Uwaila

Tell us about your journey into tech?
Not having directly worked in the Tech industry, however, it is an industry that continues to fascinate and excites me.  Technology has changed the way we do things in our everyday lives, noted more recently, with remote working/learning.  My intrigue was really first sparked when I attended a Booking.com Conference in 2018 in Amsterdam; and listening to speakers, such as Gary Vaynerchuk speak about AI technology, ‘Futurist’ technology – I thought about technology very differently – and bought an ‘Alexia’ as soon I got home.

I am keen to learn more about how women are making a difference in tech and how we can all play our part on this journey.

How do you feel you have made a difference in what you do?
To be part of the conversation, change, and champion the amazing work of the network.

What would you say is your biggest achievement?
On a personal level, being a mum to two wonderful boys. Career-wise, holding a senior position at a Government Department, leading a coaching Senior Leadership Coaching programme at the Civil Service, speaking at a number of key civil service events.  Finally, being part of the team which worked on the legislative process of The Fire and Rescue Services Bill, becoming an Act 2004.

How do you think people can go about making a difference, in regards to spreading awareness of Black Women in tech?
Understanding firstly, the aim/purpose of the network, what it has achieved, how it’s making a difference and collectively spreading that message to others.  Using social media platforms to share to individual networks.

What do you believe are the most effective ways to engage other ethnicities and genders to embrace diversity?
There is no one size fits all. However, there’s a benefit in educating other ethnicities about the opportunities that diversity brings.  We need to perhaps place ourselves in industries that we may not always think of being part of.  For example, in the public sector, where policies are made, if we are part of that, we can directly influence changes.  volunteering in areas such as School Governors, again, this enables us to directly link with SLT and therefore influence curriculum as well as other school policies.

What is the best advice you ever received?
“Seek forgiveness not permission”.

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