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Hello Again

It has been quite a while since I last posted, that is because there has been a lot of uncertainty at both work and home. At work, we’ve been going through a period of restructure, as a graduate and 7 months into my career, it has been eye opening to say the least. Not only witnessing the ways of a FTSE 100 company, but also how the employees handle such a situation, whether that’s taking it in their stride, fighting to stay, or resigning.

Unfortunately, through this restructure we’ve had to say goodbye to our graduate coordinator, which threw up a lot of questions around the future of the graduate scheme. I am fortunate with the support that I have around me, and once the dust settles further I’m looking forward to the opportunities that will be around.

At home, my boyfriend has been on a break from flying school from the end of February, because he had finished the first 6 months and awaiting where and when the next stages of training would be. I can finally say that from next week he will be in Bournemouth until October, which means a lot of long weekends by the English seaside this year!

All of this combined, whilst trying to see family and friends and starting my new rotation at work has just meant I needed to step back slightly from IT Girl. But I’m back, so Hello Again.

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Happy Women’s Day 2019

After being fortunate enough to be a finalist at the EveryWoman in Technology Awards for Rising Star this week in which I met some amazing women who are doing incredible things such as the founder of Kizcode teaching children to code in Turkey and Africa under threatening conditions.

This weekend I’m lucky to be spending it with some friends, one of which was a fellow IT placement student at GSK with me, who is now doing great things at her graduate job at Boeing.

Lucky to be surrounded by such great women!

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day

Our culture now means we use social media as a way of showing public affection, this is particularly great if your partner can’t be with you physically and with the use of video calls you can have a virtual date wherever you are in the world 🌎

In other recent posts, I’ve spoken about fake personas online, especially in reference to Fyre Festival etc. So if you aren’t celebrating Valentine’s this year then don’t worry, you aren’t alone and just because when you scroll through social media you see happy faces, it doesn’t mean that there is happiness or perfection there. So don’t let that get you down!

That being said, I hope everyone enjoys their day 💕🤓

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Why I Changed My Name To Steve

Take a look at the inspirational Dame Stephanie Shirley who is a big part in the WCIT where I am a Journeyman.

https://www.bbc.com/ideas/videos/why-i-had-to-change-my-name-to-steve/p06yyqv1?playlist=older-and-wiser

It is unimaginable now that as a woman you wouldn’t be listened to just because of your name, but I know this was a very common thing and to some extent it still is today, not just with women and men but preconceptions when you read somebody’s name or CV before actually meeting them.

Unfortunately, it is still common for women to have to choose between a career and a family, often that is an individuals choice and increasingly more companies are willing to help with flexible hours etc. But there is still a choice to be made and that’s a lot of pressure on a woman’s mental health.

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Are Paid Advertisements Misleading or…?

I think it’s safe to say that social media has become a platform for greatness but also a place in which people do not show the truth about themselves or others, I’m guilty of this too, most of my Instagram posts are from when I’ve been out doing fun things, not just of me getting home after work and watching Netflix most evenings. There is a culture motivated by likes and this often leads to photos or posts that distort the person behind them.

But I think it’s becoming ever more apparent the power that some people have on social media. We see this from the US President, so why shouldn’t be expect this from your everyday person?

So I was watching the Netflix documentary about the Fyre Festival, it’s shocking how misled thousands of people have been and I feel so bad for the rest of the Fyre company who were pouring their passion for tech into creating what they described as the “Uber of the entertainment industry”. The way in which the manipulation could happen is through social media (mainly Instagram) influencers and super models who they paid $250,000+ for one post about the festival. The result was disappointment from the customers who not only got ripped off by the “festival”, but that’s now reflected in who advertised it. Obviously, the models like Hailey Beiber and Kendall Jenner weren’t to know the fraudulent activity going on behind the scenes, but if they weren’t intending to go to the festival and be a part of it then is it ethical they take such a huge sum of money to persuade others to go?

The US government is now looking into stricter laws on how you advertise through social media, you’ll probably notice that when a celebrity endorses a product on social media and is being paid for it you’ll see the hashtags #ad or #sponsored etc. But that doesn’t mean that they are necessarily associated with that brand and product, they’ve just accepted a large sum of money for their PR team to send a tweet or for them to make a quick Instagram video.

Social media can be used for great things, but stuff like being paid to post something is a controversial matter if the person posting it doesn’t truly believe in what they are posting, it’s just adding to the fake persona of the individual whilst also influencing and manipulating others, particularly young and vulnerable people who think if a product is what their idol uses and they can have it too, that’s the goal.

