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Introducing the Sponsor and Speakers at our STEM Women London and Home Counties Event

Introducing the Sponsor and Speakers at our STEM Women London and Home Counties Event

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We are so excited to host our London and Home Counties STEM Women Event on Monday 19th October 2020.

The event will enable STEM students to network with graduate employers, apply for jobs, and hear from inspiring speakers. During our speaker sessions, representatives will share their career journeys, offer advice, and provide an invaluable insight into what it’s like to work in a STEM-related industry.

Ahead of the event, we caught up with the sponsor and speakers taking part in our event, to learn what kind of topics they will be discussing and what attendees can look forward to.

Sponsor

NatWest Markets
Imogen Bachra, CFA European Rates Strategy, VP

Starting off the event, we have Imogen Bachra from event sponsors NatWest Markets. She will give attendees an introduction to her company and cover her career journey into banking!

Why are NatWest Markets excited to sponsor the event?
We are very keen to inspire the next generation of women in finance and hope that by demonstrating the opportunities that exist and the inclusive culture, we can do just that.

What topics can attendees expect to hear from you during your welcome talk?
I’ll be talking all about my journey into banking – how it started, what inspired me, and the hurdles I’ve faced along the way. Plus, some things I wish someone had told me before I started!

Why is encouraging more women to work within STEM industries important to you/your company?
Creating a diverse workforce – that offers the same opportunities to everyone no matter their background, race, or gender - should be at the top of all of our agendas. At NWM our goal is to encourage an inclusive and diverse culture, which champions potential.

Do you have any tips for attendees before the event?
Come with an open and curious mind, ready to learn and ask questions.

Speakers

PolyAI
Sam Coope, Senior Machine Learning Engineer

Our speaker session will then begin with a presentation from Sam Coope. He will give attendees an introduction to Poly AI and the role of a Machine Learning Engineer.

What topics can attendees expect to hear from you on the event day?
“I’m going to share how we at PolyAI build conversational AI systems. There’ll be a quick overview of all of the machine learning components and how they work. And lastly, I’ll share what we have learned as we have grown from 3 to 40 employees. Hope you all find it interesting!”

What are you most looking forward to on the event day?
I’m looking forward to what the other speakers have to share. But most importantly, I hope to meet some future colleagues here!”

What do you love about your role/company?
“So many things! The people. This company is the kindest, smartest, and funniest people I have worked with. All the problems we tackle are new. There’s something exciting knowing that almost everything we work on hasn’t been done before. We are given independence in our work. The growth. I have been here at PolyAI from when we were a handful of desks in a small coworking space. Now we are at almost 40 people!”

Do you have any tips for attendees before the event?
“I’ve always found networking - especially first impressions - to be quite scary. An old colleague of mine suggested that I prepare a 30-second pitch about myself: my background, my skills, what I’m looking for, etc. If you are struggling to say something, ask someone about their background, and share yours. It makes networking so much easier knowing you have something to fall back on.”

Why is encouraging more women to work within STEM industries important to you/your company?
We care deeply about diversity in our company, not only because it builds a happier workplace but it is also essential for high-performance and to ensure we stay at the very top of the industry. We want to show everyone regardless of gender that we are an amazing place to work!”

Virgin Media
Catriona Holland, Technology and Innovation Graduate

Catriona will then be speaking to attendees about her role at Virgin. We can expect to hear tips and tricks on applying for Graduate Schemes and learn more about the graduate experience overall.

What are you most looking forward to on the event day?
Being able to engage with other Women in STEM again as this is this first opportunity since February this year.

What do you love about your role/company?
I love the company culture at Virgin Media and their commitment to developing their people.

Do you have any tips for attendees before the event?
Do your research on the companies that will be attending and don't be nervous to speak to us and ask questions, it's why we are here.

Why is encouraging more women to work within STEM industries important to you/your company?
People are still surprised when I tell them I'm an engineer, I want to live in a world where it's common for a woman to work in a STEM field. Virgin as part of our Belonging initiative believe it is important to build a diverse workforce in order to be able to understand and reflect our customer base and create inclusive products.

NatWest Markets
Ellie Griffiths, eFX Sales

Next up we will welcome Ellie from NatWest Markets to speak about her career journey and personal experience of working within investment banking.

