Rebecca Aberdein, HR director for TransUnion UK, takes a look at the results of some of the initiatives TransUnion (formerly Callcredit) has implemented to support women in tech, both within and beyond its own organisation
We set ourselves a challenge over a year ago to try and ensure that as a business, we support more women to aspire to senior roles, whilst also addressing the industrywide issue of the shortage of women entering and working in the technology sector.
To do this, we set out a number of initiatives. Firstly, we developed our ‘Women in leadership’ programme, which was aimed at upskilling our current and future business leaders. In particular, we focused on supporting high-potential women to help them build the confidence and skills needed for leadership roles. With the first cohort now having completed the programme, we’re pleased to say it’s been a big success.
The feedback from the participants has been fantastic, with some having progressed up the career ladder over the period. In fact, one of the group, Asia Anwar Jones, has recently been shortlisted in the Credit Awards 2019 for her role in this, as someone who champions the needs of women within the workplace and the industry; something we’re incredibly proud of.
Using their new skills to benefit others, our ‘Women in leadership’ group have also taken part in mentoring initiatives with local schools, giving their time to help young women realise their own potential and to nurture the skills needed for leadership.
Alongside this, our #GirlsIntoTech and #WorkInspiration schemes have seen us working with over 500 young people to raise awareness of the opportunities in technology and data science, helping to equip them with the skills they need to succeed in the workplace.
Within our own business, we’ve boosted our board with more female executives. As well as becoming part of the executive team myself in October last year, I’m delighted that Kelli Fielding, our managing director of consumer markets was appointed to the board in February this year, bringing a huge amount of expertise, having been with the business since it was founded some 20 years ago.
A number of our senior team have also been taking part in a formal mentoring initiative, supporting emerging talent and female leaders of the future. It’s an ongoing task – and it’s long-term change that’s needed in order to address the wider issue – but as we mark International Women’s Day, we’re pleased to play our part in trying to effect that change by looking to the future workforce, as well as well as encouraging the women working within our business today.