Inspiring Women in IT – Introducing Trudy Norris-Grey
Written on: 28 July 2016
Written by: Amanda McCombie
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Who inspires you? To reach for the stars and chase your dreams? This question is not always easy to answer as we sometimes have multiple inspirational figures in our lives, from at home and at work, to those we see online and on our TV’s. Inspiration is everywhere if you simply take a moment to look and see it. We are surrounded by successful, inspirational figures in this 24/7 online and on our television screens. Every industry has their leaders and we are going to be focusing today on the Women in IT.
These women carve their place amongst the men in this male-dominated industry and make their mark. In many cases, they are not just in the game, but at the very top of the game, as CEOs, Chief Executives or Directors of some of the country’s biggest tech firms. We can’t help but admire these women, and want to take this opportunity to thank and send our admiration to them, for inspiring us, and a generation of young women with a passion in IT to pursue a career in this male dominated industry.
One of these inspirational women is Trudy Norris-Grey. 
Trudy Norris-Grey is chair of WISE (Women in science, engineering and technology) and she leads Microsoft’s worldwide work on developing new technology solutions in service of the public sector customers and marketplace.
The WISE campaign is aimed at encouraging more girls and women to pursue STEM careers. Previously she held senior executive positions in BT, Sun Microsystems, and Oracle. She has also chaired the CBI Innovation, Science & Technology Committee and was chair of UKRC before merging with WISE.
WISE was established in 1984 following the Finniston Report on the future of engineering in the UK. This report emphasised the need for a broad talent pool of scientists and engineers. Since then it has helped a huge number of individuals, organisations and businesses, and contributed to a wide range of campaigns to raise the profile of women and girls in STEM.
In 1984 the Engineering Council collaborated with the Equal Opportunities Commission to launch the Women into Science and Engineering (WISE) year. Spearheaded by Baroness Beryl Platt, Chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission at the time (another inspiring woman in the field!), the initiative intended to highlight the career opportunities for girls and women in science and engineering professions.
As part of the WISE campaign to promote women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and in collaboration with Intel Corporation, the WISE Young Women’s Board is made up of 10-12 young female professionals who are selected from the WISE membership on the basis of their passion and commitment to representing the sector.
As well as driving the WISE mission forward, the WISE Young Women’s Board (WYWB) supports its members to be successful as they progress in the STEM workforce and navigate through their early careers. The Board members all hold technical qualifications and work in a technical position and are successful young role models in their own companies. The WYWB is perfectly positioned to bring their expertise to an ever-changing workplace, and with technology creating new ways to network and grow professionally, WYWB members are a great asset to the WISE campaign, informing strategy and providing insight.
WISE runs numerous projects and initiatives designed to get more girls into the STEM subjects and careers, these include:
People Like Me - This revolutionary approach in designed to engage girls with careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). People like Me uses the natural tendency of girls to articulate their self-identity using adjectives, to show them that people like them are happy and successful working in careers in STEM. For more information and to download the information pack please visit the link above.
Girl friendly Physics – This initiative is designed to give teachers the tools and resources they need to inspire more girls to study physics at A-level and beyond. This is crucial, as girls seem to have preconceived perceptions that physics just isn’t for girls with only 20% of girls considering carrying on to study the subject for Alevel. Some schools don’t have any girls on their A-level programme at all! This initiative aims to get more girls into Physics by breaking down these barriers and dispelling the myth that physics just isn’t for girls. For more information and to find more resources please visit the link above.
The Chief Scientific Officer's WISE Fellowship Programme for NHS England – Applications for this year have now closed
The Chief Scientific Officer's WISE Fellowship is a unique opportunity for mid-career female healthcare scientists to gain invaluable leadership experience. Successful applicants are selected based on both their potential to make a difference in their current and future roles in addition to their commitment to inspire the next generation of healthcare scientists. Applications for this year’s fellowship have closed and the winners have been announced, for more information on this programme and for details on the next application opportunity, please visit the link above.
Despite the increasing national demand for qualified engineers, around half of female engineering and technology graduates don’t progress onto the many exciting career paths that engineering has to offer. Supported by ExxonMobil and the University of Huddersfield, this free event invites female maths, physics and engineering students from across the UK to meet with employers, take part in a poster competition, and hear from women who are making a difference with their engineering qualifications. For more information about the next scheduled event please visit the link above.
Here at Baltic we are passionate at breaking down barriers and want to encourage more girls into the exiting and ever changing world of IT. We do this via our Apprenticeships, with programmes covering various areas within the IT sector. From IT professional and Software Development to Social Media and Digital Marketing, we believe there is something for everybody and that for our apprentices, anything is possible. One of our most senior directors within Baltic Training started her career with an IT apprenticeship, and these are the type of inspirational trail-blazing women we need to encourage today’s young women to look up to as they become the next generation of inspirational women in IT.
For more information on our apprenticeship programmes and how they can kick start your career in IT, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.