STEM has always been a passion of mine. It has always been part of my life and career. From a young age, I would choose to complete maths booklets during free time while my classmates picked art. This continued while growing up as I dabbled with inventions such as trying to design indicators for my bike.
When I was 13 I was diagnosed with an atrial septal defect and had open heart surgery a year later. I became very aware of my own mortality and this made me determined to make the most of the opportunities in my life and push myself outside of my comfort zone.
I was lucky to have a huge amount of support from my family and school and chose to study Maths, Physics, and Spanish at A-Level. I believe that the creativity of the arts really complements STEM and following a gap year traveling I went onto University to study Manufacturing Engineering with Management and Spanish.
At uni, I put myself forward for JCR President for my halls and even ran for Student Uni President. Although I’m not a politician I really wanted to try to make a difference!
My career started out as a Temp for the Youth Offending Team in Nottingham City Council and after a couple of months, I became IT Team leader. I really enjoyed my job but when the opportunity came up I made the decision to move to Spain.
What was supposed to be a year abroad turned into 6 years with a marriage and giving birth to twin girls during that time! While in Spain I worked for a large management consulting firm as a systems analyst carrying out data migration for a large pharmaceutical company across 40 countries. I found my job really interesting and after having my girls, my husband stayed at home to look after them and I went back to work. However, I really struggled to feel accepted so we made the decision to move back to England.
After some time as a stay at home Mum, I got the chance to start a job close to home in mobile payments. Then, after a couple of years, I moved to O2 in a similar role where I am now a Senior Payment Product manager in the Digital team. At O2 I also joined the Women’s Network and have been fortunate to be involved in the fantastic Step into STEM programme which we are now running for the third year.
The opportunities I’ve now had at O2 have reignited my passion for STEM and I was absolutely privileged to be awarded a TechWomen50 2017 award.
I really want to pay this forward and help girls feel as supported as I did to study and eventually work in STEM. I’m so excited to continue along my STEM journey and hopefully inspire others to start and continue theirs.