The Finding Ada Conference 2021

The Finding Ada Conference is an online global conference for women in STEM and advocates for gender equality.

We have a variety of talks with live Q&As, interviews and panel discussions scheduled over three days, so whether you are a woman in STEM who wants to develop her career, a business leader or HR exec, an educator or parent, or an advocate or community organiser, we are running sessions for you. Skip down to see our speakers.

For the first time, we are also running a series of three workshops for women in STEM to help you improve your media and communications skills. Skip down to see our workshop details.


We have three themes for the day:

  • Career development: Career advice; professional skills; personal growth.
  • Policy and advocacy: Talent acquisition, retention and promotion; business policy, processes and standards; advocacy strategies.
  • Widening participation: Increasing girls’ interest in STEM; increasing diversity; supporting diverse communities.


With so many women negatively affected by COVID-19, we decided to make tickets free. We offer honoraria to all our speakers, so please do consider making a donation in support of both our speakers and the wider project via GoFundMe.

Our Sponsors

The Finding Ada Conference has been made possible by the generous support of our sponsors:

Speakers & Sessions

We are adding more speakers to our schedule, so do check back for more. Details of the talks, speakers and timings are all subject to change.

Tuesday 20 July

Suw Charman-Anderson introduces the Finding Ada Conference.

Join Suw Charman-Anderson in the Finding Ada Network booth to find out why mentoring is so important for women, and how it can help businesses develop female talent and prepare women for leadership roles. She'll also talk about how you can quickly and easily start a mentoring scheme within your own company using the Finding Ada Network.

About Suw

Suw Charman-Anderson

Suw Charman-Anderson is the founder of which inspires and supports women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). She runs Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration of women’s achievements in STEM; the Finding Ada Conference, an online event covering careers, equality, and widening participation; and the Finding Ada Network, an online mentorship platform.

Previously, Charman-Anderson was a social technologist and, as one of the UK’s social media pioneers, worked with clients worldwide. A freelance journalist, she has written about social media, technology and publishing for The Guardian, CIO Magazine and Forbes.

In 2005, Suw co-founded the Open Rights Group, a digital rights campaigning group. As its first Executive Director, she prepared the organisation’s response to the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property, and gave evidence on digital rights management to the All Party Parliamentary Internet Group.

Twitter: @suw

Science is for everyone. Science isn't something done by remote geniuses in ivory towers. It's done by people, for people. As scientists, we are mostly funded by the public, who deserve to know what their research dollars are doing for them. We need to reach people who don't normally keep up with science, break down the perceived barriers between scientists and non-scientists and empower people to explore science further - for fun, or as a career. Science belongs to everyone.

We also need to see more representation of the diversity amongst scientists; how we come from all walks of life, all nations. Learn how to reach people using twitter as a starting point to build a profile. Find out how and why we set up @RealScientists, a rotation curation account that live tweets science and connects people with scientists from all walks of life. Learn how to bridge the gap between arts and sciences through twitter and other multimedia approaches from commentary in mainstream media to speaking at writer's festivals, on radio and podcasts, at cultural festivals, and even tv.

About Upulie

Upulie DiveskeraUpulie Divisekera is a molecular biologist, science communicator and writer based in Melbourne. Over her research career, Upulie has worked in cancer research, developmental biology, nanotechnology and endometriosis research.

Upulie is interested in the intersection of science, art and culture. She co-founded the highly successful science outreach program, @RealScientists, communicates science at writer's festivals and cultural festivals, writes science commentary for media outlets, talks science on radio, engages in science activism and advocacy, writes for literary magazines and occasionally, ends up on tv. She is a Shorty Awards finalist in science and education and was named one of Discovery Magazine's Emerging Science Stars. Upulie lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her dog Radar and still dreams of being an astronaut.

Twitter: @upulie
Facebook: scienceupulie
Instagram: scienceupulie
LinkedIn: upulie-divisekera-a20731181

Sponsored by Red Hat. Organisations of every size and type are trying to implement meaningful and impactful diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. However, many struggle with how or where to begin, and often experience false starts or minimal improvement. Join a conversation with Suw Charman-Anderson and Margaret Dawson as they discuss how organisations can find meaningful ways to start their DEI efforts and integrate DEI across policies, programs, and practices. The team will share their own personal journeys and learnings, such as the importance of approaching this work with humility and by listening to employees and underrepresented communities. While we often start with diversity, the most impactful piece of DEI is inclusion and creating a culture of psychological safety and belonging for everyone. Join Margaret & Suw for a live Q&A afterwards.

About Margaret

Margaret DawsonMargaret Dawson is Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion, and Chief of Staff to the CEO, at Red Hat. In these roles, Margaret brings her cross-organisational experience and inclusive leadership practices with her vocal advocacy and allyship for diversity and underrepresented communities in technology. Prior to this role, Margaret served as Red Hat’s Chief Digital Officer and previously led global product marketing and portfolio go-to-market strategy for Red Hat’s Products and Technologies division.

With more than 20 years experience in the technology industry, Margaret has held global leadership positions at large tech companies, such as Amazon, Microsoft, and HPE, and successfully built brands and teams at multiple tech start-ups. She is a renowned author and speaker on hybrid cloud strategy, digital transformation, and diversity in the tech industry. Ranked as one of the top Women in Cloud Computing, she was also previously named Business Role Model of the Year for Women in IT, and Mentor and Coach of the Year in the Stevie Business Awards.

Twitter: @seattledawson
Instagram: margaretdawson_snortoutloud
LinkedIn: margaretedawson

Dr Michelle Dickinson will be talking about why she started Nanogirl Labs, the work that the project does and how it has evolved. She’ll also explain how she, as an introvert, became a public speaker, presenting TV and live science shows as well as giving keynotes. And we'll take a look at the books she’s written and the importance of Mātātoa, her bilingual te reo Māori live science show.

About Michelle

Dr Michelle Dickinson has a PhD in biomedical materials engineering and spent two decades as an engineer working all over the world helping to create and research nanotechnology solutions for the medical and technology industry. Through her career Michelle became acutely aware at the lack of diversity in the engineering fields that she was working in and started to research how stereotypes and a lack of diverse public role models were negatively affecting the confidence of young people around both studying and pursuing careers in STEM fields.

Now the bestselling author, television presenter and founder of STEM education social enterprise Nanogirl Labs, is passionate about creating innovative ways for everyone to have a positive relationship with science and technology.

Twitter: @medickinson
Facebook: DrMichelleDickinson
Instagram: medickinson
YouTube: NanoGirlPower
LinkedIn: medickinson

Science communication is rapidly changing with the influence of social media. If you’re in the STEM industry, you do not want to be left behind. YouTube, TikTok and Instagram are some of the key social media platforms that you need to be on, RIGHT NOW.

As a scientist, Amy has created an online platform called Samoan Scientist. She aims to inspire the next generation of scientists, by sharing her experiences as a Samoan Scientist. With 3100 followers across YouTube, TikTok and Instagram. This talk will draw from her perspective on these social media platforms.

She will talk about:

• Why YouTube, TikTok and Instagram is going to help keep you relevant.
• How you can use these social media platforms.
• What to post on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram.

About Amy

Amy Maslen-Miller is a New Zealand born Samoan who was adopted into a New Zealand family. She was raised by her mother, a hairdresser, her dad, a cabinet maker, and her nana, a retired taxi driver. Amy loves animals and is the proud mother of two dogs, Pinati and Blazey.

Amy is the Samoan Scientist who aims to inspire the next generation through her social media platform, Samoan Scientist. With a masters in science, she has worked for two years as a senior research scientist in Samoa, researching taro and postharvest technologies. Amy is passionate about giving back to Pacific communities by talking at schools, supporting Pacific students with their studies and answering the community’s questions through science.

Twitter: @scientistsamoan
Facebook: samoanscientist
Instagram: samoan_scientist
YouTube: Samoan Scientist
LinkedIn: amy-maslen-miller-305a87173
TikTok: @samoanscientist

Wednesday 21 July

Meet our sponsors: How can companies better support parents? What additional help can they give mothers to reduce the impact of the COVID pandemic? Join Ezgi Verner, Xero's director of people, in the Xero booth as she talks about creating an inclusive workplace, the policies makes a workplace family-friendly and the importance of empathy.

About Ezgi

Ezgi has over 16 years’ experience in talent acquisition, organisation and people development. As People Experience Director at Xero, her role is to help people at Xero flourish, whilst attracting the best talent across the UK & EMEA to come and join the Xero team.

LinkedIn: ezgiverner


Even though one in five people work in the engineering profession in the UK, only 14.5% are women, highlighting there is plenty more to be done to promote equality, diversity and inclusion in STEM. You can find out what the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is doing to encourage more women into STEM careers and how they are maintaining EDI excellence in everything they do.

From inspiring and engaging campaigns to celebrating the young female talent who are engineering a better world for us all, promoting gender equality continues to play an important role in the IET’s efforts to diversify the engineering workforce. Knowing how important advocating EDI is when it comes to engineering and addressing the skills shortage that currently threatens this country’s industry, the IET is continuing to broaden its EDI efforts to make a greater impact and reach wider and more inclusive audiences.

IET President, Danielle George will be joined by Mamta Singhal MIET to discuss the importance of diversity in engineering and technology, and the impact and influence the IET can have as a world-leading professional engineering institution.

About Danielle

Danielle George is a Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering and Associate Vice President at the University of Manchester. She is currently President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

Danielle’s research is dedicated to solving one of the 14 world engineering grand challenges of the 21st century; engineering the tools for scientific discovery. Her research is delivering class-leading ultra-low noise receivers for Space and Aerospace applications. She is involved in the $1B astronomical instrument, the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), is the UK lead for amplifiers for the $1B Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) telescope and has worked with NASA and ESA on the development of instrumentation for researchers exploring the Big Bang.

Her passion for raising public awareness of the positive impact engineering and science has on all aspects of our everyday lives, as well as highlighting to young people the immense depth and breadth of opportunities a career in science and engineering can offer, has led to Danielle’s numerous current high-profile Ambassadorial roles. She presented the 2014 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures and has delivered a number of TED and TEDx talks.

Meet our sponsors: Our world has never been more virtual and understanding today's connected business landscape is vital to building a career in technology. In the Red Hat booth, Stefanie Chiras, SVP and GM, RHEL Business Unit and Clare Grant, Senior Director, Vertical Market Solutions at Red Hat, will provide real-life examples and ideas for finding your passion and building your personal brand as you define and pursue your chosen career path. Stefanie and Clare will share highlights from their own careers, and explain how they have built their presence in the technology world using some of the open and collaborative approaches that form the basis of Red Hat's open source ethos.

About Stefanie

Stefanie ChirasStefanie Chiras is the Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® (RHEL) Business Unit at Red Hat. In this role, she is responsible for the definition, execution, and delivery of the RHEL product line on a global scale.

Prior to joining Red Hat in 2018, Chiras served as Vice President of Offering Management at IBM Cognitive Systems. As part of the Cognitive Systems brand team, she led the worldwide business for the systems portfolio, AIX, IBM i, LINUX, the system software portfolio, and the cloud stack. She also led the portfolio’s transformation to support both enterprise workloads and artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning.

Chiras has extensive experience in both business and technology. Her technical roles range from silicon technology to system architecture, as well as both Power Systems and System z processor design. She has also served as a member of IBM’s Research Division, IBM Systems and Technology Group Development, and the Power Systems brand.

About Clare

Clare GrantClare is responsible for defining and amplifying the benefits of cross portfolio product solutions for Red Hat’s global industries. She leads the Education and Member Development Committee for the Red Hat Women in Leadership community and is involved in DEI and STEM initiatives globally. With over 30 years international experience in technology Clare has previously held senior leadership positions in both fast growing pre-IPO companies through to large corporates including FeedHenry (acquired by Red Hat), Antenna Software (acquired by Pegasystems), Virgin Media and Sony. Clare holds a Masters degree from Manchester University, UK.

'CanIHaveItAll?' will focus on the themes of work life balance, conviction, and clarity of purpose.

‘Can I Have It All?’ (CIHITA) is a compelling validation of how one can challenge social norms and stereotypes, around gender, race and other deep rooted biases. It provides an honest insight to anyone who wishes to understand the elements that formulate parts of one’s leadership journey and lends the courage to challenge existing paradigms that create a hindrance in furthering their careers. CIHITA is a candid narrative that delves into the personal and professional experiences of women through their journey in a complex, ever changing corporate environment. Nuanced, poignant and powerful, it touches upon their learnings and struggles walking through a heart warming account of many mothers balancing a home and work life. It brings to life the dilemmas and challenges that women face through various stages of their lives such as education, marriage, maternity and mobility, as they aim to make it big in the corporate world.

About Anuranjita

Anuranjita Kumar is a human resource veteran with over twenty-six years of experience working across the globe managing various assignments, including senior human resource roles in Asia, North America and Europe through her stints at Citi Royal Bank of Scotland, and P&G.

Anu is now the Founder and CEO for WiT- ACE. It is a global platform focused on engaging, enabling and employing women in the industry. In a short time, the platform has over 100 clients and few lakhs of women engaged for products and services. She is also engaged in investment decisions of early stage companies through various funds. Her seasoned experience is being leveraged for growth and development for the new start up eco system.

She is an accredited executive coach and a gifted author having launched her second book – ‘Colour Matters?’ primarily addressing the issue of racial and colour discrimination still prevalent. Her earlier bestseller book ‘Can I have it all’ addressed the opportunities of being a woman in today’s life – and in the need to opening oneself to accept these as privileges. Anu is also a philanthropist involved in volunteering with underprivileged children and a mentor to several upcoming start-ups.

A management graduate from XLRI, specializing in Human Resources. She attended Welham's Girls School and is a gold medallist and topper in industrial psychology from Delhi University. Apart from her regular work, Anuranjita spends considerable time coaching Senior Executives and Start-up Leaders around the world.

Twitter: @anuranjita
Facebook: WiTAceOfficial
Instagram: witaceofficial
YouTube: WiT-ACE
LinkedIn: anuranjita-kumar-8307027

This session will look at the impact that pay inequality has on women's lives. We'll examine the data about how gender affects pay, look at the many hurdles women face in the workplace, from the glass ceiling to the glass cliff, and explore the implications for women as they age.

We'll also talk about how transparency has been proven to help close pay gaps, and why - perhaps now more than ever - there is a need to expose and interrogate pay data. How do we ensure that gains made over the past decades are not lost in the post-pandemic era? And how do we bust the myth that the gender pay gap doesn't exist? Join this session to get educated - and inspired!

About Nancy

Nancy spent 20 years in the publishing sector working in production and operations for companies ranging from Penguin to Cambridge University Press, before leaving to specialize in diversity and inclusion. She is the founder of Umbrella, a tech startup which uses data analytics, AI and machine learning to help businesses realise the benefits of a more diverse workforce. She is also Head of Technology and Content at Maverick, providing specialist consultancy to publishers.

She has a PhD in Postcolonial Feminist Literary Theory and an Executive MBA from Cranfield University. She is also a NED for Break the Mould CIC and sits on various advisory boards, including We and AI, a non-profit aiming to educate and inform the public about the risks and benefits of AI, and the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board of the Science and Technology Facilities Council, part of UKRI. She is deeply passionate about social justice and the importance of data in monitoring and achieving this goal.

Twitter: @umbrelladata
LinkedIn: nancy-umbrella

Maggie will be talking about her career in TV, how she came to be one of the presenters on the BBC's hugely influential science and tech show, Tomorrow's World, and the skills you need to become a TV presenter.

About Maggie

Maggie Philbin OBE

Maggie Philbin OBE is an English radio and television presenter whose credits include Tomorrow's World, Multi-Coloured Swap Shop and Bang Goes the Theory.

Maggie Philbin has worked in radio and television for over 30 years on a wide range of science, medical and technology programmes. She is co-founder and CEO of TeenTech CIC, an award winning organisation helping young people, their parents and teachers understand more about the real opportunities in Science,Technology and Engineering. In 2016 Maggie was named as the Most Influential Woman in UKIT by Computer Weekly Magazine and was also named as 2016 Digital Leader of the Year. In 2017 she received an OBE for her work with TeenTech.

She is Patron of the Council of Professors and Heads of Computing and former President (2014-8) of the Institute of Engineering Designers.

She is a popular and entertaining speaker at conferences and award ceremonies, bringing a unique and insightful perspective on technology, diversity and innovation.

Twitter: @maggiephilbin

Ever thought about starting your own podcast? Our panellists will talk you through how to get your podcast off the ground including deciding on your style, understanding your audience, booking guests, and more.

About Kat

Kat Arney is an award-winning science writer, public speaker and broadcaster. She founded First Create The Media in 2018, assembling a team of brilliant humans to help organisations in the life sciences tell their stories to the world.

Kat holds a first class degree in Natural Sciences and a PhD from Cambridge University. After leaving the lab, she spent 12 years in the science communications team at Cancer Research UK, co-founding the charity’s ground-breaking Science Blog and acting as a principal media spokesperson.

Kat is the author of three books, Herding Hemingway’s Cats: Understanding how our genes work, How to Code a Human and Rebel Cell: cancer, evolution and the science of life. She has presented numerous radio shows and podcasts, including Genetics Unzipped and The Suffrage Science podcast: How women are changing science, and is executive producer for the podcast Hormones: the Inside Story, all produced by the team at First Create The Media.

Twitter: @Kat_Arney
LinkedIn: kat-arney-27767b1a

About Rachel

Rachel Williams (she/they) is a Developmental Neurobiology PhD student at King's College London. In the lab, she's exploring how the brain turns visual information (e.g. a terrifying predator) into behaviour (e.g. making a speedy exit). Outside of the lab, she shares science with whoever will listen both independently and working with Guerilla Science. Rachel was the lead producer for Guerilla Science's Queer Attraction Lab and assistant producer for projects including Megacity London and a programme of events at Secret Garden Party festival.

She has also hosted science events and workshops at festivals including Citadel, Shambala, and Green Man. Her media appearances include hosting the Guerilla Science Presents podcast and contributing as a guest on BBC Radio 4.

Twitter: @sciwithrach
LinkedIn: rachel-williams-88517190

About Anna

Dr Anna Ploszajski is an award-winning materials scientist, writer, presenter, podcaster, performer, trainer and storyteller based in London. She is a materials generalist, equally fascinated by merino wool as stainless steel, through all the wonderful metals, plastics, ceramics, glasses and natural substances that make up our material world.

Anna channels this passion by storytelling with materials on the screen, radio, stage and page; her first book, Handmade: A Scientist’s Search for Meaning Through Making, is out now. She has been published by The Guardian, The Times Higher Education Supplement, and Materials World. Anna can often be found in London’s pub basements performing stand-up comedy about materials and making. She also frequents science festivals, entertaining families with demo-packed shows. Anna’s podcast, Handmade, features weekly chats with artists, makers, movers and shakers with a love of materials.

Having developed her own unique blend of autobiographical and technical science communication, Anna now trains professional scientists, engineers and school students in the art of scientific storytelling. She has won numerous prestigious industry awards for her work, including Young Engineer of the Year by the Royal Academy of Engineering, and the Silver Medal from the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. In 2019 Anna was runner-up in the Nesta Tipping Point Prize science writing competition, with a piece on 4D materials.

In her spare time, Anna plays the trumpet in a funk and soul covers band called Don’t Freak Out and is an ultra-endurance open water swimmer; she swam the English Channel in July 2018.

Twitter: @AnnaPloszajski
Instagram: annaploszajski

About Anne

Anne Chisa is a PhD student in agricultural science, specifically crop science, at the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Her PhD research project entails using human waste – food and organic waste, urine and feces – to create fertilizer products that can be used to grow indigenous trees in order to restore degraded environments and improve local communities' livelihoods.

She is the host and founder of the podcast "The Root of the Science," which debuted in March 2020. The goal of the podcast is to interview Africans in STEM from around the world in order to help amplify their voices and provide a platform for them to discuss their research or projects. The podcast also aims to show the younger generation and general population the diversity of STEM fields.

Twitter: @Annelinda_c, @rootofscipod
Facebook: anne.chisa, The Root of the Science Podcast
LinkedIn: anne-chisa-386790177

Meet our sponsors: Join Nancy Butler, Frontend Engineer at SUSE, and Aubrey Bock, Recruiter at SUSE, in the SUSE booth for a fireside/Q&A-style conversation about career development in tech and how changes in traditional education can widen participation in the field. Nancy and Aubrey will talk about some of the challenges of navigating academia, particularly STEM fields as a woman, along with the challenge of translating that experience into a career, and acknowledging when what we wanted to study and where we want to work do not align. The conversation will focus on Nancy's own experiences in traditional academia and subsequent alternative path into a programming career.

About Nancy

Nancy ButlerNancy is a frontend engineer who joined SUSE as part of its acquisition of Rancher in the winter, where has been working on the Rancher UI since fall '19. As of April, Nancy will have been a web developer for two years, though it's not her first [attempt at a] career. She got a BS in Economics from Oregon State University in '16, then spent several years working at an asbestos testing lab as an analyst, building inspector, and QA manager. In '18 she quit her job, moved states, and started a 6-month coding bootcamp: a decision she has yet to feel any regret over.


About Aubrey

Aubrey BockWith her BA in English Literature, Aubrey Bock took her first role in tech as a Technical Writer at a start-up. Within a few months she was asked to join the campus recruiting team as a recruiting coordinator and she dove into the world of recruitment. She has worked as an internal recruiter for tech start-ups and open source companies. For Aubrey, working in recruitment is about helping create and grow strong teams that do and build cool stuff. It’s helping people find roles that will fulfil and challenge them and giving people a sense of purpose in a community. Working in the world of open source at SUSE allows her to do just that.  When not recruiting, Aubrey can be found with her two school-aged sons and their beloved dog, Padfoot.

LinkedIn: aubreybock

Join Suw Charman-Anderson in the Finding Ada Network booth to find out why mentoring is so important for women, and how it can help businesses develop female talent and prepare women for leadership roles. She'll also talk about how you can quickly and easily start a mentoring scheme within your own company using the Finding Ada Network.

About Suw

Suw Charman-Anderson

Suw Charman-Anderson is the founder of which inspires and supports women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). She runs Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration of women’s achievements in STEM; the Finding Ada Conference, an online event covering careers, equality, and widening participation; and the Finding Ada Network, an online mentorship platform.

Previously, Charman-Anderson was a social technologist and, as one of the UK’s social media pioneers, worked with clients worldwide. A freelance journalist, she has written about social media, technology and publishing for The Guardian, CIO Magazine and Forbes.

In 2005, Suw co-founded the Open Rights Group, a digital rights campaigning group. As its first Executive Director, she prepared the organisation’s response to the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property, and gave evidence on digital rights management to the All Party Parliamentary Internet Group.

Twitter: @suw

Thursday 22 July

Meet our sponsors: Jane Street is a quantitative trading firm with offices worldwide. We hire smart, humble people who love to solve problems, build systems, and test theories. Our success is driven by our people and we never stop improving.

In this talk in the Jane Street booth, we’ll discuss our open and inclusive culture, which has been essential to our evolution and growth as a firm. This focus on culture has been particularly important as we have shifted from entirely office-based to entirely remote work over the past 17 months. We’re excited to think about how we’ll approach maintaining and building on our culture as we adapt to the new normal.

About Kait

Kait has been at Jane Street for 8 years. She started as a coordinator and has worked in almost every area of Jane Street Recruiting over the years. She spent 2019 and 2020 working in the London office, overseeing Jane Street's EMEA Campus Recruitment Strategy. Now back in New York, she currently manages global projects, focused on connecting our three offices' recruitment strategy and approach.

Kait is dedicated to maintaining and building Jane Street's incredible culture through recruitment as the firm continues to expand and is very excited to have the opportunity to speak with you all at Finding Ada today.


Join Suw Charman-Anderson in the Finding Ada Network booth to find out why mentoring is so important for women, and how it can help businesses develop female talent and prepare women for leadership roles. She'll also talk about how you can quickly and easily start a mentoring scheme within your own company using the Finding Ada Network.

About Suw

Suw Charman-Anderson

Suw Charman-Anderson is the founder of which inspires and supports women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). She runs Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration of women’s achievements in STEM; the Finding Ada Conference, an online event covering careers, equality, and widening participation; and the Finding Ada Network, an online mentorship platform.

Previously, Charman-Anderson was a social technologist and, as one of the UK’s social media pioneers, worked with clients worldwide. A freelance journalist, she has written about social media, technology and publishing for The Guardian, CIO Magazine and Forbes.

In 2005, Suw co-founded the Open Rights Group, a digital rights campaigning group. As its first Executive Director, she prepared the organisation’s response to the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property, and gave evidence on digital rights management to the All Party Parliamentary Internet Group.

Twitter: @suw

Meet our sponsors: As Vonage transformed from a telecommunications company to a SaaS/Cloud Communications business the ability to increase the ranks of our female leaders based on our employee experience strategy and execution will be showcased.

This session will describe the strategy, programs and mechanisms put in place to achieve a more than a 40% increase in Vonage's female leaders over a two year timeframe.

Including our targeted approach covering tracking candidate slates, participation in our leadership programs, promotions and learning offerings. As well as establishing out DE&I Advisory Board and Women@Vonage ERG and how we look to continue supporting our inclusive workplace.

About Susan

Susan QuackenbushSusan Quackenbush has built her career on the solid reputation of integrating business acumen and a financial background with people to create lasting value.

Susan demonstrates her thought leadership in Human Resources and how it creates value by:

Partnering with Boards and CEOs to Align Human Capital with Business Strategy – Susan firmly believes in the powerful impact that placing people in the right roles can have on corporate success. She works with board members and C-suite teams to define business mission and objectives, aligning employees with positions that fully leverage their strengths, making human capital a valuable asset.

Spearheading Cultural Change that Enables Businesses to Scale and Grow – With keen insight into engaging, retaining, and leading human capital, Susan designs compelling employee experiences that build leadership capabilities, talent pools, and subject matter experts with the passion and motivation to deliver profitable, sustainable, and scalable business growth.

Orchestrating Enterprise Strategies that Establish Excellence – Susan creates strategic HR programs and plans that facilitate seamless acquisition integrations, transition to new business models, and unprecedented organisational effectiveness, all while leading with authenticity, humility, and empathy.

Susan currently leads the HR function at Vonage as the organisation’s Chief Human Resources Officer. In just over 5 years, she transformed the company into a Destination Place to Work with a 3-pillar employee experience, an employer brand, company personality, and core values.


There's always a place for explosive science shows, but what if you want to engage audiences with science but don't want to do a show? This talk is all about developing hands-on activities and will showcase some of the resources and activities Sai has created or adapted and how she's worked with researchers to help make their research more accessible through creative ways. And find out more about Sai's new book, Utterly Jarvellous: 50 Primary Science Activities You Can Do In A Jar, how to be as environmentally-friendly as possible with science practicals and the power of icky, gross stuff!

About Sai

Sai used to be a neuroscientist (as in properly working in a research lab and all), but decided to move into science communication and education. She has worked in science education at The Physiological Society, Nesta, Planet Science, Science in School, Ignite! and Queen Mary University of London (as well as many others as a freelancer).

Sai’s MA research looking into how young people learn accurate science from the entertainment media, saw her take up an International Fellowship at the National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C. and a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travel Fellowship.

She covers all STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and all ages from nursery to postgrad. Sai runs afterschool science clubs and community workshops (currently online!) and works with teachers, scientists, artists and preschoolers… but not at the same time (well, not always).

Twitter: @sai_path
LinkedIn: saipathmanathan

How many of us are clear about the direction we want our Careers to take? How can you support the career paths of your team or organisation within an ever changing world? What does Career Growth mean? How can we identify and understand the career aspirations of our team members? How can we identify our potential future leaders and prepare them for that first step? What role can Mentors play in Career development? How does fostering a Growth Mindset culture support inclusion?

At SUSE these are some of the challenges that we needed to address and the opportunities we identified. During this session we look to provide some approaches that have been implemented to address these challenges and tap into these opportunities, all during a period of high level of organisational transition and change.

About Gillian

In response to her future career path, Gill, who is bright, honest and lots of fun told us “I'm still working out what I want to be when I grow up! What I do know is that whatever I do I want to enjoy it, after all, we spend a large proportion of our time at work”.

She may not be sure what she wants to do, but she’s covered a lot of ground so far. After spending 10 years in sales in her early career, she realised that her motivation was coaching new hires. This led to her following her passion into Learning and Development. Gill delivered Sales and Management Training programmes within the Media sector, ultimately leading the team nationally for Johnston Press.

After some time as a personal contractor, and enjoying the variety of working across a number of different sectors, Gill jumped back into the unknown and another new sector, as the company’s first permanent Talent Director at SUSE, an Open Source Technology company at an exciting and critical point of its growth journey.

Following her passions has been central to Gill’s personal career development. We asked her what she loves about working at SUSE: “I am working in a business that is based on people's passions and values - and the inspiring thing is, central to our philosophy is how we enable people to thrive, at SUSE our strength really is in our people and so Talent development is at the Heart of our success."

Twitter: @SUSE
Facebook: SUSEWorldwide
YouTube: SUSE
LinkedIn: gill-hunt-flpi-52023183

Do you want to run coding workshops for girls or women? Our panellists will discuss how to start up a coding workshop and what extra factors you need to think about for girls and women in underserved communities.

About Elisabeth

Elisabeth Holm, an aspiring computer scientist with a passion for AI/Machine learning, has been an ambassador and advocate for girls in STEM for 9 years. Elisabeth is a former intern at the San Diego Supercomputer Center, a “graduate” of the Qualcomm (Q-Camp) - Women in Technology (WiTech) multi-year program for girls in STEM, and currently continues to follow her passion for STEM at Stanford University. Raised in a multi-generational home and with ancestry from Indigenous Americas, Elisabeth founded the nonprofit SONAC - Sisterhood of Native American Coders - to apply her talents to support an underserved community that is both personal to her and honors her late grandmother.

Elisabeth hopes to bring access, exposure, and mentoring to underrepresented Native American girls so as to address the disparities in opportunities to learn and inspire the next generation of young female innovators!

LinkedIn: elisabeth-holm-1b51651b3

About Jannie

Jannie Fernandez works at the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) as the Director for the K-12 Alliance and TECHNOLOchicas. She obtained her BS in special education with a focus on learning disabilities from Florida International University in Miami, Florida, and a Masters in Organizational Leadership from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Jannie has worked towards broadening participation of women, underrepresented minorities, and people with disabilities in all of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines through her efforts leading the K-12 Alliance and TECHNOLOchicas; providing the community members with information, tools, and guidance; and enabling them to work in unity towards common goals.

Twitter: @Jannie303
YouTube: technolochicas
LinkedIn: janniefernandez

About Lauryn

Lauryn Mwale is a recent graduate of Edinburgh University. There, she studied Mathematics as one of ten Mastercard Foundation scholars. She is interested in youth leadership, intersectionality and representation issues. She has held various leadership positions in organisations such as AIESEC and ENACTUS and carried out research for businesses, NGOs and the Scottish Parliament. Topics she has studied include the response of youth civil society to COVID-19, female financial resilience and employment support for BAME women in Scotland.

Lauryn has also just launched Project Ignite Her, a digital social enterprise to support Black women in STEM. She is a member of the Stemettes community where she runs a space to discuss the experiences of Black women. Lauryn is currently working on a book titled The Shuri Effect about Black women in STEM to be published by New Degree Press later this year. She is a massive reader so ask for a book recommendation!

Twitter: @laurynthewriter
LinkedIn: lauryn-mwale

About Mary

Mary AdenolaMary is a Dublin-based, Data Analyst at Aptiv. She is a Code First Girls Ambassador, Mentor, Fellow and Instructor. Before she started instructing with Code First Girls, she had just started, in Sept 2020, her last semester of University studying Mathematics and Statistics. She came across Code First Girls when she was looking to upskill in web development and SQL. She attended the MOOC for SQL and immediately wanted to get involved. With the need to get more women into STEM, she decided to join the fellowship program and teach the Python course. Since joining, she has taught over 90 females Python and co-instructed an additional 30 students in the Career Switcher Data & SQL course. She has also mentored 8 fellows who have taught in a total of 60 students Data and SQL. She's hosted MOOCs and continues to support her University providing them with Data Analysis content to share with students, lecturers or parents who are interested. Recently, she was featured in her university festivities demonstrating an analysis of the titanic dataset. She continues to find opportunities to make an impact especially to females, hoping to bridge the gender gap within the tech industry.

LinkedIn: maryadenola

Our moderators

Eteroa Lafaele is a proud Samoan woman born and bred in Cannons Creek, Porirua. She is a STEM ambassador for Maori and Pasifika people in tech.

She is currently a developer and Community Manager for Voluntarily. And she hopes to take this experience and use it to help her community and family!

LinkedIn: eteroa

Helen Arney, photo credit: Steve Ullathorne

Science presenter, comedian and geek songstress Helen Arney appears on TV, radio and in theatres across the world. You might have seen her explaining physics while riding a rollercoaster for BBC Coast, singing the periodic table on Channel 4 News, hosting Outrageous Acts Of Science on Discovery or smashing wine glasses with the power of her voice in Festival of the Spoken Nerd – whose third show “You Can’t Polish A Nerd” is out now on DVD and for download. Photo by Steve Ullathorne.

Twitter: @helenarney


As part of the Finding Ada Conference this year, we are also running three paid workshops to help you improve your media and communications skills.

  • 20 July, 14:00 BST: How to ace your media appearances! with Francesca Kasteliz
  • 21 July, 18:00 BST: Improv for better science comms with Belina Raffy
  • 22 July, 13:00 BST: How to make social media work harder for you with Laura Oliver

Each session will run for 2 hours, with a maximum of 12 participants so that everyone can get individual attention from the tutors. The cost is £85 per workshop. Open to UK/EU residents only.

Please note that these workshop are running separately to the main FAC21 Conference, so you will need to buy tickets via the Eventbrite links above. We expect tickets to go very quickly, so book now to make sure you’re not disappointed.

Have you got something to tell the world? Do you want to be more visible across media platforms? Do you want to say YES to that media interview?

This workshop will help build your camera-confidence toolkit; the foundation of skills you need to put yourself out there, face questions from journalists and build your media profile so you can shine on-screen and in front of a microphone.

Whether you want to be a guest on a TV sofa, a panellist on a radio debate programme or start making your own video content, this session will give you clear pointers on how you can prepare and how to perform at your best so you appear authentic, engaging and professional. And get booked to appear again!

If you're not putting yourself forward for media opportunities because you’re worried about how you come across, then this workshop is for you. It is fully interactive – come prepared to practice and be on camera in a supportive and nurturing environment.

These vital communication skills will also help you nail your zoom calls, increase your presence in meetings and give you that extra bit of oomph we all want to have to make an impact.

About Francesca

Francesca Kasteliz is an on-air presenter coach for some of the biggest names on TV & Radio and trains experts, influencers, authors and spokespeople in media communications skills.

As a former BBC TV correspondent, presenter, producer and editor – her 30 year background in journalism has given her insider knowledge of what works on TV and radio. How you can hook and keep your audience - and tell YOUR story. And now she’s helping others to get their message across and make an impact on-screen.

Francesca has worked across every TV & radio programme genre from news to sport to light entertainment - from Panorama to Strictly Come Dancing; developing new talent and nurturing existing talent. And she’s taught hundreds of experts from academia, science, medicine and nature - from former Olympians to award winning surgeons - to grab their moment in the spotlight and enjoy it!

As a trained executive coach her style is empathetic but dynamic. Supportive but honest. She works with all the major broadcasters, production houses and channels – as well as charities, businesses and the healthcare industry.

Francesca champions women and diverse talent in particular - and is committed to increasing representation across the media industry.

Twitter: TVcoachUK
LinkedIn: tvcoach

No improvisation experience necessary. In this highly interactive, experiential session, we create a safe space to explore how mindsets and practices from the world of improvisation theatre can help you smart, lovely scientists to communicate more effectively with your fellow humans.

With attention of colleagues, potential funders, collaboration partners, and the general populace at a premium, we’ll explore ways to use lateral thinking, curiosity, deep listening, presence, story structure and short turn-taking to make the way you describe your work irresistible.

Have paper and a pen/pencil handy. Connect via computer (phone won’t do). And be prepared to turn your cameras and mics on. Make sure you are in an area where you can work undisturbed, and can make some noise, including laughter.

About Belina

Belina works with smart, kind people around the world to communicate and collaborate more effectively, particularly on projects which help planet and humanity. In addition to her MBA from the UK, her Bachelor of Science in Management (Hons), she has studied with some of the best performance improvisers on the planet to explore how to bring improvisation mindsets and practice to business in order to make it more delightful and planet-friendly. She was on the board of the Applied Improvisation Network (AIN) for six years and co-chaired many of their global conferences. Working in collaboration with the AIN, the Red Cross Climate Centre and others, she helped to design a module on using improvisation to create more effective collaboration within and across organisations working on climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

Six years ago, she created a compassionate comedy course called Sustainable Stand Up for comedy beginners wanting to bring more impact and lightness into how they talk about environmental and social issues. So far, she has run this course 42 times across 10 countries (in-person) and multiple countries online. For the last 4 years, Belina has been the collaboration coach for the US and European teams of the research accelerator lab The Frontier Development Lab. She is part US-America, part French, and lives in Berlin, Germany. Belina giggles a lot because she loves what she does.

Twitter: @Maffick, @SusStandUp
Facebook: maffickltd, SustainableStandUp
YouTube: SuperMaffick
LinkedIn: belina-raffy

Learn how social media can help promote and distribute your work, build new connections and opportunities and strengthen your professional networks.

This session will feature practical advice and exercises alongside best practice examples to help you get more from social networks for your work and career. Build your own social media strategy and discover how to get more from social media efficiently and professionally.

It will cover major social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok, as well as a troubleshooting Q&A session with your workshop leader.

We'll also discuss how to manage challenging conversations online and staying safe on social.

The session will be led by freelance journalist Laura Oliver. Former head of social media for the Guardian newspaper in the UK, Laura has more than 10 years of experience producing journalism for social media audiences and advising organisations and individuals on the best ways to use social to communicate effectively.

About Laura

Laura Oliver is a freelance journalist with more than 10 years of experience as a reporter, editor and digital media expert. She was head of social media and communities for The Guardian where she oversaw the newspaper's social media strategy and growth. As a freelancer, she has trained and advised organisations including the BBC, FT and Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime in best practice use and strategies for social media.

She reports on health, media, social affairs and culture for international, national and specialist publications. She is also a visiting lecturer in online and social media journalism at City University, London.

Twitter: @LauraOliver