I support the celebrities and influencer platforms, but I hope that something like the Fyre festival is learnt from and that kids aren’t getting caught in the paid advertisements.

Let us know your thoughts on paid ads below or on our social media @TashaITGirl 🤓📲

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Should there be separate sporting events for men and women?

I was watching The Grand Tour episode from Friday 8th Feb, and in their usual “Conversation Street” part of the show they started to talk about a new racing league which is going to be women only and their thoughts on the matter, and probably the best thing Richard Hammond has ever said is that we should be encouraging girls from an early age to be getting into go karting and racing.

I completely agree with this, it’s the same for the STEM industries, I always get asked how do we get more women into tech and to some extent it’s too late by the time they are at university etc, to gain a real increase we need to be putting the effort into exposing girls under 10 to what they can achieve in STEM.

I can understand why in sport there are segregated leagues and teams etc, especially if it’s to do with different types of weight categories, like boxing, however when it is something like racing I don’t think it’s necessarily encouraging to girls because often it can be seen as an inferior league, like it is in football with less TV coverage, sponsorship and pay. I think separate leagues are fine with different purposes, if there is maybe then an ultimate one that brings together all to compete?

Let us know your thoughts below or on social media 🏅🤓

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EveryWoman Finalist

Delighted to be announced as a finalist in the 2019 FDM EveryWoman Tech Awards among many inspiring #WomenInTech 🤓 in the Rising Star category!

Looking forward to meeting other women in technology at the award show in March and am very grateful for the nomination and recognition.

Taking place to celebrate International’s Women’s Day, the awards are a timely reminder that only 15% of people working in STEM roles in the U.K. are female and just 5% of leadership positions in the tech industry are held by women.

“Achieve, Elevate and Inspire” is this year’s rally cry

Looking back over the past year, it has been a whirlwind and I hope this can bring me more opportunities to dispel the STEM stereotype.

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Wominspiration: Digital Marketing

Had a great evening yesterday speaking about my career and how i digital market, honoured to have been asked by Eileen Brown as it was her BCS Digital Marketer book launch 📚

Met some lovely people and it’s always great to put yourself out there to practice speaking and support events when you can.

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The Next Big Thing in Business…

There are many, many things that could be the next big thing in business. However, I would like to make an argument that maybe there shouldn’t be another thing brought into the mix, but actually an evaluation of current processes should be a priority.

I think it is hard to understand sometimes when you work in IT, that other areas of the business are in general less innovative. But, within IT itself we can start playing with gadgets and talk about buzzword ideas before looking at our own processes.

One of my biggest pet hates are manual reports.

Why is somebody still spending 3 hours a week manually gathering data to put into a PowerPoint slide to be emailed out?

There are tools (free and priced) that you do not need to be a data analyst to use. You just put the database source name and password into the tool, you can also have several databases going into one tool, and then it will extract the data automatically when you want it to and you just have to create a dashboard once and that is it.

You can export the diagrams as PDFs or Jpegs. You can also create PowerPoint presentations within the tool. And because these tools are web applications, you can give permissions to others for them to view the dashboards whenever they please, which means no more emails which are most likely to get ignored. No issues when the person who runs the manual report is off sick or on holiday. Even better is because they are web applications, you can have them to be viewed within your team’s business practices such as, as web parts on SharePoint or Teams.

My preferred tools are Qlik Sense and Power BI.

Top Tip: review your current practices before adding the next thing in business to your workload.

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Tech Vs Paper

As technology has become more involved in our lives we transition away from paper. With applications such as OneNote diminishing the notebook, our phone calendars replacing annual calendars and Outlook replacing letters; it is hard to understand where stationary fits into the modern world.

In some work paper is used more than technology, maybe we don’t want to get to a place where we rely completely on something that we don’t truly understand how it works. At least with paper, you have more control over it. But then what happens if you loose what you’ve written or there is a fire or confidential information that you’ve written down on paper is stolen? Paper information can’t be copied easily unless somebody writes it down multiple times, collaboration is limited.

Technology has the capability to auto-save anything you write down and save versions in the cloud so that nothing can ever be lost. You can invite others to view/edit/collaborate on anything you write or create.

I like having a notebook to physically write in, sometimes it helps me to think when I draw out diagrams on paper instead of staring at a blank screen not knowing where to start.

I want to know what you think is your preference: Tech or Paper?

Comment Below 🙂