EDUCATE | EMPOWER | INSPIRE

#YOUEQUALTECH

Collaboration and knowledge sharing is key to achieving diversity and inclusion.

Interview With: Lola Olaore - A member of the Mayor’s Digital Pioneers network.

Lola is a Technology Analyst for a global consulting firm and is a member of the Mayor’s Digital Pioneers network. She is taking an active role in supporting the Mayor’s Digital Talent programme as she is passionate about inspiring her peers to pursue a career in technology. 

Lola says, “what I love about the technology industry is being yourself takes you far if you are willing to learn and build your knowledge.” 

‍As a Technology Analyst, Lola plays a pivotal part in creating and delivering a client’s solution. This can include assisting her team in analysing the client’s current state and filling in gaps where a part of their technical infrastructure could be improved. She says, “being a Technology Analyst has no clear defined “Job description” it could be anything you want it to be, some projects could be client facing, attending meetings, producing slide decks all the way to creating demos, defining APIs that would be shown to clients and effectively be used in the client’s infrastructure.”

Lola’s journey into this role:

My journey to this role was strange; I am from a non technical background and I graduated from university with a 1st class degree in Global business. I decided to take a gap year before my final year where I was awarded a scholarship to study Mandarin and went travelling. Upon my return I applied for an eight-week mentorship programme at one of the world’s largest search engine companies. After several assessment stages I was accepted on the programme. This was the first insight into technology for me as my plan after university was to get a job in wealth management. 

After this mentorship programme I applied to an insight evening for women in technology by my current firm and I was inspired to get into technology after a speech from a female managing director who explained that technology needs more women.

I decided to apply for the graduate scheme and I was accepted. During this time I also applied for a coding school which was fully funded for women, and in this course myself and my team were able to create a dynamic website in 8 weeks as well as attending technology events that focused on coding, Virtual reality, Fintech and artificial intelligence.I decided to apply as I want to be a female leader in technology and show that you don’t have to be a male to do it. 

Top tips for getting into tech:

Code First Girls: If you are at university or in your early stages of your career, CFG offer several courses you can apply to from basic doing languages such as HTML, JavaScript, CSS and jQuery to advanced courses such as python or ruby.I have taken the beginners course and developed an interactive website surrounding women in technology and I am currently in my second week of learning python.

Additionally, I was nominated as CFG Ones to watch 2017:  

These are free community course so why not apply, learn to code whilst meeting other females who share the same interest as you. 

Social Media – Twitter have some great technology accounts - you can follow both individuals and groups to keep up to date with what’s going on in the market

Meet up/Eventbrite: I think I attend at least 2 FREE events each week regarding all things tech, from understanding Fintech to Artificial intelligence and events that simply celebrate females in tech. These events are a great source into gaining insight into the tech industry as well as meeting cool people and trying out tech related products.

Insight days: Many companies offer insight days where you can come along to their office and understand from an organisation’s perspective what they are doing in the tech space from project and clients they work with, highlighting case studies and meeting people who work in the tech industry. Ps. This is how I got into tech!

Online schools: If don’t feel like attending courses there are several FREE online platforms to help you learn various technologies such as w3School and YouTube. My organisation also invests in an online platform called pluralsight which is a great platform especially if you want to go at your own pace. 

For the younger audience:A few of my colleagues’ volunteer at these afterschool clubs, search for one in your local area if you have one, attend… if you don’t get one created. 

This is a great start for young people to get involved in learning basic coding through creating cool projects 

https://www.codeclub.org.uk/ 

http://stemettes.org/ 

Lastly, my biggest tips is believe in yourself, you will be surrounded by people who have been in the industry for many years, but don’t be intimated, technology is growing fast, new technologies pop up every couple of days everyone is constantly learning.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lola Olaore

Lola is a Technology Analyst for a global consulting firm and is a member of the Mayor’s Digital Pioneers network. She is taking an active role in supporting the Mayor’s Digital Talent programme as she is passionate about inspiring her peers to pursue a career in technology.

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