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Developing confidence and promoting gender equality: Meet our new Digital Voices

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Digital Voices, Women in Digital, Women in Technology
The 14 Digital Voices sat together in two rows: Back row l-r - Liz, Hazel, Emma, Liz, Angela, Kezia, ?. Front row l-r -Sam, Collett, Rashmi, Sharon, Andrea, Lin, Gemma.
The 2019 Digital Voices: Back row (l-r) - Liz Maxted, Hazel, Emma, Liz McCreedy, Angela, Kezia, Marie. Front row (l-r) -Sam, Collett, Rashmi, Sharon, Andrea, Lin, Gemma.

Our Digital Voices development programme launched in 2018. It gives women in DWP Digital the opportunity to develop digital skills, grow their confidence and support networks and learn from other inspiring women.

The programme of learning events for the second cohort of women has now started, and the group of 14 women from across DWP Digital recently met up for the first time in Manchester.

Here’s why the women are taking part in their own words.

Sam Gray – ‘It’s a great opportunity’

I feel really inspired about being part of Digital Voices. It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to develop in my role as a product owner.

I’m a very work-focused delivery person, but I think we’ve got a really important story to tell about the work we’re doing and that’s one of the reasons why I’ve applied.

Lin B - ‘I’d like to increase my skills and inspire others’

I’m really excited to be part of it. I feel like quite often I’m the person in the background and I don’t bring myself forward enough in terms of presenting or blogging. I’d like to increase those skills and inspire others to develop them too.

Kezia Rapley – ‘I want to inspire the next generation of analysts’

A lot of the activities we’re going to do as part of the programme will put me entirely out of my comfort zone. But they’re skills I need to develop so I’m happy to be here. I really want to increase my confidence and inspire the next generation of analysts.

Rashmi Hangalur – ‘I want to stretch my boundaries’

I was a bit apprehensive at first but having met all the other women in the programme, I feel I’m one of the group. I really want to stretch my boundaries and develop more.

I feel good that I took the step to actually apply for Digital Voices as it’s not something I would normally have the confidence to do. I need to remember that throughout.

Collett Bellamy - ‘I want to tell the story of my team’

I’m thrilled to be part of Digital Voices. I really want to have a platform to get my message across, to tell not just my story but the story of the work my team is doing. I also want to increase my confidence in using social media while I’m part of Digital Voices.

Rasmi and Collett talk at a table at the Digital Voices launch event in Manchester.
Rashmi and Collett at the Digital Voices launch event in Manchester.

Liz Maxted - ‘I want to be a positive role model’

I’m really grateful to have the opportunity to be part of it. I want to get more confident speaking to people in team meetings. I wanted to be part of it because I think it’s important to be a positive role model for other women in Digital.

Gemma Kitson – ‘Hopefully I can become more confident’

I’m feeling nervous because Digital Voices is going to push me in a lot of things I’m not comfortable doing, especially presenting or talking in front of a large audience.

The last time I had to give a presentation in front of people, I had a headache that lasted the entire day and I don’t want to go through that again! Hopefully Digital Voices will help me be more confident doing it in the future.

Andrea Heslop – ‘I want to push myself out of my comfort zone’

The reason I wanted to do this was to push myself out of my comfort zone. I really want to build my confidence when speaking in team meetings and events and I want to learn how to get better at presenting.

Sharon Stephens – ‘I want to learn how to blog’

I’m the only woman in my part of the organisation that does what I do and I want to get more confident when I’m delivering training as part of my role.

The one skill I really want to learn as part of Digital Voices is how to blog. I’m a bit nervous but happy that I can gain some good experience and network with some wonderful women.

Marie Royce – ‘I’m looking forward to learning new skills’

I’m taking part in Digital Voices because I want to become more confident in presenting in front of audiences. I’m a little bit nervous but looking forward to learning new skills and meeting new people as part of my network.

Emma Murray – ‘I’m passionate about being a role model’

I’m really passionate about becoming a role model to encourage more women to work within DWP Digital. I’ve been part of the DWP Women’s Network for a few years, and I’ve met lots of people with inspiring stories. I’d like to be more confident sharing those stories.

Liz McCreedy – ‘I want to be more confident’

After some recent setbacks, I’m looking forward to meeting the challenge of developing myself and being able to say, ‘I can do this, I’m quite capable’, instead of saying, ‘I can’t do this’.

I know I am capable of doing it, and it’s about showing that. I want to be more confident in myself in both my work and personal life.

Angela Hughes - ‘I’d like to make a difference’

By the end of Digital Voices, I no longer want to stutter or feel nervous when I give a presentation. I also want to be able to help support women in DWP Digital. I’d like to be able to make a difference in terms of women in the organisation telling our story.

Hazel Norris - ‘I’m excited to get started’

I’m excited to get started, I want to increase my confidence when speaking in front of groups of people. I’ve worked in IT for more than 10 years and often been the only woman in the team. It would be nice to change that.

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1 comment

  1. Comment by Suzy Robertson posted on

    Sounds immensely exciting and great to read the individual reviews. You are all inspiring !!