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Wardha is a role model for women thriving in data and technology

Posting date: 05 Apr 2024
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Legal & General is commited to building an even more diverse, inclusive workplace – one where everyone thrives. Our second Britain’s Most Admired Company win is a recent recognition of this, with commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion one of the key judging criteria.

One of our key goals is to ensure equity and enhanced female representation at all levels. That’s why we’ve set ourselves an ambitious goal:

By 2025 we’re targeting a 50/50 gender balance in our workforce, with 40% of senior management roles being women.

One of the areas we are focusing on is Women in Data and Technology. Women are woefully under-represented across STEM fields and the data industry is no exception. Male analysts and data scientists outnumber their female colleagues more than 4 to 1, and while it might be more comfortable to assume that these figures are surely on the rise, alarmingly, trends indicate that the opposite is true. There has been a decrease in the proportion of women in the industry since the pandemic. The gap is getting wider.

As part of the wider Women’s network at L&G, we have formed the Women in Data network as a community group that strives to support the overall gender target through the lens of Data.

We spoke with Wardha Mir, Data Migration Specialist – one of the women making strides in the Data space at L&G.

Tell us about yourself.

I’ve been at L&G for over a year and work within HR Transformation as a Data Migration Specialist, where I migrate data, monitor and troubleshoot any data issues, and work on continuous improvement processes, ensuring data quality is maintained. 

I have a technical background in Software Engineering. I have worked with multiple international and national organisations as a Software Developer, Database Developer, Database Administrator, Data Analyst, Data Specialist and currently in L&G I’m working as a Data Migration Specialist.

I have a mixed cultural background. My dad, originally from Pakistan, spent much of his early life between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and for the past 35 years, he’s been based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). My mum was born and raised in the UAE, and I also lived there before moving to the UK. I have two brothers and one sister, I’m the middle child! In terms of heritage, my roots are tied more to the Arab culture as I’ve spent majority of my life in Abu Dhabi. 

Who are some of the female role models or inspirations that you look up to? 

My mum is my role model, and her belief of anything is possible to achieve with determination inspired me. Her unconditional love, dedication, and resilience inspired me to be the best version of myself.

Despite a lack of female role models within the tech or coding industry growing up, my mum’s encouragement, and examples of women breaking barriers, motivated me to pursue a career in software. I also learned that the first person to write an algorithm and lay the foundation for modern computing was a woman, this further fuelled my passion for the tech world. 

My mum also taught me to always try my best, work hard, and if you still can’t achieve something, then have faith that God has something better planned for you. This mindset helps me to work even harder when faced with setbacks, knowing better opportunities will come.

What advice you can share with women trying to break into the data and tech field?

My advice to women trying to break into the tech world is ‘You can do it’. Always believe in yourself. Coming myself from a diverse multi-cultural background, wearing hijab and in world of software engineering and coding, I was told in my early career that coding is not something for women. I did not let this sway me but instead, I took that as a challenge. Here I am today in the tech world with a publication to my name. I’ve worked on multiple systems in different organisations, and I’ve been part of the development of others. 

Believing in yourself is the first step. Identify your goals by reflecting on what you want to achieve in the tech world. Recognise your existing skills and develop your skills more by investing time in learning, attending workshops, or taking online course. Networking is key as well. Try to connect with professionals in the industry and stay up to date with emerging trends and technologies. Build your portfolio demonstrating your skills and passion. Another way to improve your skills is via volunteering in tech-related events or open-source projects. If you can find a mentor who can guide you from their experience, this will help to accelerate your growth in the tech world. 

Additionally, don't be afraid to apply for roles even if you don't meet all the requirements - your skills and potential are valuable. Remember to stay confident, persistent, believe in your abilities, advocate for yourself, and keep pushing forward. The tech industry needs diverse voices, and you can make a significant impact. Also do believe nothing is impossible and you can achieve what you dream of.

Explore your career opportunities at Legal & General

Legal & General offers a range of roles in Digital, IT and Change as diverse as its people. And with diversity, equity and inclusion the foundation of our operations we are truly open to all.

Explore the technology and data opportunities we have available, and find a career where you can also thrive.

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