watching a virtual conference on a laptop, zoom call, video call

Can virtual onboarding attract top talent?

Article by Kirsty Carter, Solutionize Global

watching a virtual conference on a laptop, zoom call, video callJoining an organisation can be both daunting and exhilarating.

However, when new and future recruits are unable to meet their colleagues face-to-face or even get a feel for what their physical office space might look like – especially during a global crisis – can they really get to know their company and be a part of the team?

The truth is, they absolutely can. That’s because – when it’s done right – hiring and settling in a talented individual exclusively online can help to break down any ‘formal’ barriers. It also provides a more time and cost-efficient process for both parties and takes away any issues that might occur from commuting.

This is, of course, all on the basis that the correct planning has been completed beforehand, and there is a structure in place that is agile enough to welcome a new recruit into the team seamlessly – even when they’ve never stepped foot into the office.

Now known as ‘virtual onboarding’, this way of embedding a colleague provides an alternative option for many organisations that are continuing to navigate the pressures that come with growing a business during a pandemic – and beyond.

For several modern-day firms, they’re exploring fresh and exciting ways in which they not only attract the brightest talent but retain their future services too. And virtual onboarding can play a pivotal role in driving many employment models forward, as a result.

That’s because a technology-first approach presents so many opportunities for employees that want to work flexibly and remotely – or via a hybrid mix of an office and home setting.

From an enterprise’s point of view, it widens the talent pool geographically and – if they’ve hired effectively – means that new additions can operate autonomously and settle in quickly to a supportive team culture.

Easing any ‘first day’ nerves

In the first few moments at a new firm, employees are typically looking to understand internal operations swiftly, get to know their colleagues and hit the ground running in a positive way.

And with technology enabling that process to all be done virtually, this can help individuals feel as though they’re receiving as good – if not better – of a welcome compared to stepping foot into the physical office for the first time.

Utilising video conferencing tools can ensure communication remains a high priority and any questions that a new employee has, can be made without vast disruption, or spending the time booking a meeting room to have a quiet conversation.

Speaking to colleagues can be made into more of a social event too – such as a virtual coffee morning – to avoid any intimidating, more ‘formal’ gatherings. And by inviting people into instant messaging groups and apps, these can all enhance the virtual onboarding process even further.

Creating leaders throughout the workforce

On the other side of the coin, a digital-first approach to talent recruitment can also empower existing members of the team. Encouraging them to host their own specialist sessions for a new recruit – whether social media, HR, or software demonstrations – can all help the workforce dynamic and upskill everyone as a result.

All of these elements form a critical part of a successful virtual onboarding process – and this can often only take days and weeks online rather than months and years to achieve in person.

And when things can be done seamlessly and swiftly, that means new additions can begin to add value as quickly as possible – and with that comes trust, loyalty, and employee ‘buy-in’ of an enterprise’s core values – because they feel like they’re being supported and motivated throughout.

Of course, virtual onboarding can take more planning and structure than when it’s done in a face-to-face environment. For example, employees who have joined a team and only operated online will require everything in place beforehand so they can truly hit the ground running from their first day. That means providing laptops, work phones, IT security software and passwords.

Ultimately, it’s about engaging with new staff, encouraging the wider team to get involved, and being flexible and communicative throughout. Providing an alternative, agile way to embed a recruit can open up more doors to attract a wider talent pool, and could help firms take a huge leap forward when it comes to tackling the ongoing technological skills shortage.

Kirsty Carter, chief of staff, Solutionize GlobalAbout the author

Attracting, developing and engaging the very best people at Solutionize Global is just one of Kirsty’s specialisms in the business. Embodying the technology solutions and services provider’s commitment to reliability and availability, she works tirelessly to ensure the team is the most successful version of itself.

A devotee to ensuring that the enterprise’s culture strikes the right balance of support and self-motivation, Kirsty recognises that empowering employees to fly, in turn, provides clear benefits to customers and drives growth throughout the organisation.


WeAreTechWomen covers the latest female centric news stories from around the world, focusing on women in technology, careers and current affairs. You can find all the latest gender news here

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Understanding and procuring sustainable IT solutions - She Talks Tech podcast

Listen to our latest She Talks Tech podcast on 'Understanding & Procuring Sustainable IT Solutions' with Brittani Bobowick, Dell Technologies

Understanding and procuring sustainable IT solutions - She Talks Tech podcast

Welcome to series two of ‘She Talks Tech’ - the podcast from We Are Tech Women!

Today we hear from Brittani Bobowick. Brittani leads the corporate social responsibility agenda at Dell Technologies.

Brittani will discuss how digital solutions relate to sustainable IT and how you can make more sustainable procurement decisions for your company. Plus, she shares how Dell Technologies are approaching their own sustainability goals.

You can find out more about and connect with Brittani on LinkedIn.

LISTEN HERE


‘She Talks Tech’ brings you stories, lessons and tips from some of the most inspirational women (and men!) in tech.

From robotics and drones, to fintech, neurodiversity and coronavirus apps; these incredible speakers are opening up to give us the latest information on tech in 2020.

Vanessa Valleley OBE, founder of WeAreTheCity and WeAreTechWomen brings you this latest resource to help you rise to the top of the tech industry. Women in tech make up just 17 per cent of the industry in the UK and we want to inspire that to change.

WeAreTechWomen are delighted to bring this very inspiring first series to wherever you normally listen to podcasts – and the first three episodes are now live!

