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Nela Brown joins BCS 'Women in IT' campaign


Nela Brown

Former Middlesex University student Nela Brown is supporting a new campaign to inspire women and young girls to consider a career in IT.

The BA Sonic Arts alumna has written a blog post offering advice to young women which features in the 'Women in IT' campaign run by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

After graduating from Middlesex in 2007 Nela began her career as a sound artist before starting a PhD at Queen Mary University of London, and has since played a prominent role inspiring young women into Computer Science.

In November 2013 she was presented with a prestigious Highly Commended WISE Leader Award in recognition of her work with WISE@QMUL, Flossie and G.Hack, an art and technology lab she founded with her fellow female PhD researchers.

"There is a real perception issue about what a career in IT is about so I'm telling my story to try and show the kind of success you can have as a woman working in this field," Nela said.

"Young girls, and young people in general, are blind to the opportunities of a career in IT. They use the technology every day via their smartphone and tablets but they don't consider that this could offer them a career and this is something we need to change."

According to BCS figures, women are in the minority in the IT profession, accounting for just 15 to 18% of the workforce. To help tackle this, the Women in IT campaign aims to demonstrate the variety of roles that are open to young women.

As part of the campaign, Nela features alongside other influential women in IT including Professor Dame Wendy Hall, Director of the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton, Maggie Philbin, CEO of TeenTech and technology journalist Kate Russell.

Gillian Arnold, Chair of BCSWomen, said: "We're delighted to have the support of Nela Brown and so many other influential women in IT.

"Role models are very important for showing girls and women what they can achieve in this profession; IT is at the heart of almost every aspect of our society and we need women to be part of the creation of the next generation of IT."

With the ambition to encourage more females to take up music hacking, Nela is also attending Barcelona's Sónar 2014 festival with the G.Hack team to host a workshop teaching female attendees how to use Web Audio APIs.

The workshop on Thursday 12 June is part of the famous Spanish festival's Sónar +D activities and runs from 1.00pm until 4.00pm.

This is followed by a panel discussion with inspirational women founders, leaders, researchers and advocates of cyberfeminism, hacktivism, open culture and free tech education which is chaired by Nela.

Workshop places are limited, but if any female Middlesex University alumni or students wish to attend, they can contact Nela directly before Friday 6 June to get a special workshop pass.

Click here to read Nela's blog post on the BCS website

Click here to find out more about G.Hack's activities

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