Meet The Team: Semina

Written by: on May 8, 2019
Tags: Day in the life of, Inspiration, Role Model, Women in Tech

Hello! I’m Semina, the new Programme Manager at InnovateHer.

In a past life, I’ve worked in various engineering roles as a Project Manager, leading several projects. In my role as a Project Manager, I managed engineering and construction projects, providing high-level customer-centric solutions; managing constraints and building lean, efficient operations within the business. From initiation, planning and design, execution and construction, monitoring and controlling systems to completion. Defining the scope and setting project deliverables and working parameters – building comprehensive work plans, assigning relevant resources and maintaining schedules, as well as risk management, procurement and supply chain operations and stakeholder management.

I also studied a BSc in Engineering and an MSc in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at Manchester Metropolitan University. For my MSc, I investigated consumer service expectations within the e-commerce industry, exploring the three stakeholders involved, the consumer, the retailer and the carrier; to identify emerging consumer service expectations and experiences within the delivery cycle. I adopted an empirical study, using an inductive thematic analysis approach; building theory from academic literature to establish a base for analysis, combining elements of both qualitative and quantitative research. Identifying key emerging areas for consideration, interpreting data throughout to present alternative, customer-centric, solutions.

Throughout my studies and career, I’ve always noticed firsthand the lack of women in the sector and felt strongly that this needed to change.

I had a 5-year career in education and teaching too, as the Head of Technology in two schools in Greater Manchester. I’ve always been passionate about providing exceptional opportunities for young people to thrive within a learning environment. I get a kick out of motivating, inspiring and supporting each individual to develop their full potential and make sustained improvements. Ironically, I originally went into teaching to inspire girls, but ended up working in an all-boys school! I quickly learned that it was equally important for them to have strong female role models, and it helped to challenge some of the stereotypes which existed in their minds around women in the industry. This experience has helped me bring lots of skills to InnovateHer, such as the designing of educational resources and understanding of how the educational system works.

Why have I joined InnovateHer?

I am completely invested in our mission; ’To get girls ready for the tech industry and the industry ready for girls’. The girls we work with and the mentors who give up their time to help shape the next generation inspire me. I feel both privileged and blessed to work with the most supportive team imaginable, a positive team that brings their best to the table every single day and gets stuck in. I am now able to work with young people whilst not having a high level of bureaucracy and constraints that teachers often have – so I’m very lucky.

InnovateHer is underpinned, shaped and driven by a strong set of core values as a social enterprise which specialises in education for girls and women. We’re all playing a part in shaping the next generation’s choices and helping to create a more equitable society; promoting fair access to opportunity, social mobility and sharing best industry practice through our school programme and our industry membership network. I’m proud to play my part in this, but I think the real heroes are the wider community – the mentors we work with and the organisations who support our work to help make it happen.

What does it involve on a day to day basis?

My role is to oversee the entire educational programme for girls aged 12-16. This involves signing up schools to host a programme, developing and maintaining school relationships and project management of the 8-week programme to ensure it’s delivered to a high quality and that everything runs smoothly. I also source, train, support and manage relationships with experienced industry mentors, who all get so much reward out of the experience. I will often deliver inspiring assemblies to large groups of children – showcasing and promoting the InnovateHer mission and encouraging girls to sign up to take part. After the programme is completed, I help to evaluate and measure the impact; analysing everything to ensure continuous improvement.

My first eight weeks…

The last eight weeks have been absolutely amazing, the entire team are truly inspirational and extremely passionate about our mission – you have a feeling that you are a part of something special, something authentic, something bigger than just the five of us.

InnovateHer is a dynamic and forward thinking team, you are encouraged to fully participate and any input or suggestions are welcomed. There is a real desire to make a difference and this team definitely pays it forward.

There is a genuine sense of purpose, a real drive for change, which is underpinned by an ambition to reach as many girls as possible through a clear shared vision. Everyone works in harmony, collaborating on different tasks – you are highly valued from the offset, your achievements are recognised and you feel appreciated.

The Co-Founders understand that people work differently and give you the flexibility and trust you need to manage your own schedule; you are genuinely given autonomy from day one – this working culture is very empowering.

We are on a mission to change the world! And I hope you’ll join us on that journey.

You can follow Semina online at:

Twitter: @semina_m and on LinkedIn: Semina M

You too can join the InnovateHer team like Semina! Find out more and apply for our Corporate Communities Manager role here.

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