Rose Fredua | PwC

Rose Fredua

I started off my career in technology as a website designer and then moved into programming.

I was not content to be a solitary person programming, so then joined an Information Technology support team, where I would build and support PCs and laptops. I am a trained Dell laptop engineer. Within this support team, I supported a wide range of software and hardware and gained a keen interest in wifi technology and telephony.

I then moved into managing support teams both onshore and offshore which helped me to grow my team leading skills.

I cut my project management teeth whilst managing multiple office moves in different locations within the UK - which was both challenging and interesting as this really tested my project management skills and helped to grow my passion for project and programme management.

In my current role at PwC, I can be found in the Digital Technology and Transformation space where I am growing my skillset in Cloud Technologies such as Azure and AWS, as well as carving out a career path as a SAFe Agile Coach.


Debs Hetherington

Deb Hetherington | Leeds Beckett University

Debs Hetherington

I grew up in a forces family, moving every few years and never really knew what I wanted to do.

I eventually settled on studying a history degree in York, where I fell in love with Yorkshire. I then travelled independently, volunteering in township schools in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, and Malawi.

Returning the England, I took on a masters in Law at Leeds University, and went on to work in Business Development for several Firms including Top 100 practices Ward Hadaway and Freeths.

My specialist area was in commercial law, where I was involved in the startup and entrepreneurial space, networking with innovative young businesses and offering them the crucial legal services they required at affordable prices.

I then moved across to the public sector at Leeds Beckett University, where I worked exclusively on an European Funded project, which offers free support and funding to young and growing digital businesses. I have recently taken on the role of SME Engagement Manager at Leeds Beckett University, which sees me seeking out innovative technology based partnerships for fast growing, innovative businesses. I have a strong network in the region, sitting on Leeds Digital Festival board, Leeds.tech board, Leeds BID Steering group and co founding Women in Leeds Digital (WiLD).

I am passionate about the future of technology, how it will inevitably impact society, and why it needs to be representative of the diverse society we live in.


Theresa Sayers

Theresa Sayers | Sussex Police

Theresa Sayers

Theresa is an MCIPD qualified HR professional with a extensive career spanning public sector Human Resources and HR Business Systems, with previous experience across the financial services sector.

She is currently seconded to the Tri Force ERP Implementation Programme for Surrey, Sussex and Thames Valley Police - securing a single ERP solution across the 3 forces providing efficiency savings and streamlined single processes. Providing improved self service functionality with a user bases of around 18k users. The Programme is the largest Microsoft D365 implementation currently in the UK and Europe

As the HR/SBS functional lead Theresa provides technical support, coaching and advise to the IT streams and Business Systems Teams to ensure transfer of knowledge to provide on going support to the forces following implementation. Throughout the programme, to date. Theresa has had extensive responsibility - from producing initial statement of requirements and associated design documents and artefacts - right through process analysis to design to the current stages of integration testing and UAT.

Theresa has single-handedly taken on sole responsibility for the force side of the design and delivery of the Role Based Security model and the approach for HR - linking Microsoft D365 and external four vision webapps design plus other third party ISV partner systems.

Her prior career in the finance industry also afforded Theresa exposure to IT system development and leading individual branches through tech advancement stages and moving from hard copy ledgers and customer details onto computer software.

Theresa has defied stereotypes as a mature female developing IT capabilities and skills later in her career and becoming an inspiring leader in the process. Despite her disability and daily chronic pain she remains buoyant, strong and maintains service delivery at all times - with a new found passion for new technology and embracing future transformation. (The 'silver' geek).


Shikha Vaishwanar

Shikha Vaishwanar | PwC

Shikha Vaishwanar

My career in technology began around 2009 as a technical dispatch consultant responsible for ensuring the internet ports on the walls of university dormitory rooms were screwed in and functioning accurately.

Little did I know that 10 years down the line my career would develop into managing technology aspects of external audits of some of the largest global FTSE 100 organisations.

