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Spotlight Series: A look back at our amazing female role models of 2022

Gathering of women in tech - female role models.

ARTICLE SUMMARY

As part of our round-up series for 2022, we’re delving into the archives to showcase some of our incredible spotlight series interviews for the year.

We all know that there is a lack of women in the tech sector – with current figures showing that just 26% of the tech workforce in the UK is female.

One reason for so few women in the industry is due to a lack of role models. Data captured during this year’s London Tech Week found that 57% saw a lack of role models in the industry as a huge obstacle to entering the sector.

We’re on a mission to change this! Through our Spotlight Series, we hope to highlight the amazing women in tech and STEM that are already out there, and showcase some incredible female role models for those looking to get into tech.

We will continue to shine a spotlight on even more women in tech in 2023 and beyond!

Lauren Wetzel, Chief Operating Officer, InfoSum

LAUREN WETZEL, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, INFOSUM

Lauren Wetzel is the Chief Operating Officer of InfoSum, one of the hottest new technology companies in the field of privacy and customer data collaboration. As COO, Lauren manages strategy, operations, marketing, client services, business development, and the company’s all-important People function.

Prior to joining InfoSum, Lauren was SVP, of Strategy and Corporate Development for AT&T’s advertising company, Xandr. Before diving headlong into operational roles, Lauren worked for several years as a strategy consultant within Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice.

READ LAUREN’S PIECE


Madeline Howard, People Centred Security Lead, Sage; & Chair at Cyber Cheltenham

MADELINE HOWARD, PEOPLE CENTRED SECURITY LEAD, SAGE; & CHAIR AT CYBER CHELTENHAM

Madeline Howard has a degree in geography and until leaving university had never considered a career in technology, let alone cyber security!

Madeline wanted to be a weather girl. After finishing university, she landed a role in a small Cyber Security Company in a marketing role. She began to sponge information from her colleagues around cyber security practices, the advice they were giving companies, the threats they were seeing and how to defend against them. She never really stopped asking questions.

From here Mads found her passion for communicating security in a relatable and accessible way. She wanted people to feel confident that they have the knowledge and the knowledge to defend against attacks they might face in their personal as well as business lives.

Mads joined Sage during the COVID-19 Pandemic, it was her first role at a large global corporate, and was also the first time the business had recruited someone in to look at Security Culture. She adores my job, her team and the impact they’re having in the business.

READ MADS’ INTERVIEW


Alison Thurston, Junior Engineer at Sendwave

ALISON THURSTON, JUNIOR ENGINEER, SENDWAVE

From recruiter to software engineer, Alison Thurston is a Philadelphia-based Junior Engineer who joined Sendwave in May.

Alison started at Sendwave as a Senior Recruiter and transitioned into the ISE team as a Junior Engineer in May. ISE’s objective is to make verifying our users’ identities and fund sources as easy as possible. They also make sure that the Sendwave support team has everything they need to support users.

Her journey into software development has been non-traditional. Alison graduated with a liberal arts degree and initially worked in non-profits and international development in Uganda, Tanzania and Washington DC.

Eventually, Alison shifted into project management and operations roles in West Africa, and that’s where she met the Wave and Sendwave teams. Before joining Sendwave, she was working on talent retention and culture at Wave Mobile Money in Senegal.

READ ALISON’S STORY


Pallavi Otawkar, Vice President, R&D Operations, ServiceMax

PALLAVI OTAWKAR, VICE PRESIDENT, R&D OPERATIONS, SERVICEMAX

Born and raised in Mumbai, India, Pallavi came to the USA in 1998 on a work assignment and the rest as we say is history.

Pallavi became an engineer with a degree in Computer Engineering from University of Mumbai. She was fortunate enough to have been in various technical engineering roles – both customer-facing solutions engineering, as well as product development, and technical lead roles. This changed over time, as she transitioned into engineering program management and then leadership roles. The technical expertise from early on in Pallavi’s career has been a key contributor to the success she has enjoyed in the engineering leadership role.

