Charlene has worked in the IT industry for over 15 years now, starting as a Software Engineer and working her way up the ladder to become Head of Product in Kainos.

  • Having graduated with a degree in Computing Science, she started her career as a Software Engineer before eventually moving into Consulting and Business Analysis, and eventually specialising in Product Management.
  • She has worked across the Commercial, Public and Health sectors and has a wealth of software delivery experience, having worked on many large scale digital transformation programmes for Government departments such as Companies House, Land Registry, the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office, the Ministry of Justice, the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency to name a few. She has developed services and products that are used by UK citizens every day and it is rewarding to know that the work I have done has had a positive impact on people’s lives and makes a real difference in the world
  • In the Health sector Charlene is currently working on the Digital Transformation of Screening Programme with the NHS in England, where for the last 13 months she has been instrumental in redesigning how Screening (Breast, Cervical, Bowel etc) will be done in the future and producing the Business Cases and high level design to secure funding to deliver this transformative work.
  • In her role as Head of Product she has created a community of practice for Product and Business Analysis, a safe space where people can share knowledge, ideas and concerns to help them grow and develop as individuals and product professionals. She works with female members of staff to help them develop into future leaders, encouraging them to go for promotions and helping them to see their strengths and abilities.
  • She is passionate about contributing to and helping to develop the Product community and regularly shares her experiences and knowledge at Product conferences and via blogs.
  • She works to encourage other women into tech, regularly sharing her own experiences and for example has spoken about being a Product Manager at the Women Tech Makers Belfast Conference
  • She has changed how recruitment is done in Product within Kainos to help improve diversity and inclusion for example by ensuring that those involved in all stages of recruitment activities are from a range of diverse backgrounds themselves
  • She is also creating opportunities for less experienced people to begin careers in Product Management and Business Analysis by successfully designing, planning and running two ‘Business Analysis Academies’ in Kainos in FY22 and another one planned for FY23.

The Academy is aimed at people with no prior Business Analysis or Product experience, giving them an opportunity to change career by up-skilling and equipping them to begin a career in technology as Business Analysts in Kainos, with ongoing mentoring and support to help them thrive in their new careers and work towards becoming the leaders of the future. 20 people successfully completed the academy in 21/22 and are now enjoying new careers successfully working as Business analysis. it has also resulted in successfully increasing the number of women in this discipline in Kainos. It also provided opportunities for women to return to work after having career breaks to raise families and care for sick relatives.