She Talks Tech Podcast - Extending Reality through VR and AR with Jeremy Dalton

Listen to our latest She Talks Tech podcast episode on 'Extending Reality through VR and AR' with Jeremy Dalton

She Talks Tech Podcast - Extending Reality through VR and AR with Jeremy Dalton

Today we meet PwC’S Head of VR/AR, Jeremy Dalton in his session about virtual and augmented reality.

Jeremy Dalton helps clients understand, quantify, and implement the benefits of virtual reality and augmented reality technology. He  is a regular contributor of thought leadership in the space, giving talks all over the world, from Twitter’s headquarters in London to the SXSW technology festival in Austin, Texas.

If you want to find out more about Jeremy, you can connect with him on twitter @jeremycdalton or 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.


Victoria McKay

Victoria McKay appointed CEO of #techmums to reach more digitally excluded mums in post COVID-19 age

Victoria McKayVictoria McKay has been appointed CEO of #techmums to help reach more digitally excluded mums in post COVID-19 age.

Victoria McKay founded and ran the Women's Jewellery Network, a global community of women in the jewellery industry. She was also Chief Operating Officer of the highly respected, London Diamond Bourse.  Victoria also serves as Clerk to The Worshipful Company of Lightmongers.

Victoria succeeds Lauren Allison, who served as CEO of #techmums since 2019. Lauren successfully transformed #techmums into the organisation it is today, launching popular national clubs and launching a new online offer.

Speaking about her appointment, Victoria said, "Ensuring mums have great digital skills is the best way to tackle poverty, reduce inequality and build a fairer and more inclusive society."

"My own professional success started with someone giving me a computer, dial up and an opportunity."

"Digital literacy is vital to communities and my aim is to scale our ability to make a difference to reduce the digital skills gap."

"We need to ignite the potential in even more mums, who in turn can then become tech role models for their children."

"We need to invest more, so that mums are better represented in the tech sector."

"I look forward to advocating for that."

#techmums was created by Professor Sue Black OBE in 2012 as a direct response to the noticeable lack of  female representation in the Technology Industry, which still only sits at around 17% in 2019.

#techmums works with partners to train mothers in key areas including social media, The Cloud, staying safe online, right through to the basics of app design, web design, and coding.

Black said, "We recruited Victoria not only for her professional expertise in growing an organisation, whilst being a champion for female inclusion but also, because she identifies with those we seek to help."

"At 20, having had a disadvantaged upbringing  she was single with a baby, living in poor temporary accommodation."

"She’s now risen to become an established business leader."

"Learning tech skills helped her do that. We are delighted to have recruited someone who understands challenge and transformative opportunity.”

Kate Platonova, #techmums Chair and herself a #techmum added, "Victoria brings considerable experience and shares the vision of the #techmums board."

"This year, we have revitalised our board with two new additions including me and we have spent the summer working with Victoria to define our future growth strategy."

"We all very much look forward to working with her to deliver support to #techmums in raising awareness of the need for greater digital inclusion, particularly for people from hard to reach communities."


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.


She Talks Tech Podcast - Martha Lane Fox in conversation with Jacqueline de Rojas

Listen to our latest She Talks Tech podcast episode - Martha Lane Fox in conversation with Jacqueline de Rojas

She Talks Tech Podcast - Martha Lane Fox in conversation with Jacqueline de Rojas

Today we hear from British businesswoman and co-founder of dotcom boom company ‘Last Minute’, Baroness Martha Lane Fox CBE.

She serves on the board of Twitter and Chanel and is Chancellor of the Open University and Chair of WeTransfer.

She’ll be in conversation with Jacqueline de Rojas CBE – the president of TechUK and chair of the board of Digital Leaders.

They will share their experience from the dot com era and discuss their last 25 years in tech – and what we can learn from those years now in light of the problems of 2020.

