Yasmin Johal

Yasmin Johal | CMS

I am a Financial Services Regulatory Associate, specialising in FinTech at CMS London.

I have extensive experience advising FinTech firms (ranging from start-ups to more established organisations), as well as domestic and international investors in the FinTech industry, on a range of complex UK and EU regulatory issues.

I have a wealth of industry experience across the UK and US markets, having:

• undertaken a secondment to a leading global professional services firm working within their fiduciary management business.
• acted as one of three business leads for HSBC North America’s (Private Bank) Global Standards project under the Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the US Department of Justice, focusing on implementing technological innovation in change and transformation to enhance the client onboarding processes in North America and the Americas (from a business perspective).
• worked in Barclays’ corporate compliance team, advising on compliance risk and enhancing the banks New Product Approval process through the use of software and programmes.
• supported Morgan Stanley’s investment banking team across all aspects of legal and compliance, and leading a project which looked at the use of high-frequency trading and deployment of algorithms in the bank’s products.

I have always had an interest in technology, and its deployment within financial services, from both an incumbent and FinTech perspective. I have taken the lead on large global projects which have revamped traditional financial services and embraced technology through the use of programming, coding and algorithms, in enhancing both business-facing and client-facing offerings.

I am a member of the equIP accelerator programme (at CMS) which is one of the world’s prominent start-up legal incubators and a founding member of the CMS equIP #LeadHers campaign, which focuses on supporting female founded Tech start-ups. I am also an active member of the FinTech, InsurTech and Blockchain Associates groups at CMS, helping contribute to thought leadership, participating in industry events and being a pivotal point of contact for clients on areas of my specialism, all of which has helped champion female-founded Tech start-ups.


Lucy Woodhead

Lucy Woodhead | GSK

Lucy Woodhead

I graduated with a degree in music, but became really interested in technology after working in the digital department of my local government.

I was running a lot of digital and UX projects, but became really fascinated with the code that powered the website and would often ask the developers how it all worked. I had never written a line of code before but took it upon myself to take up a few online courses to experiment with very basic styling and functionality. After a few more digital based roles and a trip around the world, I knew I absolutely wanted to pursue a career in technology! I decided to retrain in programming, and after completing an intensive bootcamp I was able to land my first role as a developer! I worked in a startup and built lots of exciting features, learned new languages and frameworks, and even delved into cloud computing and software architecture. After an amazing 18 months I then gained a role at GSK, where my unique blend of technical skills and soft skills really help to fuel the development of innovative health tech. I love what I do!


Susan Jason

Susan Jason | In-Space Missions Ltd

Susan Jason

I am an enthusiastic advocate of space, science, engineering, and innovation and the opportunities, benefits, and inspiration they deliver.

I hold a PhD in Spacecraft Systems Engineering and a Masters in Astronautics and Spacecraft Engineering from Cranfield University and a BSc (Hons) in Physics with Astrophysics from the University of Leeds.

I have 21 years of experience working in the space industry on over 20 space missions, numerous developments and studies across commercial, agency, national and international projects. This has required that I develop strong communication skills and a flexible, team-oriented work ethic.

I worked for 20 years at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd in a variety of technical, strategic and leadership roles, including mission design, spacecraft systems engineering, space environment analysis, and new programme development. As Exploration Missions Lead, I played a pivotal role in the strategic and technical development of the Lunar Pathfinder Programme

In 2019, I joined In-Space Missions as Principal Systems Engineer and Head of Outreach. I have driven our rapidly expanding company to gain ISO-9001 accreditation, led the final test phases of the Faraday-1 commercial rideshare nanosatellite and am building the company Outreach and STEAM skills development programme.


Gillian Lamela

Gillian Lamela | Barclays

Gillian Lamela

Gillian M. Lamela started her career as a Web Developer at Lehman Brothers in 2004 and then joined Barclays Investment Bank in 2008 where she held additional roles ranging from web development, systems design & analysis, testing automation and end-to-end delivery programme execution resulting in over £1B cost savings to date.

Gillian is currently an Engineering Delivery Lead at Barclays Investment Bank where she focusses on accelerated migration enabling Markets and Corporate businesses to provide a simpler, faster access to storage and compute, reduce our physical server estate and data centre footprint, support cost optimization, drive developer productivity, and innovation solutions.

Prior to her current role, Gillian supported mission critical programmes enabling Barclays to complete first CCAR Submission in 2017 and following the financial crisis in 2008 driving ‘OneBarclays’ transformation programme where she simplified the technology estate across 7 legacy network domains, reduced operational costs, developed new operational models to support new processes and delivered collaboration tools across in Enterprise Technology.

