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Evelyn Ofori-Kuragu: from International Politics to Innovation Delivery Manager

Social media handle(s): @callme_eeevelyn (Twitter)


A few words about me:

I’m Evelyn (pronounced eeevelyn). I deliver innovation programmes at Digital Catapult. We collaborate with clever and inventive minds to push emerging technology into mainstream use for the creative and manufacturing industries.


Are there any professional experiences you've had that are quite unexpected compared to what you do nowadays?


I was an English Language Teaching Assistant in Spain for some months working with 5 year olds.


Is your background more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) or non-STEM related?


Non-STEM - I have a background in International Politics and Spanish.


Where did your professional journey start?


It started with a University programme called Enactus that introduced me to Social Entrepreneurship. After I graduated, I volunteered for Ballon Ventures in Kenya for 3 months and then joined as a Programme Management Intern at a tech for good VC, Bethnal Green Ventures.


How did you get into tech and what motivated you?


My friend shared a link with me for Bethnal Green Ventures. I thought tech would be a cool place to work and I was intrigued by the crossover between social impact and business. I've always had a heart for advocacy and this seemed like a good way to honour that in my professional career.


Have you experienced any 'career in tech' challenges / stereotypes?


The challenges are never fully understanding how you're being perceived as a Black Woman in the tech sector. It can play on the mind and distract one from doing valuable work when instead I'm having to direct some of my energy towards navigating racism and bias.


"Find your champions and allies in the workplace or sector. People that will have your back and put a good word in for you."

What you wish you knew before getting started in tech...


That there are other roles in the tech sector that may not be technical like software engineering but you can closely align with it through other functions like Design.


What has been your biggest 'wow!' moment related to working in tech so far?


Managing an immersive R&D accelerator - Creative XR - during the height of the pandemic. When I look back, it was incredible what we were able to achieve when VR, AR etc often (and ironically) required real life interaction.


What do you like / not like about working in tech?


Like - The artistry and joy of creating new experiences and easing the struggles in people's day to day lives.


Dislike - The constant battle of advocating and representing ignored groups to ensure future technology that looks like the world around us.


"... there are other roles in the tech sector that may not be technical like software engineering but you can closely align with it through other functions like Design."

What's been your favourite / most memorable / funniest 'career in tech' moment so far?


Again, working during the height of COVID-19. Either had to laugh or cry. I did both by the way.


And to wrap up, is there any advice you'd like to give to others interested in a career in tech?


Find your champions and allies in the workplace or sector. People that will have your back and put a good word in for you.

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