If you want to find out more about Martha Lane Fox – you can connect with her on twitter at @MarthaLaneFox, and if you’d like to connect with Jacqueline de Rojas, you can find out more about her on twitter @JdR_tech or 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.


Girls in tech, STEM

Closing the gap: Early engagement is critical in solving the STEM skills shortage

Girls in tech, STEM, skills shortage

By Natalia Pereldik, CEO and Co-Founder of Funexpected

The STEM skills shortage in the UK is a growing problem that more and more professionals are starting to pay attention to.

In a recent survey of 250 engineering professionals, conducted by MPA, 37 per cent named the skills shortage as having the most significant impact on their sector. This concern ranked higher than automation, new materials and data. Considering the close attention given to each of these challenges within the engineering industry over the last year, it’s clear that skills shortages are a bigger cause for concern than many might initially assume.

Change is critical

Experts claim that the STEM skills shortage costs UK businesses £1.5 billion a year in recruitment, temporary staffing, inflated salaries and additional training costs. With the number of new STEM roles predicted to double over the course of the next decade, it’s clear that businesses need to find a way to solve this problem sooner rather than later. One such method of encouraging more people to enter STEM industries is by engaging their enthusiasm in science, technology, engineering and math fields from an early age.

By engaging children in math from an early age, there is a higher chance of sparking their passion in these areas, which can go a long way to setting up a career in STEM fields. Math is a long term investment, as studies have shown that kids who perform well in math from an early age tend to perform well at school in STEM and science fields. However, the problem that many parents face is getting their children enthused by the topic, particularly if existing materials are not age-friendly and can make the children feel alienated.

STEM in the real world

Parents can help encourage their children to enjoy math and promote a growth mindset to help them feel capable of being successful with the subject. What is seen by many kids as an overwhelming and challenging subject, can quite quickly be turned into a fun one, with a few tweaks in the approach used to teach it. Keeping math visual and interactive helps a child to relax more and enjoy their time learning, creating a mindset that will help them to retain more information.

Additionally, using real-life scenarios when teaching can help a child to understand the necessity of it in everyday life. Children are naturally curious about the world around them as they experience things for the first time, so accompanying this with dialogue from a parent or teacher helps to turn real-life situations into learning opportunities. Furthermore, people in STEM roles often need to have a curious mindset: this way of thinking can be instilled from an early age by parents and teachers who welcome questions from children.

Engaging in STEM from an Early Age

The idea of engaging young children in STEM subjects can seem daunting at first. However, it can be easier than most parents think. Studies have shown that children learn math concepts more quickly when they have multiple opportunities to engage with the subject matter. While children will have various opportunities to engage in maths in the classroom, parents should look to take this a step further outside the classroom.

E-learning tools provide the optimum opportunity for parents to maintain their children’s engagement at home. Providing fun, interactive mathematical activities allows children to apply what they have learned and in turn allow them to grasp the subject better. As a result, their confidence in these subjects will grow and in turn will stay with them in later life.

It is clear that the approach to STEM learning needs to be rethought and approached with a long-term view. By implementing more engaging learning strategies, children will be set up to enjoy their learning experience more, and it can go a long way to closing the skills gaps within the STEM industries.

Natalia PereldikAbout the author

Natalia Pereldik is Co-Founder and CEO of Funexpected LTD, developer of the Funexpected Math app, which aims to help children aged three-seven years acquire mathematical thinking, and become comfortable with math from an early age.

Following a career in the investment banking industry that spanned over 15 years, Natalia Pereldik co-founded Funexpected in 2018, and is responsible for managing the overall operations of the company.


The Ethics of Coronavirus Apps' with Professor Luciano Floridi | She Talks Tech Podcast

Listen to our latest She Talks Tech podcast episode on 'The Ethics of Coronavirus Apps' with Professor Luciano Floridi

The Ethics of Coronavirus Apps' with Professor Luciano Floridi | She Talks Tech Podcast

Today, we hear from Professor Luciano Floridi. Luciano is Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford.

