Month: November 2023

Giving our all – Women in Tech Festival

Jenny Rae and Lizzie Eustace at the ICT stall at the WiTF
Lizzie Eustace, Head of Communications and Jenny Rae, Chief Information Officer promoting ICT at the Women in Tech Festival 2023. (Image copyright The Channel Company)

Ten of our ICT staff attended the Women in Tech Festival 2024 to celebrate women who are shaping the technology industry and to meet up with women from across the tech sector who are advancing organisational diversity, making unmatched connections, and empowering and cultivating female leaders.

The festival was hosted by Computing and CRN, to ‘bring together the brightest minds and most influential women to connect with each other, share their stories and encourage future leaders.’

ICT merchandise includes a tote bag that says 'Join our community of problem solvers'
ICT merchandise (Image copyright: The Channel Company)

ICT sponsored the event and had a stall to showcase our Women in ICT campaign that encourages women to ‘Join or community of problem solvers’ as part of our recruitment efforts.

It was a really exciting and packed agenda, with many breakout sessions focussed on leadership, inclusivity and accessibility, as well as mentoring sessions available to support career progression.

The event hosted some inspirational talks from Olivia Schofield on Creating Networks  and Patricia Gestoso, Global Director, Customer Support and Operations, BIOVIA, on Automated out of work: AI’s impact on the female workforce. But the best bit was being able to meet and network with so many women over lunch and during breaks.

It is better to give, than to receive!

Bouquette Kabatepe, our Digital Accessibility Officer, appreciated Olvia’s advice.

“My favourite was the keynote speaker Olivia Schofield, and her simple advice on networking of go out there and offer to “give” first.

Jenny Rae, Chief Information Officer, agreed that you should “build your network! Events like Women in Tech give you the great opportunity to hear from people who you can learn from and also give back to by sharing your knowledge and experience.”

Bouquette gave herself a target of connecting with ten people on LinkedIn that day, which she managed to hit, including Olivia herself!

Bouquette Kadatepe networking at the event
Bouquette Kabatepe and Caroline Carter networking (Image copyright The Channel Company)

Bouquette says: “Sometimes realistic achievable targets are good for one’s self-confidence. Even if it just means proving to yourself that you can achieve the targets you set for yourself.”

Olvia suggested going out there and offering to ‘give first’ and think about what you can offer and help other people with. This mindset of giving and helping others first is a really great thing we can take back to our team in ICT and will greatly improve our service, especially when it comes to thinking about our user-centric approach to product delivery. If we all give first, the returns can be enormous!

“I have ten new connections now who are lovely and successful people in their areas. And I met them in person at the event – how cool is that!” Bouquette Kabatepe, Digital Accessibility Officer, ICT

Small changes helping people reach their full potential

Lizzie Eustace, Head of Communications, gave a great overview of the day and reflected on the many highlights and, how great it was to share them with so many fellow ICT colleagues.

“After a fabulous breakfast buffet spread, I sat down with the event brochure and met my first challenge – deciding which sessions to go to. They were all interesting!

My highlights were learning more about neurodiversity in the workplace and hearing from a panel of experts who were not only knowledgeable and experienced in their field, but also diagnosed with neurodiversity themselves. Their honesty and insight highlighted how small changes in the workplace can help everyone reach their full potential and thrive.

The session inspired me to learn more so I researched the topic on Gartner and spoke to some colleagues who also expressed an interest and desire to ensure we continue to strive to create a diverse and inclusive workplace. I’d love to see Imperial do more to embrace neurodiversity.

Jenny agreed with recognising the “importance of embracing diversity across our teams and utilsing the different skills and approaches a diverse team can bring.”

One of the final speakers was Amanda Brook, CEO of OpenUK. Amanda trained as a lawyer and now specialises in open-source law which for anyone interested in this area it is truly fascinating.

