A career in Technology is not what you expect | RBS Graduate Programme

Female Graduate in technology

 RBS-full-logo

When you think of a career in Technology, what springs to mind?

  • Being at the forefront of cutting edge developments, innovation, creativity and helping to drive businesses forward?
  • Whether studying a related Degree or not, a career in here could provide you with the experiences you least expect
  • We all use it, so why not be a part of it, helping to build our bank for the future
  • Keep an open mind, and remember:

It’s not all about coding!

  • Graduates use a range of skills and the wide variety of roles and our people reflect this (only 3 of our Graduates studied Computer Science in our 2014 intake).
  • All roles will be technical in nature, so an analytical mindset will help, but these roles are suitable for Graduates interested in a wide range of careers – Graduates go on to be Business Analysts or Project Managers as well as Software Developers

You don’t need experience

  • Learning and development is at the very heart of the Graduate Programme.
  • A complete training programme is provided to bring everyone up to the same level.
  • Your Manager provides you with a project that has been pre approved with clearly defined objectives which are achievable at your level of experience.
  • The Services Graduate Programme will bring a greater breadth of opportunities, and we still have opportunities available in Edinburgh starting this September.

APPLY TODAY

The future you shape at RBS has the potential to be impressive. We’re an international financial services organisation operating in the UK, Europe, the Americas and Asia. We have a clear vision for the future and you’ll help make it a reality.

RBS is a bank with a history of looking ahead. Since we were established by Royal Charter in 1727, we have granted the world’s first overdraft, launched the first mobile bank and developed the first fully functional smartphone banking app.

Graduate opportunities in Technology & Transformation:

SignPole

RBS is an empowering place to work. We believe there’s a right way to do business and we’ve created a fair, open, honest culture that will value the part you play. Get ready to drive positive change as you rise to the challenge of building a better bank for our customers.

We have high expectations of our employees and we’ll give you the tools and support to deliver on them. After all, the sooner you reach your potential, the sooner you can start shaping our future. Expect exposure to live projects and lots of responsibility from the word go, supported by a formal induction and structured training from industry experts.

Alongside your professional progress, we’re equally interested in your personal, ethical and social development. You’ll find four deeply-held values driving your work at RBS: serving customers, working together, doing the right thing and thinking long term. These are the principles making us a stronger bank and they’re something you need to believe in.

Prepare for broader horizons too. We’re an international bank with graduate opportunities on an impressive scale, whatever your degree subject. We have careers for analytical minds, strategic thinkers, technology heads and business brains. Wherever you join, you’ll get to see a huge range of business areas, with genuine internal mobility on offer.

What you can expect

An experience that spans all of the Services divisions including: technology development, infrastructure, technical architecture, transformation and change. The holistic approach will give you insight into how we impact the customer and work towards simplifying and creating new solutions for them. Technology & Transformation is a diverse field with functions and specialist teams in over 30 countries. It’s the key to everything we do and allows us to trade across time zones, perform complex calculations, transfer funds and disseminate information.

As a graduate based in Edinburgh, you'll complete placements around our business. You could work on major international change programmes or the delivery of next-generation solutions and play a vital part in building and maintaining the technology which allows us to retain our competitive edge. Throughout, your work will touch all aspects of RBS, so variety – and the chance to explore the full spectrum of what we do – is guaranteed.

Who we are looking for

You don’t need to come to us with advanced technical skills. Many of our graduate trainees have degrees in engineering, mathematics, economics, computing and sciences. But we’ll consider anyone showing a keen interest in and aptitude for technology. Plus, as well as technical development you will be encouraged to develop broader capabilities such as communication, project management, team working and influencing skills.

It’s also important that you’re resilient, articulate and great with people. This isn’t an inward-looking business area: you’ll establish and maintain strong relationships with stakeholders at all levels and work across different sites as you do so.

Whatever your degree discipline, we ask all our graduates to have a minimum 2:1. We’ll also consider your top three A-level (or equivalent) grades from the first sitting (excluding General Studies) and look for a minimum of 300 UCAS points.

APPLY TODAY

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Announcing WeAreTheCity’s Top 50 Rising Star Awards “Shining a spotlight on the female talent pipeline”

Rising Stars - Female talent awards

Nominations open 1st June 2015 - click here

WeAreTheCity is delighted to announce the launch of the WATC Top 50 Rising Stars Awards for 2015.  