Luciano is best known for his work on two areas of philosophical research: the philosophy of information and information ethics. From 2008 and 2013, he held positions of Research Chair in philosophy of information and the UNESCO Chair in Information and Computer Ethics.

Luciano’s session talks more about his work and the ethics of coronavirus apps.

Find out more about Luciano at https://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/people/luciano-floridi/

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.


female coder, coding, National Coding Week

Why National Coding Week is for the women

female coder, coding, National Coding Week

In today’s digital age, coding is becoming less of a rare skill, and more of a basic literary skill. If you think about it, without code, there is no software, and without software, there are no computers. 

But as with seemingly every STEM subject and industry, there is an underwhelming percentage of women making up the amount of coders out there. This is surprising considering the first coder in the early 20th century was a woman! Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper and Annie Easley are just three examples of great women who knew how to code.

So why is there still such a tiresome gender gap? WeAreTechWomen spoke to five women in STEM – all at different stages of their careers – to hear their thoughts, reasonings and advice as to why coding isn’t just for the boys.

Starting at school

Sam Humphries HeadshotAs Sam Humphries, Security Strategist at Exabeam explains, “The technology industry has transformed considerably over the last few years, and with it brings the emergence of a new standard of employee: modern-day technologists who must possess creativity, innovation, and be talented technical problem solvers. Coders encompass these skills, responsible for both constructing complex solutions from scratch, and navigating any obstacles that come their way. Their unique skillset means employees with coding abilities are now integral personnel in the modern workforce.”

Being able to code is a skill that will only heighten in value. As Humphries goes on to confirm, “access to digital skills is a crucial enabler of digital transformation, fuelling increased demand for people with the skills to manage evolving technologies such as AI and cloud. However, despite digital skills becoming ever more important in today’s economy, according to the CBI, two thirds of businesses already have unfilled digital skills vacancies and 58 per cent say they’ll need significantly more digital skills in the next five years.

“National Coding Week serves as a great way to promote the importance of coding skills for our current and emerging business landscape. It also contributes a fun solution to help encourage young people, especially young women, to pursue a career in technology. Women represent a small percentage of the technology workforce, which makes looking for skills in an all-but untapped female talent pool an obvious solution. By encouraging women and girls with the possibilities of an education and career in technology, we can help address the skills shortage by introducing new perspectives and problem-solving skills to the industry.”

Building a career

Hannah AlexanderThe ability to code is a skill that is beneficial in many different organisations, and can open many different doors. Hannah Alexander, Graduate Data Scientist at Mango Solutions shares her reasons for choosing data science as her first role after university: “Data science is such a rapidly developing field that it is easy to feel at the forefront of innovation. It is applicable in a vast variety of areas, so there is always something exciting developing and to contribute towards.

“Code underpins our everyday lives, from taking the train to work to flicking through Instagram,” Alexander continues. “However, very few people understand how this works. By learning how to code, you get a better understanding of the modern world! Code can be applied to any workplace. Menial tasks can be automated, tasks can be undertaken more efficiently, and you can become a more valuable member of the workforce.

“Unfortunately, I think there is a misconception amongst the younger generation that working with code or in STEM is dull, when in reality it’s anything but. The boring office worker stereotype should be broken by showcasing the exciting opportunities these jobs can provide, such as travel, global events and the opportunity to work with people from a wide variety of backgrounds.”

Isabel HutchingsThis idea around STEM being dull for girls is something that Isabel Hutchings, Applications Engineer at Content Guru agrees with. Hutchings explains:

“As a woman working in a technical role, National Coding Week is a time for myself and probably many of my fellow female colleagues to reflect on the lack of women in the industry. It’s an issue as obvious in 2020 as it has been for many years and one that shows no signs of changing soon. Indeed, recent A-level and GCSE results showed a continued gender divide in students taking Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects. Today’s students are the foundation of tomorrow’s workforce and when it comes to encouraging girls into careers in coding and other technical job roles, the gender divide in most of these key subjects is still a telling reflection of a grass-roots issue we need to solve.

