We’re celebrating women in tech with Ada Lovelace Day

October 13, 2015 by No Comments | Category Digital Public Services,

This is a post by Kate Ho, our Product Owner

We’re not going to be talking about our progress or about new features as normal today. That’s because it’s the 13th October – an important day in the calendar for us to celebrate women in technology. It is Ada Lovelace Day.

It’s simple. Today is an opportunity to share stories about women working in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) that inspire you, so that we can start to raise awareness of role models for the next generation to look up to.

We’ve been incredibly lucky in the past few years; our list of potential role models in the tech industry, that are women, has grown exponentially. Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook), Marissa Mayer (Yahoo!), Meg Whitman (former eBay, now HP CEO) are just a few women in high profile companies that have become household names in the last few years.

This year, we wanted to highlight some people that are closer to home: the three women that work in our product and experience teams at Their passion, drive and determination to realise our vision is inspiring not only to me, but also to those that want to work in the technology industry. On top of that, it also demonstrates that you don’t need to be a developer to work in tech; there are lots of roles that require technical skills, that don’t involve coding everyday.

Grainne McIntyre is one of our Business Analysts within the product team. She leads on two of our workstreams: Justice and Education. On a daily basis Grainne works with Mairead and Angela, content designers, to understand what users need in these two very broad areas. This has included discovery work to create maps of user journeys for school leavers.

Grainne also works with the experience team to gather requirements for new content formats. We’ve recently started to investigate how we can use something similar to the smart answer format on GOV.UK. We wish to create a more interactive way for us to help our users get the information they need and Grainne is vital to this.

Jennifer I’Anson is also a Business Analyst within the product team. She is our lead on the alpha, helping support our role as their delivery partner. Jennifer is responsible for ensuring that we deliver against a common roadmap of features for the first alpha release.

Jennifer has a wide remit, and her role involves a lot of different skills. She’s also been working with David Sinclair, our Software Engineer, to explore the data model behind the new alpha and understand specifications for new functionality. The output from this is user stories that are understandable and sizeable.

Working with the Performance and User Research teams, Jennifer ensures we have the right data to make decisions about the experience we offer to users. From a content perspective, Jennifer also works with the content team to help map out user journeys to support transitioning citizen facing content from the old to

Denise Lamond is one of two User Experience Designers within the experience team. Denise works across multiple workstreams including Business, Justice and Education to help us provide a better experience for users.

Denise is the person we trust most to wear our service design hat. Denise helps us to understand all the touch points citizens have when looking for and understanding information that the public sector provides. This includes the initial triggers that resulted in them seeking information in the first place, and the experience they had on

Denise also works on sketches, wireframes and prototypes for new features and formats alongside her colleague Scott Langley.

I hope you can see that these three amazing women all do different things inside the team, and how diverse and important they are to our success.

We’ve also loads of other great women we couldn’t live without across content and user research – all making possible.

I personally hope you get inspired too and take after them!

We’ll be posting about future progress and new features here on our blog, and also on Twitter. Have something to share? Let us know in the comments below.


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