Laura Price

Laura Price | O2/Telefonica

Laura Price

I joined O2 in 2012 and found an incredible passion for technology and love of teaching our customers.

Beforehand I was a fresh graduate from university in an unrelated degree to anything tech related but I was eager to get stuck into a new project. After a year as a Sales Advisor I moved into the Guru role which is completely specialist. In this role I educate our customers on a one to one basis on how they can utilise tech in their everyday lives: by sharing how to keep themselves safe, comfortable and connected with their friends, their family and the larger online world. I also assist with overcoming technical challenges. This role allows me to support people from all walks of life, from the most tech savvy, to those with assisted needs.

My favourite part of the role is getting people from all age generations passionate about technology. I feel our charity partnership with the NSPCC is a fantastic aid to get kids involved and assist them with their independence. It’s almost addictive seeing how it makes people feel and the impact it has on them personally.


Stephanie Owen

Stephanie Owen | O2

Stephanie Owen

I have always had a passion for mathematics and was lucky enough to receive a lot of support throughout my education from both parents and teachers.

My interest in technology came from my choice of logic and computing modules during my undergraduate degree, and I went on to study a master’s degree in ‘The Mathematics of Cryptography and Communications’ in 2013.

A year later, I joined O2 on the graduate scheme, which combined leadership and management training with a full-time role within the Data Science team. I soon developed strong coding and analytical skills and learnt a lot from my extremely knowledgeable colleagues, who were always happy to help.

After 18 months I took an opportunity as an insight analyst at British Airways. BA had just started the move into data science at that time, and so I took on the role of a Data Science advocate, joining a steering group which consulted on the tools and technology we should be using as well as providing use cases and best practice examples.

In 2017 I took a senior role in the Data Science team back at O2, which is the role I am currently in. Predominantly, my work is focused on improving the Customer Experience, and enhancing the way we communicate with our customers through personalisation.


Michelle Harding

Michelle Harding | O2

I attended an all-girls school in South Africa, where we were encouraged to pursue the sciences. Whilst at high school, I was a founding member of the 'Computer Club' where we learnt to code in Basic. After finishing high school I studied a BSc degree at Rhodes University in South Africa, majoring in Maths and Physics. Throughout my university career I tutored students in Maths. I joined an Engineering firm immediately after leaving university, and whilst there became passionately interested in the work done by the IT group, particularly systems design. I started looking for a role in that field and subsequently joined Oracle in South Africa as a consultant. In the mid-90s I traveled to England to undertake contract work and travel around Europe. I contracted as IT Architect & Designer for a number of years mostly in the telco sector, learning about mobile networks which I found fascinating. One such contract was with BTCellnet. After contracting with them for a few years they offered me a permanent job as Design team lead for the OSS (Operational Support Systems), closely working with the Mobile Networking teams. The work was intellectually challenging involving a detailed understanding of mobile network technology to ensure that the systems I was responsible for could support network engineers' requirements. Through subsequent years, BTCellnet evolved into what is today known as O2 UK, part of the Telefonica group. I have held a variety of roles ranging from Design Manager, Delivery Team Manager, Project and Programme Management. My current role is as Programme and Portfolio Manager delivering new capability to the Business, largely focused in the Cyber Security and Legal & Regulatory areas. I am also an active member of the Women's Network, with particular focus on the 'Women in Technology' work stream.


Stephanie Owen

Stephanie Owen | O2

I have always had a passion for mathematics and had a lot of support throughout my education. My interest in technology came from my choice of logic and computing modules during my undergraduate degree. I went on to study a master’s degree in ‘The Mathematics of Cryptography and Communications’ and I had part of my dissertation, ‘A note on an upper bound of traceability codes’, which presented a new proof and previously unseen examples, published.

Despite not pursuing a career in cryptography, I feel lucky to have found a field where I can use the same skills - such as logical and mathematical reasoning, programming, problem solving and creativity - every day.

I joined O2 on the graduate scheme in 2014, which combined leadership and management training with a full time permanent role within the data science team. I learnt all of my coding and analytical skills on the job from my extremely knowledgeable colleagues, who were always happy to help.

After 18 months I took an opportunity as an insight analyst at British Airways. The team that I joined had just started the move into data science at that time, and so I took on the role of a data science advocate, joining a steering group which consulted on the tools and technology we should be using as well as providing use cases and best practice examples.

At the end of 2017 I took a senior role in the Data Science team back at O2, which is the role I am currently in.


Emma Spillane

Emma Spillane | O2

I fell into the world of technology. I had no idea what I wanted to do when I was in school. I choose the arty subjects in school like art and music, but I also loved maths. A friend suggested engineering. I had the bare minimum requirements for my degree, and knew very little about it before I joined but thought it sounded interesting.

I completed my undergraduate and masters degrees in Computer and Electronic Engineering (originally going down the mechanical engineering route) from Trinity College Dublin. Initially it was hard work getting up to speed with my peers, with no physics or technical subjects background but I thoroughly enjoyed my course and highly recommend an engineering route.

