Sarah MacNeill

Sarah MacNeill | J.P. Morgan

Sarah MacNeill

As someone who's always enjoyed solving problems, it's great to work as a Software Engineer where I have the opportunity to tackle complex challenges every day.

My technology journey began when I started at the University of St Andrews in 2015. I took an introductory programming module and loved it — so much so that I switched my degree to Computer Science within a few months! I graduated with First Class honours in 2019 and joined J.P. Morgan's Software Engineer program, having interned with the firm during my studies.

Though early in my career, I’ve worked with a huge variety of exciting technologies including public and private cloud, IAC and chaos engineering. I've delivered features across the full stack, having worked on multiple projects from concept to delivery and maintenance. My team's apps support the firm’s Public Cloud strategy and various learning and development initiatives, and I have significantly contributed to the usability and accessibility of our products, ensuring they are both inclusive and a joy to use.

Outside of my day job I share my passion and knowledge with others through mentorship and teaching. Internally, I support JPMC’s social learning communities of practice, and externally I mentor women trying to break into technology, and have taught software engineering skills to hundreds of people through volunteer work with Code First Girls, at local primary schools, and at the University of Glasgow. I've found this work extremely rewarding, as I've been able to solidify my own knowledge; build my network; improve my communication skills, and help others along the way.


Narelle Height

Narelle Height | PwC

Narelle Height

As a firm we see the huge benefits of technology advancements, but at the same time a growing concern that parts of society will be left behind, particularly young people.

We want them to be the best possible version of themselves that they can be. PwC are determined and driven to make a difference by inspiring young people to become curious about technology, see its potential whilst boosting their confidence in its application and use.

Currently, I am the Senior Education Outreach Manager for PwC Channel Islands and have over fifteen years experience within the technology and educational sectors. I specialise in the design creation and deployment of the technology educational programmes which are internal and external to the firm covering topics such as coding, cyber security, artificial intelligence, VR and AR. I have an in-depth understanding and awareness of the national curriculum and business training requirements which allows me to create education and training programmes that cater to an organisation purpose as well as the educational sector as a whole. Since joining PwC in 2016, I have designed, developed and deployed Hive Academy – an education outreach program aimed at inspiring young people into careers in technology. I have directly taught more than 8000 students in over 250 schools since the program's creation and upskillied over 450 teachers at the same time. I have also designed and delivered programmes for the Prince’s Trust and internally to colleagues on Cloud Computing and programming.

Previous to PwC I was a lecturer in Queen’s University Belfast, where I taught programming fundamentals and Android App Development to classes of up to 400. This was challenging and rewarding, especially due to the fact I was only one of two females in a heavily male dominated department. During my time in Queen’s I championed a lot of causes, including women in tech, the SWANN initiative and brough new and innovative ways into the department on how to deliver enriching learning experiences. During my time a Queens I also designed, created and delivered a teacher upskilling course in C# educating all the teachers in Northern Ireland on programming concepts. The material is now integrated into the GCSE curriculum within NI schools.

Prior to Queen’s University Belfast, I was a lecturer in Belfast Met, where I again worked with a high number of young people, often those on alternative pathways and those who were disillusioned with education. I strived to inspire them to believe in themselves, and coached and mentored them to succeed. I was the blended Learning coordinator tasked with improving the use of ICT within the classroom. I facilitated professional staff development workshops (June 2013) which involved the delivery of two formal staff training sessions on blended learning to all colleagues within the department. I was also the Barefoot Trainer(2012-2013) project manager (a programme by the British council focused on upskilling people on blended learning techniques for the classroom) and was responsible for the management of the project ensuring end deliverables were achieved, liaising closely with partner countries (Greece, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Hungary, Ireland) to ensure all objectives were met and created learning resources and content using Adobe Captivate for an ONC accredited course.


Mandeep Phull

Mandeep Phull | IBM

Mandeep Phull

I have worked as a Technical Consultant with over 8 years' experience designing and delivering large scale technology transformations in a wide range of industries, and am proud to be a Mental Health First Aider to support my colleagues and friends.

I have worked with a number of technology applications (analytics business intelligence, retail, talent, learning, HCM, payroll). My roles have also varied, I have successfully implemented a number of applications (some as the lead), created and delivered proposals to clients, and done a number of other roles including business analysis, training delivery and PMO/commercials. I have worked on many end-to-end solutions, successfully delivering innovative solutions to clients. By working in different roles with different technologies and in different industries, this has allowed me to gain a wider understanding of clients’ needs and delivering success in different capacities. I have most experience working in the business intelligence and analytics space which is getting even more interesting with the innovation of machine learning.

I am proud to be a Mental Health First Aider and as part of the IBM Mental Health Working Group seek to improve communication, awareness, and availability of help surrounding mental health. As part of this, I have delivered a number of presentations to teams and projects, and more so during the pandemic. I have also supported graduates and new starters via mentoring and set up schemes to do this, with a focus on those in minority groups including the BAME community.


