications. I came straight from 6th Form into my apprenticeship. At school I didn’t know what I wanted to do, all of my friends were applying for university but I knew that wasn’t the route I wanted to take. Now I can develop my learning while obtaining invaluable, hands on experience. I’m fully involved in day to day work, whilst earning a salary. Engineering was never a career I thought about until I completed Work Experience at BT. I undertook a week’s placement in Procurement and then in TV. From that point I knew engineering was my dream career, being part of the constantly evolving innovations and solutions. Since starting 18 months ago, my confidence has grown tremendously, giving me the opportunity to lead on high-level projects. Currently, I'm working as one of the 2nd line operations team, which is part of Technology, one of the six sectors within BT Group, supporting the new BT TV and BT Sport apps through their development, testing on multiple devices and collating error codes. I’m also extremely passionate about diversity and inclusion. I’m part of a small team, working with managers and the Senior Leadership Team, where we’re looking to create a diverse workforce and inclusive culture. I’m passionate about becoming a role model, encouraging women into STEM subjects and careers.

Kathryn Lowen | Transport for London

I started studying programming when I went to university - up to that point everything I knew was self-taught as there were no opportunities to formally study computing in the rural community I grew up in. At University I studied Computer Games Programming as I loved the practicality that the degree offered. Between my second and third years, to gain more experience, I was accepted onto a 13 month industrial placement in Germany at Airbus Helicopters to work on the development of flight systems for military aircraft.

I returned to UK to finish my degree before moving to London in the summer of 2015 to begin working at Transport for London on the Software Development graduate scheme. During the scheme, I worked on a number of different projects from backend ticketing systems to visualisation projects such as Virtual and Augmented Reality. After successfully completing the scheme, I began working on the Contactless payment system used across London’s transport network, specifically a component called the Fares & Aggregation Engine that ensures TfL charges customers the correct fare for their journey.

Katie Entwistle | National Grid

I do not have a degree. I started in supply chain as a stock controller and quickly advanced my skills on MS Excel, incorporating VBA and advanced formulae with no prior knowledge and enhancing processes for the team, quickly becoming the go-to for SAP related queries throughout the business. I constantly explored better ways to do something and was not happy sticking to the status quo. I was then head hunted by the emerging RPA team in National Grid and brought in as a developer, on first impressions alone. I received my UI Path (based on .net) foundation diploma within a month and delivered my first solo project in the second month in the team. 9 months on and I have built and am maintaining 13 regular processes, along with peer reviewing and supporting the senior developer. I have written the tech standards document for our team and helped implement best practice. In my own time I am trying to further my knowledge of software development – I have signed up to FreeCodeCamp and am currently working through an intense Java and algorithms module for my part time Open University degree. I’m passionate about the environment and would love to use tech to save the planet – my entrepreneurial friend has just opened a zero waste shop and I have been looking at QR scanning to enhance her customer experience. I have a curious mind and love a challenge! I have attended conferences and always challenge the speaker, and people are always surprised by my age. My dad is a senior software developer and has worked in many large organisations - he is very supportive and as a consequence I have a lot of reading material, a raspberry pi to play with and a great mentor!

Kimberley Abbott | Social Impact Innovation

I am a passionate young leader, engineer, problem solver, entrepreneur, and change-maker.

I am CEO and founder of Social Impact Innovation, a company who unleash the collective power, knowledge and resources of the social, private and Government sectors to help create impactful, sustainable and scalable social innovation.

We want to redefine ‘millionaire’ to be a person who has impacted 1 million lives. I currently am the backbone organisation leading the development of innovative tech solutions to social problems, including a large global project working with the UN to develop a big data & IoT solution to improving Peacekeeping.

I was previously (until early 2018) Engineering Innovation Lead at Thales UK, within the world renowned Research, Technology & Innovation global business unit. I was responsible for directing world-leading digital technology projects, spearheading technology, customer and business focus to take ground-breaking digital technologies from concept, to design and on to market. This has involved leading the agile and innovative development of a digital civil UAS operations platform, VR/AR head-mounted display units, and future city and urban mobility technologies.

