Ashlee Williams

Ashlee Williams | S&P Global

Ashlee Williams

Ashlee is an accomplished senior data transformation, operations, and client services executive for the shipping sector.

Leading a global Maritime & Trade Team of 100+ colleagues, operating in the UK but with multicultural experience through business expansion opportunities spanning over a decade in Malaysia and Singapore. With over 18 years’ experience Ashlee has extensive workflow automation, data management, and digital transformation expertise, including the strategic review and integration of world-class data assets globally through M&A oversight. She has a unique combination of research and insights enabling strategic growth. Is a highly practiced negotiator through stakeholder engagement and vendor management processes including governance related to legal frameworks, risk management and due diligence.

Ashlee is a recognised expert to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and other international bodies and non-governmental organizations, such as the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), on Industry Standards and projects that support the development and/or amendment of regulations and policies related to safety and security in shipping and the facilitation of global trade.

A leading figure for Women in Maritime, she actively promotes diversity, equity & inclusion both within the organisation and externally with industry partners. A significant part of her role is promoting and developing programmes to enhance employee understanding on inclusions issues, including training, events, and networking. When delivered in an integrated way, diversity creates value to both the organisation and wider society; and she is committed to ensure lasting cultural change; to support and boost gender diversity across all areas of our business and the industries we serve. In 2020, S&P Global (formerly IHS Markit) were recognized for efforts to address gender fairness, equality, and inclusion within the maritime sector by being listed as a Maritime UK Charter company. She partners with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA International) on a collaborative survey that obtained baseline data on the number of women in maritime and oceans fields and the positions they occupy. The data obtained by the survey will help build a clearer picture of diversity and gender equality in the industry.

Ashlee holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from the Open University.

Sally Moore

Sally Moore | S&P Global

Sally Moore

Sally is responsible for corporate development and the company's strategy and relationships with partners.

She provides companywide leadership of third party content licensing, content acquisition, and mergers and acquisitions, and leads the company's fintech strategy, including its investment in Illuminate Financial Management, a venture capital fund. Sally joined S&P Global through the merger with IHS Markit; she joined Markit in 2006 and subsequently led the European credit business and global loan business. Previously, she spent six years at Thomson Reuters, as co-head of the Loan Pricing Corporation's operations in Europe and later as a senior vice president and co-head of sales in North America.

In October 2021 Sally became a founder member of the UK’s National Numeracy Leadership Council which aims to grow a the network of organizations and individuals actively addressing poor numeracy in the UK and elevate the understanding and importance of the issue at a national level.

Sally is an actively involved in DEI and in particular champions gender diversity.  For her work and achievements she was named a HERoes Top 100 Women Executive in September 2021.

Lisa Waterhouse

Lisa Waterhouse | National Grid

Lisa Waterhouse

A Talent Management and I & D expert with almost 20 years of experience in my field.

A strong track record of designing, implementing and leading talent management strategies and methodologies both at a strategic and operational level. More recently moving into the inclusion and diversity space; responsible for developing and implementing the group I & D strategies and leading on new and more established interventions to shake up the diversity mix and help make the organization more inclusive for all. I care deeply about equity and equality and am responsible for implementing groupwide I & D strategies and leading both new and well established interventions to shake up the diversity mix to improve inclusive for all. My passion is to create an environment where everyone at National matter what their race, age, role, gender, gender identity, colour, religion, country of origin, sexual orientation, marital status, dependants, disability, social class or political views...can bring their whole selves to work, feel a great sense of belonging and have the opportunity to thrive at work. 'Diversity is a fact but inclusion is a choice'; my goal is that everyone at National Grid chooses inclusion!

Jackie Hyde

Jackie Hyde | Stanmore Insurance Brokers

Jackie Hyde

When I left school following A Levels decided not to go to University or College and basically fell into an insurance job working for Aviva in Manchester.

Work was OK at Aviva but didn't really have a career and felt this was more of a job. Stayed there for 7 years until I got married and had a daughter. Unfortunately Aviva made it clear that I wouldn't progress as now a working Mum. I started to look for a new job locally and came across Stanmore Insurance Brokers. Despite it taking me three attempts to secure the role, I finally got the job. I was delighted as the gentlemen I was to work for was so incredibly passionate about looking after clients. I never looked back and learnt all aspects of the role, moving quite quickly into an Account Executive role with my own bank of clients.

