Nationwide is today holding its fifth celebration of Ada Lovelace Day as it stages a virtual event to encourage young women into technology roles at the world’s biggest building society. The first Ada Lovelace Day in the UK was held back in 2009 and Nationwide Building Society has been hosting its own events for several years.
It forms part of the Society’s ambition to encourage more women to take STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and consider a career in technology. By showcasing some of the possibilities, hearing from women who are already leading figures in their respective fields and demonstrating how a career path could take shape, Nationwide hopes to inspire the next generation to see themselves as tech-leaders of tomorrow.
In previous years, attendees have been able to get practical experience with the latest technology and see how Nationwide has been harnessing the power of innovation, for the benefit of its members and colleagues, since the Society was founded in 1884. While this year’s event will be slightly different, attendees will be able to attend virtual workshops and hear from some of Nationwide’s female technology leaders about careers at Nationwide.
Previous participant Alice Taylor, currently studying for a degree in Software Engineering through Nationwide’s apprenticeship scheme, said: “The Ada Lovelace event I attended set me directly on my career path to become a technologist. I was studying for a BTEC in IT when Nationwide invited our class to attend. While I was thinking about what I could do next, it was at the event I heard about Nationwide’s apprenticeship scheme; meeting female technology leaders at the Society helped me to visualise what my career could become. With lots of possibilities, it confirmed to me that it was what I wanted.”
Nicole Hardiman, Engineering Manager at Nationwide and who has helped drive Ada Lovelace Day at the Society, said: “Alice’s story was why we wanted to create these events in the first place. Her journey from attending to then working towards a degree, through Nationwide’s apprenticeship scheme, serves as an inspiration to other young women considering a career in technology. Events like this are important and have the power to spark the imagination, opening doors and opportunities that may have felt closed or not considered.”
For Alice, the value of attending was clear. She gave the following advice for young women in her position a few years ago: “Go. Go and see what the future could hold for you. The world of technology is such an interesting place to explore your career and the opportunities are endless. I know it can feel daunting at times, but stay committed and don’t let anyone put you off. Nationwide has fantastic training programmes, as well as really useful buddy and mentoring schemes so, together, we can overcome any barriers that might be in our way and we can be whoever it is we want.”
Nationwide’s Ada Lovelace event is open to all and is on Tuesday 13th October, to coincide with Ada Lovelace Day. You can still sign up to attend virtually here. The event starts at 6pm. For those wanting to attend but can’t make it on the day, content can be shared with those who register following the event.