Written by: Joanne on November 26, 2020Tags: Inspiration
This year we’ve worked with around 360 students. Through our partnership with the Princes Trust, we’ve been able to offer devices and dongles to students who would not have been able to access our programmes online otherwise. We’ve been able to continue to reach girls from a multitude of faiths, ethnicities, backgrounds and identities. We recently worked with a Manchester based student online whose family is currently seeking asylum in the UK. She told us;
“Through the course I’ve learned lots about technology that I wasn’t aware of. The Princes Trust sent me a laptop and a dongle so I could do the course. This also helped me to stay connected with others and stay on top of my schoolwork. During the sessions my mentor has been very supportive. I’ve made new friends and I’m very happy to be a part of it.”
Our board tenure was due to expire following a 2 year term; we recognised that our senior leadership team was largely white. We intended to make our team more diverse and representative of the communities we serve. This is important to us because we have always worked with schools in diverse communities and have prioritised working with students on pupil premium (free school meals).
We’ve worked in some of the areas of highest deprivation in the North West, because we believe that’s where we can make the most impact. We wanted to curate a board which understands the challenges our students face and can help us to shape our educational programmes according to their needs.
We also needed to recruit for specific skill sets, backgrounds and experience as we are currently undergoing a crucial pivot to become an e-learning specialist. It was in our 3 year business plan at the start of 2020, but has become much more urgent due to the pandemic. It was important to us that we curated a group of specialists and experts to help guide us through this technical project, based on their prior experiences. We also needed education specialists to help keep us in tune with the sector, Diversity and Inclusion experts, product development experts, and commercial expertise to help us to develop our evolving business model.
Filling the position of Chair was a big deal for us; we knew we had to get this right. So, after a few months of deliberating, we’re now proud to announce our choice. Ronda brings a unique perspective to our team as a Black American woman with heaps of experience working in edtech and gender. Ronda helped us curate and select the remaining board members.
Dr. Ronda Železný-Green is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) changemaker creating systems to empower Black people, women, people with disabilities, and other marginalized populations in the technology and education sectors. Serving as a mobile technologist, trainer, and researcher, Ronda’s 15+ years of professional experience spans five continents and the public, private, and civil society sectors.
“I am so thrilled to join InnovateHer as the Board Chair. For most of my professional career I have been working to support girls and women in tech, so the invitation from Chelsea and Jo to support their ambitious agenda in the UK is an honour. This board is diverse in every sense. We’ll be working in the next year to promote systemic change right across the country through digital InnovateHer programming that empowers girls to choose a tech career, if they so desire. We’ll be inclusive, equitable, and most importantly we’ll be effective.”
We also had the pleasure of meeting Nicki Sprinz during our search. A compassionate and strong leader with a track record of working on the women in tech agenda, Nicki is someone we instantly connected with. We invited Nicki to be our Non-Executive Director, which means she will be working closely with our founders on implementing our ambitious vision for 2021-22 and developing our strategy.
Nicki leads and supports talented designers, developers and creative technologists, product leads, coaches and strategists in ustwo’s London, Lisbon and Tokyo studios. Committed to working for better diversity in the creative and tech industry, Nicki co-founded Ada’s List, a global community of more than 8,000 women in tech, which offers pathways for its members to move forward together. Nicki has believed diversity of experience and background creates the strongest outcomes and throughout her career has mentored women in digital to help them succeed.
“I couldn’t be prouder to be supporting Jo and Chelsea and the team at InnovateHer to help them achieve their vision. InnovateHer has the potential to change the future of so many girls, and our industry at large.”
Below is the full list of all those wonderful humans who are now joining our board. We were humbled by the response to our invitation – over 80 people applied! It has been very difficult to select the final group; we owe our deepest thanks to Ronda and to Tony Foggett for their input.
We are honoured to have people with such a wealth of experience joining us and grateful that you all believe in us.
To read their profiles in full, please visit our team page.Back to news and views