Tag: ICT Women

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

Spotlight on: Jenny Rae, Chief Information Officer (Interim)

Jenny Rae

I’ve recently been appointed the role of Chief Information Officer (CIO). In this role, I lead the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Division at Imperial and I am responsible for all aspects of Imperial’s Technology Strategy which will support the organisation to realise its digital ambitions.

“My passion is in bringing product management practices to IT departments, with the goal of delivering business value through technology.”

How did I get here?

My passion is in bringing product management practices to IT departments, with the goal of delivering business value through technology, and that is why I joined Imperial in January 2022 in my first role in Higher Education (HE) as the Director of Digital Products.

Jenny RaePrior to this, I spent a large part of my career in the telecoms industry working for Vodafone, BT and OneWeb in a variety of product management and business transformation roles. I have fifteen years’ experience in product management and business transformation, and have worked for FTSE companies in senior positions, but I also have experience working in the start-up world, which has given me a greater understanding of differing organisational structures, values and their customers’ needs.

“Spend time understanding the organisation you are in and how it operates, this will help you to change the role of IT in the organisation and build relationships in teams outside of your own.”

I studied a Business and Operations Management degree at Oxford Brookes and have an MBA in Business Administration from Henley Business School – this gave me the knowledge to put into practice in my career, but I am always continuing to learn.

My future aspirations

I want to create amazing experiences for our Imperial students and staff, delivering this through cross-functional empowered teams who are all working towards the same vision.

My advice

You should focus on outcomes rather than output. Technology isn’t a standalone activity; it can transform an organisation when it is used to achieve an outcome.

Spend time understanding the organisation you are in and how it operates, this will help you to change the role of IT in the organisation and build relationships in teams outside of your own.

Bonus Material

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR: WHY UNIVERSITIES ARE THE BEST PLACE FOR CONTINIOUS LEARNING, SKILL DEVELOPMENT AND STRATEGIC PLANNING

Want to join ICT?

We have some great and diverse roles in ICT, and we are always on the lookout for the best tech talent.

If you want to join our team check out our current job vacancies.

Check out our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pages and find out about or activities to remove barriers and create a great place to work.

Spotlight on: Gemma Seabrook, Information Insight Team Lead

I lead the Information Insight team and we are responsible for managing the universities business intelligence product – Power BI.

I joined Imperial’s ICT division shortly after Power BI was released, and since then, I have seen significant change in the analytics space, moving away from a small central team of programmers to an ‘analytics for all’ approach. This has empowered Imperial staff to produce the analytics they need, when they need it. The key focus for our team is to enbable people, who may have a varied range of analytics experience, to make the best use of the tools we offer.

“Don’t be afraid to give something a go. Even if you fail, you will learn from it. Often, we learn more from breaking things (in a safe development environment of course!) than from getting them right.”

How did I get here?

Gemma Seabrook showcasing her work at the ICT ExpoFor someone who holds degrees in cultural studies I came to analytics through an unusual career route! A summer job in a space planning role at a major supermarket taught me a range of skills with spreadsheets that I put into good, and enthusiastic use, when I set out on my career in higher education. My passion for this type of work soon turned into colleagues saying, ‘Gemma likes spreadsheets, let’s give her this data task’, and this became my primary role. From there on I worked with various datasets including; university data, surveys, and longitudinal studies. I started combining data and project management work, and then progressed to enjoy working in business analysis.

My future aspirations

I believe strongly that the right technologies can enable people to achieve their goals, and this is a key focus for me. Data is key to making informed decisions at every level of the business, and this scale of need will lead to more people wanting to do even more with data. I want to provide an analytics product that will help people achieve that, while also putting in place structures and guidelines that will help keep that data, and the people analysing it safe.

“Find a working environment that respects and enables you.”

My advice

Follow your passions. The more you enjoy your work, the better you will be at it.

Find a working environment that respects and enables you.

Don’t be afraid to give something a go. Even if you fail, you will learn from it. Often, we learn more from breaking things (in a safe development environment of course!) than from getting them right.