Gillian is one of the co-founders and currently co-heads the Barclays Women In Technology Europe network whose platform to inspire and empower women across to achieve their career aspirations in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM). She also sits on the Barclays Diversity & Inclusion Committee promoting gender and generational diversity at Barclays.

Gillian has received several recognition and awards throughout her career and most notably nominated by Microsoft UK for Computer Weekly’s “Most Influential Women in UK Tech” in 2020. Gillian was featured in ‘Careers in Tech’ campaign September 2020 can be seen in several publications in Barclays, London Tech Week, New Scientist magazine, Business & Industry, Media Planet UK, etc.

Gillian is extremely passionate preparing the future workforce in technology and presented at global events such as Microsoft’s Future Decoded Conference 'Artificial Intelligence Panel in Financial Services', FISD Technology Forum at J.P. Morgan, Refinitiv’s ‘Cloud Regulatory Controls and DevOps Innovation’, [email protected]’s Career Spotlight, Everywoman STEM Graduate Day Keynote, Northern Blockchain Group ‘Women in Innovation’ and ‘Diversity in Blockchain’, and many others.

Gillian has also done some work with schools and universities to promote STEM and is a featured judge/advisor for #Teens in AI’ organization who teaches students ages 10 to 19 years old programming fundamentals, Artificial Intelligence technologies, design thinking and innovation skills. Outside of Barclays, Gillian has competed in the 2018 Dutchchain Blockchaingers Hackathon with over 800 participants and placed 2nd in Global Digital Identity Competition where her team built a digital identity passport solution using blockchain in 48 hours.


Kajol Patel

Kajol Patel | Deloitte

Kajol Patel

At the age of 11, Kajol created her first jewellery e-commerce website.

Driven by her curiousity to understand how things work, she studied Physics at Imperial College London where she realised that the key to solving complex problems was truly driven by innovations in technology. Fuelled by wanting to make make a positive impact on society using technology, she tried various failed ideas, including Stiq.It (https://stiq.it/) and won Startup Weekend London 2015 with Techstars. Frustrated by the obstacle of being unable to scale her ideas, she decided to join Deloitte with the aim to learn how to execute. Today, she helps to create and launch new digital products and services for clients across Retail, Consumer Goods, Industrial Products, Healthcare and Automotive. She has worked for over 20+ clients and focuses on corporate strategy, proposition design, product management and customer experience transformation and in her spare time, has a consulting Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/managementconsultant), provides career development advice to future female leaders via NYT Network, as well as spoken to over 4000 students on demystifying consulting and tech as a career.

Want to find out more? Connect with me on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kajolpatel/


Yasmin Desai

Yasmin Desai | Impala

Yasmin Desai

After starting a small company at university, I decided to pursue a career in start-ups upon graduation. I have now worked 6+ years in start-ups.

Initially, my background is in operations and I have since specialized in Product- giving me the perfect mix of commercial understanding mixed with solving core problems for users. My experiences are in marketplaces, B2B and B2C having worked on onboarding and conversion funnels for both web and mobile.

I enjoy the challenge of scaling a company and I’ve always been an employee that not only works towards growing team/product KPI’s but also gets involved in the scaling challenges (hiring, market positioning, and culture).

In my spare time, I mentor young females and guest lecture on topics around entrepreneurship and innovation. I am extremely passionate about entrepreneurship as a skill and have been nominated and awarded for several industry awards (Women in tech / Women in software 2020).


Amy Khalfay

Amy Khalfay | IBM

Amy Khalfay

Passionate about solving real world problems, I always knew I wanted a career in technology.

Shortly after completing my Ph.D. in Operational Research at Manchester Met in 2017, writing algorithms to solve scheduling problems, I joined IBM in the Advanced Analytics practice as a Data Scientist.

In this whirlwind of 3 years, I've worked in multiple industries helping clients solve exciting and challenging business problems using a range of data science techniques. I have been quickly promoted and awarded a prestigious Service Excellence Award for my dedication to clients’ success.

Passionate about promoting women in STEM, I have been a committee member of IEEE Women in Engineering Affinity Group UK since 2018, and delivered various events including being a part of the Manchester Science Festival in 2019. Our group won the R8 Women in Engineering Section Affinity Group award for our volunteer work “dedicated to promoting women engineers and scientists, and inspiring girls around the world to follow their academic interests in a career in engineering”.

Inside IBM, I am an Academic Ambassador, helping support universities by guest lecturing. In 2019 I delivered guest lectures as part of an MSc course at Durham University on the use of Data and AI to help improve customer experience. I also lead and manage 'Lunch and Learns' for the Cognitive and Analytics practice in IBM organising sessions monthly to our practitioners in the following areas: Technical, Product, Method and Applications for Industry.


