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!

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.

Lisa Forte | Red Goat Cyber Security

I began my career in technology working in anti-piracy intelligence off the coast of Somalia. I developed tools to help gather intelligence on Somali pirate attacks. I then got recruited into British Counter-terrorism intelligence for a UK Government agency. I researched the process of online radicalisation by terrorist groups, how they used algorithms to find and target vulnerable people and the risky social engineering process undertaken by terrorist recruiters. I developed advanced skills in intelligence gathering and specific software to analyse intelligence.

I then moved into one of the UK Police Cyber-Crime Units where I got to understand cyber criminals’ methodologies and mindsets. The unit dealt with serious cyber-crime cases working closely with agencies such as the FBI. Victim companies ranged from small to multi-national organisations and almost all the cases involved social engineering (targeting staff).

In 2017 I left the Cyber-Crime Unit to start my own company, Red Goat Cyber Security, with the goal of reflecting the techniques and methodologies actually being employed by hackers. We developed the first and only GCHQ certified social engineering training for staff of all levels. I also developed a social engineering cyber security testing package for organisations. I also offer cyber-attack wargaming to companies all over the world helping them prepare for an attack and survive it. I wanted my company to also offer all of our services on a pro-bono basis to NHS hospitals and charities. These organisations struggle for funding yet their security is paramount. We help them become more secure using our free capacity in exchange for a cup of coffee!

I am an experienced cybercrime keynote speaker. I have been invited to speak at major conferences and events around the world. My blog has had a readership of over 40,000 people and I have 24,000 followers online.

Liz Hardwick | DigiEnable

After graduating from the University of Central Lancashire in 2005, Liz embarked on a career in media technology, landing a job within a community arts & media production charity Prescap as a Studio Manager. Her role was to design and build studio spaces, but also up skill individuals to feel more confident working within media and technology settings. After six years at the charity, Liz established herself as a freelance speaker and trainer, talking at events across the UK on the subject of self-promotion and marketing using emerging technologies. This led to the creation of DigiEnable, a digital training provider focused on working with those yet to see the potential of integrating technology into their businesses, or those that had seen the potential but needed to increase their staff capacity to utilise it.

DigiEnable is now an award-winning, part-digital training company, part search marketing provider, and works with businesses across the UK.

Liz’s other previous roles have included an elected seat on the Communications Committee for BECTU (Broadcast, Entertainment, Communication and Theatre Union), Community Media Association, and Lancashire Artists Network. She is currently a director and board member for Digital Lancashire, Chair of the National Women’s Committee (BECTU), National Executive Committee (BECTU), on the organising team for Women in Tech North UK and an AllBright Ambassador.

Liz is a regular blogger and has guest blogged for a number of high profile websites on the subject of using tech in business including Digital Leaders, Eventbrite and Linux Magazine. She has been featured as a chapter author for a book entitled Creative Education, Teaching and Learning published by Palgrave.

Louise Doherty | PlanSnap

Louise is the CEO and founder of PlanSnap, the social planning app that gets friends together fast. Previously, Louise was a strategic marketer working with the BBC, ASOS and YO! Sushi, specialising in community-centred digital products. PlanSnap is an alumni of the world's top business accelerator, Techstars, and Louise was a finalist in the Everywoman Women in Technology Awards for Most Inspirational Startup Founder 2018. Louise is big on sports - triathlon, Crossfit, yoga and more - and it was organising it all that led her to start PlanSnap. Louise is passionate about getting women into business and sport, and building an inclusive company that values diversity.

Love Oyeniran | LRO Consults

Having studied a Social Science degree, my first role after leaving university was working with a workflow automation tool to drive process efficiencies. I designed and developed the application to integrate to other systems such as Slack and Tableau, and I was able to write my first lines of code! In doing this I was able to increase my understanding of the use of different programming languages, applications and software.

From that role, I moved to another finance organisation where I took ownership of technology changes as part of a major system upgrade and a redesign of an in-house application.

Outside of my day job, I have been on many professional coding courses with Code First Girls where I was keen to learn as much as possible from GIT version control to connecting with APIs. This appetite to learn more proven invaluable and my most recent role as an RPA consultant, where I worked alongside a team who were among the first to put robots in an Investment Bank. I have worn many hats as part of an automation delivery composing a technical solution document comprising of Sudo code, which has not only provided a steep learning opportunity but had made my job both exciting and enjoyable.

Mandie Beitner

Mandie Beitner | HSBC

Executive level Transformation director with 20 years’ experience in design and delivery of Global Change and Transformation Programmes (in-house / consultancy).

Specialising in establishing and implementing PPM, PMO, COO/CoS/CAO functions (local & global), TOMs, operational efficiencies & integrations. Broad sector experience, inc financial services, telecoms, utilities, media & regulated environments. A strategic thinker, successful communicator with ability to bridge the gap between strategy & delivery, an integrator who operationalises business goals.

aA problem solver, motivated to maximise quality, efficiency and reduce risk. Focused and resilient, delivering in challenging environments. A ‘people person’ with strong professional ethics, organisational & networking skills, proficient in motivating teams across geographies, gender and cultures.