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IWD: #InspireInclusion with Bonnie Adams, Cloud, Data & Engineering Transformation Director at PWC

  • Publish Date: Posted about 2 months ago
  • Author:by Annie Palmer

​​​This International Women's Day, I interviewed Bonnie Adams, Cloud, Data & Engineering Transformation Director at PWC, and she shared her thoughts on how we can #InspireInclusion.

When we inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion, we forge a better world. The IWD 2024 campaign theme seeks to inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion. Organisations, groups, and individuals worldwide can all play a part, and to truly include women means to openly embrace their diversity of race, age, ability, faith, body image, and how they identify.

International Women’s Day belongs to everyone, everywhere. Collectively, we can all help create a diverse, equitable and inclusive world.

1. How did your career in tech begin?

I started working at age 14 as a waitress before successfully securing a role at the Bank of England when I turned 16. I left school with limited GCSEs but had a passion for getting out in the world and experiencing as much as I could. I never had a career plan, and I still don’t, but after 11 months of filing, I made the jump into the IT Function at the Bank of England at 17. I later moved to RBS as a programme manager and then to Lloyds Bank, where I held many IT roles, before joining PwC in 2021.

2. Have you had any experiences mentoring or supporting other women in tech?

Through my blog and outreach initiatives, I share my experiences as a working-class female grappling with ADHD, inspiring others to overcome societal norms and pursue their passions. I've actively worked to increase diversity in tech roles, notably improving the gender ratio within engineering architecture teams in previous roles. I am an unofficial mentor for several female colleagues and am known for my passionate and enthusiastic approach to everything I do.

3. What are some actions you have seen organisations take to commit to inclusion in the workplace?
I’ve been able to flip the tables when it comes to diversity hiring. The ratio for male vs female interviews was 1/14 – it is now 40/60.

4. What initiatives or strategies can be implemented to increase the representation of women in leadership positions in your industry?

Working with schools to help them understand the topic of D&I and by encouraging more open conversations in schools, I believe, is the catalyst for how subjects can be adjusted to meet the needs of more pupils. I recognise that whilst we are all trying our best to move the dial on the D&I agenda within the working world, there are a lot of barriers to entry in our schools and how our children are educated. Subjects chosen by girls, for example, have traditionally not been in STEM subjects, and whilst this is changing, it is very slow.

5. What advice would you give to future generations to aid in a gender-equal world?

We need to start influencing in primary schools. There is a systemic issue where girls are not encouraged to get involved in the world of tech. To make a real difference it needs to start at an early age.

6. Why is International Women’s Day important to you?

It’s important to ensure that we bring awareness for women in STEM and encourage this from a young age. By breaking down barriers and sharing my own journey, I aim to open the door and lift the next generation of female neurodiverse leaders. These efforts have not only contributed to a more diverse and inclusive workforce for the future but also align with PwC’s commitment to promoting gender equality and fostering innovation. By investing in the next generation of female leaders in STEM, we’re not only shaping a more equitable society but also ensuring a pipeline of talent that will drive our industry forward.