So subscribe, rate the podcast and give it a 5-star review – and keep listening every Wednesday morning for a new episode of ‘She Talks Tech’.

Produced by Pineapple Audio Production.


Celonis logo

Vacancy Spotlight: Senior Frontend Angular Engineer (m/f/x) | Celonis

Celonis logo

Are you ready for a new challenge? Celonis is looking for a Senior Frontend Angular Engineer in Munich, Germany!

Being a global hyper-growth leader in process mining technology, our goal at Celonis is to establish our Intelligent Business Cloud as a standard SaaS solution in any company. As Senior Frontend Engineer at Celonis, you are responsible for optimizing and implementing existing product features and winning our users through your brilliant applications. With your extensive knowledge in Angular 8, Typescript 3, HTML5 and SASS we are creating innovative data visualizations in the field of process analysis. You will further work on our in-house developed components library that is being used by multiple teams and applications. You are passionate about data visualization and developing web applications? Read on!

YOU...

  • have an above – average university degree in the area of computer science or a comparable education
  • have 5+ years of experience in Frontend Development
  • are passionate about developing user experience focused web applications
  • have experience with Angular, TypeScript/JavaScript, HTML5, CSS/CSS preprocessors
  • are a sharp-minded Web Developer with a clear way of expressing things
  • have a high level understanding of domain, product and architecture
  • can solve complex problems with limited supervision
  • are able to supervise and coach junior and mid-level colleagues
  • have very good English skills

WE...

  • see people as the fundamental pillar of our success. Therefore, we invest into the personal growth and skill development of each individual alongside with the strength finder test
  • offer attractive compensation models (best-in-class salary, stock option packages, employee referral bonus, family service, flexible working hours, etc.)
  • are visionary and one of the fastest growing Software-Unicorns in the world
  • are experts in the field of Process Mining - the new Celonis Execution Management System provides a set of instruments and applications: the EMS offerings help companies manage every facet of execution management from analytics, to strategy and planning, management, actions and automations
  • distinguish ourselves through a unique combination of innovative start-up atmosphere paired with great professionalism and self-responsible work

APPLY NOW

To find out more and apply, please contact: l.steinlen@celonis.com


If you are a job seeker or someone looking to boost their career, then WeAreTechWomen has thousands of free career-related articles. From interview tips, CV advice to training and working from home, you can find all our career advice articles here.


Team working by group video call share ideas, global teamsTeam working by group video call share ideas, global teams

Recognising unconscious bias in the virtual workplace

Team working by group video call share ideas, global teams, virtual workplace

By Charlotte Berg, CEO at Compodium

2020 will be a memorable year – one that caused many people a lot of hardship, but one that also ushered in a new era of digital, workplace and social transformation.

One of the central threads to this is video communication – now widely used in almost all environments. Whether it’s meetings between employees, talking to your doctor or staying in touch with family members, video became the go-to tool in a year where face-to-face communication was severely restricted.

One of the first places to see this change was television news interviews.  Where previously guests would have patiently waited behind the scenes, ready to join the presenters in the studio for a short face-to-face conversation, suddenly these interviews began taking place over a video conferencing link.  This was an immediate solution, but an effective alternative for providing an expert opinion on a news story.  It was an approach that almost every industry would soon replicate.

The power of a bookcase

What became clear very quickly in the move to home-based interviewees on the news was how effective a subtle piece of background self-promotion could be on a video call.  With most of the screen taken up with the call participant, there isn’t a great deal of room for much else.  However, a well-placed book, award or piece of art in the background of the call – for example, on a bookshelf – can be an extremely effective promotional tool for the interviewee.  A shameful plug or brilliant marketing?  That’s a question open to debate.  But the innate power of imagery in this context is clear – which is why marketing agencies can charge significant sums for delivering this type of branding for businesses.

As Newton’s third law states: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  In this situation, a well-placed prop in a video call background can encourage a viewer to make assumptions about intelligence or accomplishment, or perhaps be more likely to take a particular action (“buy my book!”).  The opposite is also true; an ill-thought-out object in the background has a subtle power to convey a negative message, encourage harmful assumptions or, at its worst, damage the relationship between participants.

This notion is called unconscious bias.  It’s one of the many ‘tools’ the human brain relies on to speed up decision making – along with confirmation bias, availability bias and hindsight bias to name just a few – and is present in all of us.  Everyone has unconscious biases and – as the name suggests – for the most part, people are unaware they impact their decision making and assumptions.

Recognising bias in new ways

The question of bias is at its heart a complex and difficult one.  Regardless of how open-minded we try to be, having bias is part of what makes us human.  But combined with societal, cultural and historical stereotypes and prejudices, unconscious bias can heavily influence how we behave towards, or think about, other people.

Recognising, understanding and overcoming this bias plays a huge role in the workplace.

Many organisations are aware of the issues surrounding unconscious bias in the workplace and there are a range of advisory services, such as Acas, offering independent help and advice – online tests that help individuals become more aware of their own biases.  The impact of unconscious bias in the workplace can determine how people make choices, from the way they allocate tasks to how they manage challenging situations and conflict between colleagues.  It can emerge in even the most inclusive of teams, particularly during challenging and stressful times, or periods of uncertainty.