My journey to this point has not been conventional and listed below are some high and low points experienced along the way:

  • I moved to university in America at aged 18 after overcoming considerable societal pressure to follow my family's footsteps and pursue a degree in medicine or engineering in India.
  • I took up one of the few available jobs for international student at a turbulent university call centre to help contribute towards my day to day costs at university.
  • Realising I had a passion for technology, I moved to an IT help desk role at the university which is where my technology career commenced. I grew in this role to assistant supervisor within a year which was reassurance that I was in the right domain.
  • I faced a period of racial stereotyping from a prominent university individual for being a South Asian person in technology support but at the same time saw how good the university was with helping me combat this and taking corrective action.
  • Realising I like the people/ business/front office side of things in addition to coding, I graduated with honours in accounting whilst minoring in computer science to combine my strengths. This helped me secure a job at PwC New York Metro in the Risk Assurance department working on technology audits for global pharmaceutical clients.
  • When all seemed well, I went through one of the most unstable periods in my life when I realised my chances to remain in the US were determined by the country's immigration lottery process and not on merit. After losing my 20% chance of securing a work visa I relocated back to India within a month and tried to find a new job.
  • I utilised my skill set along with my strong PwC global network to obtain a job at PwC's London office as a senior associate in data and controls auditing.
  • I regained some logistical stability after moving to London and grew in the firm to Senior Manager. I am now responsible for overseeing the group SOx audits of global clients primarily in the IT controls space including business automated controls, new system implementation, auditing emerging technology and data migration reviews.

The two things that have been a cornerstone in my journey are people and technology. I receive strong support from my family, partner and friends who I can always rely on even if it is across various time zones. This has also expanded to my global PwC network and support from work colleagues.

My technology journey has also developed over the years. From simply using a computer to learn about university programmes in America, I progressed to helping faculty and students troubleshoot hardware and software issues. Along the way I also developed apps for smartphones as part of university projects and landed a very fulfilling job understanding and auditing technology used by multinational corporations for issuance of their financial results. Although always living and appreciating the present, I am looking forward to the next adventure!


Sylwia Jablonska Bond

Sylwia Jablonska Bond | Barclays

Sylwia Jablonska Bond

Sylwia started her career in technology within Financial Services at Accenture and Capco consulting.

She moved into industry in 2011 to work in Foreign Exchange IT for Barclays Investment Bank, where she is currently working as a Programme Manager responsible for a portfolio of initiatives across FX and Emerging Markets, ranging from Product Rollout to revenue-opportunity client technology solutions.

Sylwia always sets high standards for her work and throughout her career has led a number of diverse project teams delivering pioneering and regulatory change across technology and business in Wealth Management and Global Markets.

She has a seamless ability to work across the wide organisation and experience hierarchy with ease, and is equally at home briefing the Business Head about the programme plans as she is discussing technical solutions with quantitative developers or working to support a new graduate in their development.

In every project, she takes the lead in training and developing colleagues around the globe. She coaches and mentors those with less experience and does not shy away from difficult and contentious decisions by always balancing the needs of the organisation and colleagues. As a leader, she forges teams through consensus building, understanding and an industrious tenacity to get the job done. This creates tempo in her projects leading to timely delivery.

She is a go-to person for technology engagements in her area and is often asked for advice by her colleagues and peers. She also holds a Certificate in Agile leadership from Scrum Alliance.

