top of page

Kasia - from Fashion to a forging Tech Advocate

Social media handle(s): LinkedIn

A few words about me:

A professional woman

I'm Kasia, a Regional Head of Client Accounts, driving the growth of our Future Tech Talent program. I also serve as a Neurodiversity Lead at Peregrine, formerly Capita.

Additionally, I am proud to be a mentor for Cajigo, a program dedicated to supporting the aspirations of girls and women pursuing careers in tech, and the winner of the WeAreTheCity 2023 Rising Star award and Female Ambassador of the Year in the Great British Businesswoman Series 2024. Additionally, I'm a a nominee for the European Diversity Awards (Optum) - TC ICAP Hero of the Year.

Having served at two FTSE companies, I'm a dedicated mentor for women in tech, demonstrating a commitment to amplifying underrepresented voices and making contributions to shaping a more inclusive and innovative tech landscape.

In my spare time, I enjoy tennis and electronic music production. I'm also the founder and creative director of Rowdy Space, an online shop for wall art designs.

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

As a young person, I always found joy in earning extra pocket money. I achieved this through various means such as working on promotion stands, engaging in door-to-door sales, teaching English, and temping at a radio station, and advertising agencies.

My career in the UK took off when I started working for a celebrity bespoke tailor, serving notable individuals and personalities, including Nick Cave, Fatboy Slim, Cate Blanchett, and corporate execs from Saatchi and Saatchi or ITV. As much as I enjoyed the celebrity environment, fashion wasn't my calling. I've come to realise that I've always been fuelled by a curiosity for learning and self-improvement.

Alongside my main endeavours, I ventured into additional projects as a fashion stylist, art director, curating a lifestyle magazine, electronic music production, and even owning an e-commerce art shop called 'Rowdy Space'.

My career in tech and professional services began when I met Rod Flavell, the CEO of a multinational information technology consulting company. His belief in me laid the foundations for my future, fuelled my passion for technology, and inspired further development. His faith in young people and the importance of transferable skills further shaped my professional journey.

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

I completed a master's program in communication and the management of information resources. While my background is not hands-on in STEM, my strength lies in my ability to connect with others and communicate effectively, which I find particularly valuable in a tech environment.

Where did your professional journey start?

Reflecting on my journey, it all began at FDM - a FTSE250 listed business and a pioneer in emerging tech talent programs, now recognised as RTD/HTD. The experience of delivering services for high-profile clients, working in an international environment, and forming relationships with industry leaders was truly invaluable. This journey has equipped me with the core acumen essential for success in the fast-paced worlds of technology and business. Fond memories abound.

How did you get into tech and what motivated you?

My entry into the tech field was shaped by a combination of my education, early experience at FDM, and a persistent curiosity for learning. Interestingly, my initial interest wasn't solely in computers but rather in tech gadgets. Moreover, my creative mindset and an eye for design played a significant role. Collectively, these factors became, and continue being the motivating pillars that led me into the world of technology.

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

In my experience, I've observed challenges in the workplace stemming from ageism and biases related to xenophobia. It is important to address and resolve these issues through a thoughtful and inclusive approach.

Additionally, women encounter increasing difficulties in balancing work-life demands. Consequently, I am deeply committed to using my voice to challenge and reshape narratives around issues such as the gender pay gap, flexibility, and transferable skills. These efforts are aimed not only at addressing current challenges but also at contributing to better decision-making and shaping the future of work to thrive in an increasingly disruptive landscape.

"Embrace a 'learn fast, fail fast' mindset – a powerful catalyst for personal and professional growth."

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

Reflecting on my journey, I believe there's a crucial emphasis on practical skills alongside theoretical knowledge in the tech world. Additionally, gaining exposure to financial literacy is essential. Particularly for women, it's crucial to proactively build their financial well-being from an early stage. Acquiring knowledge in women's investing can play a pivotal role in achieving financial independence. In addition to closing the digital skills gap, there is a need for increased effort to address the gender investing gap.

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

Personally, I believe that e-commerce has been a significant revolution, altering not only the way we shop but also revolutionising the entire retail landscape and consumer experience. This is alongside social media, which has changed how we disseminate and consume information. The integration of AI and the metaverse will accelerate change, moving the dial even further. A big kudos to Zoom and similar platforms for enabling global connectivity when COVID hit.

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

What I love about tech is the diverse minds working together. People in tech bring creative and lateral thinking to problem-solving. It's not just about the amazing products being created, but the incredible talent behind them.

On the other hand, the fast-paced nature of technological advancements may create a sense of pressure or overwhelm as professionals strive to stay updated with the latest trends, tools, and methodologies. Still more work need to be done to improve diversity in tech, which is the work I have been focused on.

"... carry on regardless, embrace your unique strengths, and let's make this journey supportive and enjoyable!"

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

My most memorable 'career in tech' moment would undoubtedly be the first time I stepped onto a trading floor at an investment bank. The energy, the fast-paced environment, and the sheer magnitude of data being processed in real-time left an indelible mark. It was a moment that not only showcased the technological prowess in the financial industry but also ignited my passion for the intersection of technology and finance.

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

I could talk here about tools and techniques, courses and bootcamps, but I really wish to emphasise the role of our drive while balancing things around us. In my experience, guiding women through different career stages has taught me the importance of tailoring advice for those starting, changing careers, or balancing work and motherhood. Regardless of your stage, determination is your superpower.

As we grow, our careers naturally shift. Embrace a 'learn fast, fail fast' mindset – a powerful catalyst for personal and professional growth. Adopt an athlete's mentality in the workplace. Are you ready to win? Applaud your efforts and honour your progress.

Speak up about your achievements. Building a personal brand through your work and online presence is vital. From a personal standpoint, career trajectories naturally refine as we evolve. With AI and automation taking over some tasks, being adaptable and showcasing skills that work in various roles is crucial.

Don't forget to cheer on others, especially women. This journey isn't a solo sport; you need a trusted team around you. Equally crucial is fostering a supportive environment for others, particularly women, promoting collective achievements.

For working mums, achieving a balance between professional demands and personal life is a formidable challenge. Climbing the career ladder within this context demands not only determination but also the right environment, often beyond our immediate control. Identifying aspects that can be managed is a crucial step in effectively navigating and influencing various situations. As a working mum, when asked if one can 'have it all,' I’d say: Yes, but perhaps not all at once.

In summary, carry on regardless, embrace your unique strengths, and let's make this journey supportive and enjoyable!


bottom of page