Instead of fearing change, make it an opportunity for you to get where you want to go.

Bonus Material

Find out more about Gemma’s career journey on our everywoman in Tech webinar blog post – You should never be the one to tell yourself no!

Want to join ICT?

We have some great and diverse roles in ICT, and we are always on the look out for the best tech talent.

If you want to join our team check out our current job vacancies.

Check out our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pages and find out about or activities to remove barriers and create a great place to work.

 

 

 

 

Spotlight on Bouquette Kabatepe, Digital Accessibility Officer

In an increasingly digital world ensuring accessibility for all is paramount. Throughout my career I have been dedicated to championing accessibility, digital or otherwise, and fostering an inclusive environment. As the Digital Accessibility Officer, in ICT here at Imperial, it is my job to coordinate efforts to ensure accessibility compliance and promote inclusivity in both digital and physical spaces.

“You don’t need to be perfect, or excellent to be able to improve someone’s experience. You just need to care.”

Since February 2020, I have been entrusted with the responsibility of coordinating our digital accessibility compliance efforts. Reporting to the Head of Governance in ICT, my role involves policy and risk management, raising accessibility awareness, digital accessibility compliance approvals, stakeholder engagement, and providing advice and support on accessibility compliance.

By engaging with high-level decision-makers, including; Digital Teams across the university, ICT product line teams, student support services and teaching technology staff, I have been able to work towards embedding the best practices in inclusive digital design throughout the institution.

How did I get here?

I have lived and worked in four different countries, in a variety of roles from account management to leading high-octane sales teams. I have also worked in project management and mid to top management roles for non-governmental organisations and campaigning.

My future aspirations

Bouquette KabatepeThere is nothing more motivating and fulfilling for me than my current role as Digital Accessibility Officer. I truly wake up every day with a huge drive to continue working towards creating a more accessible environment for all.

You don’t need to be perfect, or excellent to be able to improve someone’s experience. You just need to care. Smallest improvements may help users immensely.

My advice

I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to join me in our efforts of making Imperial’s digital presence accessible for all needs. Not because we have to, but because we care.

Bonus material

You can contact Bouquette to discuss digital accessibility or find out what support is available at Imperial:

Want to join ICT?

We have some great and diverse roles in ICT, and we are always on the look out for the best tech talent.

If you want to join our team check out our current job vacancies.

Check out our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pages and find out about or activities to remove barriers and create a great place to work.

Spotlight on: Tania Bozinovska, Network Infrastructure Lead

Tania Bozinovska

As the Network Infrastructure Lead, I am responsible for the physical network infrastructure – overseeing both wired and wireless connectivity across all Imperial campuses. My primary responsibility is to ensure that the university infrastructure is well-designed to meet its evolving needs in the long term.

“The brilliant support from my colleagues and the nurturing and collaborative culture at Imperial have been instrumental in propelling me to where I am today.”

How did I get here?

I arrived in the UK at 18 with the goal of learning English, which it turns out is a lifelong pursuit😊

I studied Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering and began my career in the telecoms industry, where I initially worked as a Network Planning Engineer.

Later, I joined NTT Communications (a private telecommunications company) and entered the world of data centres, where I managed colocation sites across Europe.

Tania BozinovskaAfter taking a short career break to have kids, I then ventured into uncharted territory and established my own café and catering business. What began as a “lifestyle” venture to fit in with the family, soon grew into a successful operation, which I eventually sold.

I always had the intention to go back to the tech industry and continue with my career once my children were more independent, and that is how I moved over to Imperial nine years ago.

When I first joined the Network Infrastructure Team, I encountered a steep learning curve and the challenge of balancing work and my ever-growing family commitments. However, the brilliant support from my colleagues and the nurturing and collaborative culture at Imperial have been instrumental in propelling me to where I am today!

My future aspirations

Tania BozinovskaI am excited to be involved in implementing the next-generation Wi-Fi connectivity at Imperial, which is crucial for the development of a cutting-edge digital campus.

