Leeds Beckett women in technology roles share best practice
Here at Leeds Beckett we are fortunate to have a diverse workforce across our faculties and services, and none more so than IT Services, which has women employed in every area of the business. There are women excelling in networking infrastructure, project management, communications, development services, management, end user support, IT purchasing and many more services. These women are not only valued employees in IT, but are actively working towards helping more women achieve both technical and leadership roles, by sharing our success and innovations with the rest of the higher education (HE) community.
Leaders within IT Services are working to deliver excellent service to our customers and become better managers and role models. Tanja Lichtensteiger, Team Leader for Development in Business Systems, is currently a role model for Aurora, a women-only leadership development programme for HE. Tanja helps support women in leadership roles by mentoring, sharing her experiences and running workshops. Aurora’s aim is to take an active role in challenging the gender imbalance in leadership in HE by helping women explore their potential and work towards achieving a place in HE leadership. Sally Bogg, Head of End User Services, is currently enrolled in the Aurora Leadership Programme, which aims to increase skills in women and promote networking and best practice.
A Senior Developer for our Business Systems Development Team, Ann Whitfield, is taking a group of our students to Sri Lanka this summer where they will support a two-week international volunteering programme. Ann will be leading a team of student volunteers to help them meet programme aims and objectives. Ann and the volunteers will be able to transfer their skills and supplement the great work of charity, Aspirations Education Foundation, who support underprivileged, rural school children and their communities. It’s exciting for our staff to be able to lead such a worthwhile initiative and provide pastoral support to our students, enabling them to deliver activities focussed around primary education, first aid training and sports development. There is also the opportunity for Ann and her team to pass on IT skills to teachers and provide exposure to electronic equipment and digital teaching and learning methods within the developing community school setting.
There are several conferences and speaking engagements at which female members of the IT Services team have been sharing their skills and knowledge with the world outside our University. Sally Bogg, who is also chair of UCISA Support Services Group, has given numerous presentations, sharing her experience and skills with the HE community. Emma Davids, Programme Management Office Manager, is also a member of the UCISA Project Change Group. Francesca Spencer, Project Management Office Manager for StART, will be presenting at UCISA to detail the Technophobe sessions that we ran as part of LEAP and discuss how we provided a service to those who fear, dislike, or avoid technology.
We also have members of IT Services speaking at international conferences such as the Ellucian Live Conference, which has over 8,000 attendees from around the world. This year, Becky Atkins, Project Manager for StART, will give a presentation on how collaboration enables success with Banner. The conference will be held in Orlando, Florida and will be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the work being done at Leeds Beckett and highlight the success of our female leaders.
There are still strides to be made in regards to women in IT, with most of the industry still severely imbalanced when it comes to female workers and women in roles of leadership. It is encouraging to see that here at Leeds Beckett we have many women in IT seeking to correct this imbalance, by excelling in their own roles and by working with organisations and communities that strive to help women achieve careers in IT and leadership. We will continue to follow the work being done in IT Services and we are sure we will have more to celebrate this time next year.
Pictured from top row left to right:
Sally Bogg – Head of End User Services
Tracy Russell – IT Procurement Specialist
Beverley Swinburne – StART Project Support Officer
Fathima Ismail – StART Technology Project Manager
Becky Atkins – Programme Manager
Clare Rhodes – Business Intelligence and Information Services Manager
Brioni Greenberg – StART Test Manager
Adele Preston – StART Senior Training Coordinator
Liz Wright – Senior Infrastructure Operations Specialist
Siobhan Dinsdale – Service Desk Analyst
Tanja Lichtensteiger – Business Systems Team Leader Development
Emma Davids – Programme Management Office Manager
Sushma Sundaran – Programme Management Office Technical Support Officer
Lisa Hudson – Business Analyst
Katie Langford – IT Communications Business Support Officer
Francesca Spencer – StART PMO
Emma Bradbury – StART Seconded Support
Becky Riley - StART Seconded Support