Jay Trestain

Jay Trestain | IBM

Jay Trestain

Jay is a global leader for IBM, a multi-national IT services organisation where she is responsible for the sales portfolio of services IBM takes to market with some of its largest strategic partners.

Her career has enabled her to travel extensively, working with a diverse range of IBM customers and partners across all industries in a variety of technologies from large high-performance computers to the leading mobile device manufacturers. She is recognised as a ‘thought-leader’ in her area, is a regular external speaker and contributor to industry and technology publications and media outlets.

She is a passionate advocate for diversity and equality; she uses her experience to provide mentorship and coaching to women across business, technology and not for profit. She is also on the board of trustees for Aspire Academy Trust (a multi-academy trust of 29 primary academies in the South West of the UK) focusing on STEM in education.


Manuela-Lidia Grindei

Manuela-Lidia Grindei | Mastercard

Manuela-Lidia Grindei

I am currently a Senior Software Development Engineer at Vocalink International, a Mastercard company, and have been working on the back-end of a highly scalable and performant payments project, used by several big financial institutions from different countries.

I started my career in industry with an internship at Pentalog HighTech in Iasi (Romania), which I have completed successfully and was made an offer of permanent employment, which I accepted and worked full-stack on telecom, and flavours and fragrances projects for clients in France and USA. Then I was made an offer of permanent employment by Endava, and this was the first time I worked full-stack for UK clients in the insurance space. Endava paid for my OCPJP version 6 certification, which I passed with maximum score.

A recruiter headhunted me on LinkedIn for a software developer position with Gamesys London and I was heavily involved there in the back-end of some highly successful bingo, slots and poker games. My first role in London enabled me to greatly expand my technical skills and participate in technical meet up communities, which later led to my role in the Expert Group for JSR-354, being chosen a Security and Release Champion for my team at work, and giving internal and external trainings on topics I was passionate about (TDD, Docker, Continuous delivery, OWASP Top 10, Java basics to name but a few).

After attending one of their Women in IT events, I was made an offer by JPMC London, where I worked on the back-end of an equities swaps platform handling the whole swap lifecycle from Middle Office and Front Office perspectives as well as a product providing desk-specific reports & downstream feeds for securitized products. It was the first time when I worked in global teams, and was involved in the development of these products at all stages.

In my free time, I frequently volunteer as a tutor for code clubs (WizzieWizzie and CoderDojo) and Maths lessons (Action Tutoring), a mentor for students, women and black people who are interested in a career in technology (SMF, Brightside, BlackValley), as well as a judge for CREST awards, Nuffield reports, SMF personal statement and CV checker, and from this year BIEA awards.


Abbygayle Wiggins

Abbygayle Wiggins | British Army

Abbygayle Wiggins

I am currently a Troop Commander, having finished Army Officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 2019 and Royal Signals Troop Commander training in 2020.

My role is to lead and manage a troop of Royal Signal soldiers, in a Squadron that conducts short notice deployments. Our job is technical, operating deployable network and communications systems to support Aviation Task Forces. My background in technology helps me keep apace with the engineers and specialists that I command. The additional understanding it affords me has enabled me to get the most out of my team, together overcoming the challenges that arise when providing robust communications in austere environments.

In parallel to the running of the Troop, my technical abilities are most exercised within my additional involvement with cyber. As a Computer Science graduate and cyber enthusiast, I applied to go on the Advanced Course in Engineering. This is an intense summer course run by the United States Air Force Research Laboratory, designed to prepare future leaders in the Cyber Domain. Deeply technical and hands on, but with a focus on leadership and cyber operations planning, I came out the other side of this invaluable experience keen to pass on my knowledge and passion to others.

Since joining the Army, I have been eager to encourage interest in coding and STEM initiatives. Upon arrival to my unit, I got involved with the newly formed CyberLAN; a weekly meeting of individuals who wish to learn more about cyber security, coding and networks. Together, we have worked to generate more interest through virtual and face to face lessons, as well as starting an inter-Squadron capture the flag competition as part of the annual CO's Cup. This grew the number of people keen to be involved, and from this we formed a team for the Army's annual network defence competition, Ex Army Cyber Spartan 4. Our small team of enthusiastic amateurs managed to win against teams from across the Army and wider. This earned us spaces onto the national team for NATO's Ex Locked Shields 21, the largest cyber defence competition in Europe.

As the leader of the winning Army Cyber Spartan 4 team, I was given the privilege of leading the joint UK and Denmark team in Locked Shields. Alongside my day job, I coordinated the pre-training, overall strategy and in-game command and control. With our team assembled from a mixture of regular and reserve Service Personnel and MOD Civil Servants, whose experience ranged from amateur to professional, we came together for a week of intense training then into the competition. It was a huge challenge for all of us involved, and we were proud to have outperformed the previous performances of UK teams.

