Daphne Coates

I studied Computer Science as a GCSE, IT as an A-level and went on to study Information Systems Management & Innovation as a degree; but being similar subjects wasn’t all they had in common – I was always part of only a handful of females, for 15 years.

Women don’t really belong in tech right? Wrong. I set out to prove this mission after joining IBM in 2018; not only do women belong within the technology sector, but our artificially intelligent systems should not discriminate against them.

Upon joining the Graduate Scheme at IBM, I became an Application Developer, thrown in at the deep end from day 1 with managing two clients simultaneously, whilst figuring out how to code and execute technical delivery. These experiences shaped my managerial and planning approach going forward, as I moved on to lead the largest Public Sector Work Stream for Digital Security, pioneering new ground for an area of business previously untouched. Alongside my 9-5 I also work as an Artificial Intelligence bias SME (Subject Matter Expert) advising bids, projects and IBM research how we can pioneer ethical AI, as well as hosting Byte Size Learning Webinars, Lunch & Learns, Practice Calls and guest lecturing at numerous events such as Europe’s Leading Digital Twin conference in Frankfurt. I aim to pave the way for ethical AI and ensure we do not build systems that replicate our past, but represent our diverse future.

I focus my efforts outside of work on shaping AI regulation and standards (such as IEEE), growing a thriving community of young female professionals interested in AI and crafting academic papers, one of which has been published in IBM Systems Journal.