Bex Hay

Bex Hay | Organise

Bex Hay

Bex is co-founder and CTO at Organise - a UK startup that aims to revolutionise workplace organising.

Bex led the visions and development for the platform that allows people to start campaigns in their workplace, for everything from challenging bad behaviour, exposing harassment to winning better pay and parental leave. Thousands of people have already won campaigns from some of the UK's biggest companies using the Organise platform - including McDonald's workers securing their biggest pay rise in ten years, and staff at Ted Baker exposing harassment in their company, leading to their CEO resigning.

In her day job, Bex currently heads up the tech team at 38 Degrees - overseeing the development of the UK's biggest tech platform for campaigning with over two million users. 38 Degrees members work together to tackle the issues they care about, from pressuring the government to give the NHS the funding it needs, through to saving local libraries from closing (and everything in between!). Bex's work includes facilitating thousands of people to start their own petitions and crowdfund to meet their goals, through to developing innovative tactics that disrupt and influence politicians to listen to the public. Bex also oversees the growth and product management of 38 Degrees’ digital platform across the globe - currently spanning over 19 countries, 4 continents, and empowering more than 10 million people worldwide to campaign on issues they care about.

Bex's passion lies in harnessing technology, and making innovative use of tools traditionally used to make profit to advance social change instead. Prior to 38 Degrees she spent two years as the digital campaigns lead at ShareAction, building a community of tens of thousands of people to use the power invested with their pension funds to change corporate behaviour. She pioneered a joint campaign with Citizens UK and led the mobilisation of thousands of people - that saw over 20 of the FTSE 100 commit to pay their employees a Living Wage.

In 2014 (in her spare time) Bex co-founded Amazon Anonymous, an online movement of more than 200,000 consumers who pressured and threatened to boycott the retail giant over their inadequate working conditions and tax dodging business practices. The campaign succeeded in diverting millions of pounds away from Amazon and contributed towards Amazon being forced to pay corporate tax in the UK, and eventually to paying their staff a Living Wage.

Bella Thornely

Bella Thornely | Accenture

Bella Thornely

I have always displayed the courage and energy to seek out challenges and not shy from taking the harder path to success and reward.

A technology focused career in Financial Services was just that path, one which I am passionate about inspiring others to follow.

Always seeking a challenge and with a desire to improve my technical skills, I chose to study BSc Physics with a focus on C++ Programming, Web Development and HTML. As one of only handful of women enrolled in the course, I sought to encourage greater uptake in studying Physics and therefore decided to spend my penultimate year of university working part-time as a GCSE Physics teacher at St Joseph’s Catholic College in Bradford. I used this platform to showcase the opportunities available to young women who study STEM subjects.

Since joining Accenture’s Technology Strategy practice as a Banking Enterprise Architecture specialist, I have established myself as a Thought-Leader in both emerging technology and new ways of working. Recently, I recognised an opportunity to reshape a leading high street bank’s approach to change, I defined and embedded a Design-Sprint methodology that has revolutionised the UK’s biggest transformation programme in Finance. Over the past few years, I have successfully driven a number of agile based sprints to define Cloud, Data & Analytics, AI, API, Security and Mobile strategies that enabled my client to thrive amidst current industry disruption. Driven by my interest in FinTechs, I spent a year working as a Product Manager at a start-up and have since returned to Accenture to share my experience of customer and data centric growth.

My passion for technology is evident in my rapid career acceleration at Accenture and the recognitions for my contribution that include; Client Account Innovation Lead, Head of Strategy Innovation Ecosystem and Technology Strategy AI Thought-Leader. A passionate and accountable people developer, I use the Women in Technology Strategy network to share my experiences, enhance other’s technical expertise and champion future female leaders.

Audrey Bampoe

Audrey Bampoe | Credit Suisse

Audrey Bampoe

I began my career in a High Street Bank, from which I obtained my initial experience in Finance and Trading.

