05 Mar 2024
by Georgie Rosagro, Tessa Hughes

Inspiring and empowering women in tech 

Gender diversity in any industry is important, especially in rapidly evolving fields such as technology. Embracing and promoting gender diversity isn’t just a matter of equality, it’s a strategic imperative for driving progress and ensuring that technology reflects the needs and perspectives of all. 

At Sopra Steria, we greatly value gender diversity in our workforce and have many fantastic female leaders and mentors, who act as role models, inspiring and supporting females across our organisation and the tech industry.  

Tessa Hughes is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for our Public Safety Group  working on the design, development and implementation of our products and services that support  emergency services across the UK  Georgie Rosagro is the Partner Manager for our National Security business working with our people to ensure that they have access to the technology and expertise they need to deliver on critical projects for our security and defence clients. 

Many paths can lead to a career in tech  

Tessa and Georgie have enjoyed great success in their tech careers but their paths to get to where they are now have been very different. Tessa completed a technical based degree which led to joining Sopra Steria as a junior software developer on its graduate scheme. Whereas Georgie completed a degree in Creative Writing and initially aspired to work in journalism after her degree. 

Georgie said, “I am passionate about showing people from all backgrounds, that a career in technology doesn’t mean you have to be a coder. There are all kinds of functions around the solution which need skilled people to support. We are all users of technology, and from product development to service, there is a role for everyone who has a passion about our industry” 

But even those who come through a more traditional path can find their career going in a different direction. Tessa was working in her role for some time before an unexpected opportunity within the Aerospace and Defence and Security (ADS) sector piqued her interest. Tessa enrolled onto a Digital and Technology Specialist MSc and obtained her master’s degree. This led to a career change, an opportunity to have a mentor, increased visibility within the organisation and ultimately a new role. Tessa said “Completing my Masters enabled me to believe in myself. Since then, I have moved from a Senior Developer to the CTO role. I am so glad I took this massive leap of faith, otherwise I wouldn’t be where I am now. My advice to others is to keep learning and developing as you never know what opportunities and pathways will open up as a result.” 

Support networks foster growth  

Both Tessa and Georgie are passionate and active members of Sopra Steria’s Women’s Inclusive Network (WIN) that shares resources, organises networking events, and showcases female talent. But it’s not just the network itself doing important work, an allyship programme is a key part of the inclusion work being done.   

Georgie runs the allyship programme at Sopra Steria, including a charter of what it means to be an ally and the behaviours expected in the workplace. She has shared this best practice more widely in the industry, presenting to a government department conference.  “It was so rewarding to share my experience and help shape their allyship programme.” Georgie explained. “Speaking to other organisations, it’s clear we all face similar challenges, so collaborating across the industry helps move the dial in organisations embracing more inclusive workplaces”.  

Tessa said “I would encourage everyone to become a member of at least one network, within their organsiation or industry. By supporting and being actively involved in these initiatives we can help break down bias and foster more inclusion across the board.” 

Everybody offers a different lens to the problems we are trying to solve, and getting a mixture of people with diverse backgrounds, skills and perspectives involved in every industry and role is extremely important. Representation matters to inspire and empower women in tech.  

Head to our website to find out more about our Diversity & Inclusion vision, and read more about our celebration of women in the tech industry.

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Georgie Rosagro

Partner Manager in the National Security sector, Sopra Steria

Tessa Hughes

Chief Technology Officer, Public Safety Group, Sopra Steria