“Being an engineering graduate and now working as an applications engineer, I know first-hand how hard it can be for girls to make the decision to pursue a career in things like coding and engineering. The education system as a whole needs to do more to build not only awareness and knowledge about what coding can be as a career – but passion in the subjects more generally. Young girls are at a particularly impressionable age at school, with relatively fluid perceptions of what they want to do in the future, so it’s important to capture students’ imaginations. Unfortunately, we’re not yet getting this right. Until we expand the perception of coding in young people – particularly girls – and unlock the hidden passion in students to pursue the many opportunities this area offers, we can expect to see the same stark statistics year after year.”

Elizabeth BrownElizabeth Brown, Professional Placement Student, Data Science at Mango Solutions, is someone who is currently making this decision. Brown explains: “I chose to do a work placement with Mango because in a world where data is abundant, it is vital that we stay data driven - and data science allows us to do this. I ultimately wanted a job in coding as I really enjoy it! Coding is an important skill to learn as we are constantly surrounded by computers and what they produce, and so being able to write code is a great advantage. The idea of coding and where to start with it can be daunting sometimes and so making it easier and more comfortable for people to start learning to code would help encourage the younger generation into it."

It’s never too late to learn to code

Although encouraging the younger generation into choosing STEM at schools is a great way to help close the gender gap, you don’t have to be a teenager to be able to begin to learn to code. Essentially, learning to code is learning a new skill – something you’re never too old to do!

Svenja de Vos LeasewebSvenja de Vos, CTO at Leaseweb Global explains that, “Coding is and will remain a skill for everyone to learn, it’s not just for the male part of our population. In fact, Ada Lovelace is still remembered today as the world’s first computer programmer. When it comes to coding and programming, technical accuracy and creativity marry well together. Coders support organisations across various industries from healthcare and manufacturing to cybersecurity. With a notable rise in cyber attacks, exacerbated by the global pandemic, the latter is absolutely vital. Those able to analyse their company’s IT infrastructure for potential vulnerabilities due to their skillset, will be in high demand.”

De Vos rounds things off nicely by additionally sharing the following advice: “National Coding Week is an opportunity to shine a light on how important, and how much fun, it is to learn to code and take an interest in technology as the world around us constantly evolves. With various coding platforms and language courses available for both younger and older learners, you can start learning to code at any age.

“With the digital skills gap growing, it’s crucial that schools and universities support their students in learning to code to help widen future pools of developers."


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.


Women in Tech Awards - TechWomen100 Awards 2020

Nominations are now closed for WeAreTechWomen's 2020 TechWomen100 Awards

Women in Tech Awards - TechWomen100 Awards 2020

Nominations are now closed for WeAreTechWomen's 2020 TechWomen100 Awards.

A shortlist of 200 women will now be chosen by an esteemed panel of judges and will be published in October.

The shortlist will then be open to a public vote. Judging for the final 100 winners will take place with independent judges across November. The TechWomen100 Award winners will be announced on 16 November and all winners, sponsors and supporters will be invited to attend a virtual award's ceremony to celebrate on 08 December 2020.

For the TechWomen100 awards, we are leveraging the extensive experience and industry knowledge of 14 amazing judges. Each judge has been carefully selected for their expertise in a particular field or their breadth of knowledge across the tech landscape.

On behalf of WeAreTechWomen, our sponsors and nominees, we would like to sincerely thank all of our judges for their dedication to the female pipeline and for donating their valuable time to judge the TechWomen100 awards in 2020.

Meet our judges here

The TechWomen100 awards are the first of their kind to focus solely on the female tech talent pipeline and recognise the impact of champions, companies and networks that are leading the way.

The 2020 awards are kindly powered by BAE Systems and sponsored by Accenture, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Oliver Wyman and OpenFin.