I then moved to the UK to join the O2 graduate scheme. The scheme is roughly 2 years long where the individuals’ focus on their professional development as well as getting relevant on the job experience. I had several roles which ranged from highly technical engineering tasks to other where it was project, stakeholder or budget management. All of which were unique and gave me a wide array of experience, a more rounded view of the company and helped me build my invaluable network

On completion of the program I was offered a role within the Radio Modelling team. The scope of my role has grown over the last 2 years but currently I lead a small team in developing sophisticated network models to evaluate future network technologies and support wider business decisions.


Eva Franconetti 1

Eva Franconetti | O2

I have always passionate about STEM, I grew up in Bilbao (Spain) where I got a honorary scholarship to study a STEM university  degree, which, at the time, was arguably one of the most promising, sought after, challenging and innovative degrees on offer: Telecommunications Engineering. I had no hesitation to take the opportunity and I completed both a BSc and a MSc specialised in Telematics, in the Universidad del País Vasco (UPV), in Bilbao.

My first job was in Robotiker,  a Research & Development centre, where I joined team developing a GP and Hospital online referral application for the Basque National Health Service, which was recognised with a PC Week Magazine Award. This was my very exciting first-hand experience of how technology can help transform people’s lives.

I always had an interest in learning other languages and about other cultures so I then moved to London, as I thought it’d be a springboard for my personal and professional growth. Even though I had never been to the UK before nor I had any contacts in the country, after a year working in IT for the Santander Investment Bank in London, I decided to move back into Telecommunications and got a job with AT&T UK, as a Interconnect Provisioning Engineer. I spent 2 years working there and after the 2001 dot.com crash I spent some time working for Ish, a cable company in  Germany. I  then returned to the UK to work for Three, the then new player in the UK mobile market,  and learn about mobile and 3G networks.

I have been working for O2 for the last 12 years and have been fortunate to have great managers and mentors who have given me the opportunity to take leadership roles to help shape the way we manage service for our customers. I am currently working in a very exciting O2’s Digital Transformation Programme, which is looking at the future of O2’s operation and customer experience.

I am passionate about developing and retaining talented women in technical roles and a firm believer we need to act as role models to our community of  fellow Women in Tech.


Joanne Powell

Joanne Powell | O2

From an early age, STEM subjects sparked my interest. I was fortunate to attend a school with a wide range of STEM subjects, with passionate teachers who brought these to life. This provided me with an insight into the types of subjects I wanted to pursue in the future, as well as exposure to learnings and skills to help me later in life. After GCSEs I opted to continue my education by studying A-Levels in Maths, Biology and Psychology. Opting to not apply for University was something which was still frowned upon in 2012 when I decided to explore other options. I passionately believe that you do not require a University degree to be successful in a career in tech, with plenty of alternative routes available.

My career in technology began at the age of 18 when joining the O2 Apprenticeship scheme - putting me at the forefront of technological developments in placements throughout the business. During these 2 years, I experienced a wide a variety of roles – from the inner workings of our Messaging platforms, to providing remote access for employees, and then to Vendor Management with our O2 Recycle partner. These placements secured my interest in the tech industry – so much variety – something I couldn’t have even imagined being part of before joining. I graduated from my Apprenticeship into a role of an IT Business Analyst, allowing me to play an instrumental part in delivering change into the business, working across multiple business areas to identify improvements and understand stakeholder needs and requirements.

The knowledge & transferrable skills gained within the BA role, enabled me to progress to my current role of Consumer Launch Manager in the Sales Change Delivery team, which sees me leading the delivery of new and exciting propositions and promotions into our Sales channels.


Ana-Rosa Broster

Ana-Rosa Broster | O2

Ana-Rosa Broster

STEM has always been a passion of mine. I was fortunate to attend a school that actively encouraged STEM and I studied Maths, Psychics and Spanish at A-Level. I went on to achieve a Bachelors of Engineering in Manufacturing Engineering, Management and Spanish at the University of Nottingham followed by a postgraduate Masters in Technology Management at the University of Surrey.

After studying, I joined Nottingham City Council as an administrative assistant and 4 months later became IT Team leader of the Youth Offending team managing a small team. The role involved providing solutions and tracking technology issues.The opportunity arose to move to Spain to try living abroad for a period of time. We ended up staying 6 years and in that time I worked as a system analyst for Accenture - helping to deliver a project for a large pharmaceutical company migrating data from one Siebel system to another for 40 countries.My personal circumstances then changed when I had twin girls and we moved back to England to be closer to family. My primary goal at the time was to get a job that was close to home and through a friend found out about a job in a mobile payments company as a compliance officer. The role was new and gave me the chance to evolve it to become an integral part of the sales process for onboarding new clients.

Through this role I heard about a similar position opening up at O2. This is my current role as a payments product manager. Predominantly, I am involved in the compliance of premium rate services running on the O2 network but I have also worked on a platform migration and other issues related to the products. I am also part of the Women’s Network.