The importance of female role models in the digital space

Written by Fivi Konstantinou, Lead Business Analyst, DWP

I’m Fivi and for the last two years, I’ve been working in DWP as a lead business analyst in a digital project. I’m also part of the DWP Women in Technology group that is striving for gender parity in digital and technology roles here and in the wider industry.

More female role models

October is the month when we celebrate Ada Lovelace Day, highlighting the work of this brilliant female mathematician, whose insights on Charles Babbage’s analytical engines were the precursors of the modern computer. In DWP Digital we recognise the strength of having diversity in our teams, and the importance of having role models that we can aspire to. So we’re looking at who our inspirational women are and we’ll be sharing them on our @DWPDigital Twitter account as part of our celebrations.

Being part of the Women in Technology group has made me realise how women play an important part in technology. DWP has made a big step by setting an objective for 2020 to increase the number of female technical subject matter experts working here from twelve to thirty percent. And, I’m working along some great role models, like Claudia Wootten. This has given me the opportunity to build my confidence and take part in meet-ups and events that I’m passionate about, for example a Ladies that UX Manchester event, where DWP was presenting on diversity issues. Through discussions at events like this I’ve been able to join the conversation on gender parity and think about the challenges ahead to encourage more women to join the digital working space. I also want to be an advocate for the department; we’re doing great stuff with technology in DWP and I want to be one of the voices sharing that and changing the external view for our department.

So I’ve written this blog about my role and some of the things I do day-to-day working in a digital role to encourage other women to consider a career with us.

Digital projects in DWP

The most frequent questions I get asked are, “what is your day-to day job like?” and, “what do you bring to a digital project?” Truth be told, no two days are the same. My role in the team depends on the stage a user story is on the Kanban board (a visual work and workflow tool that enables us optimise the flow of our work to communicate status, progress and issues). Generally I work with the product owners to prioritise work and stories for the coming week.

As a story moves to the analysis stage, this is where the ‘magic’ happens for a business analyst. Analysis could be something simple like creating a process map using software such as Visio, or writing acceptance criteria to help others understand the story better. In order to complete each story I need to make sure the acceptance criteria are well defined. I’ll work with the developers and QA testers to get the story to the design stage.

In my role as a business analyst I’m involved in every stage to ensure the acceptance criteria is met and the best outcome released, so it’s important to be a good team player and communicate well with the project team to get the best result. Our end goal has always been to provide the best customer service, and I’m proud to say the technology for the project that I’m currently part of, is now successfully being used in more than a hundred jobcentres across the country and has saved operational time for work coaches, helping them to spend more time on the important task of helping claimants find work.

I’m working in a really successful team, and I feel one of the reasons for this is our diversity. Gender diversity has been scientifically proven to help teams perform better and deliver more innovative solutions. So, I’m keen to ‘fly the flag’ for women in tech, and get more of us into digital roles.

This article was originally published here and was reposted with permission.

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