I was also previously CEO and Founder of social enterprise, Roka, which aimed to break the cycle of poverty in rural India through economic empowerment of women & education and In 2015 I was selected as a civil advisor on the Australian Government delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, and in 2016 received the Commonwealth Youth Award for Excellence in Development Work. In 2013 I was recognised by the Financial Review and Westpac, where i was announced as one of Australia’s top 100 Women of Influence, and have been named in the 2017 Top 50 Women in Engineering Under 35, and 2018 Most Innovative Engineers (Engineers Australia).

Kirsty Griffiths | LV=

During 20 years at LV= I’ve held an eclectic and varied number of roles, working my way up through the General Insurance business from a Customer Service Representative to Customer Service Manager before moving into IT in 2009.

I started in IT as a Capacity and Availability Analyst but soon started taking on more project work and additional responsibilities. A year and half later I moved into Problem Management where I picked up responsibility for setting up, and embedding, the Problem process across CIO. As the process owner I constantly work with my team and stakeholders to seek out improvement opportunities ensuring the process is as effective and efficient as possible. In addition I have established Continuous Improvement methodology within IT Service Management and driven cross-team collaboration to breakdown silo working environments. I am also actively involved in our transformation work streams, specifically championing DevOps and Future Ways of Working. I often support other teams providing facilitation for process improvement initiatives.

In addition to my day role I sit on the Steering Committee of our Women’s network, PACE, in the role of Lead PACE Setter. I look after the PACE champions in each office and work with them to organise both local and group events to champion gender diversity and supporting women to reach their full potential.

Throughout my time in LV=, and especially IT, I have pro-actively sought opportunities to learn and use new skills. I have successfully completed all my ITIL intermediate qualifications and I’m currently preparing to complete my Managing across the Lifecycle qualification. Additionally I am just about to commence a Level 5 Management Apprenticeship to further develop my leadership skills.

Krisztina Ratz | Deloitte

Ballerina became passionate about technology and aviation. When I was a teenager, I started to co-manage a family owned internet cafe and immediately became curious about the computer and the newly emerged thing, called internet.

I would describe myself as a self-starter who did not hesitate to build her own life as soon as it was possible, by leaving a subject area dominant by women and becoming the only girl in the classroom at the age of 14. I have then graduated university as a Business Information Technologist.

My true calling for aviation started during a semester in Sweden, where I took the advantage of applying to a Transportation course. That experience led me to specialise myself in that industry by completing a post-graduate programme in London.
Among my many previous work experiences, I am the proudest of my first job in my profession at T-Systems. Here I was active as Junior IT Consultant from my 2nd year at university. My main duty was supporting a new reporting system as a developer.
Currently I am a Technology Consultant at Deloitte. I have been focusing on next generation data management technologies. I have been involved in engagements like, implementing Hadoop data platforms and developing data virtualisation solutions.
In the past year, I have been working in one of the most innovative part of the firm, our collaboration with McLaren Applied Technologies, where we combine their Formula 1 thinking with our industry knowledge and analytics capability to solve complex client problems. More specifically, I am the Data Specialist on our Airport Operations Performance concept.

In addition to the above, I’m the Learning and Development Lead of my area and also focusing on building stronger awareness around female talent. Outside of the firm, I’m mentoring sixth form pupils to ensure they choose a right career path.

Kusum Trikha | WSP

I am a Senior Chartered Mechanical Engineer with seven years of experience in engineering, procurement and construction of large-scale energy generation projects in over 5 countries (UK, US, Senegal, Israel & India). I’ve been with WSP for five years, successfully undertaking the role of Design Engineer, Owner’s Engineer, Bid-Leader and Project-Manager for several multi-million-pound projects. I’ve a proven track record of leading high-profile project teams, delivering design solutions across conventional, renewable and ‘next-gen’ energy generation technologies. I’ve extensive experience in implementing sustainable energy processes such as Carbon Capture and Storage, Allam-Cycle, Biomass-Gasification, Energy-from-Waste, Combine Cycle Power Plant and Circulating Fluidized Bed Combustion. My day-to-day role involves implementation of my technical expertise in Due Diligence, Front End Engineering Design, Conceptual Studies and Detailed Design of low-carbon energy projects, managing a multi-disciplinary team.

In addition to my involvement in project work, I volunteer my personal time to support WSP’s CSR programme, the ‘WSP-Foundation’ in Manchester and have been the chair of the committee for five years.

