Twitter Spaces with Shraddha Surana, Sue Nelson and Dr Helen Scales

FindingAda founder Suw Charman-Anderson is going to host a series of audio conversations with women in STEM on Twitter Spaces over the next few weeks. She’ll be having an information chat for half an hour or so, and you’ll be able to ask questions via Twitter. 

Spaces is Twitter’s new audio broadcast service. You can listen via or on the official Twitter app on any device. Just click the link below and you’ll be taken to the conversation, or keep an eye out in the Twitter app for a notification. You can also set a reminder if you click this link before the broadcast starts.

Thurs 10 June, 15:00 BST: Shraddha Surana on mentoring

Shraddha SuranaShraddha and Suw will be talking about Shraddha’s experience mentoring, why she decided to become a mentor, why mentoring is important, and lots more. To listen to Shraddha and Suw talk about mentoring, open this link in your browser or the official Twitter app at 3pm on 10th June.

Shraddha Surana is the global data community lead at Thoughtworks, with an interest in anything data, algorithms & sciences. She has published papers & given conference talks on machine learning and has worked in BFSI, retail, astrophysics & life science domains. Along with her job, she mentors several students from India & Africa. She is the co-organiser of the ‘Bridge&Beyond’ series that helps to bridge the academic-industry gap. She strives to create & be part of a system where people look out for each other.

Twitter: @SuranaShraddha
LinkedIn: /shraddasurana
Blog: @Shradda.Surana

Thurs 24 June, 19:00 BST: Sue Nelson on women in space

Sue NelsonSue will be talking to Suw about NASA’s bid to put the first woman on the Moon, European astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti going back into space, and the ESA’s call for astronauts. Spaces link to come. 

An award-winning radio producer, science journalist and former BBC TV science and environment correspondent, Sue has reported on science for all the BBC’s national television and radio news programmes.

Sue has presented numerous Radio 4 programmes, was editor of The Biologist (2010-15) and produces documentaries for BBC radio. She is a published playwright, has written for a TV game show, most of the UK’s newspapers and has had several screenplays made into short films. Her latest book, Wally Funk’s Race for Space, was published in 2019 (USA and UK paperback).

Twitter: @ScienceNelson

Thurs 8 July, 19:00 BST: Dr Helen Scales on her new book, The Brilliant Abyss

Helen ScalesHelen and Suw will be talking about Helen’s new book, The Brilliant Abyss, which “brings to life the majesty and mystery of an alien realm that nonetheless sustains us, while urgently making clear the price we could pay if it is further disrupted”. In the UK, you can buy direct from Bloomsbury and get a 20% discount with the code OCEAN20. The Brilliant Abyss will be published in the US and Canada in early July. Spaces link to come. 

Dr Helen Scales is a marine biologist, writer and broadcaster. She is author of the Guardian bestseller Spirals in Time, New Scientist book of the year Eye of the Shoal, and the children’s book The Great Barrier Reef. She writes for National Geographic Magazine, the Guardian, and New Scientist, among others. She teaches at Cambridge University and is science advisor for the marine conservation charity Sea Changers. Helen divides her time between Cambridge, England, and the wild Atlantic coast of France.

Twitter: @helenscales
Instagram: @drhelenscales

Launching and Running an Advocacy Group

Panel discussion from the Finding Ada Conference 2020.


Why create a women’s equality advocacy group? What challenges do founders face? And what are their goals for their organisations? We also talked about using social media to grow communities, different financial models for community organising, fundraising, and the difference between grassroots advocacy and business-backed groups.


  • Suw Charman-Anderson, founder of Finding
  • Vanessa Vallely OBE, founder of WeAreTechWomen
  • Elisabeth Holm, founder of Sisterhood of Native American Coders
  • April Moh, executive sponsor of SUSE’s Women in Tech Network

About our speakers

Suw Charman-Anderson

Suw Charman-AndersonSuw Charman-Anderson is the founder of which inspires and supports women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) with three major projects: 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.

Prior to working full-time on Ada Lovelace Day, Suw 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
LinkedIn: /suwcharman

Vanessa Vallely OBE

Vanessa Vallely OBEVanessa is one of the UK’s most well-networked women and has provided keynotes on a variety of career related topics for over 500 companies worldwide. Vanessa is also one of the UK’s most prominent figures in gender equality and often provides guidance and consultancy to both government and corporate organisations who are seeking to attract, develop and retain their female talent. Vanessa was awarded her OBE in June 2018 for her services to women and the economy.

At the height of her successful 25 year career in the financial services, Vanessa launched the award winning in 2008 as a vehicle to help women progress in their careers. now has over 120,000 members and provides resources/conferences/awards/jobs to women across the UK. Vanessa is the also the -founder of UK wide diversity forum Gender Networks. Gender Networks (formerly The Network of Networks) brings together diversity leaders from 85 cross sector firms to share best practice on a quarterly basis. Vanessa is also the author of the book “Heels of Steel: Surviving and Thriving in the Corporate World” which tracks her career and shares 13 chapters of tips to succeed in the workplace.

Twitter: @watc_girl
LinkedIn: /vanessavallely

Elisabeth Holm

Elisabeth HolmElisabeth Holm, an aspiring computer scientist with a passion for AI/Machine learning, has been an ambassador and advocate for girls in STEM for 8 years. Elisabeth is a former research intern at the San Diego Supercomputer Center and “graduate” of the Qualcomm (Q-Camp) – Women in Technology (WiTech) multi-year program for girls in STEM. Raised in a multi-generational home and with ancestry from Indigenous Americas, Elisabeth founded the Sisterhood of Native American Coders (SONAC) to apply her talents in computer science to support an underserved community that is both personal to her and honours her late grandmother. Elisabeth hopes to bring access, exposure, and mentoring to underrepresented Native American girls as to address the disparities in their opportunities to learn, and inspire the next generation of young female innovators. Ms Holm is an avid programmer, roboticist, the Founder of the “Best in Class” Python Club at her school, and currently enrolled in the MIT 6-month Online Science Technology and Engineering Community program (MOSTEC).

LinkedIn: /elisabeth-holm-1b51651b3
LinkedIn: /sisterhood-of-native-american-coders

April Moh

April MohAs Chief Communications Officer, April Moh leads SUSE’s integrated communications team spanning brand strategy, public relations, internal and executive communications and customer marketing. She is also the executive sponsor of SUSE’s first employee network group – the Women in Tech Network.

April is a passionate believer in the power of influence, and she has spent over a decade of her career in the technology space shaping the world’s perceptions of companies small and large.

Prior to SUSE, April was VP and Global Head of Communications for SAP – managing integrated communications for their ERP business. She has also managed communications for Microsoft and Concur. April began her career in the start-up world helping daring upstarts gain market share, launch their companies, secure funding and successfully get acquired.

Recognized for her ability to lead teams from vision to execution and impact via strong cross-company collaboration, April’s core belief is that leading with intent drives bold business outcomes.

LinkedIn: /aprilmoh

Mitigating the Impacts of COVID-19

Panel discussion from the Finding Ada Conference 2020.


How are women’s jobs and careers being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? In academia, fewer women are submitting grant proposals and scientific papers, and in industry women’s jobs have been hit hard and mother especially are having to do more domestic work, so what is the long-term damage that’s being done? And how do we mitigate it?


  • Tara Scott, professional head of track at Network Rail
  • Joeli Brearley, founder of Pregnant Then Screwed
  • Dr Nisreen Alwan, associate professor in public health at the University of Southampton
  • Mariam Crichton, Managing Director at 4 Earth Intelligence

About our speakers

Tara Scott

Tara ScottTara Scott is currently the Route Infrastructure Engineer for the East Midlands Route. During her 15 years with Network Rail she has worked through frontline roles including Track Section Manager (Milton Keynes) and Track Maintenance Engineer (Euston) as well as central engineering roles. Recently she successfully led a project with Network Rail Consulting in Toronto working with the Toronto Transit Commission. As well as being Chartered Engineer with IET, Tara is a fellow of the Permanent Way Institution and sits on their Academic Panel.



Joeli Brearley

Joeli BrearleyJoeli is the founder of Pregnant Then Screwed, an organisation which protects and supports women who encounter pregnancy and maternity discrimination and lobbies the Government for legislative change. 54,000 women a year are pushed out of their jobs for getting pregnant or taking maternity leave and 77% of working mums encounter some form of discrimination in the workplace. This type of discrimination is a major contributor to the gender pay gap, and via her training organisation, ‘Gendering Change’, Joeli is on a mission to make the labour market work for parents.

She is a regular contributor on Radio 5 Live, she writes for the Telegraph and the Independant and has won various awards and accolades for her pioneering work to end the motherhood penalty. Described by Elle Magazine as ‘Fearsome and Funny’ She has been awarded the 2019 Northern Power Women ‘’Agent of Change’’ award, she is an Observer 2018 New Radical and an Amnesty International Women Human Rights Defender. She is currently advising the Government on what they should do about the use of Non Disclosure Agreements in cases of pregnancy and maternity discrimination.

Joeli’s first book – ”Pregnant Then Screwed, a call to arms for women’’ will be published by Simon & Schuster in 2021.

Dr Nisreen Alwan

Dr Nisreen Alwan

Dr Nisreen Alwan is Associate Professor in Public Health at the University of Southampton. She trained in clinical medicine and public health. She obtained a PhD in nutritional epidemiology in the area of maternal and child health. She has a particular interest in the wider social, economic, environmental and cultural determinants of health in women and children. During the pandemic, Nisreen has focused on the inequalities angle of the pandemic response, and the emergence of ‘long COVID’ and why it is so important.

Twitter: @Dr2NisreenAlwan


Mariam Crichton

Mariam Crichton

Mariam has been the entrepreneurial driving force in the growth of many startups over the last 16 years. Her innovative technology management expertise lies in GIS, SAAS, Software, Mobile Design, and Development. She was formerly co-founder and CEO of professional mapping tool FIND. Mariam is the current Managing Director of 4 Earth Intelligence,a Geospatial company in the Downstream Space sector. 4EI uses Space Data s Mariam is also an Advisor to the Board and a Non-Executive Director at Wired Sussex supporting the digital, media and technology cluster across Sussex. She has also been working with Safe & the City – a revolutionary app that uses GPS, crowdsourced information and police risk data to reduce the risk of opportunistic crime and sexual harassment.

LinkedIn: /mariamcrichton
Instagram: @mariamcrichton
Twitter: @crichtonmariam

Introducing our new Four Week Intensive Mentoring Program

Today we launch our new Four Week Intensive Mentoring Program for women in STEM, which is based on the successful mentoring work we’ve been doing with the Finding Ada Network over the last year.

This transformational mentoring engagement will help mentees tackle one issue or work towards one key goal over the course of the month. It will also introduce mentors to the mentoring process and help them hone their leadership and communications skills.

And it’s a very convenient and easy way to introduce mentoring into an organisation. Once participants are recruited, we do all the rest.

We provide support to mentors and mentees throughout the program, with advice on how to get the best out of a mentoring experience, how to think about and set goals, and clear guidance on how to use our mentoring tools. Mentors and mentees will need to dedicate about six hours to the program over the month.

The launch price of the Four Week Intensive Mentoring Program is £995 for 20 participants (10 mentors and 10 mentees). To find out more or make a booking, email Suw Charman-Anderson.

Can Children’s Books Encourage More Girls into STEM?

Panel discussion from the Finding Ada Conference 2020.


Our panellists will be asking what role books play in helping girls build an identity that includes STEM, whether books can really counter gender stereotypes, how we represent multiple axes of diversity, and talk a bit about how they came to write books for children.


  • Miriam Tocino, author Zerus & Ona
  • Kate Wilson, managing director of Nosy Crow
  • Lisa Rajan, author Tara Binns series
  • Dr Sheila Kanani, author of How to Be an Astronaut and Other Space Jobs

About our speakers

Miriam Tocino

Miriam TocinoMiriam Tocino is a software developer, programming teacher, and mum dedicated to making computers more approachable, friendly, and easy to understand. She is the author of Zerus & Ona, a book series that teaches young children about the digital world without the need for a screen.

Twitter: @miriamtocino
LinkedIn: /miriamtocino


Kate Wilson

Kate WilsonKate Wilson is the managing director of Nosy Crow. Kate started working in publishing in 1986 and has worked in the industry ever since, mainly in children’s books. She started her career as a rights seller, and held senior management roles in publishing including MD of Macmillan Children’s Books and Group MD of Scholastic UK Ltd. She cares about good books, design, literacy and technology.

In September 2011, she won the title of Inspirational Business Mum of the year at the MumpreneurUK awards, was named Most Inspiring Digital Publishing Person at the FutureBook Innovation Awards in November 2014, and in December 2016 received Women in Publishing’s Pandora Award for significant and sustained contribution to the publishing industry. Nosy Crow is twice winner of the Book Industry Awards Children’s Publisher of the Year Award, and this year won the Independent Publisher of the Year award.

Twitter: @exasperilla

Lisa Rajan

Lisa RajanLisa Rajan writes the Tara Binns children’s books, which are about a girl who tries out different STEM-related jobs – engineer, scientist, vet, doctor, conservationist, astronaut, inventor, pilot and coder to name but a few. Tara Binns has to be creative, logical, resilient, brave and diplomatic to get the job done and save the day each time. The books aim to raise aspiration, broaden horizons and put big ideas in little minds. Lisa currently has 20 titles published by HarperCollins in their Big Cat reading scheme, with more in the pipeline. Lisa has done a fair few jobs herself since graduating with a BSc in Biochemistry and an MSc in Science Communication from Imperial College London – scientist, editor, medical writer, advertising copywriter, politician, financial researcher, book-keeper and author. She lives in London with her husband and three children and wants to be a forensic scientist and a scriptwriter when she grows up.

Twitter: @lisarajan
Twitter: @tarabinns
Website: Tara Binns & Dani Binns on

Dr Sheila Kanani

Dr Sheila Kanani is a planetary physicist, science presenter, secondary school physics teacher, space comedian and published author, with a background in astrophysics and astronomy research from UK universities. She regularly acts as a science ambassador, by visiting schools and speaking at events. Sheila is currently the Education, Outreach and Diversity officer for the Royal Astronomical Society.

Twitter: @SaturnSheila
LinkedIn: /DrSheilaKanani