These new awards are the first to focus on the UK's female talent pipeline below management level and will celebrate 50 female individual contributors that represent the leaders & role models of tomorrow.   We hope that by raising the profile of our short list and winners, we will also encourage organisations to consider how they strengthen the development of their female pipeline in the future.

Recognising that careers for women may follow different timescales, the Top 50 Rising Star awards will not have any age restrictions included within the criteria. We feel we have a responsibility to ensure that female talent regardless of age and background receives the necessary support and skills to transition into key decision-making roles within our organisations.


"The need for more women in senior leadership roles is widely recognised. At Barclays, we want to go further - we believe in cultivating a pipeline of female talent across all levels of the organisation, from the executive assistant right through to the boardroom. These awards recognise the considerable achievements of talented women and our sponsorship reflects our commitment to support the women that come through our ranks to stay until leadership." - Mark McLane, Managing Director, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Barclays PLC


WeAreTheCity will use its extensive reach across the UK & Ireland to find 50 high-achieving women across 10 key industries and professions

The WATC awards will be officially launched on 01 June 2015 with support from organisations such as Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Lloyds, Societe Generale, Reed Smith, Ladbrokes & Twenty Recruitment.

The nominations process opens on 01 June 2015 for all categories and will take place online at wearethecity.com.   A shortlist of 10 for each category will be judged by WeAreTheCity and published during July. Judging of the final 5 winners for each category will take place with the category sponsors & independent judges during August. The 50 winners will be announced in September where they will be invited to celebrate their awards at a champagne reception.

Categories
  • Rising Stars in Banking
  • Rising Stars in Consulting
  • Rising Stars in Investment Management
  • Rising Stars in Law
  • Rising Stars in Technology
  • Rising Stars in Insurance
  • Rising Stars in Media & Journalism
  • Rising Stars Personal & Exec Assistants
  • Rising Stars in Recruitment & HR
  • Rising Stars in Sport

Sponsors of each category will be announced on the 1st of June

Criteria for entries
  • Open to all women regardless of age
  • Nominees must be below management
  • Nominees must be working within the industry of the category they are nominated for
  • Individuals can nominate themselves
How we define a rising star
  • Someone who is making a difference in their industry
  • Someone who demonstrates passion and drive
  • Someone who gives back or inspires others
  • Someone who is recognised by others as having the potential to become a future leader in their industry
The Process
  • 01 June: Nominations open for all categories
  • 26 June: Nominations close for all categories
  • 20 July: Top 10 short list from each category announced/public voting opens for all shortlisted nominees
  • 31 July: Public voting closes for all shortlisted nominees
  • 01 September: Top 5 Rising Stars for each category announced
  • Sept TBC: Top 50 Rising Stars drinks reception and awards for winners, guests and sponsors
Don't delay, visit us to nominate your rising star on the 1st of June

Rising Stars logo



WeAreTheCity are proud to support Future First and their Inspiring City Role Models project

 

Charter school-featured

Ladies, our youth needs you!  It is time to give back and to help build the pipeline of future City workers.

Future First are working with the City of London Corporation to inspire students in the city-fringe boroughs to aim high. Through the 'Inspiring City Role Models' project we aim to get 1,500 city workers signed up to their former school's alumni network. We want to provide state school students with relatable role models who work in the square mile.

We are looking for City workers like you, who attended a state secondary school or college in the UK, to sign up to your former school’s alumni network.

If you’re interested, please take five minutes to sign up for this opportunity here: City Role Models Go Back to School or pass on to a friend or colleague who might.

As well as making a crucial difference to the young people they worked with, 87% of volunteers taking part in Future First’s Employers Programme last year found that taking part enhanced their own job satisfaction and motivation.

Together we can make a difference.  There are 27,000 members of WeAreTheCity, so let’s do our bit to help Future First reach their target and really make a difference to these young people.

To find out more, click here


60 Seconds with... Kate Russell, BBC Click presenter and technology journalist

kate russell BBC Click By Adam LeachWe caught up with Kate Russell at the recent Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Women Talk IT: event and asked her to share her top career tips in just 60 seconds.  A tall order, but she managed it! 

These 60 second career clips are normally reserved for our careers club members, however, as a special treat we decided to share Kate’s clip for the benefit of all WeAreTheCity members.

