Tech is understood as a male industry but women have made enormous contributions to the field throughout history.
From Ada Lovelace (1815 - 1852), who is credited as the first programmer; to Annie Easley (1933 - 2011), who advocated for women and people of colour to enter STEM fields; to Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay (1968 -), whose extensive algorithm research found a genetic marker for breast cancer.
These prominent women are undeniably Tech trailblazers, but so are the millions of women working in the industry every day!
It is important to provide women with a range of strong, female role models from the Tech industry to reiterate that ALL women have a place in the world of Tech. In fact, they don’t just have a place – they are largely influential in its growth and development.
We hope this series inspires you to consider entering the Tech industry through an apprenticeship – regardless of your gender, age, or current career path.
My name is Subhrakali Mandal, I’m a mother and a Level 3 Data Technician apprentice.
I live in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne with my husband and my 8-year-old son. Previously, I worked in the Further Education sector.
I am a qualified teacher with extensive experience in teaching ESOL, Functional Skills, English and Maths, Geography and Criminology.
SUBHRAKALI, WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO ENTER THE TECH INDUSTRY?
I entered the Tech industry for a number of reasons.
Firstly, I am passionate about learning new things, especially if they are Tech related. Prior to my teaching career, I worked in the social development sector where I gained significant experience in managing community development projects. It was here I discovered I enjoyed analysing data for project-specific monitoring and evaluation purposes.
After I left Further Education, I knew I wanted to enter the Tech industry. Progressing in the Data Analytics or Science sector is a huge opportunity as STEM industries are constantly growing and changing. As the sector is fast developing, I knew once I entered the industry I could progress very quickly and efficiently, and I started my Junior Data Analyst apprenticeship programme in October 2022.
HOW DO YOU FIND BALANCING YOUR CAREER, APPRENTICESHIP, AND MOTHERHOOD?
Balancing work and motherhood can be very challenging, but it is rewarding at the same time. I am lucky because I get the flexibility of working from home so I can complete my work in my own time. This means I can easily balance my career, apprenticeship, and motherhood without getting flustered with multiple tasks.
WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION?
My biggest inspiration is my family – including my parents. My family provide me with support, courage, and encouragement which have driven me to have a successful career.
FINALLY, WHAT IS YOUR NUMBER ONE PIECE OF ADVICE FOR THE FUTURE GENERATIONS OF WOMEN ENTERING THE TECH INDUSTRY?
Do not think that you cannot enter this industry because you don’t have any qualifications, or because you are older. Just take the opportunity with all your willpower and complete the journey with hard work and passion.
If Subhrakali’s story has left you feeling inspired, positive for the future, and considering a new career path – don’t take your foot off the pedal now! We offer a range of expert-led Tech and Digital apprenticeship programmes guaranteed to improve your industry knowledge and provide you with hands-on experience.