Rania Svoronou

Rania Svoronou | IBM

Design for me was never just an option – it is a way of life. I've studied abroad in UK and hold a BA on Graphic Design and an MA on Human-Computer Interaction Design. I've started my career 7 years ago at a small local print agency in Athens, Greece and after working in start ups, small design studios, Ad agencies, and global corporations, I am now the Lead Designer for a major client at IBM Interactive Experience - a new division within IBM, which has been named the largest digital-agency network in the world. I've joined IBMiX two years ago and I am an active speaker, a guest lecturer, an industry mentor, and get invited as a judge/mentor at multiple hackathons and design events across Europe. I am passionate about design & digital and one of my missions is to empower more women into design & technology and help connect the gaps between design education and the tech industry.

Maya Dibley

Maya Dibley | Lancashire County Council

Maya has a background in publishing management and digital product development, and later economic development and building technology business clusters. She is currently working in Economic Development at Lancashire County Council, while also studying part-time on the Lancaster MBA.

Maya's passion lies in building the capability and productivity of the North of England. At The Landing In Media City, she led the development of business support and incubator programmes to support growth in digital and technology SMEs as well as building a network of private partnerships to ensure the business ecosystem in Salford is sustainable.

She is currently leading the curation of the Northern Power Futures conference, a 2-day event powered by the Northern Power Women network, presenting talks and debates on the economy and society, all with speakers (men and women) under 35. She is passionate about finding ways to support younger leaders to find their voice and strength, and to this end has also sat on the national board of Girlguiding for the past 4 years. In this role she has contributed to a full programme overhaul, projects to improve governance and accountability, and is the trustee lead on the organisation's digital transformation work which recently saw the launch of a new member CRM system for 100,000 volunteers.

Maya began her career at Hearst Magazines UK where her understanding of young audiences and commercialising digital platforms saw her rise quickly to become one of the company's youngest publishers at the age of 26.

Elsewhere, Maya is a Director and Trustee of The Dukes Theatre in Lancaster, a Non-Executive Director of a small technology start-up, HE Inventions, and sits on the Industry Advisory Board for Lancaster University's school of computer science, advising on curriculum development to suit industry.

Zena El Farra

Zena El Farra | Barclays

Zena has been a powerhouse in developing Barclays’ strategic response to Open Banking, a key industry inflection point for both Banks & Fin-techs, which is forecast by some experts to drive a £1bn boost to the UK economy.

In developing the vision, which will form the basis of how Barclays’ will respond to this exciting new opportunity, she has demonstrated outstanding visionary thinking & laser focus on the emerging external landscape. She consistently leverages cutting-edge technology & best in class digital experience to deliver for emerging customer need.

Zena’s approach is truly customer-centric, consistently co-creating with customer groups to ensure the best outcomes. She has also played a critical role in educating both colleagues & consumers around the risks & opportunities of data-sharing in an Open Banking world – whilst championing the value of innovation & competition to the industry and society.

In parallel, Zena is passionate about supporting women in technology, being an active speaker & contributor at early-career events to inspire young people to explore careers in tech. Further, she also launched a Barclays UK citizenship initiative reaching 20,000+ children across the world, focussed on developing early strategic thinking & numerical skills through competitive chess!

Zena joined Barclays as a graduate in 2013 and soon became the youngest person to be promoted to VP. Growing up she launched a number of small, student-led businesses supporting different charitable causes and ultimately helping fund her travels around the world prior to undertaking her undergraduate degree at LSE.

She is the daughter of Arabic self-made single-mum who left her war-torn country to make a fresh start in the UK and continue to provide critical support to her family & wider community back home.

Adele Mitchinson

Adele Mitchinson | Venture Stream

Finishing University in 2011 with a 1st Class BA Hons in Advertising and Design I went on to secure several design and marketing roles, working with leading national and global brands.

Since 2014 I have worked with multi award-winning agency, Venture Stream as a Design Consultant. Producing print and digital creative as well as building and strategising marketing campaigns.