Later I moved to a management position and started to look after people, which became a new passion. Over 20 years ago, I had the opportunity to start insuring children's nurseries through a new facility with Aviva. It was fantastic learning about a specific sector and this worked well with me as the majority of the owners were female when previously most of my clients were male. Bonds developed quickly and I soon learnt to understand there insurance and wider business needs. 18 years ago, I launch our own children's nursery scheme dot2dot with a starting Gross Written Premium of £100,000. Now the Gross Written Premium is £4.2 m and has nurseries all over the UK. The scheme has been award winning and in fact we are shortlisted for an insurance award, so heading off to London tomorrow.

The next stage was to buy into Stanmore and in 2000 I became a Director and the following year, I remortgaged my house and bought 26% of the company. The following shares were purchased on 2015 and 2020 meaning I now own the whole company. The business now has a £1.7 million turnover and 24 staff.

Avye Couloute

Avye Couloute | Girls Into Coding

Avye Couloute

Avye, a 14-year-old student is a multi-award-winning tech maker, social entrepreneur, female tech advocate, workshop leader, and the founder of Girls Into Coding.

She is aware of the gender imbalance in Stem education & occupations and works tirelessly to create Tech opportunities for young people.

After observing most attendees at her workshops were boys, she was determined to get more girls into Tech. Three years ago, she founded Girls Into Coding (GIC) - a program of free events where girls aged 10-14 have an opportunity to explore coding, physical computing & robotics. She reaches out to female role models in STEM, inviting them to give talks at these events.

Avye’s endeavors have allowed her to emerge as a visible female role model. She demonstrates her Tech projects to the public including international events, leads regular tech workshops, writes blogs, has had several articles which highlight & celebrate her work in tech, video presentations, won Tech competitions, has fundraised to supply girls with physical computing kits & books, designs / develops & makes robotic kits used at her events.

She is on a mission to engage at least 1000 girls per year with hands-on workshops, including robotics, coding, physical computing, 3D printing, 3D Design & more.

During Covid 19 she launched a virtual version of GIC and is also was able to successfully deliver her robotics workshop online to girls, using kits that she designs and posts to their homes. She is now delivering her program both virtually and in person.

She advocates for diversity in the tech sector and believes you are never too young for your ideas to have value.

She wants all girls to feel empowered to access opportunities to learn how to code, develop their making and digital skills regardless of where they come from.

Siobhan Duncan

Siobhan Duncan | Robotical

Siobhan Duncan

Everyone in my family - and not just my immediate family - is either an engineer or a musician.

My dad’s a software engineer, my uncle a composer who plays tuba for an orchestra, my brother and sister are both in computing and AI and so it goes on. I’m definitely cut from the same cloth; I have a passion for both.

Music was the path I followed initially, applying to RSAMD (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) in Glasgow, believing it a total long-shot, but being accepted onto the programme. It was too good an opportunity to miss and I spent an amazing two years in Glasgow, studying and gigging – I got to perform at both Edinburgh and Glasgow Jazz festivals during this time. I was torn however. I missed engineering and was envious of friends who had pursued sciences at university. I decided it was time to chase my other dream.

I’d always loved Lego, building things and modifying them – fancied myself an inventor – and, being a big Sci-Fi enthusiast, was fascinated by robots. I have my two high school Physics teachers to thank for fostering in me a deep interest in STEM. They encouraged me to apply for a regional Space School programme. It was heavily competed and about 30 pupils from across the Highlands and Islands were accepted onto the first round. I was lucky enough to be one of them, which meant I got to meet real astronauts. We were tasked to invent something functional for astronauts to use in a space station. Mine was a form of toolbelt and it got me through to the next round, which was a residential camp in Edinburgh. I was 15 at the time and had an absolute blast. It was my first experience of programming robots and fuelled my enthusiasm for robotics.

After finishing up at RSAMD I got a conditional offer from Heriot-Watt University (I needed to resit my Maths and Physics Highers as they have a three-year shelf-life!) and then started out on a Combined Studies degree before settling on a BEng in Computing and Electronics. I set my sights on the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics for a MRes/PhD programme but, to guarantee myself a place, I had to get a First. Only twelve students were admitted that year, two women - and I was one of them.

A career highlight to date was winning an award at the ACM symposium on Applied Computing Conference, a student research competition. I was also the only woman that made it to the final five which made it all the sweeter when I won.

I am passionate about community outreach, particularly encouraging young girls to consider a career in STEM. I regularly visit schools, present at events and do my best to inspire the next generation of female engineers and roboticists by being a very visible (and vocal!) cheerleader and role model.