And this is where we need to be mindful in the new era of video collaboration.  In the past, efforts to address unconscious bias has focused on first impressions, handshakes, eye contact, and clothing choices.  With much of this now off the table, organisations must ensure the same level of focus is given to video communications – providing limited body language but other considerations such as background and décor.  It’s entirely likely that video conferencing has actually opened up new avenues for unconscious bias, with everyone from employees to doctors now showcasing more aspects of their personal lives and living spaces.

Whether it’s seeing where someone lives, meeting their pets, hearing their children, or noticing a well-stocked garden - these things can contribute to the subconscious thoughts, feelings, assumptions and decisions someone makes on a video call.

Seeing bias for what it is

Amy Bonomi, a social science researcher from Michigan State University, and Nelia Viveiros from University of Colorado, have recently explained how unconscious bias works in practice during video conversations.  The researchers concluded that video calls have the potential to uncover unconscious bias related to gender, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.  Even something as straightforward to a conversation icebreaker can unintentionally reinforce dominant social norms and identities.

In the new era of video collaboration, it’s crucial that organisations recognise the potential for bias to occur in this way and put in place processes and tools to help employees identify and overcome this when it happens.  Amy Bonomi and Nelia Viveiros offer a number of areas organisations can focus on the support inclusivity, including:

  • Using inclusive language
  • Approaching conversations with sensitivity
  • Remaining conscious of symbolism in the ‘virtual environment’ and how participants may want to express themselves
  • Challenging microaggressions when they occur and any negative effects they may have had on participants
  • Respecting participants’ time by including frequent breaks in long calls

Unconscious bias is not unique to the post-pandemic era we now find ourselves in, but organisations need to be even more mindful of its impact now virtual collaboration is firmly established in the workplace.  Working virtually offers enormous benefits to society.  But as with any widespread social shift, it’s crucial we ensure inclusivity is at its heart.


WeAreTechWomen covers the latest female centric news stories from around the world, focusing on women in technology, careers and current affairs. You can find all the latest gender news here.

Don’t forget, you can also follow us via our social media channels for the latest up-to-date gender news. Click to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.


New-Year-2021

Evaluating 2020 and looking forward to 2021

New-Year-2021

Article provided by Sarah Earl, Product Director at RingGo

2020 was a year that no one could have predicted.

There is no denying that the pandemic has changed the way the world works, and the payments and technology industry is no exception.

In 2021 I expect to see increased demand for speed with access and payment. This means that businesses will have to embrace digital solutions, namely apps, to allow for consumers to pay for services in the swiftest and most efficient ways possible.

Next year will also see the enforcement of PSD2 – prompting significant change in the payments industry. It is a regulation that will cause friction for users, thus providing payments and technology providers with an opportunity to create solutions that are both compliant and friction free.

There is no denying that data has been a hot topic for many years now, but 2021 is not the year that the upward trend is set to change. During the coming months of economic unrest, businesses who capitalise on their data to improve their services and make life easier for customers will see probable growth, and those behind the curve will be at risk of sinking.

Finally, this year I hope to see more women in C-level positions within the tech and payments industry, and it is a trend that needs to continue for years to come.

Payments

Next year will see the need for speed with access and payment – this is where I believe we will notice large-scale adoption of app clips and app widgets. These features take away the need to download another app, instead allowing the consumer to take a picture of a sign, access the app clip and pay directly with Apple Pay. This process takes seconds, fulfilling the growing consumer need for speed, instead of tedious minutes signing into an app or having to enter lots of personal details.

From a parking perspective, it is going to be important for us to embrace guests using the app. Consumers are no longer willing to enter all of their details into multiple apps for services. By using app clips, we can allow guest users to pay for parking without the perceived pain point of logging in. Also, embracing the capabilities of Apple Pay and Google Pay are vital components of any e-commerce app. This is how people want to manage their transactions, and we need to work alongside that.

Open banking will also start to have more of an impact on app-based payments. It will bring organisations together for the betterment of the user by sharing innovative ideas through open APIs and also drive competition to meet constantly evolving consumer needs.

PSD2

Regulations and compliance have always felt like a corporate chore. They force us into creating features or solving problems that were never on the roadmap. However, as more and more regulations are likely to hit the payments industry, I challenge us to think of how we can use regulations as an opportunity.

In 2021, PSD2 will finally be enforced, and while this has been pushed back to September, I think it will be part of a year of change in the payments industry. As we try to work around a system that introduces friction for users, it is our opportunity to innovatively create solutions that are compliant and friction free.

The need for a smooth payment process will drive consumers towards SCA compliant payment methods such as Apple Pay and Google Pay in 2021. If your app or website does not feature these payment methods, customers are likely to disengage due to the authentication step up.

2021 is the year to get ahead of the regulation curve by listening to customers and driving innovation through the payments process.

Data

If you aren’t already using data to drive your decisions, then you are likely to be behind the curve. However, 2021 will start to separate those who are really optimising their data from those who are just scratching the surface.

In the same breath, we shouldn’t simply be keeping the data we collect for ourselves; we should be using it to make our customers lives easier.  In the app world, we should be tracking trends of how people use the app, where they drop off and what experience they have to drive our products forward. But we can also use the data we collect to make the process smoother.

When it comes to parking, we have lots of audiences that need the data we collect to make the whole ecosystem work better. From the app developers who provide the right tools, to the local authorities and parking operators that need to understand traffic flow and user needs, through to the motorists who benefit from predictive analytics that make repeat sessions easier. We have been talking about data being the new oil for years now, 2021 is the time to put our money where our data is and use it to its full potential.