Remaining timeline

  • Shortlist announced & public vote opens – 26 October 2020
  • Voting closes – 13 November 2020
  • Winners announced – 16 November 2020
  • Winner’s celebration event – 08 December 2020

*There is no public vote of support for the Champion, Global Award for Achievement, Network and Company categories

If you have any additional questions about the awards, please contact info@wearethecity.com. For further details about the awards, please click here.


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Shot of a group of young business professionals having a meeting. Diverse group of young designers smiling during a meeting at the office.

Half of UK’s tech sector calls for more to be done on fostering a diverse workforce

Shot of a group of young business professionals having a meeting. Diverse group of young designers smiling during a meeting at the office.

Half of the UK’s tech sector has said they feel their employer makes token gestures that feel surface level when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

According to a new report from UK-based tech-for-good developer, Culture Shift, 49 per cent also admitted they believe diversity seems like less of priority in the workplace currently.

Despite 79 per cent of employees across the industry confirming that working somewhere with a diverse workforce is an important factor for their happiness at work, 48 per cent think their employer could do more when it comes to diversity. The same report also uncovered that 21 per cent of respondents are calling for training to the workforce on diversity and inclusion.

Diversity and inclusion have long been key factors for ensuring a positive and happy work environment, however the events of recent months, such as the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, have resulted in these climbing up the agenda of many employers.

Speaking about the findings, Olive Strachan MBE, founder of Olive Strachan Resources Ltd, global business woman and diversity and inclusion specialist, said, “The insights on diversity and inclusion uncovered in Culture Shift’s report really do resonate with me, as they shine a light on the lack of true representation across the UK’s positions of power."

"Employees are calling for their employers to focus on recruiting people from more diverse backgrounds, while providing training to the workforce on diversity and inclusion, confirming action really does need to be taken."

“If organisations want to create a happy work environment then they should take heed, as most employees confirmed working somewhere with a diverse workforce was an important factor to their happiness at work.”

The research found that fostering a diverse workforce representative of reality is a key factor for creating a positive culture and a key component for most employees’ happiness at work. With many calling for more to be done when it comes to ensuring that not only do under-represented groups have a presence in businesses, but also a seat at the table and a voice, there are various factors organisations should be keeping front on mind whilst planning for the future.

Gemma McCall, CEO, Culture Shift, said, "To create an empowering culture for all employees, it’s absolutely essential for organisations to be diverse, inclusive and showcase true representation across all levels of the business."

"Not only do recruitment processes need to be inclusive, but promotion opportunities too, and employees from marginalised backgrounds need to be supported through their career, as well as other employees."

"We firmly believe this is an incredibly important conversation to have and the insights uncovered in our research solidify that we’re not alone in believing more action needs to be taken by those at the top."

"It’s a shift that won’t happen overnight, but there needs to be clear intent from employers to keep diversity and inclusion at the top of their agenda."


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.


group of young multiethnic diverse people gesture hand high five, laughing and smiling together in brainstorm meeting at office, company culture

How to build an inclusive and resilient company culture

group of young multiethnic diverse people gesture hand high five, laughing and smiling together in brainstorm meeting at office, company culture

By Verónica Miñano, Head of Talent Acquisition at Kwalee

When I joined Kwalee back in 2016, I had to build our talent acquisition department from scratch.

Back then we were a company of only 23 employees; we are now up to 90 and growing fast, firmly established as the UK’s biggest hyper-casual mobile games company.

But when you’re growing at this rate, it’s very easy to change the fabric of the company in ways you did not anticipate, and to lose things that were previously important to your working environment.

This is especially true if you are making big changes like opening new offices, establishing new departments and creating more opportunities for remote working.

So here are my biggest pieces of advice on building a company culture that is resilient to these kinds of changes and that can survive even the most dramatic upheaval – including the events of 2020!

Identify and celebrate the pillars of your company culture

Company culture does not, and cannot, appear out of nothing. The first step is to identify what makes your company a great place to work and what employees already love about it, before enshrining these things as core values.

