Upskilling the LMF Community to Start a Career in Tech

Do you want to start a career in tech but don’t know where to start, or you think you don’t have the right qualifications?

We may have the solution to this dilemma through one of LMF’s partnerships to empower our community that is providing access to continuing education.

Empowering female tech talent

LMF’s Social Mobility Programme Report 2021 found that one of the top areas of desired development was considering career options.

That is why LMF Network wanted to provide opportunities for the community to explore new career paths such as tech and digital and acquire the necessary skills to apply for those roles.

Sonya Barlow, the founder of LMF, expressed that she had little knowledge about the tech industry when she started her career. So, she knows “first-hand how uncomfortable and daunting it can be to enter a male-dominated sector.

Announcement about the Future Leaders Scholarship. Source: Twitter.

To make a change, you need the ideal partners, and LMF made sure to find allies and true champions of female talent in the tech sector.

That is why LMF partnered with Jolt, an education startup, and Balderton Capital, a technology venture firm. Joining efforts, we gave the Future Leaders scholarship to five rising female tech talent from LMF’s community. The scholarships have allowed them to attend Jolt’s Switch course. It is a programme designed to create pathways for those who want to begin a career in tech.

Oliver Beach, UK General Manager and VP for Growth at Jolt, expressed that:

“We are creating scholarships to our courses so that we can enable greater access to the tech sector for people from under-represented groups. Like-Minded Females is an amazing community with an abundance of inspiring and rising female talent for whom we’re excited to create opportunity”.

Suranga Chandratillake, General Partner at Balderton Capital, mentioned that:

“The pandemic has brought about a huge amount of change for everyone. The technology sector has proved resilient and can provide opportunities for those who want to change their careers. By supporting the digital education of female talent, we wanted to allow them to take their future into their hands.”

What was the reaction of our community when they received the Future Leaders Scholarship?

We wanted to make sure that the recipients of this scholarship were members of the LMF community that needed this course to upskill and enter the tech and digital sectors. That is why we shared this opportunity in our social media channels so anyone from LMF’s global network could apply and take the course.

Shree Jemahl, a student at the University of Warwick, expressed that she was surprised about obtaining the Future Leaders Scholarship. “I had known that I wanted to transition from education into tech, and actually getting the opportunity to learn more about the field and increase my technical literacy felt amazing.”

“When I found out that, through the Future Leader Scholarship, I was enrolled in the Switch course, I felt really lucky. Even if I have two Master’s degrees, I think that…we never stop learning, and we must keep learning. I only became aware of this course thanks to the LMF community, so I felt just grateful to be part of this community because it immediately gave me the opportunity to improve myself”, said Eleonora Papini, Data Analyst at LMF.

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

The best thing about this course is that you don’t need a background in tech to begin. “I was very shocked as I was not expecting Jolt to accept my last-minute application. I also thought I would get rejected because I do not come from a tech background”, explained Ruhena Begum, Research Finance Professional.

Sana Khan, Research Intern at LMF, mentioned that she felt “very excited to have been given the opportunity to gain more knowledge and upskill” because tech and data analysis is something she feels passionate about.

Why is continuing education essential?

LMF Network is always looking for ways to enable and empower our community to be their best selves. So we wanted to offer the community a course that would support them to gain confidence, learn new skills and tools, and have networking opportunities.

The Switch course syllabus includes topics focused on career development, startup skills and business orientation to help individuals succeed in the tech environment, and the sessions are given by industry professionals in leading startups and scaleups worldwide.

“I was very nervous at first as I was not too sure where I was leading with the course, and I thought that it would be too much for me alongside working and studying. But now it is going very well, and the culture and the people at Jolt are very nice and friendly”, Ruhena admitted. I have gained confidence in networking with other people…also, I have been able to contribute to the sessions when required without being scared.”

Sana expressed that her schedule, but her knowledge of jobs in tech has increased, and confidence to talk about being a data analyst has also increased.

Shree was also nervous as she was the only student while everyone was employed full-time. “I felt slightly apprehensive but I was also really excited to learn lots of new things…although a lot of what I learn on the course is out of my comfort zone, I think that this is essential to my own growth and development.”

Ruhena shared that one of the things she has learned is a new tool — the Business Model Canvas — that will help her in current and future roles when analysing a business.

On the other hand, Shree said she now has a greater understanding of key principles of good UX design, the Lean methodology and how to conduct market research, as well as networking, negotiating and influencing people. I have learned so much from so many talented people that I probably would never have come across otherwise.

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Eleonora agreed that the skills and tools that this course teaches are certainly useful for the present and for the future.Though she wasn’t sure what to expect from the course, she only knew the world of tech was the future. “Now that I am part of it, I realise that it is a course that simultaneously helps to understand the world of startups and tech companies, orient people on the type of work they want to do…it is not only for tech experts, but it is a course aimed at anyone who wants to change careers.”

Why are these courses important to upskill more women into tech?

Landing a new role, networking, mentoring and learning invaluable skills are a few of the things our LMF community gained as part of our partnership with Jolt and Balderton.

That is why LMF Network will continue to seek partnerships and provide opportunities that enable our diverse community into tech, entrepreneurship and digital.

“Thank you LMF for flagging this opportunity to my attention and thanks Balderton Capital for funding my place! Also, thank you to Jolt, course leaders, course teachers and my cohort for making the experience so enjoyable”, expressed Shree. Thanks to the support she found during this partnership, Shree landed a job at PwC.

Eleonora said: “I must say that the level of passion perceived by the teachers and the organisers of the course is maximum. In addition to the course itself, we have the opportunity to be part of a network full of interesting people, a mentorship program, and receive synergies that cannot be obtained in other non-frontal video courses…I am really happy to have taken the opportunity to be part of this course.”

According to Ruhena, the “Jolt Switch course is a brilliant course in which I have learned invaluable skills and elevated my career. The Jolters provide a lot of support, especially currently I am fasting for Ramadan they have been so understanding and accommodating.” Sana also agreed and she’s “so grateful to have been given the opportunity to join it.”

This blog contribution was made by Alex C Menendez.

Alex is a Communications and Public Affairs Consultant with 7 years of experience passionate about helping organisations tell their stories and engage with their stakeholders.

She has a master’s degree in Public Administration and Management from University College London.

Since March 2021, Alejandra is Press and Communications Lead for LMF Network (London).

How can you keep in touch?

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What is LMF Network?

The LMF Network is a global social enterprise (not for profit) focused on empowering, enabling & educating womxn and marginalised groups into tech, entrepreneurship & digital. We specialise in designing and delivering accessible programmes and supporting a global community. We’ve gone from a brunch club to a social good brand based on what the community wanted. We are a real community run by real people.

Bridging the skills gap and changing the narrative of inclusion! Global social enterprise and not for profit. 35K + Following; Community, Mentoring + Workshops!