Women in tech

Women have definitely started to rise up in the ranks within technology organisations, there is no doubt about that. When I have openings on my product team, I see as many capable female candidates as I do male and I am currently working with some very smart, driven women.

That being said, there still seems to be some limits to what type of work women are embracing in tech and how high they rise. They are few and far between at the C-level, and this is something I would like to see change in the coming years. It will only become more feasible as we pull along the ambitious women coming behind us and raise our voice collectively.

Unfortunately, there is still a disparity between female representation in product organisations versus engineering organisations, and a big part of this is to do with education. A focus in engineering still begins early and forces you down, what feels like, a very rigid path. Product organisations, on the other hand, bring together people from lots of different backgrounds, are more inclusive and collaborative, and cater to people who might not have necessarily started in tech when they were teenagers.

I do see this trend changing as the way we educate children changes. Today they are exposed to coding, and technology in general, at such a young age, it will become a more natural fit for many to pursue in education and as a career. The little girls of today, will become the tech leaders of tomorrow.

Embracing digital 

2020 forced everyone to focus, and as traditional business models were threatened by lockdown regulations, tech flourished. Companies have had to reinforce their core strategies, put research into new and emerging markets or products on hold, cut costs and re-evaluate what their customers really need.

To do this, everyone went digital. From small village stores, fish and chip vans to baby groups. If you haven’t embraced digital to give customers an online offering during lockdown, then you are most likely going to struggle to survive. Parking was no different.

Nobody wanted to touch street furniture when we emerged from months of lockdown, they no longer wanted to stand in queues with other people or carry coins. This meant that parking apps were a lifeline for people wanting to venture out, but also be cautious of a new range of threats from the virus.

2021 will continue – if not quicken – this trend of embracing digital solutions, and apps will be at the centre of it. Organisations need to focus on accessibility and the usability of apps, while considering a more security conscious consumer base.

Sarah EarlAbout the author

Sarah Earl is Product Director at RingGo, the UK’s leading cashless parking provider. Since joining the company straight after completing her Business IT degree in 2006, Sarah began her career as a member of the IT helpdesk, then diverted away from sales into account management.

When RingGo won the Westminster parking account, it provided her with the perfect opportunity to return to her tech roots. She was brought in as product manager, which required her to manage the testing and design process of the bespoke solution for the city. She has since worked her way up to Product Director and has led the charge on releasing a host of industry firsts to market over the last 10 years, including in car payments, space availability tracking and Emissions Based Parking. Her growth and expertise have made her an instrumental force in making RingGo the UK’s leading cashless parking provider.


WeAreTechWomen covers the latest female centric news stories from around the world, focusing on women in technology, careers and current affairs. You can find all the latest gender news here.

Don’t forget, you can also follow us via our social media channels for the latest up-to-date gender news. Click to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.


Will this be building cyber resilience: Cyber risk is here to stay, businesses must build resilience? She Talks Tech podcast

Listen to our latest She Talks Tech podcast on 'Building Cyber Resilience' with Jim Shook & Elizabeth Green, Dell Technologies

Will this be building cyber resilience: Cyber risk is here to stay, businesses must build resilience? She Talks Tech podcast

Today we hear from Jim Shook and Elizabeth Green – both cybersecurity experts at Dell Technologies. 

They’ll be discussing how to build cyber resilience to help protect you and your business and be sharing real-world examples of how businesses have developed their cyber resilience skills.

You can find out more about and connect with Liz and Jim on LinkedIn.

LISTEN HERE


‘She Talks Tech’ brings you stories, lessons and tips from some of the most inspirational women (and men!) in tech.

From robotics and drones, to fintech, neurodiversity and coronavirus apps; these incredible speakers are opening up to give us the latest information on tech in 2020.

Vanessa Valleley OBE, founder of WeAreTheCity and WeAreTechWomen brings you this latest resource to help you rise to the top of the tech industry. Women in tech make up just 17 per cent of the industry in the UK and we want to inspire that to change.

WeAreTechWomen are delighted to bring this very inspiring first series to wherever you normally listen to podcasts – and the first three episodes are now live!

So subscribe, rate the podcast and give it a 5-star review – and keep listening every Wednesday morning for a new episode of ‘She Talks Tech’.

Produced by Pineapple Audio Production.


Looking back at 2020: Our top Inspirational Women & HeForShe interviews

Diverse-group-of-stylish-people-standing-together.-Society-or-population-social-diversity, inspirational women

In the fourth and final installments of looking back at 2020, we delve into our favourite and fascinating Inspirational Women & HeForShe interviews of the year.

Our Inspirational Women series of interviews aims to highlight amazing women across the globe, showcase their achievements and raise their profiles. Over the years, we have interviewed so many amazing women such as Professor Sue Black OBE, Debbie Forster MBE, Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE and many more.

Our HeForShe interviews celebrate men who promote and support women in the workplace, whether it is through campaigning, mentoring or giving opportunities to women.

Zeinab TomTom featuredInspirational Woman: Dr Zeinab Bakhtiarinoodeh | Senior Data Scientist, TomTom

With a six year working background in Mathematics and Computer Science, Zeinab has been in a male dominated industry for the majority of her career.

Alongside qualifications in Neural Networks and Deep Learning, Regularization, Optimization and Structuring Machine Learning, Zeinab also speaks English, French, Persian and Turkish.