In 2016 I helped Found “That’s Champion Pet”, an online marketplace specialising in Northern products with Venture Stream. Aiming to highlight and support local Northern business.

I am also proud to be Creative Director and Ambassador for the Northern Power Women campaign which aims to accelerate gender diversity from the North of England as well as lead the Northern Young Creative Council hub, helping motivate, educate and support anyone wanting to enter the creative industries.

Carol Yung

Carol Yung | Deloitte

As a Manager in Deloitte Digital’s Experience Design practice, I help our public sector clients imagine and deliver transformation that impacts the lives of millions of citizens in the UK and beyond.

I’m passionate about growing my teams and the people around me, and helping my clients solve their most challenging problems, by designing and delivering innovative, user-centred solutions that improve policy outcomes, reduce costs, and deliver better experiences for citizens and staff. I specialise in digital strategy, end-to-end service design, digital transformation and applying design processes to support large-scale agile delivery.

Beyond my client delivery, I lead and participate in a range of initiatives to encourage young people, particularly young women, to pursue STEM careers, and help individuals and organisations shape their digital business propositions.

Prior to joining Deloitte Digital in 2016, I was part of Deloitte New Zealand’s Consulting practice, where I held a series of leadership roles, including Chief of Staff for the Public Sector Group. I also have extensive international public sector experience, previously as the Private Secretary to the New Zealand Minister for Building and Construction, during the Canterbury Earthquakes, and representing New Zealand at a range of international engagements, including trade negotiations, and UN and OECD meetings.

Outside of work I regularly participate in a range of sports, paint, and travel extensively. My love of travel has taken me to variety of places recently, including all over Europe, Israel, Canada, the United States and various parts of Asia.

Liz Marlow

Liz Marlow | Sodexo

I’ve worked for Sodexo for five years as social media manager. Previous to that I worked at a number of agencies running social media for clients including Coca-cola and Volkswagen. How I got into social media was through blogging and an art project I started in spare time (around 12 years ago now) Before social media was main stream I was obsessed with social communities and how people interact with each other, so I set up a project called Niceties Tokens. Which was a bit like an offline social media platform (sounds a bit weird I know, but this interview I did with the Londonist describes it well)

At Sodexo I use social media to create solutions across all parts of our business. Sodexo has 34,000 employees in the UK and Ireland alone, so using it for internal communication has helped increase engagement of staff. We also use it for communicating with our customers, clients and stakeholders.

One of the projects I'm really proud of is, when I came back from maternity leave I really felt there was a huge information gap for maternity returnees, and I believe that was resulting in women feeling disengaged. So along with a couple of other mums, we set up the Sodexo Working Parents group.

I'm also the communication lead, on the committee for the Sodexo LGBT Pride network, and amongst other things use social media to make Sodexo a more inclusive place.

Karolina Szudrzynska

Karolina Szudrzynska | Mastercard

Karolina is a Digital Acceptance Manager at Mastercard, responsible for European coordination on strategy and sales approach for the company’s digital agenda.

Karolina has worked for Mastercard in London, Warsaw and Singapore. In 2015, she was selected as one of 12 employees worldwide to participate in Mastercard’s exchange program, where she managed online merchant programs across the Asia Pacific. While working in Poland, Karolina made a significant impact by broadening payment acceptance and introducing new payment products and solutions to the market. Her varied experience at a broad range of roles has given her valuable skills, knowledge and exposure that she has continued to leverage.

A keen advocate for diversity, Karolina holds a key role in Mastercard’s Women’s Leadership Network, managing external engagements and supporting female talent. She actively engages in charity and mentoring activities, including volunteering with the First Love Foundation to Mastercard’s Digital Girls’ Day School Trust challenge, promoting girls in STEM.

Prior to joining Mastercard, Karolina worked at the BZ WBK bank (Santander Group), managing onboarding programs for bank customers. Outside of the office, Karolina is Vice President of Membership at London’s Toastmasters Club where she develops her public speaking skills and encourages others to overcome their fears of presenting. She also enjoys adventurous traveling, hiking and backpacking around the world.

