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Women in Science Day: Connex’s leading women share their STEM career advice

By Sean Fielding

Published 11 February 2021

February 11th marks the 6th annual celebration of International Women and Girls in Science Day.

A day dedicated to pursuing full and equal access to and participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Manufacturing) fields for women and girls worldwide.

According to a report from UNESCO, just 30 per cent of all female students select STEM-related fields in higher education.

To encourage more women to consider joining the world of STEM, we asked some of Connex’s brilliant women in tech to share what led to them considering a STEM role and any advice for girls who may be interested in pursuing STEM as a career.

Q: Who or what inspired you to work in a STEM-related role?

Danielle Fereday – 2nd Line Support Engineer at Connex

“It’s a culture that is constantly evolving and changing, allowing you to always have the opportunity to learn new skills.

What I’ve loved about my career path in the ICT/Dialler field is the variety of roles that I have been able to do, that you can start at the bottom and work yourself into newer better positions.”


Sukanya Kadiyala – Lead Software Tester at Connex

“I was inspired by a lot of the news around me on women in tech.

I always loved mathematics at college level, which helped me to solve the problems in a quick time and that led to me choosing Electronics & Communication in Engineering at university.

I never thought I’d work in STEM. After I started my journey in testing, I realised I have a habit of doing things in a perfect way, which is very important for my role.”

Jessica Plant – Project Lead Developer at Connex

“I work in STEM because I adore problem solving and my career is a constant source of interesting puzzles to figure it out.

Creativity is crucial to STEM and it’s something women excel at, so greater representation can only result in a positive change.

My mother is an engineer so I’m proud to carry on a family tradition as well!”


Chelcie Johnstone – Technical Services Engineer at Connex

“It was only as I got older I realised how rare it is for women to be in a STEM role. I was 16 when I started working in my first company, where STEM-related roles were mainly held by females, and 22 when I left

I look back now and realise how uncommon it was for someone of my gender and age to be in a STEM role.”


Nicola Tempest – Enterprise Sales Manager at Connex

“Nothing ever stays the same in IT, there’s always new and exciting ‘stuff’ to learn.

When I started my career way back in the late 80’s tech was perceived to be a man’s world.

But as IT evolved more and more women became subject matter experts and leaders in their field.”


Q: What advice would you give to any women considering a career in STEM?

Claire McCrae – Lead Software Test Engineer at Connex

“Absolutely go for it, it is totally possible no matter your background. Just under 4 years ago I was in a call centre, now I am a lead software test engineer. What you get back will be the work you put in! It is not going to be easy but definitely worth it.

Do not be afraid to ask questions, and the best thing about it In my opinion is that you are constantly learning something new!”


Danielle Fereday – 2nd Line Support Engineer at ConnexOne

“It’s a job sector that’s rewarding, supportive, creative, innovative and fun and I would recommend it to any one who is curious, analytical and always looking to learn something new.”


Chelcie Johnstone – Technical Services Engineer at Connex

“Why would you contemplate it? Go for it!

And if you have any worries about being a woman in the industry, be sure to raise the challenges you may come across in your interview or with your employer.”


Bethany Longthorne – Director of Compliance at Connex

“Go for it! Break the gender stereotypes for particular job roles to see how we can bridge the gap and set a precedent for a future in technology. There are plenty of free resources available at the Open University and National Cyber Security Centre.”

For more information on Women in Science Day and how you can help to encourage women into STEM-related careers, visit:


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