Opencast women share their tech journeys

8 March 2023

For International Women's Day 2023, we asked eight women working across our business to share their personal and unique journeys into tech – including the journey that brought them to Opencast.

Emily Allinson - head of user centred design

“I came to tech quite late, through a background in languages, editing then web content, before discovering user-centred design (UCD). Growing up, I didn’t have any women role models in tech, I didn’t know anything about tech careers, and no one talked to me about it as an option. When I started working in UCD I found it really hard to identify as someone who works in tech: my skillset seemed predominantly ‘soft’, it focused on people not code. But tech is for people, and made by people. It’s taken a long time to work through this and feel more established.”

Circle portrait photograph of woman with pink hair in bun.

Manon Clech - senior user research consultant

“It has always been a personal goal to move to the UK and experience London. After working in Paris with an established routine, I realised that I needed to achieve my goal more quickly. But I woke up a little too late: Brexit happened. After months of intensive applications, Opencast opened its door. I found friendly people and a caring, attentive team who helped and reassured me on my visa application process. I have felt a strong sense of humanity  present every day working at Opencast. Resilience and continuously focusing on your personal goals and dreams will always pay off.”

Circle portrait photograph of woman with blonde hair and glasses.

Blessing Oziegbe - business analyst

“Graduating in criminology, I was interested in investigation and solving problems. After working customer service, I moved to become a junior business analyst. I did lots of BA training and networking and immediately fell in love with the role. It suited my personality. I worked in investment banking and insurance. After having my first child, I wanted a more stable role to suit a working/family lifestyle. I was approached by Opencast and was blown away that they wanted to invest in me to achieve greatness and deliver the best for their clients. I’ve been here for two years – it was the best choice ever!”

Circle portrait photograph of woman with brown hair.

Cate Kalson - chief people officer

For much of my career I have been in male-dominated environments. This has had its challenges, especially navigating motherhood where my gender has made a really big difference to others’ expectations. I feel confident at Opencast that I can be a woman, a mother and that this is embraced as a member of our executive team. I have the flexibility that I need in order to balance my work responsibilities and parental responsibilities. I hope I can also support, sponsor and inspire many women colleagues to aim high in their careers and love hearing how Opencast supports them to feel more confident and empowered to reach their potential.”

Circle portrait photograph of woman with brown hair.

Charlotte Ombler - user researcher

“As a relatively new woman in tech, I was nervous that my ‘squiggly career ‘may have been a barrier when transitioning into the industry, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. OC have seen it as an asset, trusting me to utilise my skills on fascinating client projects whilst providing a supportive environment for me to learn and grow at my own pace. This balance of trust, autonomy and support is what makes OC unique. I have never felt more at home at work and it’s the encouragement of the genuinely inclusive OC community that I can thank for that.”

Circle portrait photograph of woman with blonde hair.

Carla Savelli - senior user research consultant

"I find myself with a career in the tech industry after saying yes to an opportunity to work on an internal project to improve customer experience. Never did I ever think saying yes would lead me to where I am today, for me it has been a case of right place, right time and lots of amazing people that have helped me in between! The tech industry is huge and doesn’t just mean computers and coding, ironically my role is based all around people which I love! My experience is a reminder of the importance of saying yes and going outside your comfort zone.”

Circle portrait photograph of woman with brown hair.

Ute Schauberger - service designer

“I have a first love before coming to design and tech: anthropology. The study of what makes us human. It shaped how I think and understand the world. Anthropology teaches you that our cultures, institutions, and systems are human made. This means they can be reimagined and remade. With design, I stumbled across a set of tools, methods, and mindsets to do this. As a designer, I am interested in impact, inclusion, and change. For better or worse, tech is where change happens right now in organisations and society. It's not without its challenges, but I have made a home here. There's space to learn and grow. And best of all, a lively community of creative, open, curious, and collaborative people.”

Circle portrait photograph of woman with brown hair wearing pink top and pink earrings.

Amanda Wowk - content designer

“I started my career as a marketing copywriter, writing content optimised for SEO and not for human experiences. It really didn't feel right for me. Five years ago, I started working in content design. Later, I worked at a consultancy in an agile squad and knew immediately that this was what I wanted to do with my career – structuring information in a way that met users' needs. I came to Opencast six months ago to continue that journey. I love how everyone at Opencast - from designers to product managers - works together to create services that really work for the people who use them.”

Circle portrait photograph of woman with brown hair.

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