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Insights Digital Her: How can I find a diverse and inclusive tech workplace?

Welcome to our first blog in our Digital Her series, which spotlights Hanna and Madhurima, two colleagues championing the initiative. Digital Her by Manchester Digital advocates for equality in the tech and digital sectors. It's a mission AtkinsRéalis continues to sponsor into 2024 after a successful 2023. Change-makers Hanna and Madhurima use their experiences to inspire and guide women and girls toward exciting careers in technology. Join #InsideAtkinsRéalis as we uncover their stories and explore their contributions to shaping an inclusive, empowering tech community.

Meet Hanna:

Photo of Hanna smiling towards the camera

I'm Hanna, a graduate consultant in the Aerospace, Defence, Security & Technology team (ADS&T) based in the Manchester office. I'm currently in a communications and engagement role with our client, EDF. I've had a couple of other roles—account driver and business analysis—but I'm enjoying comms now. It lets me be creative! I'm also passionate about equality, diversity, and inclusion (ED&I), so I'm the comms lead for the early career's ED&I working group. We celebrate diversity in culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc. This links nicely with my work in Digital Her!

Meet Madhurima:

Photo of Madhurima smiling towards the camera

Hi, I'm Madhurima, and I'm thrilled to share that I embarked on my journey as a graduate management consultant within ADS&T in September 2023. It's been an incredible six months since then, marked by growth, learning, and exciting opportunities. I am currently in the Security, Intelligence, and Governance market, working in a client role that champions social value initiatives like Digital Her across the North-West region. My origins are in India, where I completed my undergraduate studies in aeronautical engineering. To widen my horizons, I decided to pursue my master's in engineering management in the UK, strengthening my grasp of engineering principles and business acumen.

What made you get involved in Digital Her?

Hanna: My degree was in computer science, and I am interested in cyber security. Although I've chosen to pursue the consultancy route for now, I still like to remain involved in the tech space, as I may end up there again soon! I'm very fortunate to be part of a company that values ED&I so highly—it's only fitting that I take the opportunities available to support and inspire young girls through podcasts hosted by Digital Her and Instagram takeovers, showcasing the women of AtkinsRéalis and our work.

Madhurima: As a woman and person of color with a STEM background, I strongly believe in bridging the gap and breaking down barriers for young women in the digital world. Digital Her enables me to make a meaningful impact through events, activities, outreach opportunities, and support for young women as they navigate their paths in technology and digital careers.

"As part of Digital Her, AtkinsRéalis hosts industry insight days for students. These include visits to the office, where we give them a taste of AtkinsRéalis, our work, and available career opportunities."
—Hanna, Graduate Consultant, ADS&T

Why AtkinsRéalis?

Hanna: I decided on AtkinsRéalis while applying for a summer placement during my university years. I had interviews with a few companies, but AtkinsRéalis stood out for a couple of reasons. They offered me a mix of cyber security and consultancy. At the time, I wasn't sure which of the two paths I wanted to pursue, so the AtkinsRéalis placement gave me the opportunity to try both!

I ended up choosing the consultancy grad scheme after my placement. But, I still maintain a keen interest in cyber security, so I may merge my cyber and consultancy skills in the future! Secondly, I had interviews with a few companies, but honestly, I felt most relaxed with AtkinsRéalis. It felt more like a friendly conversation than an interview. Of course, they checked my knowledge and interests, but I felt supported and that they wanted me to succeed. I still feel supported this far into my grad scheme—so I know this organization is right for me.

Madhurima: I primarily chose AtkinsRéalis for its significant presence in the aerospace, defence, and security industries. With an engineering background, I've always been fascinated by technology's complex workings, and these sectors offer a perfect blend of innovation, complexity, and strategic importance. I also resonate with AR's core values and am inspired by our purpose of 'engineering a better future for our planet and its people.'

"Digital Her aims to end tech sector inequality by promoting inclusion, social mobility, and empowering women with the knowledge, tools, and support they need to succeed in the digital age."
—Madhurima, Graduate Management Consultant, ADS&T

What advice do you have for women who dream of working in STEM?

Hanna: Confidence goes a long way, and it's okay to start small. Embrace challenges as they build confidence. For example, networking is encouraged at AtkinsRéalis. It opens doors and potentially leads to mentorship, which can make a huge difference to your career. MentorHER is a Digital Her program that pairs you with a mentor for personalized guidance.

Most importantly, and it may seem clichéed, be yourself. Before comparing yourself to others, remember that no career paths, lives, skill sets, or personalities are the same. I've learned to embrace what makes me unique and what I can offer, and it's helped my confidence and career journey.

Madhurima: Embracing your authentic self and confidently voicing your ideas is key to successful STEM careers. In this field, learning never stops as we continuously strive to innovate, so staying curious and committing to continuous learning are essential. Last but not least, believing in yourself and flipping your obstacles into opportunities will help you make the longest strides in your professional and personal lives!

Find a graduate job with AtkinsRéalis today.