For Kwalee when I joined in 2016, the obvious example was how creatively everyone worked and the freedom people had to pursue their own ideas.

The clear way to develop this was to formalise this process to make it not only a fundamental influence in the company’s success going forward, but also something that could be used to embody our values as a company and set the standard for how we work.

Creative Wednesdays are now a weekly institution, encouraging employees of all roles and experience levels to pitch their own game ideas to the rest of the company. Those that find favour with the team have a chance to be made, and this approach has been behind nearly all of our global hits!

Not only does this approach filter through to every other area of the company in terms of encouraging new ideas and experimentation, it shows everyone that their ideas are valued highly – and that goes for prospective new employees too, who can see straight away from this that we are serious about these principles.

Our lunchtime pool, table tennis and Smash Bros. sessions are great, but these aren’t the things that build culture; it’s important to develop more lasting practices that can define your workplace no matter how much circumstances change.

Consider culture fit just as much as talent

We all want the most talented people to be part of our companies, but if you’re serious about building a company culture you need to consider how well an individual will fit into your team first and foremost.

An applicant could have the perfect range of skills that you’re looking for, but not be the best fit for the culture you have built. It’s easy to overlook this but a culture can begin to shift very quickly and it’s crucial to maintain this as you grow by hiring the right people.

Establish continuity to ease transition

Kwalee will soon be establishing our first overseas studio in Bangalore, India, and the first decision we made was that this will be the extension of our Leamington Spa headquarters in every way. While the official opening has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are already hiring in the region and will be opening as soon as it is safe to do so.

The two will collaborate as a single entity, with departments and teams made up of members from both Leamington and Bangalore, and the look and feel of the Bangalore studio will mirror that of our headquarters as much as possible.

Crucially, all employees, whether in Leamington Spa, Bangalore or working from home, will be eligible for participation in Creative Wednesdays and our generous profit share scheme. This consistency is key when attempting to scale a company, everyone will be happier knowing that the team is aligned, and it will be far easier to replicate success from an established blueprint.

These are just a small selection of tips, but the truth is that building and maintaining your culture should be a daily consideration! And if you like the sound of ours, our team at Kwalee is growing all the time and you can find all our open positions here.

About the author

With more than a decade of HR and recruitment experience, first in the engineering industry and more recently in gaming, Verónica Miñano has built Kwalee’s Talent Acquisition team from scratch and has overseen the company more than tripling in size in less than four years. She is passionate about how different personalities and skill-sets can be best combined to create a harmonious and creative working environment.


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.


Tina Valand

TechWomen100: What happened next for Tina Valand

Tina Valand

In this ongoing series, we speak to our winners about life after winning a TechWomen100 Award.

Now in their fourth year, the TechWomen100 Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of women in tech – the emerging tech talent and role models for the future.

We spoke with Tina Valand, who won a TechWomen100 Award in 2019.

Tina is an experienced strategic alliances and technology director who has been driving industry changes and collaboration between partner ecosystems.

With 16 years of experience driving large scale digital transformation in financial services, healthcare and government projects, Tina is currently working at a leading anti money laundering and know your customer (KYC) Fintech as the Partnerships Director for Encompass Corporation. She is responsible for developing strategic relationships with multi territory managed services providers, working closely with the technology teams and executing the partnerships strategy.

Tina started her career as a consultant with Accenture. Tina project managed complex large scale strategy led technology and infrastructure transformations. The next step in her career was working at PwC managing technology strategic alliances working across pure-play software vendors. Tina also has led large scale digital transformation in finance transformation and regulatory change.  She is experienced in leading disruptive technology initiatives including cyber security, AI, blockchain and cloud transformation and has a proven track record with designing and implementation of governance and best practices methodologies. She operated across multiple teams where she was responsible for flagship EMEA sales and marketing events.

