Memona Mohammad | BT

Memona MohammadI value being an ambassador for the technology community, demonstrating female contribution and innovation to the industry. I started my career as an apprentice in BT Technology, Service & Operations, helping to build the virtual network connections for business end-users and even for the Olympics!

Now aged 22, I recently moved to BT Global Services, working as part of a team on contracts to deliver communications and IT services to organisations, providing the best possible solutions for our customers. It’s exciting being part of a diverse workforce and at the heart of telecoms and technology.

As well as studying part time for a degree in Information and Communication Technology, I have achieved professional registration as an Engineering Technician and ICT Technician through the Institute of Engineering and Technology. I have also attended the 2014 One Young World summit, collaborating with representatives from over 180 countries and leading multinationals, working on building global partnerships for the future.

Through participation in the Inspiring Women Campaign I have volunteered at local schools, career fairs and mentoring events, educating females of all backgrounds on the opportunities and careers in STEM. I have also hosted students for work experience at BT to provide true insight and encouragement. Spreading the message of women in technology, I have taken part in live TV discussions and been featured in publications.

My aspiration is to continually be a positive role model for current and future generations of young people, supporting them to confidently enter the world of work and to explore and build on my own journey within the industry.

Sakeena Lalljee | Aquis Exchange Limited

Sakeena LalljeeHaving cut her teeth in European trading technology with initial experience at agency broker Instinet, Sakeena spent the subsequent few years honing her industry knowledge at Chi-X Europe, which became the largest pan-European equities trading venue before being bought by BATS Global Markets. She played a key part in technology initiatives including Sponsored Access and the Chi-Delta non-displayed order book (now CXE Dark, Europe’s largest non-display equities book).

Since moving to Aquis Exchange, the subscriptions-based equities exchange, Sakeena was promoted to the role of Client Relationship Manager and has built valuable relationships with trading firms and technology providers alike. She is a key point of liaison within Aquis and played a vital part in its timely launch. She also oversaw the creation of the Company’s internal management information system, working with Aquis’ development team to create a suite of reports, allowing better client service and enhancing the Company’s technology sales package.

An English graduate from Queen Mary, University of London, she also holds a Certificate in Investment from the CISI, for which she received the ‘Outstanding Achievement award’ for scoring the national joint highest result.

Outside work, Sakeena chairs the Women’s Network at the British Pakistan Foundation (BPF), promoting the development of British Pakistani women via its Inspirational Women Speaker Series, workshops and networking opportunities.

Sakeena is a Level 1 qualified football coach and has played for Tower Hamlets Ladies. She has previously volunteered to deliver coaching sessions for local schoolgirls and the Queen Mary Women’s Football Club, where she played whilst at University. Most recently, she participated on the refereeing team at a football match in aid of Cancer Research UK, organised by the Rotary Club of Harrow.

She aspires to reach management and board level in the financial services, and continue making a positive difference to the industry.


Melanie Ogden | Transport for London

Melanie OgdenI am a Chartered Civil Engineer and “Project Manager for Tunnels and Shafts” on the prestigious £1bn Northern Line Extension project in the heart of the capital. All eyes are upon us, as this is a project spanning three borough councils, uniquely funded and employing some of the latest technologies available to deliver value to the public purse.

It is my role to ensure the steady and successful progress of the project, and whilst that requires technical knowledge, the key skill is to actively manage the stakeholder interface with project’s many third parties. These include the Battersea Power Station Developers, Network Rail and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home – plus our project delivery partners who have a large and mature project management architecture of their own. To achieve this, I lead a talented multi-disciplinary team of Engineers, Quantity Surveyors, Planners, Graduates and other key stakeholders.

I am responsible for the design and construction of 3.2km of twin-bored and SCL tunnels and shafts. I also have responsibility for the £40m design and build work package for two new step plate junctions and four new cross passages at Kennington Station, connecting the new extension to the existing Northern line railway and managing the subsequent increase in passenger flows through the station. I act as the seamless link between railways systems engineering, mechanical engineering and civil engineering for these works, ensuring all aspects have been considered from design through to operation and maintenance. I am responsible for establishing an acceptable closure strategy to undertake the work, balancing the needs of the project with those of the travelling public. I have consulted with stakeholders throughout the business alongside the Principal Contractor and project team to establish the most effective way of completing this. It is my options paper which has been presented to the business.

As a young woman who has come from a small town in the country to work in Engineering in our incredible city, I am inspired every day by engineering around me which most people take for granted and the fantastic engineers with whom I have the privilege of working every single day. My passion and enthusiasm for the built environment means that I have always wanted to get out from behind my desk and see society transformed – and I feel that is a much more tangible and inspiring message for young people considering engineering.