Before starting my MRes/PhD, I worked for an app development company for a year but first came across Robotical in 2017 when working at the Edinburgh Science Festival. We attended a training day at their office and I connected immediately with the team and Marty the Robot. I kept up to date with company developments and when I spotted a recruitment ad for a Lead Developer, I had to throw my hat into the ring. I feel so privileged to have landed my dream job. I had always wanted to go into EdTech and create a robot that would help engage young kids in STEM and with Robotical, I get to do just that!

Harshitha Shivakumar

Harshitha Shivakumar | IBM

Harshitha Shivakumar

Enthusiastic and passionate about technology, Harshitha has won several awards for being a role model in the tech industry due to her exceptional technical expertise, strong leadership skills, continuous innovation, outstanding contribution as a strong advocate for encouraging more women into technology, mentorship for early professionals and for being a Diversity Champion at IBM.

After growing up in India, Harshitha moved to the UK and gained a First class MEng Computer Science and Software Engineering degree from the University of Birmingham. During her University course, she did a Placement Year at IBM as a Technical Support Analyst. Her outstanding all-round performance during her Placement year made her a finalist for several National Awards.

Harshitha was also the only student from her cohort to receive appreciation from the University’s Vice Chancellor at the Graduation ceremony for her academic excellence and for being a role-model to her peers. After graduating from University in 2019, Harshitha returned to IBM as a Graduate Technical Consultant. As a Consultant, she has taken on diverse technical roles on a variety of projects and has helped achieve business transformation for clients primarily in the Distribution and Public Sector. Harshitha is currently a QA Lead for a large team on a critical customs transformation project for a prestigious client in the Public Sector and is the youngest person to ever take on this role on her team.

Shobitha Shivakumar

Shobitha Shivakumar | IBM

Shobitha Shivakumar

Born and raised in India, Shobitha has always had a passion for technology and a thirst for knowledge.

This drive and ambition helped her engage in a diverse range of activities and excel in all of them. In Grade 9, she was awarded a scholarship by the Singaporean Government to pursue the 4 year Integrated Programme in Singapore’s top Junior College. As a pampered 14 year old studying in India, it was a huge opportunity and challenge for her. Being a conservative society, she received more discouragement than support from everyone around her as it did not make sense to send a female overseas. While she did have her own doubts and fears too, she took up the challenge to follow her dreams. And she absolutely does not regret it as she broke all the odds to emerge successful and make everyone proud.

Shobitha then decided to follow her dreams of pursuing her University studies in the UK. She studied MEng Computer Science and Software Engineering (First Class Honours) at the University of Birmingham, during which she also did a technology placement at IBM. She also completed her MBA - Masters in Business Administration (Distinction) at Cardiff University and is now back as a Cyber Security Consultant on the IBM Graduate scheme. Her experiences as an International student thus far have made her an independent person and enriched her time-management and decision-making skills. It made her a stronger person and has given her the confidence to thrive in any kind of situation. It also gave her a more universal outlook towards life. The different kinds of education and the global exposure that she received has made her better prepared for a global career.


Placement Year – Cognos Technical Support Analyst, IBM

Shobitha had a fantastic placement year, where she seized every opportunity available, made significant achievements, and showed extraordinary potential to emerge as a top intern and was also IBM’s only nominee for Women in IT Awards. She worked as a Technical Support Analyst for the Cognos UK support team, providing technical application and software support to Cognos Analytics clients across EMEA and NA. Despite having no knowledge of the product initially, she obtained 2 certifications in the product and emerged as one of the top 10 Analysts in Europe. She also had the highest client satisfaction score in the UK. This illustrates that she is unfazed by challenges and can embrace change to emerge victorious. Working in a team with six other interns, her natural leadership skills came to the fore, acting as the figurehead, championing solutions and direction. Alongside her demanding day job, Shobitha was a great ambassador teaching school children Lego Programming, Mentoring, being a Barclays Digital Eagle, videoing her story for Tech Partnership and encouraging Women in STEM at events like the Skills Show London and at several Universities.