Bobbie Mansfield

Bobbie Mansfield | XL Catlin

Having only started her career at the end of 2015, Bobbie has made herself a prominent part of XL Catlin's innovation transformation. After a successful graduate scheme, she secured the role of Digital Change Manager, responsible for communication, education and colleague engagement for XL Catlin's digital transformation. Her remit has seen her lead the partnership of two InsurTech Accelerators, facilitate ideation sessions with key business partners and speak at conferences and exhibitions on our immersive technology capability.

Notably, she is a founding member of the London office's Future Focused Network, leading the launch of London's first innovation demonstration space where colleagues can learn, experiment and engage with XL Catlin's innovation projects. She is currently managing its global expansion to help create a culture where innovation can thrive, while the London committee has expanded from 3 to 10.

Bobbie has a passion for people and community, evident in her capacity as the colleague engagement representative of the UK Charity committee and member of the women's and LGBT+ networks at XL Catlin. She has been the co-chair of the Associate Board of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation since it launched its London division 2 years ago, combining the collective support of the industry to make a positive impact in the community. She promotes diversity and inclusion as key catalysts for innovation, sharing her experiences as a young woman in technology at school outreach events and with anyone who will listen!

Her spare time is spent participating in a variety of networks, supporting charitable activities and salsa dancing.

Stéphanie Donaldson

Stéphanie Donaldson | Thomas Cook Money

I came to the UK in 1998 working as an au pair for 12 months to improve my English before returning to France to complete my English Literature Degree. I never went back.

I felt home in England, having found something that I had not known I was missing and soon discovered that if you are willing to take on any job and learn, it’s easy to get by in Britain.

After a couple of jobs (hotel receptionist, Lab tech for the M.O.D. at Forensic Science), I entered the beginning of my career in Financial Services, working for Travelex doing reconciliation of the French and Belgian corporate accounts.

Since then I’ve generally changed job when I have needed a new challenge, I worked on the French line in the Concierge Service, the Complaints team, the Prepaid Card Project team, and finally the Product team, looking after the Japan and South Korea Prepaid card programs (unfortunately, I never got to go there). MasterCard bought then bought the Prepaid Card Management Services from Travelex and after a few years, I felt it was time for a new adventure. Every successful interview has been due to my ability to learn, my passion for getting things done and getting them right, while being pragmatic.

Thomas cook were looking for a Web Product Manager with Financial Services knowledge. The idea of travelling for a travel company where taking care of the best 2 weeks of someone’s year is the aim, really suited my way of thinking: Customer at the Heart.

Thomas Cook then decided to create a new Company, Thomas Cook Money, to give more focus to Financial Services and rebuild what used to be a core part of the Thomas Cook business. Having acquired knowledge about the existing products as well as their interaction with the world of holidays at Thomas Cook, I was the prime candidate to take on the role of Web Product Manager in Thomas Cook Money and I have not looked back since.

On a personal note, I am married and enjoy traveling, cycling, writing, singing, composing, gardening, cooking and most recently, I’ve taken up greenwood carving, which turns out to be a very therapeutic and relaxing hobby.

Katrina Young

Katrina Young | Katrina Young Consulting (KYC) Digital

Katrina’s 18+ years of extensive marketing experience as a Strategist/Consultant include working on behalf of Research Houses as a usability tester, market researcher and focus group facilitator, managing consumer interviews with clients such as Tefal, Experian, Coutts, Moschino, Vodafone, Volkswagen, Kia, Jaguar, BMW, Sony BMW Mini, Department of Health, HSBC, Persil, Muller Light, Mcvities, Disneyland Paris, Candy and Candy, Levis, Diesel, American Tobacco, AOL, EE, T-Mobile, Verizon and Investec as well as more on Research, Marketing, Focus groups and Advertising campaigns.

She holds a Prince 2 Project Management certificate, a Degree in Marketing & Advertising with a certificate in Teaching and Lecturing with the City & Guilds. She is currently studying Robotics and Robotic Process Automation.