Aside from the excellent opportunities to participate in these competitions, my main focus within cyber is to expand opportunities within grass roots cyber education. As well as teach lessons to compliment the jHub coding scheme and Cyber Foundation Pathway, I have been working to create a Cyber and Innovation Hub within my Regiment. This will be a dedicated space with suitable resources to enable eager individuals to design and implement innovative projects. Throughout the year I have been working to secure funding build a cyber training range as part of this Hub. This would provide a virtual network in which our CyberLAN and others can conduct defensive and offensive cyber training, exercises and unit-level competitions in a safe environment. Enabling this to happen has been a difficult project, however I am hopeful that my vision will succeed.

Still in my first posting, my career so far has been short, yet the opportunities have been vast. I intend to continue my efforts in developing interest and education in technology throughout the Army, as much as I possibly can.


Mollie Chard

Mollie Chard | Capgemini

Mollie Chard

I am a passionate Cyber Security Manager with 9 years' experience in the industry. I help organisations develop their cyber security maturity.

I try to help organisations and individuals understand cybersecurity, portraying it in a way that is easier to understand. Outside of my day-to-day job, I am also a Board Member for Women in Cybersecurity UK (WiCyS UK), a non-profit charity that aims to attract, educate and promote women in cybersecurity. I am a writer and a speaker, having published several blogs/articles about the cybersecurity industry and diversity, as well as being a guest speaker at schools and various events.

My cybersecurity career has been extremely comprehensive. I have worked in various cybersecurity roles spanning different areas of the industry such as: cyber incident management, protective monitoring, strategy, governance, risk management, compliance, vulnerability assessment, training and awareness and more. Within these roles, I have acted as a mentor to other women, helping them secure roles in tech/cyber (even if they had no background in it). I am also a key member of Capgemini's Active Inclusion Group, where I drive various cyber and diversity initiatives.

I am fiercely passionate about the industry and about diversity and inclusion - I aim to demystify the cybersecurity industry, and I drive initiatives that promote and encourage women. I actively challenge the status quo and attempt to tackle the industry's image problems.


Samantha Humphries

Samantha Humphries | Exabeam

Samantha Humphries

Sam has over 21 years of experience in cyber security, and during this time has held a plethora of titles, one of her favourite titles being Global Threat Response Manager, which definitely sounds more glamorous than it was in reality.

Sam has defined strategy for multiple security products and technologies, helped hundreds of organisations of all shapes, sizes, and geographies recover and learn from cyberattacks, and trained anyone who’ll listen on security concepts and solutions. In her current regeneration she heads up marketing and security strategy for Exabeam in EMEA.
Her life in tech started much earlier, at age 6, when she had twice as many computers than her school (a ZX Spectrum 48K and a BBC Master), and was conned into QAing educational games on 5¼ inch floppy disks by her mother.

She authors articles for various security publications, speaks frequently at industry events, and enjoys mentoring new practitioners and speakers. Sam also volunteers at community events, including BSides, The Diana Initiative, and Defcon Blue Team Village.


Alice Swallow

Alice Swallow | Ford Motor Company

Alice Swallow

Alice Swallow is a Senior Innovation Research Engineer within the UK Innovation team at Ford Motor Company, looking predominantly at sustainability and light-weighting for commercial vehicles.

She started Ford as a Higher Apprentice in Engineering and has worked in various departments from Gasoline Calibration to Chassis Engineering.

Her remit within the Innovation and Research team is to project manage studies on light-weighting technologies and applications in design with mass production capability. For example, the CHASSIS Project (Composites UK Winner in Innovation in Composite Design 2020). This includes material choices from advanced steel to full composite structures, including investigating sustainability, circularity and hybrid technology to produce the best value for automotive applications.

Alice has two patents pending on e-motor manufacture and tooling for multiple material selections. She won the Autocar Magazine ‘Great British Woman Apprentice of the year’ in 2018 and was runner up in the IMechE Apprentice of the year in 201


Julia Veall

Julia Veall | Vodafone

Julia Veall

My career in IT started after a last-minute University career change from teaching to IT where I was one of a handful of women amongst a cohort of men.

Since then I have worked in a number of roles in Service Delivery and Service Management but over the last 15+ years I have found a passion for Asset Management, which has traditionally been an underrated role within Organisations. During my time at Vodafone I have developed my role and built a diverse, multi-national Centre of Excellence for Software Asset Management which provides support and services to other countries within the Vodafone group. As an original Trustee for the ITAM Forum and continuing member, I share and gain knowledge and experience from others in this Industry. I have spoken at both UK and overseas events as an ‘expert’ in my field and am happy to share my mistakes, insights and thoughts on the future.

Within Vodafone, I have mentored both external students, through a business buddy scheme to prepare them for life beyond school and apprentices to support them in their career journey.

Outside work, I am passionate about empowering girls to reach their full potential in a safe and supportive environment, embracing the world around us through diversity and inclusion and encouraging them to learn skills for their future and give back to their community. I am a qualified volunteer youth worker and a Unit Leader for both a Brownies and Guides group and last year took on the District Commissioner role where I am responsible over 40 volunteers and 150 girls.