Suze Shardlow

Suze Shardlow | Coding Instructor, Technical Author and Writer

Suze Shardlow

Suze Shardlow wrote her first line of code in 1982 and started making websites in 1996.

She was a hobby coder all the way through primary school and university. The UK education system didn't know what to do with girls who were interested in tech, so she was never shown that you could program for a living. Without a post-university plan, she enrolled on the most versatile degree she could think of - BA Business - and took all the marketing modules on offer while building websites for her friends on the side.

Suze's degree and subsequent Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing kicked off a 20-year career in management, communications and strategy with organisations including the Canadian Government and the Metropolitan Police. Suze spent four years winning the hearts and minds of 30000 police officers and 20000 support staff to support them in adopting new tech. Later, Suze retrained to become an expert advisor on covert policing, managing pan-London undercover surveillance.

A move into community policing and managing buildings, vehicles and criminal exhibits around London put Suze at the sharp end of Government cuts. With the promise of redundancy in 2018, Suze took a long hard look at what she wanted to do for the next 20 years and grabbed the opportunity to retrain in modern software engineering. She graduated from coding bootcamp with three full-stack applications in her portfolio. Suze has been an active volunteer since becoming a Scout leader in 2014. She began donating her time and expertise as a chapter lead at Ladies of Code London, and later a Director at Women Who Code London, leading a combined total of more than 10000 members today.

Suze now works for herself. She creates and delivers her own coding courses, teaching Python and JavaScript as well as how to create your own personal branding website. She has worked with academics at the University of Sussex to bring their research interviews from 30 years ago to life via a chatbot. The interviews are with women about their views on love, sex and relationships at the height of the AIDS pandemic. Suze is also a technical writer and conference speaker, having given talks in the UK and overseas. She's an experienced and engaging event host who instinctively gets the best out of her guests and speakers, even when live and unedited.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Suze took all her tech meetups online, delivering more than 120 hours of live online tech content across 50+ events. These included over 90 hours of facilitated tech co-working sessions which helped more than 60 people through lockdown. She designed and delivered more than 15 hours of public speaking coaching and mentoring workshops, then organised and hosted a live online showcase event for the women (all software engineers) who "graduated" from these workshops. Suze's tech community event ideas and methodologies, borne of two decades of knowing her various audiences and documented in her blog, have been replicated by other groups including those based in Silicon Valley, California.


Vivian Galinari

Vivian Galinari | BBC

Vivian Galinari

I’m Viv, I majored in Business in Brazil and left the country shortly after graduating to pursued a career in Europe.

For years I had worked on all sorts of zero hour contract jobs such as in airports, cafes to even handing newspapers out on the streets until I secured an office job in London where I gradually grew from assistant to manager. Two years ago I decided to change my career and committed to teaching myself coding from scratch with the aim to becoming a software engineer. Despite loving technology, I didn't feel like I fitted into the male coder stereotype and thought that working on business roles within the Tech industry would fulfil my professional needs, but it didn’t. It was only after graduating from a 2 years MSc degree in Innovation Management that I took in the evenings while working in my office job that I realise to innovate I must code myself.

And so my self-teaching coding journey began. I have made changes in my lifestyle that supported 15 hours day of intensive learning that included quitting my job and moving to a remote and more affordable location in SE Asia to focus exclusively on skilling up. I taught myself blockchain and web development from the internet and got offered a position as Junior Developer at the BBC as my first official job as soon as I got back to London. But my study routine haven’t stoped there, to this date, I show up everyday to continue improving myself as a developer and I am grateful to have been promoted in the company so soon and to Midlevel Software Engineer this year.
Out of business hours, I dedicate my time to explore Creative Coding and to learn 3D and Augmented Reality (AR). I have been recognised as one of the top creators for AR experiences and have been invited by Facebook and Google to talk and to their Global Hackathon. Making Instagram filters started as a passion and is now a career path as I start to run workshops and teach others about it.

Supporting link where I share my career journey in an article for Lecture in Progress: https://lectureinprogress.com/journal/vivian-galinari


Faye Skinner

Faye Skinner | Adobe

Faye Skinner

Faye’s dedication to Diversity & Inclusion resonates across Adobe, being recognised for a multitude of internal awards.

Her efforts to champion inclusion spans across many roles - as a leader of the Women’s Network, an influential member of the site council and as an imperative support mechanism to the unique networks within Adobe; ranging across Ethnicity, Gender, Disability and more. Of these networks, she’s aided many of them to gain the status of award-winning externally.

During COVID-19, Faye pioneered contingencies to ensure all the voices, of any cause continued to be amplified – despite the adversities of a remote workforce.