My aspirations revolve around leveraging technology to enrich education and foster a seamless connectivity experience across the university for both students and staff.

My advice

“With determination and the right support, you can achieve your goals in the tech industry.”

Embrace challenges and be open to new opportunities, even if they seem unfamiliar.

Surround yourself with supportive colleagues and employers who believe in your potential.

Your confidence may waver, but with determination and the right support, you can achieve your goals in the tech industry.

Want to join ICT?

We have some great and diverse roles in ICT, and we are always on the look out for the best tech talent.

If you want to join our team check out our current job vacancies.

Check out our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pages and find out about or activities to remove barriers and create a great place to work.

Spotlight on: Kadijatu Kamara, Data Analyst Apprentice

Kadijatu Kamara

As a Data Analyst, I build and develop analytical dashboards and reports that provide valuable insights to support Imperial in accomplishing its mission. I’m committed to actively participating in our data strategy, which aims to foster a data-driven culture.

In ICT’s Data and Analytics Product Line, we are currently working on improving the way we utilise and leverage data within Imperial through our enhanced Unified Data Platform (UDP). Additionally, we also empower teams across the university by utilising the Power BI tool to enable business intelligence, supporting better decision making.

“Starting anything new has no expiration date. What truly defines your path is your enthusiasm and commitment, not your beginning point.”

How did I get here?

After graduating from university in 2019, with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, I was unsure about what I wanted to do next. As a result, I decided to take a gap year to explore my options and see if pursuing a Master’s degree was the best path for me. During this time, I developed a strong interest in both finance and the tech industry.

While pondering my next move, I accepted a position in finance for a few months, only to discover that it didn’t entirely align with my goals. I had the fantastic opportunity to join Imperial as a Data Analyst Apprentice in September 2022, which has been highly rewarding for me.

“Being a part of the IT industry has been really exciting because it is constantly evolving, offering me new challenges and opportunities for personal development.”

Kadijatu Kamara in the ICT kitchen discussing technology Working as a Data Analyst offers me a sense of fulfilment knowing that I contribute to shaping Imperial’s decision-making processes.

Being a part of the IT industry has been really exciting because it is constantly evolving, offering me new challenges and opportunities for personal development.

My future aspirations

One of my future aspirations is to undertake roles where I can lead and manage data projects. Furthermore, I am eager about sharing my skills and experiences with women who may be hesitant to enter the tech profession.

My goal, whether through mentorship or blog postings, is to encourage and support others on their tech journeys.

My advice

Starting anything new has no expiration date. What truly defines your path is your enthusiasm and commitment, not your beginning point.

“Believe in yourself, stay optimistic, and remember that your goals are within your grasp.”

Want to join ICT?

We have some great and diverse roles in ICT, and we are always on the look out for the best tech talent.

If you want to join our team check out our current job vacancies.

Check out our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pages and find out about or activities to remove barriers and create a great place to work.

Spotlight on: Maria Teresa Douglas, Product Owner

Maria Teresa Douglas

I’m Maria Teresa Douglas, the proud Product Owner for Data and Analytics here at Imperial.

I joined Imperial in January 2023, and in my role, I have the privilege of driving the development and enhancement of data and analytics products that fuel innovation and insights across our esteemed institution.

It’s an exciting journey where I get to leverage the power of data to enable evidence-based decision-making, which helps individuals at Imperial unlock their potential.

“Together, we will shape the future, where data insights drive transformative change, and our friendships make the journey even more meaningful.”

How did I get here?

Maria Teresa Douglas at the ICT ExpoI arrived in the UK in my early 20s, with little English but a passion for technology and embarked upon a degree in Computer Science.

On the back of this I have spent the past 25 years working in technology and data analytics for various companies; IBM, Microstrategy, Bank Santander, Sony, and Sainsbury’s. This journey has been a remarkable one, with each step contributing to my growth as a tech leader.