I try to live my life with integrity and make the best decisions for my project within my professional abilities. I am keen to show young women and men that they have a world of choices open to them in engineering, that there are many routes into the industry and that their dreams can be fulfilled. I had a relatively tough start to my time in senior school and struggled academically, not always getting the best grades, but sheer determination has brought me ample success and the respect of my peers.

I love speaking in public and I love seeing children’s faces light up when I explain the possibilities offered by an engineering career: a career where you have freedom, the chance to work internationally, to join fantastic professional teams which feel like your family and to leave a built legacy which you would be proud to show your grandchildren.

My passion for my trade shines through in all I do, including the work I have done this year as an IET ambassador for their ‘Engineer a Better World’ campaign. This included giving media interviews, something I absolutely love. Equally, I am not afraid to let my professional mask drop in the name of engineering, appearing in the ICE “Engineering Happiness” film dancing under the Hammersmith Flyover, (one of my first projects after graduation).

I want children to see engineering as an enjoyable career with plenty of support: I always tell children that going to work is like visiting my second family. In my first year in London, I mentored a young student; this experience taught me so much, in particular that younger people often just need the confidence to tackle a profession; confidence which may not exist in the family home. I want to be the person who bridges that gap and inspires them into our profession.


Isla Kennedy | Accenture

Isla Kennedy AccentureI am a technology consultant, working within Accenture's Digital Practice and specialising in Mobility, with expertise in corporate mobile device services and operations, as well as Digital project management. I have experience in enterprise readiness and project management within the telecoms, energy and financial services industries, including requirements gathering, process and technology design, multi-supplier project management, stakeholder management and engagement, and mobility strategy. I have completed training in Mobility, presentation skills, app development and more, and I am a certified Scrum Master (PSM I).

I graduated from Christ Church, Oxford university with a 2.1 in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and was very involved in the Officers' Training Corps, including leadership training, field exercises and being promoted to Assistant Adventurous Training Officer. I was also college Freshers Rep and in the committee for Oxford Women in Politics, as well as doing some college rowing.

I am passionate about women's progression in business and getting more women into technology careers. I am involved in my company's women's network and now lead our Digital group. I set up a schools programme for Year 7 and 8 girls, and am now the key point of contact for all girls/women in STEM initiatives across our UKI business.

I am an assistant Girlguiding leader (senior section, age 14-18) in East London, a freeman of the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers and a journeyman of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists. I have also recently completed my training with the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Princess Royal's Volunteer Corps) and am now an active member. I enjoy travel, spending my free time on active and cultural holidays, and I also love property. I renovated my own house and a flat which I rent out, and am currently in the process of buying another property to let and am hoping to build a new dwelling next year if the planning application is successful.

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Rashada Harry

Rashada Harry | Vodafone Global Enterprise

In a professional capacity Rashada is responsible for driving fixed infrastructure business opportunities at Vodafone Global Enterprise. She possesses a strong track record of new business development, account management and consultative selling into Enterprise client organisations offset against aggressive sales targets.

Prior to joining Vodafone Global Enterprise she spent 9 years with Cisco. Rashada joined as the only black female on the highly competitive Sales academy program which was spanned across Europe. She was selected as one of the top 10 graduates in the UK from over 8,000 applicants.

It was during this program that she believed more needed to be done to bring more diverse talent into the organisation. With this in mind and in her spare time she then helped to form and co-lead the Cisco Black Professional Employee Network EMEAR- (CBP) which focussed on promoting inclusive leadership, inspiring and empowering its members to achieve their potential. Through this work Rashada was asked to sit on the board of the global CBP employee group where she led the community pillar advising on different ways to engage the local communities in technology activities.

Rashada was twice promoted during her 9 years at Cisco and worked as Global Business Development Manager covering the EMEAR (Europe Middle East Africa & Russia) region before leaving Cisco in late 2013.

In a voluntary capacity Rashada is co-founder of the innovative social enterprise Your Future, Your Ambition (YFYA) which inspires children and young adults from diverse backgrounds into studying Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) related subjects and pursuing careers in STEM-based industries.

Through YFYA, Rashada helps to bring together big corporations and provides them with a platform to educate, inform, excite and motivate young people from the age of seven to 23 years into an array of career options. Since its launch in July 2012, over 2000 students have attended the YFYA annual event, and 620 students have also participated in the YFYA mentorship programme. YFYA has raised and invested significant finance into community programs which work with young people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. This has included charities such as 100 Black Men of London, AbleChildAfrica and Street Child Africa.

During her spare time over the last 2 years Rashada has been a volunteer mentor with the 100 Black Men of London Charity where she meets regularly with young students aged between 10 and 14yrs as part of a community mentoring program. Rashada has also volunteered her time abroad in Africa, working in rural villages helping local school children in both Mpraeso in Ghana and also in Mombasa, Kenya.