Current – Cyber Security Consultant, IBM Graduate Scheme

Shobitha joined IBM literally days before lockdown in March 2020. Despite joining during lockdown, she didn't let the restrictions caused by remote working hinder her progress and ability to network. As a returning intern along with a recent MBA, Shobitha added a lot more value than many, and showed herself to be highly active in all areas of IBM. She worked across different Cyber Security competencies for several large clients. She proactively took on additional responsibilities in diverse client projects and received positive feedback for her high-quality deliverables. She received the UKI Collaboration for Business Award from the IBM-UKI General Manager and wide recognition for her team’s security transformational work for a large client. She achieved the Champion Learner (Gold) status amongst top 5% of global IBM-ers for 2 continuous years for completing 600 hours of diverse learning. She was the only early professional chosen to lead the finances for 8 high value projects that helped the leadership team maintain healthy profits. She is also an inspiration to others by being an ally and standing upto inappropriate behaviour at the workplace. She has also very proactively participated in several Diversity and Inclusion initiatives such as publishing videos, creating a community for early professional excellence and ethnic minorities, mentoring and speaking at events to support early professionals and underprivileged students. She earned the Be-Equal Ally position through her actions to create a supportive and inclusive culture. She was also awarded a merit pay rise within 6 months of joining for performing beyond expectations and adding value to her team and wider IBM across several fronts. Shobitha is well liked for having a positive attitude and conscientious manner which makes her popular on all teams. She is truly an asset to IBM and would certainly build a high professional profile with this growth rate.

Maddie Loveday

Maddie Loveday | Finastra

Maddie Loveday

As an Environmental Specialist at Finastra, Maddie applies her Environmental Science background to driving sustainability as a strategic priority in the financial technology sector, pursuing her ambition of promoting a net-zero transition.

From a young age, Maddie has been an advocate for environmental issues, a school work placement at CDP (f. The Carbon Disclosure Project) led Maddie to discover the role of corporates in sustainability. From there she developed an ambition to pair her environmental advocacy with a corporate career in the sector.

This led her to join Finastra in 2019 as an Environmental Associate, following graduation from The University of Manchester in B.Sc. Environmental Science, with a year spent at the University of Utrecht. Maddie has since launched the environmental strategy and now leads this globally for the ESG team. She continues to develop and apply her knowledge in the field to her work, for example recently helping to shape Finastra’s ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) Strategy through learnings from a Business Sustainability Management course she successfully completed at The Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership. Utilising her expertise, she is currently working to position Finastra as a technology leader in sustainable finance, and recently represented the company at COP26, the global climate change conference, in Glasgow.

Maddie is committed to encourage and mentor young people in pursuing a career in STEM and Sustainability. At Finastra, Maddie is an active member of her local ‘Impact’ team and has run several programs to engage local underserved youth. Recently she has liaised with social-mobility charity Career Ready to set up mentorship opportunities for local employees. Outside of work, she has also been a mentor, volunteer and fundraiser for the children’s mental health charity Kids Inspire.

Chloe Thompson

Chloe Thompson | Aflac Northern Ireland

Chloe Thompson

Chloe is a Cognitive Science Engineer in Aflac Northern Ireland and the Director of the Women Who Code Belfast Network.

Chloe began pursuing a career within Technology and Engineering during secondary education where her passion for IT led her to apply to study Software and Electronic Systems Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast. Being in a male dominated course for 5 years only fuelled her passion to succeed and in July 2021 she graduated from the Masters pathway with a First Class Honours.

Throughout her time at university Chloe experienced a range of technical roles in order to understand the professional sector and discover an area that she would be passionate for. She was one of twenty students selected into the first year of the Kainos AI Camp program in 2018; a two week program designed to upskill students in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Following the two weeks, she was offered an unconditional offer for a placement year. During her placement year Chloe was one of the lead instructors on the 2019 AI Camp program and was placed within Kainos’ Applied Innovation team, where she worked on proof of concepts, upcoming technology and client demonstrations.

These experiences within Machine Learning and AI led Chloe to find an area within the technology sector that she was excited by and drove her involvement in organising the Artificial Intelligence NI (AI NI) meet-up group. Chloe organised their education track, AI NI Academy, delivering workshops to upskill the local community and two large scale Hackathons with over 250 attendees. In 2019 Chloe won the She Rocks Community Star Award from Women Who Code Belfast, for her work within the technology community. Chloe has always been passionate about the local tech community and in 2021 she joined Women Who Code Belfast as a Director and now leads the network and their events.

In 2020 Chloe joined Aflac NI as their first intern, working within Data & Analytics. Her work within this role led to a full time offer as a Cognitive Science Engineer and she joined in 2021 post graduation. Since then Chloe has worked in the Cognitive Science team, developing innovative proof of concepts for business stakeholders and contributing towards cutting-edge research. Within work, Chloe is an active member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee and is passionate about driving inclusive processes and culture, both internally and externally. Chloe uses her platform outside of work to actively encourage diversity and for women to pursue STEM subjects, through public speaking and panels, most recently SISTEM 2022 and Catalysts’ International Women's Day panel. She strives to encourage women into STEM in the same way she was supported to, whether that is young students or career switchers.