Meet The Team: A Look Into The Expansion and People of InnovateHer

Written by: Libby on March 2, 2022

Hello Reader, 

I’m here today with the sequel of our new series, ‘Meet The Team’, which will introduce you to our newest team members (Rhiannon, Sarah, and myself- Libby).

For Part 2, we have the wonderful Sarah, InnovateHer’s E-learning Designer. 

Be sure to catch up with the first instalment of the series here.

We recently did an employee’s roundtable to introduce ourselves- who are all wonderful, unique, and excited to be working at InnovateHer. This roundtable was an absolute pleasure to be a part of, and have the conversation that the three of us had. It was filled with interest, insight, emotional intelligence, and a dash of humour.

Being able to convey who we are was important, as sometimes a blurb or a standardised interview doesn’t give the effect. There were questions asked but it became an open conversation- we listened to each other, understood one another better, and we hope that you get to know us too.  

Alongside the transcript there is also an audio version, which you will probably get a clearer sense of us, but I’ll make sure that you can sense us just as much in the transcript. However,  there is also an audio clip too that will appear alongside the question. 

We greeted each other, checked in, and caught up first, and then pressed record.

So, without further ado, I shall get into our roundtable conversation, and from all of us we hope you enjoy:

  1. So, the first question is about you as people, and like your interests, passions, just a basic thing about who you are, and if you mention your role as well, so who wants to go first?

Sarah: Okay, I’m Sarah, and I’m the E-Learning Designer at InnovateHer, and I obviously design e-learning so, pretty obvious (laughs). I’m interested in gaming, and also Film and TV, and a little bit of art. So, I sometimes draw, more into colouring- adult colouring, and these things, so yeah that’s me. 

2. Next one is the values of InnovateHer are a big part of the team and the company itself, which one or more than one resonates with you the most and why?

Sarah: For me, I think I’d go with curiosity, I mean somehow I resonate with all of them at some point, and that was how I got interested in the company really in the first place, but I got into tech because of curiosity. I remember when my sister got her first computer, I just wanted to go into it and check everything, and then I broke it down multiple times back then. And then, I remember that I dismantled my dad’s phone to see what’s inside of it because I was curious how phone’s work, I think I was ten or something. So, yeah, curiosity, definitely, and then to continue what Rhiannon said passion, because I think curiosity helps you enter a field and then passion helps you continue; those two things because I’m really curious about anything tech related and passionate about it. 

3. So, going from that in a way, what attracted you to the job and InnovateHer itself?

Sarah: Well, the thing that actually grabbed my attention was I came here last year to the UK, so I was new to everything, I came from a very different country- Iran, so things are very different there. When I read the description, the vision, and the first part was interesting “get girls ready for the tech industry” but the second part was even more interesting for me, “and the industry ready for girls” So, that was I think what was missing somehow in my mind or the way that I thought about the whole thing. So, I was like ‘ooo yeah that should be happening’ the first part is happening actually, but that second part is more important, so I was just like I have to apply this is really cool. Yeah, that was something that grabbed my attention. 

4. So, how has working at InnovateHer altered your view on conceptions you had before towards work or showed you something you didn’t expect it to? 

Sarah: I can start with that, I was totally shocked by how everything was going on in the job because I mean I remember once I knew that something was missing or or was wrong, but the way that Leanne talked to me it was like she knew what was missing, but she said it in a way for me to figure it out. So, it’s not like if you need to work on something, the culture is not “you made a mistake, or this is what you should go and fix”. You know things that I saw a lot in other companies, so it’s like okay what do you think about this even the decisions about projects I’m involved in a lot, in a way that I didn’t think could be possible. So yeah that was really nice, and I remember, just a little example- I wanted to go to the Dentist, and I was like “Ooo this is the time, can I go then?”  and they were just like “Pop it in the calendar, so we know that you’re out” I was like okay, that’s really cool, so I don’t need to tell you the time or anything, and they were like “no it’s okay”. It’s pretty flexible, and I really love it. 

There’s something about check-ins I always wanted to say that, in our weekly meetings, and I actually should. In the beginning of each week, when we start because we haven’t talked for some days I mostly, when we say hello, at that point I feel disconnected because I wouldn’t know what happened here and there for everybody, but after that check-in it’s just totally different. I’m talking about what happened to me during the whole week and I know everybody and how they have spent their weekend, it’s just you have that connection after that four/five minute check-in, and it’s brilliant. 

5. As we know, there’s an importance in our working environment to have a healthy relationship with our work and also our personal lives,you know through as Sarah referred to before the flexible working policy. How important has that been to you in applying for the role initially, but also since you started working?

Sarah: So, yeah I was just thinking about it because I was like it felt so normal to me, whereas I’m sure that it’s not like this in a lot of different companies. I’m used to be working like 12 hours sometimes in weird environments, but I was just thinking about it right now and I realised most days I’m not aware that everything I should be doing in a day is finished, like I’m working for this many hours and it’s finished now, and I don’t have to do anymore. I don’t feel like I am working because I can stop for a minute to rest, and you know to go back to what I was doing after a quick rest, so I don’t get tired, so I don’t feel the pressure you know. So, yeah at the end I wanted to start cooking dinner is it really done, I’m not really sure because you know I haven’t been stressed at all. I’m still getting used to it, as Rhiannon said because there is no pressure, it just doesn’t feel like work sometimes. 

Rhiannon: Yeah, there is pressure to get it done, but just not personal pressure.

Sarah: Yeah, yeah, that’s what I meant 

6.  And we’re on to the last question, which is what are you most looking forward to in the year ahead at InnovateHer?

Sarah: Yeah for me, it’s the same. I think we can see, well for me personally, I can see the effect of what I’ve been doing early next year or maybe mid next year, so I’m very excited for that. So, personally I’m working on this Tech4Good online course that a lot of students are going to take part in next year, so we’re going to see a lot of different feedback and what they think about that, so that’s very amazing. Something else I’m really looking forward to is starting my first online course from scratch next year, that will be very exciting. Yeah, these are the main things I’m looking forward to and the trip to Liverpool because I’m not, I don’t live in Liverpool, so every part of it is just exciting really, and to see you guys.

That was Sarah’s section of ‘Meet The Team’, we hope you enjoyed reading, listening, or both and got to know Sarah a little bit more.

Make sure to come back for Part 3 in which you get to meet Libby!

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