I used the experience I gained to transition to Investment Banking in an Operations role. I performed a variety of roles within Operations before moving to a role as a business sponsor for IT projects related to client on-boarding. Part of my role involved providing the business requirements and validating these were delivered in the IT systems. This role sparked my curiosity for technology and how user requirements are delivered from an IT perspective.

I decided to embark on a Computing and Information Technology Degree whilst working full time. This along with bringing up my daughter, as a solo mother, took me 9 years to complete. It provided me with a grounding in Database Technology, Software Development Methodologies and Quality Assurance processes along with a major in user interface design.

My first IT role was as a Business Analyst (BA) in Client Reference Data which leveraged my previous business experience. From here I was promoted as the lead BA running the team as well as an SME for the defining of the data strategy. I then transitioned to a role, heading a team of BA’s for an application in Front Office Risk Management focused on providing valuation and P&L data to Finance, Product Control, Collateral Management and Credit Risk. This was a significant challenge as it was a completely new business area for me. However after a number of years I mastered and eventually outgrew this role.

I have now moved to a role that focuses on Market Risk and core Risk Management functions (sensitivities, scenarios, capital calculations). My role is Data Engineering which leverages my BA skill but has required me to build on existing SQL skills to coding in JAVA.

Arta Cika

Arta Cika | University of Oxford

Arta Cika

Arta is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford.

Her research focuses on modeling and analyzing ad hoc networks, a particular type of decentralized network without pre-existing infrastructure. Arta received a double M.Sc. Degree (magna cum laude) in Communications and Computer Engineering from Polytechnic of Turin and Telecom ParisTech in 2015. Before starting her PhD, she worked for a telecommunication start-up in France. Arta is the winner of the IRCN Scholarship awarded by the University of Tokyo.

In 2019, she was selected to participate in the Complex Systems Summer School (CSSS) at the Santa Fe Institute, NM, USA. Aside from her academic accomplishments, Arta is deeply involved with promoting women in STEM. She is a committee member of the Women in Engineering Society at the University of Oxford and part of the RisingWISE (Women In Science and Engineering) Programme.

Anne Simmons

Anne Simmons | ThoughtWorks

Anne Simmons

Anne Simmons is currently a Global Head of Capability at ThoughtWorks, where she is responsible for new market growth, helping ThoughtWorks successfully enter and service new markets and offerings.

In this role, Anne works with country leadership teams around the world to ensure a strategic approach to both individual and organizational capability planning and development.

Since joining ThoughtWorks over ten years ago as a developer and recent Computer Science graduate, Anne has played a number of roles working directly with clients, coaching delivery teams and supporting the CTO Rebecca Parsons. During this time she managed the creation and release of the popular ThoughtWorks Technology Radar. Her latest role combines her love of the use of technology to solve problems and her passion for developing people.

Anne is an active coach and mentor for many colleagues, supporting their leadership development. She co-sponsors and facilitates the companies global Technical Specialist leadership development programme.

Anne has become a regular speaker on the topic of the importance of diversity in technology. Most notably she spoke at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in 2011.

In 2018 Anne won the 10 Digital Ladies "Technologist" award, which celebrates someone who has led the implementation of technology to bring significant impact to an organisation or industry, The judges said, “We loved Anne’s continual passion and pursuit of digital perfection alongside supporting women in digital."

Prior to software development, Anne was a ski instructor in Canada and New Zealand which continues to be one of her main passions, and set her up with many of the skills that she relies on today.

Over the last year Anne has become a dedicated volunteer and campaigner for Disability Snowsports UK, providing on-snow support and raising awareness of inclusiveness in snowsports.

Anna Frankowska

Anna Frankowska | Pigzbe

Anna Frankowska

Anna is a multi-award winning 28 year old Polish born, London based entrepreneur whose latest role as a Consultant at Pigzbe.

