Last week we welcomed Kaye Richards for a week of work experience at VUALTO’s Head Office in Plymouth. Kaye is currently in Year 11 at UTC, Plymouth studying for a BTEC No.3 in Computer Science, with view to a career in STEM. Many years of playing video games with her dad, most likely Lara Croft… led to Kaye’s curiosity and intrigue of the power of computers and the science behind what makes them work.
Kaye recently presented at a Plymouth Web Meet-Up hosted at VUALTO HO, impressing the audience with her talk on a Navy Recruitment app which she developed as part of her coursework. It was here that we offered Kaye the opportunity to join us in house, to get a real feel for what a career in STEM could be like. Kaye was eager to have a go at programming and website development.
“I particularly enjoyed working with Corrie (VUALTO Junior Developer) and seeing the work involved in designing the front-end site for VUALTO client, European Parliament. I even got to have a go myself!”
Not only did Kaye enjoy the chance to explore VUALTO’s technology, she also enjoyed experiencing a working STEM office environment.
“The office was completely different to what I imagined. Everyone was so welcoming; the atmosphere was relaxed and there was a huge variety of different characters. It made me excited about working for a technology company in the future”.
Kaye discussed the still existing stereotype that computer science is a male’s subject, noting that only about 15% of her college peers are female. Interestingly, Kaye puts this down to a lack of awareness for the variety of career opportunities a computer science degree can bring, a lack of female teachers in this subject and a lack of marketing around ‘Women in STEM’.
VUALTO are proud to have women across all areas of the business from Project Management, Sales, Marketing, HR, Finance, Technical Support, to our very own CEO Camilla Young. Camilla began her career in STEM 28 years ago as a Support Developer and now co-owns VUALTO with James Burt (VUALTO CTO).
The team at VUALTO are keen to quash the stereotypes, encouraging gender equality in STEM and within our business. Most recently, Carly Britton (VUALTO Technical Support Manager) and Femke Schurer (VUALTO Product Manager) joined the board at Women in STEM Plymouth (WISP). WISP events are all about getting together to educate and inspire people of the opportunities in STEM and the exciting careers available to them.
“A diverse workforce is known to help businesses innovate and outperform competitors. Technology is used by everyone, so when addressing the skills shortage in STEM subjects, it is important we educate and enthuse people of all backgrounds to consider a career in Tech.” Comments Femke Schurer (VUALTO Product Manager).
So what have we learnt from Kaye’s week at VUALTO…
1) Lara Croft is inspiring careers in STEM!
2) There is a skills shortage in STEM and we all have an opportunity to do something about this, by encouraging gender equality in the workplace and by inspiring people to consider a career in STEM.
3) Kaye Richards is a very inspiring lady, with no doubt a very successful career in STEM ahead of her!