Today, at TomTom, Zeinab leverages Computer Science, Machine Learning and Mathematical modelling to turn data into a story, a fascinating feature for the users of TomTom products. She is passionate about science and technology, with the aim of using both to make the world a better place to live.

Read the full interview here


Caroline Serfass featuredInspirational Woman: Caroline Serfass | Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer, Canon EMEA

Caroline Serfass joined Canon EMEA as Chief Information Officer in January 2013 to lead the company’s IT strategy and help transform business systems across the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, to provide a strong foundation for future growth.

Caroline’s experience spans across a variety of functions, including internal audit, manufacturing operations, supply chain and IT. Prior to joining Canon, she spent most of her career in the healthcare industry. Notably, Caroline was CIO Europe at global pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company. Caroline then held the position of Vice President IT International at Medtronic, the world leader in medical devices. At both companies, she made technology one of the key pillars of their transformation and growth. She began her career as the first IT manager of a small mining company in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Caroline studied engineering at École Centrale in France and holds an MSc in Robotics from École Polytechnique, Montreal.

Read the full article here


Felicia Williams featuredInspirational Woman: Felicia Williams | Director of Design & Research for Emerging Businesses, Twitter

Felicia recently joined Twitter as Director of Design & Research for Emerging Businesses, as well as the regional Design & Research leader for the UK.

The team and leadership at Twitter are incredible, smart and passionate about how they can grow their platform, and bring even better services and experiences to users. Her remit is to develop and scale products for small businesses and individuals looking to start their business.

Felicia is part of This is Engineering Day, a day created by the Royal Academy of Engineering to celebrate the world-shaping engineering that exists all around us but often go unnoticed, as well as the engineers who make this possible. As part of This is Engineering Day, the Royal Academy of Engineering has announced plans to create a new virtual museum named The Museum of Engineering Innovation, which can be accessed through QR Codes dotted around the country as well as by visiting Google Arts and Culture. To view the first collection of exhibits, which include Jonnie Peacock’s running blade, visit https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/museum-of-engineering-innovation. #BeTheDifference.

Read the full interview here


Adam Philpott, McAfee featuredHeForShe: Adam Philpott | EMEA President, McAfee

As EMEA President of McAfee, Adam Philpott leads the EMEA region with a focus on building truly diverse teams to drive sales and success at every level of the business.

In this role, Adam is responsible for growing the business across EMEA as well as developing stronger partnerships with the channel and customers across McAfee’s consumer and enterprise security portfolio.

Before joining McAfee, Adam held the role of Senior Director, EMEAR, Cyber Security at Cisco. With more than 17 years of experience at the IT and networking conglomerate, Adam has a proven record of working in the security industry and boosting business growth

Read the full article here


Lauren Annison featuredInspirational Woman: Lauren Allison | CEO, #techmums

Lauren Allison is the CEO of #techmums – a not-for-profit founded by Prof Sue Black OBE to support mums in becoming more familiar, confident, and excited about the use of technology in their lives.

Lauren also works for Sulby Media as an international strategic communications and technology consultant. Her career blends together social responsibility, public policy, and technology. She trained as public diplomacy professional at the University of Southern California (USC) as a Fulbright Scholar. A graduate of the Washington Ireland Program (WIP), Lauren also studied at the University of St Andrews (MA Hons), L’Institut des Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), and the Centre for Comparative Conflict Studies at Singidunum University, Belgrade

Read the interview here


Milly Henneyake featuredInspirational Woman: Milly Henneyake | Civil Engineer, Arup

Milly wanted to do a job that would help people and have an impact on the world, so decided to be an engineer.

Now she works as a civil engineer, making people safe from flooding. She has worked with charities in projects around the world. In South America, Milly improved the design for temporary housing so that houses could be built safely and quickly by small groups of people. In Kenya, she worked with Engineers Without Borders to install plumbing and drainage into communities that had none.

She is now a civil engineer for Arup, where she builds structures to make people safe from flooding. Milly draws designs and works with other experts to manage flood risks. She works with nature, from rivers and lakes, to trees protecting riverbanks. Milly works to make sure what she builds is sustainable, thinking about the environment and reducing the impact on ecology. Her work keeps people safe after large storms.

Milly is a part of This is Engineering Day, a day created by the Royal Academy of Engineering to celebrate the world-shaping engineering that exists all around us but often go unnoticed, as well as the engineers who make this possible. As part of This is Engineering Day, the Royal Academy of Engineering has announced plans to create a new virtual museum named The Museum of Engineering Innovation, which can be accessed through QR Codes dotted around the country as well as by visiting Google Arts and Culture. To view the first collection of exhibits, which include Jonnie Peacock’s running blade, visit https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/museum-of-engineering-innovation. #BeTheDifference

Read the full article here


Stuart NyemeczHeForShe: Stuart Nyemecz | Senior Director & Head of Enterprise, Dell Technologies

At Dell Technologies Stuart Nyemecz leads the Enterprise Business in the UK.

Ultimately, they help leading companies deal with the myriad of challenges around realising their Digital Transformation, and in the Enterprise division, they work with the largest and most complex organisations globally. Stuart is responsible for our largest customer relationships, for developing value propositions for the UKI market, setting business development strategy and driving talent development for the customer facing teams. He is a Board Member, a Diversity Champion and spokesperson for Dell Technologies, and he plays an active part in a number of EMEA and Global leadership committees.