“I found myself frequently inspired by the women leaders and speakers which left me with a warm glow and renewed passion for working in the tech sector.” Lizzie Eustace, Head of Communications, ICT

Closing the visbility gap

Judy Asenguah, Technology Delivery Manager, most enjoyed the session on ‘Closing the visibility gap for women in Tech’ by Rupal Patel. Judy said “As women in tech we are ready and we are enough as we are. We don’t need to fake it to make it! Confidence is not fixed – anyone can practice being confident until they are, it’s a learning process.”

“I will start challenging assumptions about myself and understand that I will make mistakes along my journey and learn from them”. Judy Asenguah, Technology Delivery Manager

Robert Sprigens, Product Portfolio Officer and EDI Champion for ICT found the issue of underrepresentation in technology is not just exclusive to this one industry. There were multiple organisations from a variety of industries, all showing commitment to improve representation in their technology functions.

Robert said apart from the fun Halloween-themed food, the best thing about the event was the positive response to Imperial as a university being amongst the private sector organisations, showing its commitment to improve the number of women in the technology field. We really demonstrated our message that Higher Education is a modern environment, with a variety of tech opportunities.

Robert took many ideas away from the event but will ensure openness and honesty through conversation as a major step forward in overcoming challenges at work. Conversations help share ideas and solutions.

“Adopting techniques used by other people isn’t cheating, it is shared learning.” Robert Sprigens, Product Portfolio Officer

Jenny suggests, “We all need to take time out to reflect and learn from others – self development is something we have to make happen as you drive your own career.”

Find out about our ICT women who came along:

More photos from the Women in Tech Festival Event

ICT Service Desk at White City open for business

ICT Service Desk at White City with staff and students sitting at the desk
President of the Student Union, Camille Boutrolle, and Haider Nazerali the Imperial College School of Medicine (ICSMSU) President with ICT’s First Line Team

“We are excited to see this new Service Desk in operation providing first-hand IT services to our colleagues and students based at our White City and Hammersmith Campuses.” Okan Kibaroglu, Director of Customer Success

Okan Kibaroglu and Matt HegerOur brand-new ICT Service Desk opened to much applause from staff and students based at White City Campus and Hammersmith Hospital Campus.

This excellent support service was opened by Jenny Rae, Chief Information Officer, Okan Kibaroglu, Director of Customer Success and Matt Heger, School of Public Health Manager.

Our First Line Support Team, headed up by Mylene Cannon, celebrated alongside the President of the Student Union Camille Boutrolle, and Haider Nazerali the Imperial College School of Medicine President.

The Service Desk can be found at White City in room G20 of the Molecular Sciences Research Hub (MSRH) Building behind the café, and is freely available to all of our Imperial community to use.

Mylene Cannon
Mylene Cannon, First Line Lead celebrates in style at the opening party

As part of the opening celebrations we laid on coffee and cakes, and chatted to our community about what they can expect from the IT support on offer.

Our students were happy to receive their ICT goodies, as well as finding out more about what we can help with, like:

  • Connecting to the Wi-Fi
  • Accessing your email account
  • Mobile and laptop enquiries
  • Downloading apps and installing software
  • Campus print service
  • Resetting passwords and staying safe online
  • And much more!

Camille said, “This is a great service for our students”.

Now that the ribbon has been cut and the desk is officially open you can pop by between 08.30 – 16.30, Monday to Friday (excl. University closure days).

Other ways to contact us:

  • ASK us online –
  • Call us on +44 (0)20 7594 9000 (or x49000 from a campus phone)
  • In-person at the Abdus Salam Library, South Kensington Campus
Student at White City Service Desk
Feel free to come in and take a look at the new Service Desk

Thank you

We would like to thank the collaborative efforts of the following people, who ensured the new Service Desk was designed, installed and completed in readiness for our staff and students to use safely:

  • Mylene Cannon, First Line Lead, ICT
  • Judy Asenguah, Technology Delivery Manager, ICT
  • Liz Scholfield, PR and External Communications Specialist, ICT
  • Anna Talletti, Building Facilities Manager, Estates