60 Seconds with.. are a series of short videos exclusively on WeAreTheCity Careers Club. To see more and find out more about joining Careers Club, click here

Kate Russell is a journalist, reporter, and author who has been writing about gaming, technology and the Internet since 1995. Best known for weekly appearances on the BBC’s technology programme she frequently appears on TV radio and in magazines as a technology expert, and also has regular columns in National Geographic Traveller and the BBC’s Focus magazines. She is the author of two books; Working the Cloud, a guide to using the internet in business; and Elite: Mostly Harmless, Kate’s debut science fiction novel set in the gaming world of Elite, which achieved over 400% of its funding goal on Kickstarter. In addition, Kate speaks regularly at technology events and conferences, and in schools and universities, inspiring the next generation of technologists. She is also very involved in UK and global policy meetings to help shape the way the internet is governed.

To find out more click here

Follow Kate on Twitter here


Inspirational Woman: Professor Dame Carol Robinson | L’Oreal For Women in Science Awards

Women in room with paintingsProfessor Dame Carol Robinson is making her mark in history having created a new scientific field, gas phase structural biology. Her breakthrough has secured her a global honour at L'ORÉAL-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards.

For 17 years, women in the science industry have been celebrated for their incredible efforts and contributions to the research field, from curing diseases to protecting the environment, and the award makes Professor Dame Carol Robinson the fifth British Scientist to have ever won.

In this inspiring video she talks about balancing her career in science with a demanding home life, what it means to be awarded the European Laureate award and the importance of the For Women In Science programme in supporting future generations of women entering scientific vocations.

We decided to find out more;

"The work life balance issue is a difficult one. I think there are times in your career when your outside life has to come first."

Women at computerHow did your interest in science originate? At what point in your life did you know you wanted to be a scientist?

Through an inspirational teacher but there was no conscious plan to become a scientist – my scientific career evolved with me.

I can remember being fascinated by the periodic table from a very early age. I loved patterns that it held and realised the enormity of what I was looking at. Recognising, or looking for, patterns in my research is still very exciting for me.

What were the biggest challenges you faced in pursuing a career in science? How did you resolve them?

The work life balance issue is a difficult one. I think there are times in your career when your outside life has to come first. As a scientist the enormous flexibility that goes with the job is really a bonus. I didn't miss out on any important school events, sports days, nativity plays etc. Now my children are working all over the world. I am totally free to pick up the pace on my research. My advice would be to take advantage of the flexibility of your career and to remember that there will be periods when you can’t devote as much time to your work as you would like. Be confident that these will pass and then you will be grateful that you maintained your position in academic research.

women at computerWhen you were named as the first female Professor of Chemistry at both Oxford and Cambridge, how did you feel?

I remember feeling quite daunted. It felt as though I was an experiment and that my colleagues would be watching to see how I did – could a woman take on this role? I also felt that it was quite sad that many amazing women before me had not been given the chance to be Professors - they clearly deserved to be.

"I think it is a great idea that L’Oreal-UNESCO is highlighting women scientists in this way."

What has been your proudest moment as a scientist?

I remember the day, almost 25 years ago, when I saw my first protein assemblies fly through the gas phase. This excited me, particularly as these experiments were not predicted to work. Theoretical calculations had suggested that proteins would turn inside out in the gas phase. The fact that they stayed together and we later showed that they had the correct shape really launched my whole career.

Do you think that programmes like this help to encourage young women into the industry?

I think it is a great idea that L’Oreal-UNESCO is highlighting women scientists in this way. I hope it has a very positive effect on young women considering a career in science.

Carol RobinsonHow do you perceive the cause of women in science?

There are some great women scientists – getting them to believe in themselves, recognizing their potential and getting others to do so if perhaps the greatest challenge.

"You can have a great career if you really enjoy science. It is important to follow your passion and to be committed."

As a role model, what would you recommend to girls or young adults who are considering a career in science?

You can have a great career if you really enjoy science. It is important to follow your passion and to be committed. Being an academic is a very flexible career, particularly if you have outside commitments. There are times when I have worked incredibly hard - less so when my children were young. Now that they have all left home I am totally free to work at my own pace again. There are so many positives about being a scientist. Don’t think of it as being stuck in the lab all day. The opportunities to present your research, to interact at conferences and to carry out collaborations across the world are tremendously exciting. It is also very rewarding working with bright young students, watching them develop and take up their own careers. It really is a great career choice.