Kerryn Johnstone | EY

Kerryn JohnstoneKerryn believes that the key to success is setting a strategy for yourself, and then working hard to implement it. This includes creating a continuously evolving Personal Stakeholder Map, finding the right mentors for guidance and utilising any courses and training on offer to add to her toolkit of skills. Leaving school with no idea of what she really wanted to do with her career, Kerryn decided to find experience in the world through life events. Before she set off, Kerryn lined her ‘Career Toolkit’ with an Executive Secretarial course, knowing that whatever career path she eventually chose; the world would always require Admin. It’s frequently been beneficial, especially when recession hit and the only people being hired where administrative staff.

Kerryns career began on a well-known London reception desk in 1998. Since then she has worked in many different sectors, including blue chip, banking, government and charity organisations. Through sheer hard work and determination, utilising networks and working her career strategy over the years, she now creates Methods and Tools to underpin the Deployment Approach for large Global Programs. Kerryn also juggles being a Mum to two busy boys, with challenging work hours, being a commuter and the on-the-job travel required of her role in a large City Firm.

Kerryn grew up in Zimbabwe and Malawi, leaving at the age of 21 for Europe. Having lived in many countries around the world since, from 3rd world through to 1st world she has seen first-hand, and understands how tough it can be, for young women to find a voice to allow them that first ‘foot in the door’. Actively involved in charities and philanthropy, Kerryn strives to always find a way to give of both her time and experience to help others believe in themselves too!

Sara Sherwani | Telefonica UK

Sara SherwaniSara Sherwani, a driven Service Designer whose predominate focus is centred on delivering excellent customer experience and delivering the best technology solutions through Service Management principles. Ensuring that the customers’ expectations are met and they are delighted with the digital experience that they have with O2. Through her contributions, she was sponsored and chosen to represent Telefonica UK Operations at the One Young World conference. One Young World is a global organisation about bringing together bright, young leaders to discuss and bring change to a number of global issues with high profile members like Bob Geldolf, Kofi Annan and Sir Richard Branson. Presently, Sara operates as an Ambassador for One Young World outside of her day to day role.

Having always developed the curiosity on how to make a positive impact through the work that she carries out, Sara has been involved in educating over 100 young people in digital skills and exploring digital careers. Through delivering Digital Skills workshops up and down the country with the backing of Telefonica. I have spoken at schools and conferences about the other opportunities outside the traditional routes available to young people, giving them an opportunity to speak to someone who’s ‘been there done that’. She is heavily moved by the third sector and often gives pro-bono advice to charities around define, managing and improving their processes and utilizing the efficiencies of technology. Currently, she is working closely with a Charity called Josh who sponsor over 500 girls in India to go to school.

Alessandra Villa | Arup

Alessandra VillaAlessandra is a driven and ambitious engineer. She graduated from the Politecnico di Milano University and has been working as a Bridge Engineer for Arup for the last 6 years, from offices in Birmingham, Amsterdam, London and Singapore.

She has a real passion about bridges and succeeded, through her daily job, to work on World record projects all around the World as well as in the UK. Together with being a hard worker and a bright engineer, Alessandra is passionate about mentoring young engineers, as well as increasing the visibility of the construction industry.

Alessandra is a guide for graduates within her company and students from both British and Italian universities.

Alessandra is deeply involved with the charity Bridges to Prosperity, working with them for over two years developing a tool for the design of suspension bridges in rural isolated areas. In 2014 she was part of a team who designed and built a bridge in the Panamanian jungle, which has since won the prestigious ICE Designed in London Award.

When she went to Panama she also championed and delivered a University programme that involved her teaching at a local university close to the bridge location and hosting the students on site for a day.


Polina Zabelina | BP

Polina ZabelinaPolina Zabelina is a chartered Corrosion Engineer in BP Upstream Engineering Centre Team. In her current role she supports BP Projects and Operations by providing corrosion and erosion expertise.

During her 3+years at BP she developed and delivered Erosion training to more than 100 engineers in various BP regions and improved company’s erosion management strategy (estimated value for BP >$500M/year) and was recognised with a Tallow Chandlers Award (2014) for this work.

Prior to BP Polina was a Corrosion Engineer for Sakhalin-1 project (Exxon Neftegas Limited) where she managed Corrosion Monitoring and Chemical Injection program for the whole project.

Polina is from Siberian city Omsk, where she graduated as a Chemical Engineer in 2008. She is a committee member of Institute of Corrosion, member of NACE and PinkPetro Community board member. Polina is also a STEM ambassador and enjoys encouraging students to study engineering.