Snezhana Ilieva

During her first year at university, Snezhana fortuitously fell into the field of technology after taking an Applied Statistics in R module required for her originally-planned Media degree and was captivated.

Combining the writings of Simone de Beauvoir with those of statistical theory over the next three years, Snezhana took the life-changing decision to pursue a master’s degree in Applied Statistics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

After graduating, Snezhana joined Barbican Insurance Group as a Marketing Consultant specialising in marketing strategy, research and analytics. She spent almost three years working directly with internal stakeholders to implement a multitude of marketing campaigns, in addition to spending time working with the Catastrophe Modelling team. Craving a big change, Snezhana left Barbican and joined PwC. In her current role as a data scientist, Snezhana uses her background in statistics and marketing experience to work with customers across Europe to develop data science solutions designed to deliver operational workflow optimisation and omni-channel outputs.

Throughout her career, Snezhana has often pursued her passion for having a positive social impact as a data scientist through volunteering. Last year, Snezhana took part in the Alan Turing Institute’s “Data Study Group” – an intensive five-day collaborative hackathon aimed at tackling high impact problems in education, health, criminal justice and sustainability. Alongside other data scientists, she worked on a personalised lung cancer treatment model and investigated different approaches for predicting survival time for patients treated with Cancer immunotherapy (CIT). While working at Barbican Insurance Group, Snezhana was also a volunteer for Lloyd’s Primary School support programme. Over the course of two years, she visited Redlands Primary School every other week and worked with kids from underprivileged backgrounds to help them develop their numeracy skills, build confidence and increase motivation.

Snezhana has also placed a strong emphasis on engaging in advocacy and network building around the priority theme of ‘Women’s Empowerment’ – something that stems from being one of the few women in her field of study at university. Last year, Snezhana was selected to participate in the Alan Turing’s “Gamechangers for diversity in STEM” hackathon which aimed at designing innovative solutions to help promote the inclusion of traditionally underrepresented groups, and improving the STEM working environment for all. During the hackathon, Snezhana worked on a project called “Diversity engine” which argued for the use of voice analytics as an innovative alternative to reducing bias and discrimination in the workplace. Now at PwC, Snezhana has already become involved in a number of women in tech initiatives and mentoring groups. She is the Diversity and Inclusion leader for the Innovation Engineering and Advanced Analytics team and a Tech She Can ambassador – an initiative dedicated to attracting and supporting women working in technology roles in the UK.