She is a Fintech & Blockchain thought leader and has been recognised by the likes of the Forbes 30 Under 30 award and the Blockchain Founder of the Year prize in the BMW i UK Tech Founder awards. She is an Economist by education from UCL, and is an ex-Investment Banker by training having worked in Portfolio Management and Restructuring at RBS.

After 2 years, she quit her job to follow her passion and establish her first startup, Nightset. She raised funding and scaled the company which was recognised by the likes of Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe Technology and Real Business 50 Fastest Growing Companies etc. Having been drawn by the potential of blockchain to drive social impact, she founded Distributed.Academy, an education provider that is driving blockchain literacy and innovation aimed at management and technical teams.

Her latest project is Pigzbe, a digital piggy bank and pocket money service for children aged 6+ that helps them to improve financial literacy skills and incentivises good behaviours. She has also been appointed as a World Economic Forum Global Shaper - a self governed, non for profit community which works towards solving the most pressing issues relating to local economies around the world such as climate change, poverty and gender inequality.

She co-founded the Europe2SiliconValley Trip to give top students the chance to visit the most influential organisations there and also the Global Fintech & Blockchain Conference, the largest university led conference of its kind. She also sits on the advisory Board of The Oxford Guild, the largest university society worldwide. She often speaks at major conferences (e.g. Robo Advisors, London Fintech Week, Blockshow Asia, Innovate Finance) and universities around the world about topics such as Open Banking.

Anisha Malde

Anisha Malde | IBM

Anisha Malde

After growing up in Kenya, Anisha Malde, moved to the UK and gained a 1st class masters in Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering from Imperial College.

Her outstanding all-round performance at Imperial - including helping to raise over £9,000 for the Anthony Nolan Trust - made her a finalist for female undergraduate of the year. During her masters, Anisha landed very prestigious internships at Rolls Royce UK and as a Developer for MPesa, Safaricom in Kenya. She’s now a developer within IBM’s consulting division, with expertise in Blockchain, the futuristic technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Her expertise took her centre stage at the Women of Silicon Roundabout Conference, where she was the youngest speaker amongst CEO’s delivering a TEDx style tech talk titled “New Kid on the Blockchain”.

Anahita Mahmoudi

Anahita Mahmoudi | Capgemini

Anahita Mahmoudi

In 2012, Anahita started her career as an application consultant in Sogeti UK – Part of Capgemini, with a drive for design and innovation in the technology sector.

Anahita had shown exceptional performance in delivering Sogeti's client engagements, and a strong contribution to internal company operations. Her approach to technology, customers and services had been perceived as a compelling combination during her time in Sogeti which made her the fastest promoted graduate to the role of Managing Consultant. She is now a digital consultant in Capgemini UK where she uses innovation to embrace change in the workplace and life. As a Digital Consultant for Capgemini, she mediates across client teams and people, who have conflicting information and opinions, to gain successful and positive outcomes for the client and Capgemini.

During her time in Capgemini, Anahita has created a training roadmap for junior talents within Digital Customer Experience, providing a viable route for advancement, particularly for women in a traditionally male-dominated environment. She also promotes cultural transformation using modern training and coaching methods.

Anahita discovered leadership at an early stage in her career, when she was involved in a youth leadership programme at St.Ethelburga Reconciliation and Peace, aiming to make an impact in the society which later on inspired her to start her coaching career as a young professional. In 2014, she was elected as the young talent of Sogeti Group in the UK and led a youth leadership initiative called ‘Meet The Future’, which was a calling for young employees from different backgrounds and roles to get involved in the company’s mission and introduce a new idea of leadership. In 2016, she was involved in The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme, helping exceptional young people who want to transform lives. Her ethos and approach considers the potential and energy of the younger generations as they lead us in the transition from the present time to a new future world.

Anahita supports Capgemini recent partnership with Code Your Future, a not-for-profit developer course to create a Digital Academy, providing digital skills training and employment opportunities to refugees and others from disadvantaged backgrounds. Prior to joining this project, Anahita had co-founded Change the Future, a volunteer campaign to leverage technology to help educate displaced children in refugee camps.