Stuart Nyemecz is an advocate of balancing a strong work ethic with time for family and adventure, having taken a six-month sabbatical with his own young family to travel the world. He is privileged to be able to use his professional platform to help drive his personal passion in creating a fairer world for his daughters. Stuart holds a BSc in Computer Science from Durham University and an alumni of Cranfield Business School.

Read the full interview here


Vinita Marwaha Madill featuredInspirational Woman: Vinita Marwaha Madill | Project Manager, Mission Control Services

Vinita Marwaha Madill is a Project Manager at Mission Control Services. From developing spacewalk training, helping astronauts move around in space, to building a robotic arm for astronauts to use onboard the International Space Station, no day is the same.

One of Vinita’s most interesting projects involved designing a skin suit to mimic the effects of gravity to protect astronauts from muscle and bone loss whilst in space. The suit was the culmination of more than 10 years of development and has been worn by astronauts in space since 2015.

Vinita is a part of This is Engineering Day, a day created by the Royal Academy of Engineering to celebrate the world-shaping engineering that exists all around us but often go unnoticed, as well as the engineers who make this possible. As part of This is Engineering Day, the Royal Academy of Engineering has announced plans to create a new virtual museum named The Museum of Engineering Innovation, which can be accessed through QR Codes dotted around the country as well as by visiting Google Arts and Culture. To view the first collection of exhibits, which include Jonnie Peacock’s running blade, visit https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/museum-of-engineering-innovation. #BeTheDifference

Read the full article here


Inspirational Woman: Rashi Khurana | Vice President of Engineering, Shutterstock

Rashi Khurana is Vice President of Engineering at Shutterstock where she oversees the front end E-commerce, Platform and Mobile engineering teams.

Since joining Shutterstock in 2016, Rashi helped lead three teams through a technology transformation, all the while managing day-to-day operations of delivering a quality product to customers. Rashi is passionate about managing teams of engineers to deliver above expectations everyday and building resiliency into all initiatives.

Rashi earned a master’s degree in Information Technology and Management at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Upon graduation, she worked at Orbitz in Chicago for seven years—before moving to New York City.

Hailing from India, Rashi moved to the United States in 2007 to pursue a master’s degree in Information Technology and Management at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Upon graduation, she worked at Orbitz in Chicago for seven years—before moving to New York City.

Rashi has also spoken on “Business as Usual While Revamping a Decade of Code” and recently took part on a tech women’s leadership panel.  Her speaking engagements include 2018 Wonder Women Tech, 2018 SXSW, and 2017 DeveloperWeek.

Read the full article here


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Brand authenticity and your bottom line – the perfect mix for company growth

Article by Rachel McElroy, chief marketing officer, Solutionize Global

young Asian woman looking at laptop, watchin a webinarBrand authenticity during the time of a pandemic is paramount. Curating the right tone and remaining humble — when consumers are living in a state of heightened alertness — will directly impact your bottom line.

How? It makes your organisation relatable, and in times of uncertainty customers will naturally be attracted to anything that feels stable, secure, and ‘normal’.

A study by the Harvard Business Review found that individuals consistently preferred companies that values ‘openness, relevance, empathy, experience, and emotion’ — with a brand’s performance on these points being found to directly impact profit.

And authenticity in a brand’s messaging not only secures an identity of a principled business, but also solidifies its credibility and its commitment to core values – helping consumers feel more comfortable in dealing with them.

A brand can deliver on this when it has clarity of vision — knowing why it exists and what it stands for. This lucidity feeds through to customers, encouraging them to form long-term relationships with not only the business, but the people behind it.

In fact, in an international Cohn and Wolfe survey, 72% of those questioned ranked authenticity above innovation and product uniqueness when asked what they valued most in a brand, evidencing that you could have the best product or service on the market, but will be avoided by prospects if they believe the brand to be dishonest.

But how can you demonstrate that you are authentic? Consumers like to see the human side of business, so being transparent about your path to success and any hardships you have encountered will encourage engagement. Using this form of messaging strategically and consistently throughout your content, messaging, and day-to-day interactions will act as a magnet, drawing people to you.

This attraction to known humanness by consumers explains the rise in user-generated content, the most honest and relatable comms of all.

Authenticity allows individuals to engage with each other in powerful ways, enabling us to innovate together and drive real change within our industries. And it isn’t just limited to our interactions with customers — as a management style, authenticity is engaging and effective, with leaders able to see powerful results by incorporating this approach.

So, how can businesses showcase their values and integrity to consumers? Once you have built your branding strategy and have identified the key parts that make you authentic, investing in long-term brand management efforts are essential.

This should transcend product lines, allowing your business to grow while maintaining a loyal and engaged customer base that is more likely to not only purchase from you, but to become an advocate by recommending you to their networks.

When done correctly, authentic messaging delivers fantastic ROI, but your brand story must stay consistent and aligned to foster a great experience for your customers.

About the author

Rachel McElroy, Solutionize GlobalAs chief marketing officer for technology solutions and services provider, Solutionize Global, Rachel is passionate about maximising customer experience and ensuring the organisation’s quality provision meets every end user’s requirements. As a brand and comms specialist, Rachel delivers high-performing marketing campaigns that celebrate SG’s bespoke service. An eloquent and well-respected industry commentator – especially in the diversity in tech space – commercially-savvy Rachel is a sales enablement expert who crafts tailored messaging to engage and inspire the firm’s wide-ranging customer base, and positively impacts its bottom line.