Sylwia has been actively involved in diversity and community projects since the beginning of her career, specifically supporting the younger generation:

• Organiser and curator of TEDxShoreditch 2019, managing a team of 5 volunteers, and an expected audience of 100 and 8 speakers.
• Mentoring for the Microsoft Girls in AI Hackathons
• Mentoring young people through Young Enterprise Charity
• Barclays Women in Technology committee, with specific focus on Learning, Coaching (previously held a position of Learning and Coaching Lead for WiT)
• Running mock interview and coaching sessions for interns at Barclays
• Organising charity bake sales and Christmas hamper drives for various charities (in 2018 the proceeds from her MiFID II Bake-off sale was in the top 1% of the monthly donations for the Great Ormond Street Hospital)
• Markets Change Execution Continuous Improvement Working Group Content Creator
• Royal Ocean Racing Club Fastnet race Competitor as part of the Barclays team
• Barclays Fencing Club Club Captain (led team to victory in London’s Corporate Decathlon)
• Alto singer in the Barclays Choir, Canary Wharf Choir and City Music Services Chorale, taking part in charity concerts
• An active member of the City of London Lime Street and Cornhill Ward Club
• Sylwia supports the arts back home in Poland by sponsoring music album recordings for up-and-coming local artists


Zoe Desmond

Zoë Desmond | Frolo

Zoe Desmond

Two years ago when my son Billy turned 1, my relationship with his Dad broke down and I ventured into life as a single parent.

I had no idea how lonely and isolating I would find this new life as a single parent. Suddenly instead of feeling excited when Friday came around, I would feel dread about filling the weekends ahead. I found myself feeling lost and lonely and pushing the buggy around the streets while all I could see was families everywhere. I didn’t want to impose on friends or family or admit how tough I was finding things, and what I really wanted was to find other like-minded single parents in my area to connect with for friendship and support. I wanted to chat to people who could relate to what I was going through and also to have options for playdates and Sunday lunches at the weekend without feeling like a burden on anyway.

I started trawling the internet looking for ways to connect with other likeminded single parents near me but much to my disappointment I couldn’t find what I was looking for despite learning that 1 in 4 families in the UK and Ireland are single parent families.

It was then I started to dream up my perfect solution in an ideal world – an App that connected single parents (Mums and Dads) to like-minded single parents based on location proximity, kids age and shared interests. I wanted to rebrand the term Single Parent with something more positive and uplifting – I came up with the name Frolo (which is derived from the words Friends and Solo). The Frolo App (IOS and Android) is now just weeks away from going live and already there are almost 2000 Frolos officially signed up to the waitlist of the App.

The Frolo App (www.frolo.co.uk) launches in mid-September and is £5 a month. It has four main functionalities – Discovery, Messaging, Community Newsfeed and Meetups. Already there has been lots of great press activity including The Guardian, Grazia, The Telegraph, The Sunday Times Magazine, Hello Magazine, The Sunday Independent, The Irish Times, BBC Women’s Hour to name a few.

Previous to founding Frolo, I co-founded an App that connected members to classes in the areas of BODY, MIND and SOCIAL around London. I took part on the Fast Forward accelerator as part of that experience. And previous to that I was Head of Fundraising and Events in the Non Profit Sector.


Zara Powell

Zara Powell | Zone

Zara Powell

I am a Delivery Lead at Zone. Having studied International Business with Spanish, I began my career in technology in 2014 and developed a passion for agile ways of working.

As a certified agile leader and LeSS practitioner, I have experience delivering complex technical projects for a broad range of verticals, specialising in digital transformation and change management, leading teams for the likes of Peabody Trust, Catalyst Housing, Electrolux, the John Lewis Partnership and Barratt Homes.

I have been fortunate to have had exposure to a range of different technology projects including having worked with mobile app teams, infrastructure, data & BI, helping to deliver programmes of work but also supporting the teams in any way possible including post-deployment testing, data inputting, systems configurations, delivering training to users and providing first line support.

I am a regular speaker at events including being invited to be the guest speaker for the University of Plymouth at the prestigious International Business annual dinner, talking to 200 under-graduates about my journey as a woman in tech and learnings and challenges to date, as well as having the privilege of being invited to be the first speaker at Zone’s Women in tech, talk series.

Championing diversity in the workplace is hugely important to me, I support diversity through mentoring across the agency, having set up an agile community to share my knowledge and experience more broadly as well as helping the growth of female colleagues, with the result being 2 recent promotions in the last 12 months.


