Diana Cocking - Data Analyst Apprentice
It is crucial that we continue having conversations about gender equality and gender equity beyond International Women’s Day. The hard work must continue all year round!
We strive to make Tech a more innovative and inclusive industry for future generations, and we want to encourage more women to pursue a career in the field.
Representation matters – and as a woman or girl wanting to enter the Tech industry, it can be discouraging to hear it is a largely male-dominated industry. Without seeing women in the Tech sector and having female role models to identify with, it can be hard to picture yourself working and thriving in the field.
Hello! My name is Diana Cocking, and I will be the big 4-0 this year! I am currently working towards my Level 4 Data Analyst qualification and I am employed with a lovely housing association as a BI apprentice.
DIANA, WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO ENTER THE TECH INDUSTRY?
I have always been a huge maths geek and before changing careers, I was a maths teacher in a secondary school.
I spent time over lockdown teaching myself new things, including how to code in Python and SQL. I thought coding was going to be something desperately tricky and inaccessible, that only people who have spent their lives practising it could master. However, I found it natural and enjoyable, and I wanted to make it part of my career.
As an older student, I had a ton of work experience and transferable skills but none of the technical qualifications in Computer Science.
HOW DO YOU FIND BALANCING YOUR CAREER, APPRENTICESHIP, AND MOTHERHOOD?
Being an apprentice means that I can have a good work-life balance as all my learning is done within work hours. I can spend quality time with my family outside of work, not worrying about finding time to fit in my studies around a full-time job.
It is somewhat strange to find myself being the pupil again, but it has reignited my passion for learning. I really enjoy the technical training weeks and my Friday study time, plus all the hands-on experience with my brilliant, supportive team.
DO YOU THINK BALTIC’S PLEDGE TO INCREASE APPRENTICE SALARIES HAS MADE ENTERING THE TECH INDUSTRY THROUGH AN APPRENTICESHIP MORE ACCESSIBLE?
Being a mother and sole provider made me nervous about starting a training course, but Baltic’s pledge to increase apprentice salaries removed a barrier to my progression. Baltic helped me find the right position with an employer who was committed to paying a living wage.
WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION?
I remember studying theories from a plethora of famous male mathematicians and feeling under-represented as a young woman. What was holding women back from making brilliant breakthroughs in my chosen field?
I then came across Ada Lovelace, a brilliant mathematician who is credited as the first computer programmer; a refreshing change and an inspiration to me to challenge old gender stereotypes.
The increased visibility of prominent women in the Tech industry, such as Susan Wojcicki, also made me see a career as a data analyst as rewarding and accessible.
FINALLY, WHAT IS YOUR NUMBER ONE PIECE OF ADVICE FOR THE FUTURE GENERATIONS OF WOMEN ENTERING THE TECH INDUSTRY?
My advice to women considering a career in the Tech industry is… BE BOLD!
Don’t let stereotypes hold you back. An apprenticeship is definitely worth considering due to the amount of support you receive, mountains of industry experience, and the benefits of earning while you train, leaving you free to enjoy your home life.
If Diana’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.