Nicole AngellNicole Angell has recently joined Middlesbrough-based Carbon data management platform and hope their stories can encourage other women to consider a career in technology.

Carbon uses Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to better understand online customer behaviour in order to help its customers personalise content and advertising for their audiences.

Every day, Carbon collects and analyses anonymous data from more than two million new unique users to understand customer behaviour and intent.

Nicole Angell, 23, is a junior data scientist who has been with Carbon for six months after completing a degree course.

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

I’m 23 years old and I graduated with a first class degree from the University of Stirling last year. The course title was BSc (Hons) Mathematics and its Applications. I have been working at Carbon as a junior data scientist for the last seven months and joined the company straight after finishing my degree.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I did sort of plan my career. When I started my degree, I started looking into careers and decided data science was perfect as it combined my interests for maths and coding.

Then I chose modules and projects at university that allowed me to work towards my desired career.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

I’ve only recently joined Carbon, so no career challenges so far.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

My biggest career achievement to date has been being able to contribute to developing new features and tools for the company and getting my work into production.

The maths side of my work relates to data analysis to help clients understand their audience while the coding aspect helps me develop features to help enhance who they advertise to.

Our work is valuable as we help make companies become more profitable and identify the right audience enabling them to get to the right people.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success? 

A major factor in achieving success was putting the effort in. There was clearly a lot of maths on my course, but there was only one module on coding so I did short courses in my spare time to learn about this area of work.

This meant I was ready to go into the industry with the skills I needed to be a data scientist.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

I would suggest keep pushing yourself to learn new things. In this type of job there’s always more to learn.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

No, if you work hard enough I don’t see why there would be barriers.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology?

I think it’s more down to the individual, but at Carbon, I’m really enjoying it – everyone works together and is supportive – and the job gives me a good balance between maths and coding.

More women are coming into this industry than ten years ago, but not as many as there could be so I would encourage others to think about this sort of career – especially if they like maths. The industry is getting bigger with more and more jobs being created so it is a good career you can progress and continue to learn in.

There is currently only 17% of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

I think more emphasis needs to be put on introducing things like coding earlier in education and encouraging learning in that area.

After having chats with other females on my university course, I realised none of them wanted to choose that module even though they’d never tried coding. I think that’s down to the fact its ‘new’ to them and if higher level computing was compulsory at school/college the module would’ve been more popular.

I would introduce lots of conferences available across the UK for women in tech/data science/computer science careers.