TechWomen100 Awaiting Image

Yasmin Desai | Hubble

TechWomen100 Awaiting Image

Yasmin is an ambitious entrepreneur who has worked in 4 tech start ups, she regularly writes about her experience of this and provides advice on making the most of your career in the start up scene. (www.thestartupgirl.co.uk)

Yasmin started off on her entrepreneurial journey during university where she received a business grant to start her own company. From this, she received multiple scholarships to study entrepreneurship abroad (at Babson university). She took her learnings and applied them when working part time in 2 startups during her last year of studies.

Upon graduating, Yasmin went straight into a Edtech startup, where she led the curriculum for an online platform for instructors to teach skills within business and entrepreneurship.

Yasmin then joined Catapult - a series A funded gig economy startup, where she was one of the first employees to join and build the company through it's national expansion.

Now, Yasmin works for Hubble as a strategy and operations manager leading the optimisation and scalability of the internal tooling within the company.

In her spare time, Yasmin is a guest lecturer for topics in entrepreneurship and innovation where she shares her experiences and knowledge to young students with the aim for them to choose tech as a career choice.


Winter Mraz

Winter Mraz | Barclays Eagle Labs

Winter Mraz

I’m the perpetually-bubbly engineer of Eagle Labs. Im a 3D Asset Artist/Illustrator, sometimes teacher, and Maker.

I have a quite varied background and work history, which allows me to work on new projects and rapid prototypes from multiple different angles. I have over 10 years experience in business and project management, over 8 years experience in illustration and graphic design. Academically I have two degrees; a BSc (First Degree Honours) in Games Modelling, Animation and Effects, as well as having a previous BA (First Degree Honours) in International Marketing, Business Management and Media Communications, with additional minors in Business Law and Child Psychology. I am hoping to continue on to my PhD early next year in Engineering, where my topic will focus on women in Technology and Digital Entertainment, our roles, and influences, and how we can change the culture of these industries for the better.

I have a long history in both charities and teaching, and am always looking for new projects that will help me get children and girls in to STEM. My favourite projects involve creativity and growth, such as teaching kids how to build robots, tutoring at the special needs schools in my area, or watching someone’s idea come to life as a physical in front of them. I've worked for multiple tech industries, from being a Tier 2 supervisor at Apple with multiple technician teams under me back when the first iPod was released, down to designing floating Bluetooth perfume bottles for Kim kardashians’ team. I spend my free time helping kids work through creative problem solving through 3D printing and modelling for tabletop improv games, and I've more recently been involved in the world record for the Worlds Largest 3D Print with Liverpool MakeFest. There’s something special about the look on someone’s face when their idea becomes reality, and I hope to continue working as an engineer specialising in teaching and creation for long years into the future to help keep making peoples creative dreams and projects come true.


Vivian Li

Vivian Li | The Francis Crick Institute

Vivian Li

Vivian obtained her PhD at the University of Hong Kong Department of Pathology in 2008, where she researched the molecular mechanisms of human gut development and tumour formation.

She received the Gold Medal Prize for her PhD thesis. After completing her PhD study, Vivian was funded by the Croucher Foundation Fellowship to pursue her post-doctoral research training at the Hubrecht Institute in the Netherlands. Her work focused on the Wnt pathway, a network of molecules that help stem cells grow and multiply.

Vivian established her lab in 2013 at the MRC NIMR, which has now become part of the Francis Crick Institute. Vivian and her team in the Stem Cell and Cancer Biology Laboratory are studying the bowel to understand the role of stem cells in the healthy organ and what goes wrong when cancer develops. Using innovative cell biology and gene editing techniques, the team are growing mini-organs for use in organ transplants, or for testing new drugs for bowel cancer. She received the Future Leaders in Cancer Research Prize in 2018 from Cancer Research UK for her pioneering work on bowel cancer.