I also passionately support the development of others; I am an active mentor and for many years have been an office representative for the Young Professionals Network. Outside of work, I am an active STEM Ambassador across the Trans-Pennine Hub.

From academic point of view, I hold B-Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering, Post-Graduate Diploma in Thermal Power Plant Engineering and Masters in Applied Carbon Management. Since childhood I have strong inclination towards technology and I have been participating in the School Science Exhibitions long before I remember.

As an Indian national, I started my career at IHEL, India, as a Graduate Engineer and was promoted as an Engineer within two years. I decided to pursue my Masters and I was honoured with a Leadership Scholarship worth £10,000 based on my excellent academic track record.

Laura Parker | GTN

After graduating with a first class economics degree, Laura spent 6 years working in Strategic Projects for The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). Her main focus was on designing and implementing strategies to improve the bank's support for entrepreneurs. This included the bank's flagship award-winning, multi-million-pound Entrepreneurship Strategy supporting 5,000 entrepreneurs over 5 years. She also worked on a collaboration lead by MIT University with UK government, corporates, universities and entrepreneurs to design a pilot programme for UK high-growth businesses, Growth Builder. Laura launched and delivered this pilot programme supporting 48 high-growth entrepreneurs with a combines turnover of £225m. Laura left the bank in 2017 to take a year out to travel after which she joined GTN as their second employee in March 2018.Laura is the sole operations staff member at GTN looking after the day to day operations at the business to allow the team the build such impactful technology.

Outside of her day-to-day role Laura lead the Community Leaders network at RBS and launched a crowd-sourced innovation programme within the bank resulting which directly contributed to the launch of ESME, a key pillar of the bank's digital strategy. Laura has volunteered as a London Ambassador for Start-up Grind for 4 years, lectured at Imperial University Entrepreneurship Summer School and was names one of Brummel Magazines Women in the City Innovators in 2016.

Laura McGhie | J.P. Morgan

Since graduating university with a degree in Computer Science and starting my career, I have strived to not only meet the goals of my role, but also to put myself forward as an advocate for the recruitment and development of new talent. I joined J.P. Morgan in 2016 as a graduate, and have held two roles within the firm.

In my current day to day role, I work on Athena, which is a next generation risk, pricing, and trade management platform within the Investment Bank. Since joining the team, I have enjoyed the challenges of learning both the financial sector, and a large sophisticated system. In a former role, I was responsible for gathering user feedback, developing and testing the platform, meaning I have full experience of the development process. Athena has also given me insights into liaising with clients outside of the technology sector, allowing me to develop new business oriented skills. In my time at the firm I have also largely been one of only a handful of female developers on my teams – therefore I always enjoy taking the opportunity to talk to newer members of the firm about my role and the opportunities the firm has for young women to advance and have fulfilling and meaningful jobs in highly skilled teams.

Previous to working in Athena, I was part of the Redwing team, which developed a messaging application to handle client data. In my time on this project, I dealt with client requirements and delivering changes at a rapid pace.

Laura Sloane | PwC

I have worked in marketing for years! The profession has seen, like many, a revolution enabled by advancements in digital technology. Marketing used to be the ‘fluffy’ function which made things look pretty. What I love is how it’s now intrinsically linked with technology. It’s about innovation, automation, AI and analytics…...a world where technology can help marketers track from campaign to sale.

My career has evolved a lot over the years too. After initially working at a SME, I have spent the last 13 years at PwC. During this time I have had the opportunity to work on lots of exciting projects - from leading the firm's campaign on the impact of digital technology on business, to more recently implementing our first Marketing Automation platform. I have always looked to innovate and test the latest tech, share what worked and what didn’t and encourage new approaches to marketing as a result.

It’s the last 18 months leading our Salesforce Marketing Cloud project that I have been on the most incredible learning journey, all whilst working alongside an amazing female core project team and a wider consulting team that also included fantastic men as well! This has been a sizable investment for our firm and one I believe will transform the way we go to market. I am so proud to have led it to launch and overcome many technical challenges along the way, through to the change management programme that now supports it and its future development roadmap.

I want to continue to learn as much as possible about Marketing Automation and other new marketing technologies as I move into a new role building the firm's first digital marketing team, and to share my experience with not just our people, but our clients who are embarking upon their own journeys.