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How to kickstart your fulfilling career in 2021

woman holding a like a boss mug, kickstart your career

Janice Burns, Chief Career Experience Officer at Degreed, discusses how you can get ahead in your purpose-driven career in 2021.

It has, undoubtedly, been a tough time in the workplace and ensuring your career’s survival might’ve been your top priority over the past few months. But as we enter 2021, you have an opportunity to take stock and reflect on how you’d like to move forward in your career. It’s worth thinking about what a fulfilling career means to you - what it looks like, how you can get there, and who can support you with your goals.

Becoming your own career architect

My career has been transformed over and over. In the early days, I wanted to become a psychologist. Then, I became a public school teacher, and eventually, I entered the corporate world as a marketer, HR leader and eventually, Chief Learning Officer at Mastercard. Now, I’m the Chief Career Experience Officer at Degreed, a role that I shaped myself and that involves working with leaders in Fortune 500 companies, to help them support their workers in a personal and authentic way.

What links this all is courage, the ability to adapt and learn, and an understanding of the art and science of career management. The first step in building a fulfilling career is to become your own career architect. To know how to design a career with a strong foundation and structure, and that challenges and excites you.

Get used to pivoting

Pivoting is something once associated with the start-up world. Now, it’s par for the course. The pandemic caused widespread pivoting, both company-wide and individually. We saw automotive manufacturers like Ford switch to ventilator production, perfume factories create hand sanitizer, and airlines redeploy cabin crew as healthcare assistants. You can use this momentum to pivot your own career.

Of course, many of these moves during the pandemic were done out of necessity. But in 2021, it will be much easier to switch careers, shift industries, and explore new horizons because of the way we adapted in 2020. Whereas before, a hiring manager may have thought twice about a candidate from another sector, this is something more commonplace now. 6.1 per cent of those employed between January to March and April to June 2020 changed jobs during the first half of 2020, compared to 5.7 per cent the year before. Of those who switched jobs, 52.5 per cent moved into another industry. Simply put, massive job shifts will no longer raise eyebrows - and therein lies the opportunity to take a leap for your career.

Five steps to a fulfilling career

However you choose to shape your career, I always recommend following the same five fundamental steps:

Follow your passion

My early passion for understanding and helping humans is my north star. It carried me through training to be a clinical psychologist, to then becoming a teacher. In this role, I first encountered what true educational inequality is like - and its lifelong impact. And this led me onto a new path, to challenge this systemic problem.

Through teaching, marketing, and being the Chief Learning Officer at Mastercard, I’ve now become the Chief Career Experience Officer at Degreed - and I’ve had to make some tough decisions along the way. But my passion always provided a framework for my decision-making, even when the pull of recognition and remuneration was strong.

Understand your value - and develop your skills to increase this

My next career step after teaching took me into a one-year management training programme in a bank. I recognised the value of my analytical and psychology skills combined and wanted to use this to differentiate myself.

After the programme, I chose to enter the marketing department at the bank as it offered the closest fit between analysing and influencing human behaviour. I enjoyed this role for many years before joining Mastercard as a product manager. Over almost three decades, I shaped my contribution at Mastercard into something that drew on my unique skillset (as well as offer personal and professional satisfaction). This translated into leading Mastercard’s diversity effort - and Mastercard eventually made it onto Diversityinc's top 50 employers list.

All of this started with my skills - with me taking a hard look at what skills I had and what I could bring to the table. I combined this with understanding where I wanted to go and what I wanted to achieve. And then I built the skills and experience that I was missing, through different work tasks, talking to people, and formal/informal learning.

Find your career tribe

One effective way to learn new skills and build your career is to turn to your network. Find people who can act as mentors, sponsors, advocates and supporters, then leverage their skills and knowledge to become better at your work.

Seek out the people who share the same vision and who are willing to work with you to achieve the same mission. In my career, this took various forms, from Mastercard’s CEO and Chief HR Officer, who encouraged my strategic thinking, to David Blake, co-founder of Degreed and Learn In and co-author of The Expertise Economy, who shared my vision for learning equality.

Understand that everyone you meet along your career journey has a lesson to teach you. They may provide inspiration for your next step, or valuable knowledge for your current role. They may challenge your perspectives and encourage you to continuously grow.

Go for opportunities, even if not quite ready

It’s unfortunately common for women to not take a career opportunity unless they are 100 per cent qualified for them (men, meanwhile, apply when 60 per cent qualified). This is selling yourself short as it doesn’t fully value your career and learning potential. Even if you cannot do all aspects of a job, you can learn.

Conversely, in the current climate, you may have to take on work that doesn’t serve your long-term career goals. You can still learn from this. Transferable and social skills will serve you in any role, help you make significant career shifts, and future proof your career.

Pay it forward

Remember the third step? Well, this is the other side. As you grow your career, who can you bring up with you? Everyone has a skill or lesson to teach. Discover what you can offer your colleagues and then actively seek ways to teach and mentor others.

Your passion is your compass

As you journey along your career path, you won’t know where you’ll end up. And that’s part of the joy of cultivating your career. Every decision, every opportunity, can lead you to new areas. Each new role will take you closer to career fulfilment. Especially if you use your passion as a guide.

Even if you take detours, always return to your original purpose. Consider the legacy that you want to leave the world. For me, that’s making sure that everyone, regardless of their education, degree (or lack of it) and background, has access to the economic market. What’s yours?

