Young women in tech, Tech She Can

Could you help inspire the next generation? Film a role model video for Tech She Can & encourage women into tech

Young women in tech, Tech She Can

Could you help inspire the next generation of women in tech?

Tech She Can is launching a new ‘Young women in tech’ role model video campaign, in collaboration with Workfinder, DCMS, everywoman and ourselves at We Are Tech Women, as part of our shared aim to encourage more women into tech roles.

You could be a data analyst, data engineer, software developer, systems engineer, DevOps engineer, intelligence analyst, app developer, data scientist, VR or metaverse designer, privacy analyst, security architect, Natural Language Processing (NLP) engineer, Blockchain developer, UX designer, or Cloud engineer. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but hopefully gives you a good idea of the types of roles we’re looking to profile.

Watch the video below for guidance on filming your video

If you fit the brief and would  like to feature in this video series, share your story to inspire girls and young women to consider a future career in tech.

Full details on how to get involved, including detailed guidance on how to film and submit your videos can be found here.

The campaign will launch in early March 2022 but role model videos will continue to be added into the collection on an ongoing basis. If you’d like to be featured in the initial launch, please ensure your video reaches them as soon as possible.

One Tech World Virtual Conference 2022

01 APRIL 2022

Join Tech She Can at our One Tech World conference, where they’ll be talking about how to make technology work for everyone & how to get more girls into the industry.

FIND OUT MORE

woman wearing a white lab coat working on an engineering project, International Women in Engineering Day

Inspiring the next generation of women in engineering

By Pooja Malpani, Head of Engineering, Bloomberg Media

woman wearing a white lab coat working on an engineering project, International Women in Engineering DayIncreasing gender diversity is one of the most important issues that needs to be addressed in engineering.

We are starkly reminded on a daily basis that, despite making some progress, the industry today still faces significant challenges in nurturing a truly diverse workforce.

As recently as 2018, research showed that just 12.3% of the UK’s engineering workforce were women. That figure has been far too low for far too long.

It is well recognised across businesses that having inclusive and diverse teams leads to better financial performance, happier work environments, and more innovation – the lifeblood of technology organisations. Women can also benefit massively from the technology industry, whether as consumers or employees.

Technology and engineering jobs are so pervasive today, there’s plenty of scope for women -- or any underrepresented group -- to work on something they are truly passionate about. Just as women should consider positions in this industry, openings need to be far more accessible and more inclusive.

This chicken and egg stand-off must change so the industry does not miss out on the benefits of greater gender diversity, and so women are not missing out on careers in this vibrant field.

Challenging the norm

The first step to solving any problem is to acknowledge it. It’s easy to blame the talent pipeline for the lack of women in technology roles, but it is critical to be more creative in driving change and encouraging more women to get interested in careers in engineering, irrespective of their backgrounds. At the same time, we must continue increasing representation by focusing on the talented women who already are interested in or work in our industry.

There are already initiatives that encourage such practices. Blind recruitment – where you limit unconscious bias by removing identification details – training, upskilling, and internship programmes are all vital in driving positive outcomes in terms of increasing gender diversity.

But, this needs to go even further. Women who are already established in the engineering and technology sectors will indirectly inspire the next generation of female tech leaders as role models and can also directly play a huge role within organisations as mentors to those entering the industry. Women in technology can also have a strong influence on the market too. For example, in the media industry, women are key consumers, so, when there are more women working in the industry, they can have a better platform to make positive change.

Enacting change from the inside

Challenging any traditional groupthink and inherent bias will be fundamental in creating a more inclusive culture. As we look to change the face of the industry, the diversity challenge should not be limited to just numbers. It’s no use having a business that has a 50-50 gender split, but fewer women in leadership roles. It only clouds the overarching issue.

Restricting cognitive diversity, or diversity of thought, is as much a barrier to commercial goals as it is to creating an inclusive and open culture. So, there are no excuses in failing to invest in a diverse workforce.

It’s not enough for organisations to continue to hire from the same pool of candidates: it’s clear that this approach needs to change. Businesses are making headway in having open conversations, but they must now look to nurture talent from as broad a spectrum as possible to help eliminate barriers.

Now is the time for action

The time for words is over and industries such as media and technology need to take action to address gender diversity.

Businesses can, and should, do more. There are many ways to take proactive action towards gender imbalance – but it shouldn’t be viewed as a philanthropic activity.

Diversity brings new ideas, innovation, and thinking to an organisation, making it a commercially-sound proposition. As we reflect on how far we’ve come in addressing the industry’s gender imbalances, we must also look to the road ahead.

About the author

Pooja MalpaniPooja Malpani is the Head of Engineering for Bloomberg Media. She leads the engineering team responsible for consumer media, marketing and data visualization.

This includes supporting Bloomberg.com, consumer mobile applications, smart television apps, other connected devices, as well as the systems that deliver market-moving news, data, audio and video to consumers and syndication partners. Her group also manages Bloomberg's marketing web sites, as well as various Bloomberg Philanthropies sites.

Prior to Bloomberg, Pooja was at HBO Digital Products, where she led the Purchase and Identity engineering teams for HBO Go and HBO Now. Her group was responsible for Subscription Management, including Auth, Direct Commerce and Partner Commerce across web, mobile and connected devices. Her group managed HBO’s streaming user services, including scaling for high traffic shows like 'Game of Thrones'.

Prior to joining HBO, Pooja spent 9 years at Microsoft, leading the engineering efforts on a variety of features for Skype for Business and Skype for consumers.

Pooja is an ambassador for women in technology and is actively involved in engineering initiatives related to diversity.

Pooja graduated from Indiana University with a Masters in Computer Science.


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encouraging girls in to tech, STEM featured

Inspiring the next generation of engineers

encouraging girls in to tech, STEM

Article provided by Alison Horton, principal engineer at built environment consultancy Curtins’ Birmingham office and STEM ambassador.

Inspiring the next generation of engineers will simply come from inspiring the next generation when it comes to career options as a whole.

Children – both girls and boys – need to be better educated on career possibilities and from an earlier age than they are at the moment.

That’s why I’m a STEM ambassador. Of course, we want more girls to be inspired to go into engineering as it is still very much male-dominated, but what we need is the next generation as a whole to be excited, enthused and passionate about their chosen career.

Many schools, teachers and parents are not able to highlight everything that every possible industry has to offer, so it’s important for representatives from all industries to step forward and do just that. From this greater knowledge, students can identify and follow their passions from a younger age to make a more informed choice on what is right for them.

I spend a lot of time encouraging other staff to get involved and giving talks to our other offices as part of a company initiative to promote the fantastic work of STEM ambassadors.

It’s easy to get involved as a STEM ambassador through a simple online application and induction. You only have to get involved with one activity a year, so you can flex your involvement based on how much time you have to spare. I applied when I started full-time work after graduation, having spent my university days helping at open days and being involved in the Women in Engineering society. Since applying, I haven’t stopped!

One particularly memorable activity was den building with students in the Lickey Hills. The students had to build dens using only a tarpaulin and whatever they could find in the woods. After an hour they had to get into their den whilst we threw water to test how waterproof their creations were. That and many of the events I get involved with through the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) are really engaging and hands on, and sometimes involve dressing up as a superhero.

It’s one of the most rewarding things about my career – realising that I could be a young person’s role model was an incredible feeling. I can’t recommend getting involved highly enough – the more we support our next generation now, the better the future of all our industries will be.

For more information, please visit www.curtins.com

About the author

Alison Horton is a senior engineer at the Birmingham office of built environment consultancy, Curtins.

Horton is also a STEM ambassador and is passionate about encouraging more people - both male and female - into STEM related jobs.