Currently, at ServiceMax Pallavi is the VP of R&D operations, and her portfolio of responsibilities includes Engineering Program Management, AWS Infrastructure Operations, R&D Budget and vendor management, Technical Publications, and Product Education.

HEAR FROM PALLAVI


Laura Cunningham is general manager, education at NEAR Foundation

LAURA CUNNINGHAM, GENERAL MANAGER, EDUCATION, NEAR FOUNDATION

Laura Cunningham is General Manager, Education at NEAR Foundation – the nonprofit that champions Web3 social impact development projects built on the world’s fastest-growing layer 1 climate-neutral blockchain, NEAR.

Laura has dedicated her career to increasing access to opportunity through the intersection of education and technology. She started in management and tech consulting, working primarily with institutions of higher ed, and then moved into the K-12 sector, working at the NYC DOE, the KIPP Foundation and at a seed stage EdTech startup. Immediately prior to joining NEAR, Laura was the VP of Product at Noodle (an OPM with the mission to reduce the cost of higher education in the US). Laura holds a BA in History and English from Williams College and live in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and two daughters.

READ MORE ABOUT LAURA

Amy Foster, Chief Talent Officer, Rockborne

AMY FOSTER, CHIEF TALENT OFFICER, ROCKBORNE

Amy FOSTER has over 14 years’ experience in recruitment, specialising in early talent, working for some of the biggest names across multiple industries.

After graduation, Amy joined JP Morgan, starting her career in a fast-paced HR team that recruited and developed over 500 graduates and interns every year. Moving to Barclays in 2012 to spearhead their Corporate Banking Campus team, Amy won her first award at the prestigious RAD Awards in 2014 for ‘Work of the Year’, showcasing the innovative ways to identify the best talent in the market.  Since then, Amy’s campaigns have regularly shortlisted and won at the RADs, Target and Recruitment Marketing Awards.

Amy then moved out of the financial services industry into a range of sectors including engineering and construction, with a focus on emerging and early years talent as well diversifying these talent streams.

This mix of industries has allowed for a variety of projects including coaching executive teams and the opportunity to work with different people from diverse backgrounds. Amy has combined this wide-ranging experience into her current role at Rockborne, as Chief Talent Officer. The role involves creating campaigns and strategies to bring the very best and brightest talent into Rockborne, supporting their career journey and helping change the makeup of the data industry.

Everywhere she has worked, Amy has been laser-focused on her passion of improving diversity of thought and thrives on considering how to get the best out of individuals and fostering a warm, welcoming and open culture. Her over-riding philosophy is that D&I isn’t an exact science, but rather comes from communication and embracing new challenges.

READ AMY’S STORY


Bola Ajose, Senior Technical Operations Analyst at Permutive

BOLA AJOSE, SENIOR TECHNICAL OPERATIONS ANALYST, PERMUTIVE

Bola Ajose is a self-taught programmer, and passionate about STEM communication and amplifying Black Women’s voices within this space. She works as Senior Technical Operations Analyst at the data platform Permutive with previous experience as a Logistics Manager for Stemettes, and Programme Manager at Coders of Colour.

Bola first became acquainted with the world of trusteeship through the Beyond Suffrage programme where she learnt key skills that prepared her for her first trustee position as Events Management Trustee for Bi Pride UK.

HEAR FROM BOLA


Sisi Jin, Strategy Analyst, Boeing

SISI JIN, STRATEGY ANALYST, BOEING

Sisi Jin is a Strategy Analyst at the Global Accelerators and Innovation Programs (GAIP) team at Boeing.

She has been working with innovative startups in places like Paris, Hong Kong and Shanghai for the past few years. Before joining the GAIP team, she held roles at SaaS startup AI Rudder and BNP Paribas. She’s been actively supporting startups and founders as part of her job with the GAIP team.

MEET SISI

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