My homeland was originally Peru, once the home of the Incas. Funnily enough the Incas had an ingenious system called ‘Quipus’ for collecting and encoding data. They used intricate knotted cords to keep records and convey information, so maybe it’s in my DNA to work with data!

“It’s in my DNA to work with data!”

My future aspirations

As I continue my career path at Imperial, I am dedicated to fostering a culture of innovation and data-driven decision making.

My vision is not only to empower every member of our institution, but also to create a community of colleagues and friends who support and uplift each other.

Together, we will shape the future, where data insights drive transformative change, and our friendships make the journey even more meaningful.

My advice

To all aspiring women in tech, let me share with you the guiding principles I follow, drawn from the wisdom of inspirational figures.

“Be fearless in pursuing your dreams, ambitious in setting goals, and resilient in the face of challenges.”

Surround yourself with supportive allies and never forget your roots and the strength they provide.

Be fearless in pursuing your dreams, ambitious in setting goals, and resilient in the face of challenges.

Together, we can shape a future where women thrive and leave a lasting mark in the world of technology.

Want to join ICT?

We have some great and diverse roles in ICT, and we are always on the look out for the best tech talent.

If you want to join our team check out our current job vacancies.

Check out our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pages and find out about or activities to remove barriers and create a great place to work.

Spotlight on: Caroline Carter, AV Installations Manager

Caroline Carter, AV Installations ManagerI am the Audio Visual (AV) Installations Manager for Imperial College.  I manage and control the delivery of complex technical installations in both new buildings and room upgrades/refurbishments.

I take responsibility for ensuring the needs and requirements of the users and departments are met and any change is delivered on time.

I am a subject matter expert on all AV matters at Imperial, representing this technical discipline as required within Imperial and at external events.

I coordinate with support partners and external suppliers to predict the College’s requirements and manage this to match market supply chain availability.  I help ensure that our students and staff have access to an evolving suite of products that meets their AV needs, as well as aligning future investments and technologies in a manner that supports the university’s overall progressive business strategy and desire for innovation.

“Show off your accomplishments, ask for feedback and take criticism as a positive.”

How did I get here?

AV team pointing at the word Ambition

You could say that I ‘fell into’ AV.  I joined Imperial as the Technology Manager in the Business School back in January 2003 where I was looking after IT in general.  When the new building was being built, we discovered that the AV as designed wasn’t fit for purpose.  Someone decided that AV was “techie, computer stuff” and so the problem was passed to me to solve.  I did what was asked and installed AV equipment that met the School’s needs.  On the back of this success, I was given 35 rooms across campus to upgrade to the latest standards.  This has snowballed into taking on more and more upgrades across lecture theatres, meeting rooms and teaching spaces to the extent that I have needed to establish a team to provide ongoing technical support.

I now have an amazing AV Team who I would be lost without.  

I have been at Imperial for 20 years! But before Imperial I had a number of different career highlights including;

  • Lotus Notes Database Administrator, Allsop LLP, London
  • PA to Residential Director/Lettings Co-ordinator, Allsop LLP, London
  • Media Assistant, The Collins Partnership, London
  • PA to Research Director, Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, London
  • Assistant to Account Holders, Russell Warren Advertising, London

I also managed to squeeze in a year out to go travelling across the Middle East and Australasia

My future aspirations

 

Caroline Carter AV Installations Manager

I am really excited to understand how the student of today and tomorrow is going to interact around campus with the technology in a variety of different spaces and how collectively we can make that experience more seamless, more enjoyable, more exciting and stimulating for the students. 

Not just in the context of one room or a particular technology it’s the whole eco system!

My advice

“Don’t be scared to speak out.”

Caroline Carter, AV Installation Manager testing a lecture theatre mic

I have learnt a lot in my 20 years at Imperial and here are some great tips I have to help you in your career:

  • Never stop learning or networking. 
  • Show off your accomplishments, ask for feedback and take criticism as a positive.
  • keep a good work/life balance and don’t burn out. 
  • Attend industry events to learn from others. 
  • Don’t be scared to speak out.

Bonus material

Want to join ICT?

We have some great and diverse roles in ICT, and we are always on the look out for the best tech talent.

If you want to join our team check out our current job vacancies.

Check out our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pages and find out about or activities to remove barriers and create a great place to work.

Spotlight on: Ingrid Joannou, Technology Delivery Manager

I am a Technology Delivery Manager which means I work on activities and projects that support our community by delivering technology to meet their needs.

I am currently working on many activites including an identity and access project, finalising a telephony migration to MS Teams, and supporting migration work for OneDrive and from group spaces.

My main role in project work is removing obstacles for the team and ensuring all the steps fit together to ensure the best outcome for staff and students.

“Always be open to new things, always give your best, and approach everything with empathy.”

I recently won the ICT Award for Respect, where my colleagues nominated me for the work I am doing and how I work with them.

They said, “Ingrid goes out of her way to make meaningful connections and to collaborate. She works very hard to deliver quality results, and is a valued team member – always keen to learn”.

I am lucky to have been highly commended for my Innovation as part of the Unified Access project work.

You can read about all the ICT Award nominations online and check out the other winners.

How did I get here?

I have been at Imperial for two years, I was able to join Imperial via a returner’s program after taking a career break.

Prior to my career break, I worked in the retail sector for Habitat.  I started there as a Business Analyst and moved up to Senior Business Analyst and Business Area Manager.

I later started managing the UK IT team for the buyers of all stores (excluding UK and Ireland).

“A career break can feel like a lifetime in Technology, so there is still a lot of learning to catch up on.”

Ingrid JoannouMy future aspirations

A career break feels like a lifetime in technology, as things change quickly, so I feel like there is still a lot of learning for me to catch up on.

But my real passion is understanding social and cultural impacts on organisational behaviour and how to affect change.

I come from a Chinese Reunion Island Mauritian background and being married to a British Greek Cypriot, I am especially interested in the area of social impact.

My advice

My advice to aspiring women in Tech, and also women returning to work, is to always be open to new things, always give your best and approach everything with empathy.

Want to join ICT?

We have some great and diverse roles in ICT, and we are always on the look out for the best tech talent.

If you want to join our team check out our current job vacancies.

Check out our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pages and find out about or activities to remove barriers and create a great place to work.

Spotlight on: Joyce Kadibu, Software Developer Apprentice

Joyce Kadibu

As a developer, I am dedicated to building various digital products that support the needs of Imperial. Within ICT’s products team, I engage in multiple aspects of the product life cycle, utilising programming languages such as JavaScript/React.js to construct robust systems.

“Recognise the boundless potential within you. Whether or not you realise it, your contributions hold significant value within the industry.”

How did I get here?

Joyce Kabdu showing her work in ICT
Joyce showcasing her work to a colleague in ICT

I embarked on a unique career journey, replacing a university spot for an apprenticeship. In June 2022, I began my career as a software developer at Imperial College. While initially drawn to media and law, I ultimately found my calling in the world of technology. Beforehand, I took a gap year, exploring various career paths to discover the industry that best aligned with my skills and interests. This path of self-discovery led me to pursue an exciting role in tech, where I continue to learn and grow.

My future aspirations

Looking ahead, my future aspirations encompass a transition into leadership positions within the tech industry, where I am able drive progress and shape impactful initiatives. Additionally, I wish to serve as a mentor, empowering the next generation of young girls to pursue STEM careers fearlessly.

 

“Trust that you belong and embrace challenges that provide opportunities for growth.”

My advice

Recognise the boundless potential within you. Whether or not you realise it, your contributions hold significant value within the industry.

Trust that you belong and embrace challenges that provide opportunities for growth.

Be confident and never stop learning, as your diverse expertise will propel you.

Bonus material

You can read more about Joyce’s early career journey on:

Want to join ICT?

We have some great and diverse roles in ICT, and we are always on the look out for the best tech talent.

If you want to join our team check out our current job vacancies.

Check out our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pages and find out about or activities to remove barriers and create a great place to work.