Watch Dame Carol Robinson discuss her career in this inspiring video

https://youtu.be/H6oc87EQFoA

For more information please visit: www.womeninscience.co.uk


Thomson Reuters partner with WeAreTheCity Jobs

Thomson Reuters Logo
We are proud to announce the beginning of a new partnership between Thomson Reuters and  WeAreTheCity Jobs (formally Careers City).

Thomson Reuters is the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. They combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial and risk, legal, tax and accounting, intellectual property and science and media markets, powered by the world's most trusted news organization.

With employees in more than 100 countries serving seven industries, we offer opportunities as boundless as the world. Below, is a list of countries with the largest number of employees. No matter which country you work in, you’ll collaborate with experts across diverse fields, backgrounds and cultures, expanding your knowledge and helping you realize your full potential. Bring your global perspective and discover career opportunities without boundaries.

To view career opportunities at Thomson Reuters, please visit here

WAtc-jobs-logo

Women 5.0 Event | In pictures

On the 26th February 2015, 200 female technologists from all sectors attended the Morgan Stanley & WeAreTheCity Women 5.0 'The Changing Face of Women in Technology'
Women 5.0 Auditorium
Morgan Stanley Auditorium

With fantastic, inspiring and engaging speeches from;

  • Dame Stephanie Shirley, Technology Icon, British Businesswoman and Philanthropist
  • India Gary-Martin, Ex-Chief Operating Officer, Technology & Ops, Entrepreneur
  • Ulla Harker, Morgan Stanley, Executive Director

Panelists and Facilitation

  • Gerard Hester, Morgan Stanley, Managing Director
  • Vanessa Vallely, Managing Director, WeAreTheCity
  • Amina Elderfield, Morgan Stanley, Executive Director

We would also like to thank all of our guests for their engagement as well as the logistic teams at Morgan Stanley and WeAreTheCity.   We look forward to seeing you at Women 6.0 next year.

See below for pictures of this fantastic event;

 


Leading women in tech lauded as finalists in 2015 FDM everywoman in technology awards announced

FDM-event

A Royal Naval Officer, a pioneer of wearable technology, a cleaning company entrepreneur and three teenagers are among 30 high achievers named today as finalists in the UK’s leading initiative celebrating women in technology. Judged by a panel of senior technology leaders, the criteria assessed career success, potential for future achievements and support for women in the industry. The winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony on the evening of 17th March 2015 in London.

The British tech industry is thriving, predicted to be worth £221bn by 2016*. As a result it is estimated that by 2022 the UK will need at least 1.82 million new engineering, science and technology professionals. Advances in technology have created a huge variety of fascinating new careers from mobile technology to energy requirements. Yet despite this, only one in 20 IT job applicants is female according to half of tech employers. The reasons for this are varied, but unhelpful stereotypes and low take up of STEM subjects in schools are regularly cited as reasons why the industry lacks gender diversity.

The tech industry is crying out for fresh talent with nearly half of all technology firms seeking to hire more staff. Research shows that role models and opportunities to network are key to countering this talent deficit and the FDM everywoman in Technology Awards is the industry’s most influential programme that both celebrates and inspires.

The finalists for 2015 are:

Entrepreneur of the Year – sponsored by ARM Ltd
  • Fiona Bradley-Barlow, Director, AQ4B, from Leicestershire
  • Fiona Hudson-Kelly, CEO, Smart E-Assessor Limited, from Birmingham
  • Patricia O’Hagan MBE, CEO, Core Systems, from Belfast
  • Justine Perry, Managing Director Ltd, Cariad Marketing, from Hertford
Inspiration of the Year – Sponsored by VMware.
  • Ayman Assaf, Head of Strategy & Planning, BP, from London
  • Monique Morrow, CTO-Evangelist-New Frontiers, Cisco Systems, from Zurich
  • Bela Patel, Project Manager, Credit Suisse, from London
  • Jenny Taylor, UK Foundation Manager, IBM UK Ltd, from London
Leader of the Year – sponsored by BP
  • Christine Ashton, SVP Technology, Thomson Reuters, from London
  • Helen Lamb, VP-Head of Managed Infrastructure Services, Fujitsu UK & Ireland, from London
  • Anna Helberg-Hansen, Head of Business Analysis – Group IT Division, Lloyds Banking Group, from Bristol
  • Emer Timmons, President BT Global Services UK, BT Plc from London
Rising Star of the Year – sponsored by American Express
  • Sadia Chuhan, Apprentice IT Project Manager, Thomson Reuters, from London
  • Kerrie Martin, IS Process Change Manager, National Grid, from Warwick
  • Louise Moules, Technical Consultant, IBM UK Ltd, from London
Start-up Founder of the Year – sponsored by Salesforce
  • Lucy Burnford, Founder, Motoriety.co.uk, from London
  • Alexandra Depledge, CEO, Hassle.com, from London
  • Emily Forbes, Co-founder, Seenit, from London
  • Tina Mashaalahi, Co-founder and COO, KweekWeek, from London
Innovator of the Year – sponsored by Equiniti
  • Sinéad Brophy, Founder & CEO, MySupportBroker CIC, from London
  • Tanya Cordrey, Chief Digital Officer, Guardian News & Media, from London
  • Elena Corchero, Founder & Director, Lost Values, from London
  • Lt Cdr Roxane Heaton RN, Synthetics Training Policy Staff Officer, Royal Navy, from Portsmouth
Team Leader of the Year
  • Vicky Davenport, Director & General Manager Sales Operations, Xerox UK Ltd, from London
  • Samantha Smithson-Biggs, Programme Management Director, Aviva, from London
  • Marit Thowsen, Director Technical Delivery, American Express, from Brighton
  • Karianne Gaede, Risk Programme Director, Credit Suisse, from London
The One to Watch – sponsored by EMC
  • Heather Craig, Infrastructure Specialist, IBM UK Ltd aged 19, from Greenock
  • Amy Mather, STEM Ambassador, aged 15, from Manchester
  • Zea Tongeman, student, aged 15, from London
International Leader of the Year – sponsored by Alexander Mann Solutions
  • Cheryl Duke, Director, American Express, from Broward, Florida
  • Karen Egan, Sr, Director Technical Support EMEA, VMware International Ltd, from Cork, Ireland
  • Kirti Santene, Head of IT EMEA Branches, Credit Suisse AG, from Zurich
  • Cathrin Stöver, Chief International Relations & Communications Officer, GÉANT, from Alcala de Henares, Spain

Maxine Benson MBE, co-founder of everywoman comments: “Previous winners have shared with us the impact their award win has had on their business and careers, with many being promoted on the back of the recognition it has brought. Since launching five years ago, these awards have uncovered dozens of role models that will inspire future tech stars. This year’s finalists are all exceptional in their achievements, driving change across international organisations and creating innovative, disruptive companies with the potential to become global brands.”

Sheila Flavell, chief operating officer of title sponsor FDM Group states, “FDM is delighted to continue sponsoring the everywoman in Technology Awards, allowing us to recognise and reward outstanding women and their achievements in the industry. Gender balance in the workplace is vital to the UK’s economy; it improves communication, accelerates productivity and drives innovation. It is inspiring to see more women taking on high powered positions and becoming role models to females at the beginning of their IT careers. At FDM, we are committed to supporting our workforce regardless of gender and recognise the lack of women in the industry as a whole. This is why we launched our global Women in IT campaign, which is already encouraging and supporting more women to enjoy a long-lasting and rewarding career in IT.”

Julian David, CEO, techUK adds: “techUK is delighted to support the 2015 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards and celebrate the winners’ achievements. These women will act as role models for the next generation. The tech sector needs to attract more women to increase diversity and address the skills gap. Through our Women in Technology programme, we’re committed to raising awareness of the career opportunities offered by UK technology companies to attract smart, skilled women who may not have previously considered a career in this sector."