Janice BurnsAbout the author

As a human capital futurist and strategist, Janice Robinson Burns develops and implements talent management and development programs that drive business results. She recently joined Degreed as their first Chief Career Experience Officer. Prior to Degreed, Janice spent 27 years at Mastercard, with her most recent role as their Chief Learning Officer. As CLO, she led the design and implementation of employee learning experiences and development programs globally, as well as development of frameworks to advance managerial capabilities and effectiveness. Prior to the CLO role, Janice served as Group Head of Human Resources for the Global Products and Solutions organization and Chief Diversity Officer of Mastercard. She earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University and a Bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University.


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women in tech, soft skills featured

How to support women working in technology

Article by Nimira Kassam, HR Director at Esendex

women in tech, soft skillsAccording to Wise Campaign, 2019 saw the number of women working in STEM roles in the UK reach one million, with over 50,000 of them working in the engineering sector.

This is a fantastic achievement and something I'm very proud to play a part in as my role as HR Director for one of the UK’s largest B2B telecommunications companies, Esendex.

Over recent years there has certainly been an increase in the number of women opting for a career in STEM, but working for a technology company myself, there’s no denying that the discipline is still heavily biased to men.

Some call it diversity and inclusion, others equality, but whatever the terminology, we need to ask ourselves what we actually mean by these terms. Concerningly, they seem to be becoming new buzz words in the workplace and so, to hold meaningful value, we must strive to make them more than just words. Organisations need to understand the true impact of diversity and inclusion. Diversity drives innovation which is the key to success in the dynamic technology sector. Diverse organisations must ensure that their cultures allow people to flourish and grow in order to be successful.

Specifically focusing on gender diversity, it is evident that females are underrepresented in the technology sector. While it’s great to hear that more companies are starting to take gender diversity seriously, we are still seeing slow progress and more needs to be done. In fact, according to Women in STEM just 35% of students studying a STEM subject at UK universities are female. This will consequently have a knock on effect to the number of women applying for STEM related jobs post graduation. And so begins the circle of women being outnumbered by men in STEM workforces.

There are many obstacles to overcome and progress a career, and this is true regardless of the sector or gender. However, working as a woman in the technology industry does present some unique challenges and as I reflect upon my own journey, there are some key actions I took that have helped me along the way.

The power of networking

Firstly, I have always ensured that I make the time to network both within and outside of my organisation. Networking can be daunting for some and also time consuming in a world where we already have so many demands placed upon us. However, the investment I made in building a support network that I can turn to when required, has proved invaluable. Internal networking is also important and having trusted sponsors that can check and challenge your thinking helps you to improve not only your ideas but also confidence in expressing them.

When preparing your CV, ask someone from your network to review this for you. At the beginning of my career, I tended to downplay my achievements and instead refer to a list of responsibilities. Being modest is an appealing attribute, but this should not be at the expense of being confident and openly proud about your successes. I’d recommend having a trusted confidant, who you respect and then believe their feedback, even if it makes you feel slightly uncomfortable. It is often when we’re outside of our comfort zone that we can truly grow.

Don’t be controlled by imposter syndrome

Secondly do not let imposter syndrome control you. I have personally suffered from this in the past and I’m not alone, with HR News reporting that 6 out of 10 women suffer from imposter syndrome in the UK today.

Early on in my career I applied for an internal role, a week later having not heard back, I asked the recruiting manager for some constructive feedback on how I could do better next time. He asked me what made me think I had not been successful, and surprised me with a job offer. On another occasion I applied for a position with the intention of using it as interview experience with no expectation of ever securing the job. I was overwhelmed when offered the role and yet I still believed I was not experienced enough, despite having beaten all other candidates and been selected as the most experienced and suitable person by my interviewers. The lesson learnt here was to always push yourself and you never know, you may just surprise yourself.

Be true to yourself

Finally, always be true to your own values and ensure that you make time for your own career development. As mentioned previously, it is a great attribute to be collaborative and invest time in others who need you. However, it is so important that you make time for yourself, your goals and your ambitions as this is key to being successful. Make sure you attend events and give yourself opportunities to grow and develop. Seek out the latest trends in your industry and look to upskill yourself in these areas. Most careers in STEM are fast-paced, which is part of what makes these sectors so exciting, but it also offers so many opportunities for advancement - stay ahead of the game and be ready, skilled and experienced when the next step on your career ladder presents itself.

Today I am HR Director at leading technology company Esendex, a position I am proud to hold, not just for the opportunity to further enhance my own career but to also begin to change the diversity of C-suites across the country. With just 28% of positions on C-suites being held by a female across the UK, I'm proud to be part of the change and I hope, in some format, to help clear a path for future women in STEM to follow a similar career trajectory.

Now more than ever the role of HR is to educate leaders and managers to understand the value that embracing diversity can bring. Organisational cultures need to evolve to ensure they listen to and recognise the contribution from all colleagues no matter their gender, confidence levels, race or character profile. While we still have a long way to go before we can say that we have equal representation in STEM careers, I feel confident and encouraged that we will get there, and one day women will be equally represented in STEM businesses across the globe.


WeAreTechWomen covers the latest female centric news stories from around the world, focusing on women in technology, careers and current affairs. You can find all the latest gender news here

Don’t forget, you can also follow us via our social media channels for the latest up-to-date gender news. Click to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube