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Gain Business Insights from Women in Tech

14 May 2020

From May to mid-July, Scott Logic hosted a series of five webinars – ‘Business insights from Women in Tech’ – which concluded with a live panel discussion at the end of the series.

The series brought together five inspiring women in senior roles across the technology sector, from startups to global enterprises. COVID-19 lockdown provided opportunities for learning and professional development, and at a time when businesses were – and remain – under tremendous pressure, our webinar presenters shared new business insights, tactics and perspectives.

They spoke on a range of topics, including:

  • How to strike a balance between digital transformation and traditional, high-touch customer service
  • Entrepreneurship lessons from endurance sports
  • Cultivating female talent into leadership roles
  • The working world beyond COVID-19

You can watch the five webinars and the Executive Panel below.


Webinar recordings

Charly Lester

Former CMO at Lumen and Serial Entrepreneur

Tackling Big Challenges in Small Steps - Applying an entrepreneurial mindset to problem-solving

Charly is a 9x marathon finisher and raced Marathon des Sables last year (six marathons in six days across the Sahara Desert). In the last two years, she has completed ten half ironman triathlons and one full ironman. In her spare time (!) she has founded three start-ups, and most recently exited Lumen, the dating app for over 50s, after it was acquired with the rest of the Magic Lab portfolio by the Blackstone Group.

In this webinar, Charly discusses how her sporting challenges have helped her in business and how anyone can apply an entrepreneurial mindset to aspects of their work.


Anna Barsby

Co-founder at Tessiant and former CIO of Halfords and Morrisons

Creating an Environment for Female Talent to Thrive Within Your Organisation

Anna has been one of the UK’s top CIOs and is a people and transformation leader, used to delivering large-scale change across different industries, including a number of FTSE100, FTSE250 and regulatory organisations.

In this webinar, she shares her thoughts on why strong leadership is key to support women in becoming more confident in reaching senior-level positions. She also explores why talented female professionals continue to get ‘stuck’ at middle-management level and shares her advice on what we can all do to change this situation.


Cecile Rousseau

CTO at Ruffer

The Digital Journey Revisited

Cecile Rousseau, CTO at investment management firm Ruffer, talks in this webinar about the challenges of balancing the opposing tensions of traditional high-touch, personal service, against a desire to provide newer, flexible digital services.

Using fascinating insights and amusing personal anecdotes, Cecile discusses the challenges faced as Ruffer transformed its client service offering – how it embarked on its digitalisation journey while preserving the trusted relationships and client knowledge which has made it successful.


Manila McLean

CIO at Newcastle Building Society

Preparing for a new normal: Life after COVID-19

Newcastle Building Society's Group CIO Manila McLean explores in this webinar what a new normal may look like. No one expects the future to be what was predicted at the start of 2020, so as we enter a new era of work, how do we adapt and prepare to thrive on the disruption this continues to create?

Manila covers:

  • What this means for remote working
  • What workplaces will look like, and how workplace cultures will evolve
  • What tools and data we’ll need to plan, manage risk and seize opportunities in a new, volatile context
  • The skills people will need to thrive in the new normal

Li Qun Taylor

Co-head of Digital Platforms at NatWest Group

How to lead technology teams when you’re the only female in the room

In this webinar, Li Qun Taylor shares her experience of being a female leader in a strongly male-dominated industry. Li Qun has over 25 years of experience in technology and heads up the award-winning Digital Channels team at NatWest Group, responsible for the mobile and online banking platforms that are relied upon by a combined total of approximately 9.5 million active customers.

As an experienced leader of transformational change, Li Qun recently led the successful migration of the flagship mobile channel onto AWS public cloud. This bold, large-scale and seamless migration to a new, highly secure, cloud-based platform has just won the FSTech Digital Transformation Project of the Year 2020.

Li Qun discusses her approach to leading technology teams; how to recognise and navigate around common obstacles, and some positive actions to contribute to your own, and others’, success.


Women in Tech: Executive Panel

Our panellists:

  • Manila McLean, CIO at Newcastle Building Society
  • Declan O’Gorman, Head of Enterprise Engineering at NatWest Group
  • Cecile Rousseau, CTO at Ruffer
  • Li Qun Taylor, Co-head of Digital Channels at NatWest Group
  • Rob Smith, Client Relationships Director, Scott Logic

The benefits of a diverse workforce are widely recognised, and yet the number of women in IT roles has remained almost static – growing by less than 1% in the last ten years and with only 5% of leadership positions in the technology industry held by women.

In concluding our ‘Business Insights from Women in Tech’ series, a panel of technology industry leaders shared their views on how this issue can be addressed, covering topics from what obstacles need to be removed that prevent talented women rising to the top, to why post-COVID work cultures could present opportunities to get more women into the industry.


At Scott Logic, we understand that the more diverse our teams are, the more we’re able to benefit from a broad range of experience, expertise and insight. This both increases the quality of what we design and build for our clients, and enriches the culture of our organisation. You can read here about how we celebrated International Women’s Day 2020 and read some advice and inspiration from the women of Scott Logic.