The 2015 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards ceremony and dinner will take place on 17 March 2015 at the London Hilton on Park Lane preceded by the inaugural everywoman Technology Forum. For further information visit www.everywoman.com/techforum

@everywomanUK

#ewtech


Inspirational Woman: Kate Russell | TV Presenter | BBC Click

By Adam Leach
By Adam Leach

Kate Russell is a journalist, reporter and author who has been writing about gaming, technology and the Internet since 1995. Best known for weekly appearances on BBC technology programme Click, she is a frequent face on TV, radio and in magazines as a technology expert, with regular columns in National Geographic Traveller and BBC Focus magazines. She is author of two books; Working the Cloud, a business book about the internet and Elite: Mostly Harmless, her debut science fiction novel based in the gaming world of Elite, which achieved over 400% of its funding goal on Kickstarter. In addition, Kate speaks regularly at technology events and conferences and in schools and universities, inspiring the next generation of technologists. She is also very involved in UK and global policy meetings to help shape the way the internet is governed. For more information visit http://katerussell.co.uk

Also not to be missed!  Watch our Exclusive 60 Seconds With.... video with Kate Russell - view here

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

When I meet people socially and they ask me what I do, I generally describe myself as a writer, as that is core to every aspect of my work and it’s the writing part that really makes me happy. If you asked someone who knows me through my work what I do they would most likely describe me as a TV presenter, as this is by far the most visible part of my career. Like so many freelancers these days though, I have a portfolio career that consists of many things, including TV reporting, magazine column writing, blogging, speaking at conferences and on panels, hosting awards ceremonies, lecturing at schools and universities and I give commentary on radio shows and other random media outlets. I have also now published two books, a business book about the internet and a science fiction novel based on the computer game that first sparked my passion for technology. We travelled a lot when I was growing up - around the UK but also spending time abroad in Kenya and Central America. This was because of my father’s work as an engineer. As far as education goes, I didn’t get on well with the rigid structure of academia back in the 70s and 80s when I was in school, so left at aged 17 and have made my own way through life sucking up as much knowledge as possible about the things that interest me and taking every strange career opportunity that fell in my path which sounded like it could be fun and enough of a challenge to hold my interest.

When I was 15 I told the careers officer in school I wanted to be a dolphin trainer.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

When I was 15 I told the careers officer in school I wanted to be a dolphin trainer. They sent me to a dog kennels for work experience and I spent the entire week mincing and bagging up green tripe to sell in the shop. That was the closest I ever got to actually planning a career. Because I had no qualifications after leaving school I didn’t think there were any real ‘career paths’ open to me. I would change jobs every 6 months to a year because I would get bored of the routine and lack of challenge in the kinds of roles I was going for - estate agency, payroll clerk, waitress, barmaid, cleaner, etc. So my only real career plan was to keep scouring the newspapers for a job that sounded more exciting that the one I was currently doing.

Have you faced any challenges along the way and if so, how did you deal with them?

Life is full of challenges - I’m pretty sure that’s not just the case for me. I love challenges, they make me feel alive and keep me alert and striving to improve, so I deal with them by embracing them. Since going freelance 20 years ago the main challenges have been around managing my finances so that I can ride the quiet periods without getting too stressed, and maintaining my motivation to deliver great content to deadline in spite of the distractions around me at home.

On a typical workday, how does you start your day and how does it end?

There is no such thing as a typical work day! Seriously! But if I am spending the day in my office it starts about 7.30am with coffee and ploughing through emails & social media… by about 9 or 10am I have generally cleared the decks and can get on with whatever contract I am working on that day - it could be research, writing, building a presentation, planning a lecture, developing a talk, writing scripts, recording screenshots, writing blog content, working on my next book, marketing my current books, broadcast streaming… anything really. I am generally working on at least 3 contracts at any one time, so I will do a bit on each depending on my schedule - which is blocked out by the hour in my diary. The day ends when I have crossed the last thing off my list. Then I quickly check my communications channels to make sure everything can wait until the next day before heading to the kitchen to cook dinner!

Tell us a little bit about your role on BBC Click, how did that come about?

I have worked on BBC Click for 10 years now, creating 4 minutes of broadcast content reporting on developments on the web and now in mobile apps. I was brought into that team by Chris Long, who was my producer when I presented a technology show on Sky. Previous to that my first break into TV and journalism came in 1995 when I was selling CD manufacturing to games companies and one of my clients dared me to apply for a job presenting a weekly show on Nickelodeon and ITV about computer games. There is more about that journey in a blog post I wrote a few months ago here.

I get most frustrated with people who do not understand technology and are therefore afraid of it, blaming it for all the bad things that happen in the world.

What frustrates you from a technology perspective?

I get most frustrated with people who do not understand technology and are therefore afraid of it, blaming it for all the bad things that happen in the world. There are too many of these types of people in so-called ‘advisory roles’ with government and in the education sector and they try to stifle progress and innovation because they falsely believe that limiting technology’s influence on society will magically make everything better.