What are you most looking forward to on the event day?
Meeting lots of engaged and intelligent students.

What do you love about your role/company?
Every day is different and the learning journey is endless.

Do you have any tips for attendees before the event?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and get involved.

Why is encouraging more women to work within STEM industries important to you/your company? 
Getting more women involved in our company makes it a better place to work for everyone! I would love to see more women in management positions within our firm.

PwC
Mila Piperevska, UK- Technology Consulting

Next, Mila from PwC will offer advice to students and try to answer questions like, ‘Can you be successful in an industry without being an expert in the field’ and the importance of taking risks within the changing industry of technology.

What are you most looking forward to on the event day?
I am really looking forward to sharing my experience with the attendees. Being a woman in engineering and now technology, I know that those fields are seen as "male-appropriate" ones and we are not always as confident as we should be. I would hope that sharing my journey in these industries will give the confidence other women need to give it a go and succeed.”

What do you love about your role/company?
The thing that I love about my company is the opportunities it has given me. I joined PwC within their Technology Consulting team, even though I wasn’t a technologist. I am currently on a secondment within Tax, even though I know nothing about tax law. PwC recognises and appreciates all my other skills and expertise and sees how these can best serve the business , while also supporting my personal development and journey.”

Do you have any tips for attendees before the event?
Keep an open mind! You never know what might happen tomorrow.”


VMware
Sarah Swatman, EMEA Director, Solutions Engineering – Digital Workspace

Sarah from VMware will present a talk on her personal career journey, and how she went from applying to be a receptionist, to becoming a Director across EMEA at VMware in pre-sales.

What topics can attendees expect to hear from you on the event day?
“My journey from being a graduate of maths and applying for any jobs going, to how I became a Director across Europe, Middle East, and Africa at one of the most prominent and innovative software companies in the world.  Solutions Engineering (pre-sales) is an exciting, continually varied, and interesting role to have in IT – and it’s the best-kept secret in the industry!  It’s a fantastic career for ladies, truly utilising the strength of female emotional intelligence and relationship building skills.”

What are you most looking forward to on the event day?
Seeing and speaking with the new generation of female talent in STEM.  So much has moved on since I graduated 22 years ago, and the innovative ideas we are seeing from the next generation is exciting and inspiring.”

What do you love about your role/company?
I love the role of pre-sales, as no day is the same.  It’s not your average 9-5 job.  You get to meet different customers with different business requirements.  You become their trusted advisor as to how technology can align with their business requirements.  One day you could be working with a Fortune 500 customer, and the next working with a government agency.

VMware is an inspiring company to work for, with an Inclusive culture from our CEO Pat Gelsinger (voted no 1 CEO on Glassdoor) trickling down throughout the organisation.  There is a community and family feel, where everyone has a voice and opportunity to make a difference, no matter whether an Intern or an SVP.  Driven by innovation, there really is never a dull moment.”

Do you have any tips for attendees before the event?
Be curious, ask questions, and always embrace a growth mindset.  Anything is possible and believe in your ability to make it happen.”

What have you learned over the pandemic?
Homeschooling 2 children, working full time, being a single parent, and a cook is beyond challenging.  Being kind to yourself and each other is imperative to get through the hard days.   I am also incredibly lucky to work for an organisation that supported its employees.  Everyone switched seamlessly to working from home overnight, and VMware provided every employee 10 “COVID” days, to use to help in the unusual circumstances e.g. child care / elderly care / mental health/downtime.  Being stuck on back to back zoom calls is more tiring than you expect!” 


Alongside our event sponsor and speakers, attendees will also have the chance to network with Lidl, ARM, Flow Traders, BTP, Kilburn and Strode, Analysys Mason, TJX Europe, KPMG, Metaswitch and Dornan Group.

There will also be a panel session at 3pm where attendees can gain fascinating first hand insights from inspiring women working in STEM industries, followed by a coaching masterclass focussing on practical techniques that enable you to interview and present with confidence, hosted by Leadership Coach Sarah Perugia at 3:45pm.

If you’re interested in starting your career in a STEM industry and would like to attend a STEM Women event. Visit www.stemwomenevents.com and register for your free ticket today!

There are also still a few spaces available for employers looking to exhibit at our autumn events. Get in touch with Lauren at laurenj@stemwomen.co.uk for more information.