https://dwpdigital.blog.gov.uk/2019/07/04/we-have-a-voice/

We have a voice

Hazel from the Digital Voices programme presenting on her Digital Voices journey
Hazel presenting on her Digital Voices journey

Our Digital Voices came together in June’s Digital Leaders week, to celebrate our successful journey as the programme for cohort 2 came to an end.

Digital Voices is a five-month programme that aims to improve the confidence and skills of women working in DWP Digital. The celebration event recognised our achievements as 9 of us graduated from the programme.

At last week’s Women in Digital event 3 of us used the opportunity to present on our journey and what we have learnt. Here we explain what it meant to us.

Hazel

“Self-doubt and imposter syndrome had kept me from progressing in my career, I felt I wasn’t good enough and this held me back. I wouldn’t put myself forward as I was worried about failing and letting people down. I applied for Digital Voices to tackle my insecurities and do things differently.

I started to notice changes in myself as the programme progressed, I realised I’m not alone and I did some reading around self-confidence. I felt a lot better about myself and started to use tips and techniques to make improvements to my behaviour. And soon I began to get positive results: I was learning new things and getting more involved, it was also a real privilege to be asked to take part in a recruitment panel.

I’ve come to realise that I’m not bullet proof, nobody is, but I now know how to recognise a wobble and how to overcome it. I’m better at appreciating what I’ve achieved and believing in myself.”

Liz

“I was disillusioned after some significant life changing events. I felt like the insignificant person in the room with a paper bag over my head. I was stressed and had anxiety – I wasn’t the same person any more.

Digital Voices has helped me to re-find myself and get back to being me. The programme is a no brainer - I’ve taken the support on offer and not given up. I’ve been inspired by others in sessions and opportunities I’ve been invited to take part in. It’s allowed me to learn new skills – for example I’ve written a blog-post about my volunteering role with Civil Service Local, which I’m really proud of.

Digital Voices has helped me to overcome my self-doubt and I got promoted too – so I must be doing something right! I now know I am capable, I’ve come a long way in the last few months, and I no-longer have the paper bag over my head.”

Digital voices Hazel, Lin and Liz presenting. Liz has put a paper bag over her head.
Digital voices Hazel, Lin and Liz (with the bag over her head) presenting at Women in Digital

Lin

“The Digital Voices programme appealed to me as I wanted to gain confidence to put myself out there. It’s been the perfect programme for me, providing the opportunity to build confidence and become an ally for other women in digital roles.

I’ve had the opportunity to do so many different things as part of Digital Voices. I shadowed Product Owner, Debbie Blanchard, out in the field for a day of user testing, which was fascinating and will really help to further my career.

I'm part of BPDTS so it was good to hear from Loveday Ryder, Chief Executive of BPDTS, who gave me some fantastic advice on presentation skills and how to develop gravitas when presenting to a room. Her advice has really stuck with me and I have taken it on when speaking in front of others.

I’m going to continue to support my colleagues and strive to be a role model, by pushing myself out of my comfort zone and encouraging others to do the same.”

Own your career

The 5-month programme has now finished, but our journeys don’t end here. We’ve been empowered to use our voice in an environment that provides plenty of opportunities to show our skills and earn the recognition we deserve.

Take a look at our Digital Voices films to see why we wanted to join the Digital Voices programme and find out what we’ve learnt. See what happened at our Women in Digital event by watching this video.

 

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2 comments

  1. Comment by suzy posted on

    All of this is just great to read about - Inspirational

    Reply
  2. Comment by Sharon Stephens posted on

    Fantastic work ladies, so sorry I couldn't get to finish the course with you. Keep up the great progress you have all made and keep writing those blogs.

    Reply

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