From education to employment

Female IT professionals inspire Cardiff girls with computer careers

A group of successful female IT professionals helped inspire female pupils from schools in Cardiff to consider careers in IT and computer science.

Year 9 female pupils from Corpus Christi Catholic High School and Willows High School in Cardiff were given the opportunity to speak to IT professionals from leading employers in Wales.

The female employees included data engineers, IT managers and business analysts from employers such as Admiral, Cardiff Council and Companies House.

Rotating in groups of eight pupils, the professionals discussed a number of topics including what they enjoyed about their jobs, their career journeys and how IT skills are important in so many different jobs.

The professionals also highlighted the fantastic jobs available both locally and further afield and where they could see the sector progressing in the future.

Teachers from both schools reported a positive atmosphere at the sessions, and that pupils were engaging enthusiastically with the employers.

A number of pupils commented on the day to employers and their teacher that they will be seriously thinking about taking the subject at GCSE.

Joseph Hamer, the ICT/Computing teacher at Corpus Christi Catholic High said:

“The session was a fantastic opportunity for a group of Year 9 girls to see how ICT and Computer Science can be used in real-world professions.

“They got a chance to ask questions, see demonstrations and ultimately, learn what these subjects can be used for. The overall aim was to increase the numbers and diversity in these subjects.”

The session was facilitated by business engagement adviser, Adrian Cole, from Careers Wales.

Aware that the schools wanted to increase the number of female pupils choosing to study IT at GCSE, Adrian connected with employers in the area and across Wales. 

Adrian said:

“I’m delighted with the success of the events.

“It’s so important to expose female pupils to careers within the STEM industries and raise awareness of the opportunities available to them.

“Bringing professionals into schools to directly engage with pupils provides insight into the real world of work and enables pupils to ask questions and find out what they want to know.

“Hearing that pupils have come away considering IT as a GCSE option for them means we’ve been able to deliver on exactly what the school wanted.”

The professionals and companies that took part included:

  • A senior business analyst and business intelligence developer from V12 Finance
  • A senior data engineer, web developer and software engineer from Cardiff Council
  • A data scientist and artificial intelligence scientist from Admiral,
  • A senior tech manager and business analyst from Alcumus software-led risk management
  • Senior IT managers from Hodge Bank
  • A cyber capability consultant from Women in Cyber
  • A principal development manager and IT Managers from Companies House
  • The lead product manager from LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

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