The Women Connect team have spoken to a range of professionals who are absolutely smashing it in their current roles, have a read below.

Who is Velisa?

Velisa is a Human Resources professional, founder of the community blackandHR and has been working in the HR world for the past 7 years currently working for one of the the big 5 tech companies. During her 7 years as a HR professional, Velisa has established a passion for championing diversity within the workplace, rooting for those voices which are not always heard to make sure they can get a seat at the table. Wherever Velisa goes, her aim is to bridge the gap between black working professionals and the corporate world. 


She prides herself on being for the culture and all things London. When Velisa is not being HR she loves a Brunch and a good Netflix series!   


What is about your industry that ignites you?  

"The Tech industry is like working towards a mission of what the world should be like and that gives me energy because it allows me the freedom to voice what the world can look like for people like me. I love the care that is shown with regards to employees you don't just feel like a number you feel like whatever you contribute will result in greater change which is fab!"   


Who is Zena?

Zena works in the aviation industry as an aircraft mechanic, her work consists of fixing and maintaining aircraft flying out from Heathrow. She is currently specialising in avionics, which is a branch of engineering focused on aircraft electronic systems. She also enjoys music, art and connecting with other creative people.

What is it about your industry that ignites you?
"I like problem solving, when you finally fix something that you’ve been working on for hours, it feels good. In my field of work you never stop learning, each day is something different so it stays interesting."

What social customs do you wish would disappear?
"Apologising for things that are out of our control, although I think I do it without realising most of the time."

Who is Amina?

Amina is a writer, content creator and Software Engineer. She is also an ambassador for London Screen Academy. A sixth form which was founded industry leaders who were involved with the production of the Harry Potter series, James Bond and Paddington. She is also 1/3 of The Black Muslim Girl Podcast (TBMG) which is a space for Black Muslim girls to vibe, elevate, educate each other.


Amina says:

"Coming from a creative background I always thought STEM subjects and jobs would be mundane. However, since joining the tech industry, I have found that creativity is still important to building products and coming up with solutions. I love the feeling of being able to solve problems and the tech industry gives you lots of opportunities to do that."


Who is Sapphire?

Sapphire is an Aerospace Technology Graduate of Coventry University. She started her journey with Kautex as a Graduate Development Trainee on an 18-month graduate scheme, rotating through the Quality, Continuous improvement and the new product introduction teams. Sapphire is currently a Product Engineer in the innovation department in Hengoed, Wales and I is studying her MSC in Computer Science part-time with the University of Bath.


We asked Sapphire who inspires her:

"My mom, Anne. She always encourages me to follow through with my dreams and supports me the whole journey."

Also, Charlie English. She was one of the first women to introduce me the world of engineering and show me that it is a place that women can thrive. Lastly, Charlotte Collins. She is a fantastic Assistant Professor who has inspired me to continue my academic journey. 

Who is Shabna?

Shabna is a 26 year old iOS Developer for a fashion retailer. Growing up, she was pulled between two of her passions - fashion and tech. Shabna love clothes, styling and everything fashion related but also loved developing websites and everything to do with apps. She managed to end up getting her first job as a Software Engineering Grad at Net-A-Porter and from then on, she was hooked and knew this was the industry for her.

How did you find your passion?

I actually started to learn HTML from Neopets (lol) then I joined a forum where there were a few girls who also had similar interests and with them I learnt a lot. I started a fashion blog when I was around 16 - and I started making blog websites for other bloggers. I really loved that I could be creative but also it was technically quite challenging too - and that's when I had a feeling that maybe I could do this as a job.


Who is Jean?

Jean is a Product Manager, working with a cross functional technology team to build applications from conception of ideas all the way to launch. HER role sits between business, user experience and technology, making sure that she knows what the most important thing to build next is and why. Jean started out as a software engineer and encourages more women, especially black women, to understand that there is a place for them in the tech industry. 

What social customs do you wish would disappear?

"Traditional gender roles. They limit human potential. Think of all the amazing work everyone could have done if given the chance."


What is about your industry that ignites you?  

I truly believe that technology's power can be harnessed for good. All of our lives have been transformed by technology, now imagine if it is built and used responsibly. The possibilities are endless and we can continue to truly change the world for the better. 

Next week we speak to...