Tina has won the PwC award for “winning team”, and was a nominated for the PwC consulting Awards 2019 for “Being agile & flexible”. She was also a nominee for the Win Tech Series awards 2019 under the category “Leader of the Year”.

While her role in coaching start-ups, C-Suite tech partners, D&I focus groups and Women-in-Tech initiatives gives her opportunity to change industry, Tina is an active force in school workshops and with maternity returners, demonstrating her passion for the workforce of the future. Tina firmly believes that technology has a crucial role in climate and sustainability, diversity and inclusion and always strives to make a difference. Following her passion to help others, Tina has founded VinayHelix which is a coaching and mentoring network set up to support people whose career has been impacted by the pandemic.

How did you feel when it was announced that you’d won a TechWomen100 award?

I remember the moment clearly when I received the email I had won TechWomen 100 2019, it honestly meant the world to me. If anyone had told me a few years ago when I had just returned to work (after my second maternity leave and was really struggling) that this would happen two years later. I would have said it was impossible! I celebrated over breakfast with my husband, daughter and son who are the core of my world. My coffee tasted so good that day! I called my parents who have always believed in me, supported me. I called my younger sister and best friend who is wise beyond her years always offering pragmatic, logical advice. I called my coach who two years earlier changed the direction of my career. That weekend we celebrated at my favourite restaurant and it felt like the feeling I got as a child when it was your birthday and you are excited, glowing of being a year older! (unlike in adulthood when you start counting the greys and wrinkles!)

Everyone was super proud but to me it was so important for people to know that it's been a journey. I hope to inspire other mums, flexible workers, people who are carers, people who have loved ones facing mental health challenges that you don't have to come from privilege to represent something and be a role model.

Please tell us what has happened in your career since winning the TechWomen100 award?

TechWomen 100 award was life changing. It wasn't just about the recognition, it opened doors, created meaningful friendships, networks and opportunities to attend great events including the virtual We Are The City conference and gave me a platform and confidence to be brave and take risks.  One of the first things was the opportunity to speak at schools inspiring children to study STEM subjects, sharing my journey and path to the  accolade.  I am very passionate about the importance of supporting the next generation of talent.

I had a fantastic ten years at PwC and worked on innovative technology projects building my skills in strategic alliances.

After the winners were announced, I had several new job opportunities and was asked to speak at webinars and events. Ultimately, I found a role that really aligned to my core values as the Partnerships Director at Encompass Corporation where I joined in March 2020. It was the first week the UK went into lockdown, so I onboarded completely virtually.  I only met my team in person months later for the first time! Regardless, I felt such a strong bond, I knew what their homes looked like, who they lived with and what they like to drink- all over virtual interactions.

Sometimes you feel something in your gut is right for you and you need to be brave and embrace change. Three things that are really  important to me are:

  1. People - for me it's about being around talented, inspired individuals in technology.
  2. Common Purpose-  To be working together for a goal that everyone is aligned to and be part of something big and exciting.
  3. Doing the right thing. I think this one is the most important to me. I heard the founder's story of how something bad happened and they aspired to ensure it didn't happen to anyone else.

Encompass is a leading RegTech SaaS based platform that provides Know your customer due diligence on demand powered by intelligent process automation. At Encompass the leadership creates a collaborative culture with clear direction, you can feel the energy, passion and we are lucky to be growing in the current climate. My team is kind, hard working, always willing to share ideas and lead by someone who is inspirational, has emotional intelligence combined with integrity and always puts family first. Positive people with positive intent.

Over the next few months I am working with  fintech recruitment companies to promote female talent in this sector.  I am studying for a qualification and aim to finish my book.  I am also working with my colleagues and the leadership to explore D& I initiatives at Encompass. Diversity is crucial to success in business, and creates the type of environment to attract exceptional talent. Recent events have highlighted we all need to do our part. I've made time in my life to do what I love; focusing on Art, painting and creative activities with my children. Career wise, I am focused on developing some really exciting partnerships, and have learnt so much about the importance of data and automation in KYC. I would love it if some of the great talent we have at Encompass win TechWomen100 2020 and of course I am doing everything to support this!