Girls have equal access to technology and now there are products, games and entertainment platforms that are fully gender neutral

There is an apparent shortage of women in technology roles, what do you think could be done to encourage more women to pursue technology careers?

That is a huge question and one I have spent a lot of time pondering. In many ways I wish we could stop thinking and talking about gender in relation to technology, but the cancer of discrimination and bias has been allowed to grow deep roots over the past 3 or 4 decades so that’s not an option. Having said that I think the work being done now in schools and universities will really start to pay off over the next few decades. Girls have equal access to technology and now there are products, games and entertainment platforms that are fully gender neutral that will mean more girls evolve with an interest in technology. I watch my young nieces play with tablets and consoles and they all have smartphones. It’s not considered strange that they are into these pieces of tech like it was when I was a teenager getting into computers in the 80s. It’s up to we adults to make sure girls continue to get equal access to technology, and perhaps most importantly that boys have great role models so that they do not grow up with the same biased impressions of the tech world that our generation did. If we all do this job properly it should never even cross our children’s minds to use gender as a measuring stick for whether or not a person might be able to perform well in a tech environment.

I have grown to be fiercely independent and very self-motivated

Have you ever had a mentor or a sponsor or anyone who has helped your career?

I haven’t, no. Not in any formal capacity anyway. I think because of my upbringing I have grown to be fiercely independent and very self-motivated. I am also a perfectionist and find it hard to trust others and let go of control. Having said that though, I have a lot of clients who say lovely things about me and I consider every single person who has contracted me to create content and trusted me to develop creative ideas for them has been a massive help to my career. At the end of the day a freelancer with no clients is simply unemployed! Most recently I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my publisher, Dan Grubb, at Fantastic Books Publishing, who has given me the confidence to really believe in myself as a fiction author. I remember at first he had to keep telling me ‘you ARE a real author,’ and he backed up that supportive attitude with an open mind and incredibly fair treatment. I completely trust him, and at 46 years old this is a fairly new concept for me!

If you could change one thing for women in the workplace, what would it be?

The thing I would change is that gender is ever even considered when assessing a person’s ability or worth to a business.

If you were to look back in five years, what would you see in terms of your achievements?

I am now a bona fide fiction author, earning an actual living that can pay the bills out of telling stories. I have had great success with my first published novel, and I have my fans and readers to thank for that. I cannot believe how lucky I am that people want to pay their hard-earned cash to peek inside my imagination. I am also incredibly fortunate that my public profile allows me to raise money for charity just by doing the things I love. This Christmas I raised over £7,000 for a charity called Special Effect, that helps physically disabled people play video games. The charity has recently honoured me with a Vice Presidency, which alongside publishing my books is definitely one of my proudest achievements.

Tell us about your plans for the future?

My next novel is already signed for publishing and due out as soon as I can get it finished - hopefully in a few months. I actually wrote it 10 years ago and am now doing a rewrite applying the knowledge I have learned since then. I don’t have a plan for the future as such, but my dream for myself is that people continue to be interested in what I have to say and the stories that I tell, and that it brings joy and laughter to them and me; and that it continues to pay the mortgage and put food on my table.

 

60 Seconds with.. are a series of short videos exclusively on WeAreTheCity Careers Club. To see more and find out more about joining Careers Club, click here


Happenista Clarity – virtual training for busy women

Developed by Jenny Garrett, Women’s Coach of the Year, Happenista Clarity was formed through years of personally coaching hundreds of women, her extensive research with thousands of women and intuitive sense of what works.

Happenista Clarity is your unique opportunity to receive an entire year’s worth of know-how covering a solid plan of online and offline strategies, handed to you in easy-to-implement VIDEO lessons.

You’ll learn the most up-to-date, proven strategies, tools, and tactics to help you achieve and surpass what you thought possible for your life. Unlocking your passions, dreams and purpose to make things happen for you.

Happenista Clarity was created for busy women—designed to help you grow and develop personally and professionally in as little as 10 minutes a day.

Happenista Clarity hones these Happenista Habits, proven habits that help women achieve their goals (from research of 2700 women )

Exclusive WATC discount

Especially for We Are the City – use Discount Code: city15 to receive 75% off, paying only £11.75 instead £47 per month.

Book Here!