Amanda Heslop

Amanda Heslop | Rolls-Royce

Amanda Heslop

The intriguing nature of flight and propulsion captured my 10-year-old imagination and, coupled with my curious and inquisitive nature, inspired hobbies, experiences and studies that led me to read Aeronautical Engineering at Loughborough University.

This was a not a traditional academic path for a woman, but demonstrates that I had an interest in technology at an early age. By the time I had graduated with a First Class Master’s degree, I had accumulated experiences at major airline maintenance facilities, small composite aircraft design studios, marine fabrication businesses, and the gas turbine engine design and manufacturing firm - Rolls-Royce.

I was accepted onto a one year internship programme with Rolls-Royce after competing for a place amongst thousands of applicants. Surpassing expectations, I started on the graduate programme in 2009 and shortly after gained Engineering Chartership status. I gained a breadth and depth of technological knowledge and experiences navigating the different Defence and Civil gas turbine engine teams including Component Manufacturing, Engine Systems Design, Life-Cycle Management, and Product Support and Investigations. After 6 short years, I was promoted to a role on the Chief Engineer’s first line and became one of a few female engineering managers globally in the Company.

More recently, my career has focused on supporting Rolls-Royce customers with their operational ambitions and issues. On the Trent 1000 engine programme, I worked closely with airlines and I was responsible for the corporate responses to in-service reliability and safety findings. Today, I am the Chief Project Engineer across Rolls-Royce Defence Legacy programmes (eg: Pegasus engine [Harrier Jump Jet], Merlin engine [WW2 Spitfire]). This involves working with international senior stakeholders and military organisations on multi-million pound projects, managing product safety, and identifying the best technological solutions to issues.

In parallel to performing in my management role in the Company, I have recently completed a second Master’s degree (Distinction) in Service Design and Management at the University of Warwick. Moreover, I passionately believe in promoting and supporting women in engineering. I contribute practically in cross-industry mentoring programmes and through various Rolls-Royce forums, including leading employee resource groups, speaking at Diversity and Inclusion conferences, and was recently invited by the UK Ambassador in Italy to discuss opportunities and challenges for women in engineering.

Alison Choy

Alison Choy | Starling Bank

Alison Choy

I didn’t mean to get into software engineering.

I started out as a chemist and did a PhD in cheminformatics, applying machine learning and data mining techniques to predict drug absorption and metabolism. As part of my PhD I had to learn programming, so I taught myself how to code by watching YouTube videos. I enjoyed creating software so much that I created an application based on the scientific methodologies that I developed for my PhD. The software enabled a user to investigate the stability of specific drug candidate structures. If undesirable properties were detected, the application suggested strategies to improve the drug candidate’s profile.

Programming turned out to be what I enjoyed the most, there was no question if I was going to pursue a career in software engineering. I worked as a software engineer for Alfa, a financial technology company operating in the asset finance market. I was instrumental in transforming Alfa's culture from that of a management consultancy to that of a tech company by organising their first two company hackathons. Alfa’s CEO described it as the best conference in the organisation’s 25 year history. This set in motion a chain of innovation projects that have been sustained even after I left the company.

I moved from Alfa to Starling Bank in 2018. My role initially consisted of integrating the bank’s backend application with other financial services providers to offer customers the ability to transfer their data securely from one to the other. I have since moved into a data science / data engineering role within Starling, where I am responsible for gathering and fulfilling the organisation’s data requirements from compliance and regulatory reports to financial reconciliations and investor documents. I am implementing a data warehouse so business users can obtain the data they require and carry out their own data visualisation without any technical knowledge. Now as Starling’s head of machine learning, I am working to improve upon the organisation’s data foundation, to accelerate data driven decisions and work towards using AI to improve our customer’s experience and their financial lives.