Meeting other TechWomen100 has disrupted the way that I think about myself.  I was so clouded with self doubt of what I was capable of. Sometimes struggling to acknowledge that thoughts I had would be valid. Feeling different and wanting to hide it. I saw some core things about me as flaws, so for example I always seemed to take things personally if something had gone wrong at work, I would hold myself accountable for the team and had my heart on my sleeve caring for those around me. I wished I could be more of a robot and be able to just switch off. I couldn't.  I saw having my heart on my sleeve and caring so much, as a flaw I needed to fix. I felt so much emotion and often drowned in a vortex of self doubt trying to hide it.

That has completely changed. I see it as a gift. The ability to create new relationships with people whom I've never met, to inspire junior people to voice their opinions about diversity and inclusion in their own organisation.  To use the emotions and help people in the current environment. I realised because of my openness, people trusted and turned to me with some really difficult situations. The global pandemic has given rise to so many people facing adversity, losing their jobs, medical professionals seeing things they can't unsee.

This is why I'm working to set up VinayHelix.com.  Vinay is my son's name in hindi it translates to humility and guidance. Helix, is a structure representing steps in the right direction ( which aren't always linear). I am creating a platform where people can share the challenges they faced, discuss what they have learned,  where people can  exchange offers of mentoring, advice and help to inspire to be the best version of you at work. I want people to know that there are people out there that are willing to help. Just be bold and ask.  Based on four themes:

  • I need help
  • I want to learn.
  • I want to improve
  • I want to contribute

I was lucky enough to come across some exceptional mentors at PwC who believed in me. I had senior sponsors in the UK and US firm that really invested time into my development goals and aspirations. I will always be thankful for their belief and seeing my potential at a time when I did feel a bit lost. To be that is true leadership - getting the best out of your diverse team. This support helped me lead strategic relationships, build talented teams and most importantly feel fulfilled at work. Not everyone has access to mentors like that in technology.

The last year has been the best and also the difficult with several personal challenges. My LinkedIn and social media is full of all the positive images but I want women out there to know that in reality we all struggle, have our own doubts, face adversity and unexpected challenges that we share with those closest to us. It's how you deal with them, take the learnings, be empathetic and inspire others.

What advice would you give to someone else going through the award’s process?

Don't underestimate yourself. Make sure you reach out proactively to your network, past TechWomen100 winners to help and guide you. Really take time to write your submission and ensure to include what you have done, what you want to do and be transparent about where you started, where you are now and where you want to go! Also, be mindful of the big impact you can have by doing small things. If you notice someone around you that isn't themselves. Don't ask " Are you ok? " as people are conditioned to say " Yes, I'm fine". Make yourself vulnerable, share a genuine insight and see what amazing, surprising,  worrying thoughts you get back. Finally, be brave to ask the questions no one else is.

What tips would you give to our other members to enhance their careers? 

Be kind, be real, be free is my advice to anyone who wants to enhance their careers. Find the core values of what makes you happy.

"The world is full of rights and wrongs, black, white, brown and a spectrum of the rainbows in between, sometimes all we see is different versions of social media facades. Our internal perceptions make us who we grow to be, our interactions with those around us is what matters.  In the end there is nothing left of the real you but an interpretation of yourself in someone else's mind. In this world, everyone has a secret they cannot share. Open your thoughts and look inside and you will see the broken fragments of the pictures that makes us who we are today. Be kind. Be real. Be free."  Tina Valand


The 2020 TechWomen100 Awards are open for nominations on 03 August 2020. Our awards focus solely on women working in tech below director level. We hope that by highlighting the accolades of up-and-coming inspirational female tech talent, we can help to create a new generation of female role models for the industry, and a pipeline of future leaders.