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Women in STEM: ‘I hope that one day the tech sector will be more diverse’

Specialist digital skills college Ada College has inspired blogger Chayann Bradford to encourage other girls to consider careers in technology

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Chayann Bradford

December 30 2017
Ada College - women in tech


Stepping into the unknown, I decided to attend a new college known as Ada, National College for Digital Skills. I was fascinated by the fact that the college specialised in digital skills and it was an opportunity I couldn’t miss. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made.

I am surrounded by a dynamic community of digital thinkers who have similar interests and values.

The college has many impressive industry partners: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Google, IBM and King, the developer of the game Candy Crush, to name a few. These partners visit regularly, which gives us a chance to network and build connections. This has given me knowledge of what it is like to work in the digital world and in a collaborative space, and how we can learn and develop together.

Women in STEM

The benefits of studying abroad

I’ve had the opportunity to attend a number of technology events such as Mozfest, the Amazon Web Services Summit and Sky Insight Day. These have exposed me to how exciting the world of tech is from both the academic and professional perspective, and have allowed me to gain industry exposure and to improve my communication skills.  

Ada College is unique in that it matches each student with an industry coach who provides regular one-to-one mentoring sessions. My mentor, Andreea-Maria, is a software developer from the Bank of America Merrill Lynch. She has been very supportive in helping me decide my next step after college, as well as helping me write my CV and personal statement.

During my meetings with Andreea-Maria, I am able to share my thoughts and ideas freely. She is someone who I look up to, as she’s been through most of the things I will be facing at the start of my career. She has helped to build my confidence in my strengths, skills and knowledge. Knowing that my female mentor is part of the tech/digital industry provides me with the hope that one day the tech sector will be more diverse – for now, it’s pretty male-dominated.

My experience at Ada has pushed me to change existing perceptions of the technology sector and encourage young girls to embrace computer science. This is why I created a start-up called Hidden Code that will host workshops and hackathons for young girls, including developing and designing websites, apps and games.

Initially, we intend to visit secondary schools to target Year 9 girls (13-14-year-olds), to give them an insight into the diverse range of digital careers they can have and learn what computer science is about. Similar to the story of the three women from the film Hidden Figures, about African American female mathematicians who worked at Nasa, my Hidden Code team and I are determined to leave a valuable legacy behind and contribute to the technology sector in an impactful way.

Ada has helped prepare me for a career in tech by providing a unique type of immersive education that offers experiential learning from tech-savvy teachers and industry experts. I have gained skills in three crucial areas – technical, creative and entrepreneurial – that I will continue to use throughout my career. 

Read more: What can you do with a computer science degree?



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