Fabia Howard-Smith

Fabia Howard-Smith | Accenture

Fabia Howard-Smith

Fabia is a digital consulting analyst at Accenture, prior to that she graduated from UCL with a BASc in marketing and psychology.

During her time at Accenture she has helped clients navigate digital innovation and strategy, delivering marketing and transformation projects across myriad industries.

Working in technical environments often driven by functional requirements, Fabia challenges her clients to focus on the end-user’s needs. She has proactively achieved the IDEO human-centred design certification. Becoming an advocate for user research and incorporating design thinking into her work; including training clients and colleagues on the topic.

She’s passionate about Girls in STEM initiatives: organising leadership events for colleagues to engage in meaningful discussions about gender, facilitating hackathons to teach young children about STEM and leading groups of school girls at Accenture’s Girls in STEM events. She thrives on creatively solving challenging problems, helping clients identify and address pain-points through innovative solutions. An example of this was when she won the Ulster bank Hackathon in 2018 with her customer-centric idea based on retention and loyalty.

Combining her interests of human-centred design and innovation, Fabia has co-authored a paper on AI and ethics, published by the House of Lords Artificial Intelligence Committee. Also, she’s actively involved in a grassroots ethics network that publish the ‘Ethical Hotlist’- a monthly roundup of digital initiatives at the intersection of ethics and technology. 


Ciara Riordan

Ciara Riordan | BBC News

Ciara Riordan

Ciara Riordan is the Assistant editor of BBC News's social news team.

Ciara is based in the BBC News headquarters in London and oversees some of the largest social media accounts in the world. This includes the BBC News Facebook page which has 49 million followers, the biggest breaking news Twitter accounts @BBCBreaking, @BBCNews and @BBCWorld, and the BBC News Instagram account. She manages a global social news team with BBC hubs in Washington DC, Toronto and Singapore.

Originally from Ireland, the Cork native is an award-winning producer, presenter and reporter. She has presented many BBC News Facebook lives which have had millions of views including her interview with Sir David Attenborough which went viral. She has also reported live from major breaking news stories including the Westminster and Manchester attacks.

Before her current digital role, she was a reporter with BBC World TV News and a producer on BBC Breakfast TV. Ciara’s first gig in the UK was with LBC Radio but has been with the BBC since July 2012.

Her career started in Newstalk radio in Dublin producing the Moncrieff radio programme but after four years she got an itch to go travelling and that itch brought her to ABC in Sydney, Australia.

After her year out, she returned to Ireland to work for an Irish NGO ‘Haven’ which saw her lead a volunteer team out to Haiti after the deadly earthquake in 2010. Ciara visited Haiti twice and saw the devastation that the earthquake brought to its capital Port Au Prince.

Ciara has also worked for RTE television and Radio Kerry in Ireland.


Charlie Lait

Charlie Lait | TicToc by Bloomberg

Charlie Lait

I’m a digital content creator for a global millennial audience with 6 years experience across digital roles in the public and private sector, in the U.K. and in the U.S.

I currently work in the EMEA hub of TicToc by Bloomberg, a 24/7 social media news network. I’m obsessed with how people think and what motivates them to make choices. That obsession underlies the two things that matter most to me in my career – making smart digital content that people respond to and interact with, and making that content in a team pursuing a common vision.

I’ve been singular in pursuing my career since I hit 18 – never did a semester of my university education go by when I didn’t have a media job while keeping a full-time course load. But my curiosity about people has taken me around the world, and I’m lucky to have lived abroad in Italy, New York and Chicago aged 18-24. That international experience continues to shape my worldview and ambition.

My current job is to grow the EMEA audience and create stories from EMEA that resonate with users globally, be it breaking news, a hyperlocal story with a global resonance, or anything in-between. I might be working on a program of content including video, animations, graphics, writing, and interactive mediums (Instagram stories, Twitter moments, etc). Depending on the day and the story, I’m a one-man band, producing and packaging content, or I'm working with others in London, New York and Hong Kong.

On a daily basis I manage the workload of video editors in London and early New York hours – setting up the brand’s daily news agenda for EMEA and the Americas. I deputise in approving final content for the Global Editor In Chief, as needed - but I’m not a line manager, and don’t hold a managerial title. I have grown into this responsibility by developing my relationships and responsibilities across the team.

I partner with teams across Bloomberg’s global network to turn written stories into dynamic social media packages. That could be a reporter in Ireland, a stringer in a remote Morocco town, or an external agency. As part of this collaboration, I also sometimes write for Bloomberg News traditional properties.

Previously I was digital editor for HM Treasury during the EU referendum, and at the Prime Minister’s Office during the 2017 general election. If you know the Treasury has a cat, and that cat has an Instagram (www.instagram.com/treasury_cat), that’s because of me. Within four months I managed that account directly, with a completely nonpaid social strategy that resulted in 15,000 followers within six months. I ran the digital communications strategy for the New £1 Coin campaign, winning the PRWeek Awards 2017: Public Campaign, I oversaw the work of the external agency -- delivery of the website, promotional materials and social media strategy, including setting paid media spending.

Prior to that, I worked across multiple digital roles at Yahoo EMEA editorial. I was Launch Editor of Yahoo Live, a live video events project that streamed high-profile events (The Academy Awards red carpet, NFL games, exclusive concerts) used entertainment influencers and high-profile events to engage the digital millennial audience. As editorial lead, it was my responsibility to design the digital content strategy that would deliver a large, continually engaged millennial audience.

I worked with the marketing department to highly shareable create digital assets for maximum social sharing reach, and with our production partners to ensure original content was delivered to specification from the ground. I was personally responsible for pitching and delivering the social media strategy for many of these events directly to the PR teams for the high-profile entertainment figures we worked with. My digital strategy for one of our events resulted in a global hashtag trend on twitter, which was re-trending the next day in multiple international markets.

I started my media career in news production at CNBC and Sirius XM in New York. I went on to work in online audience development and social media management for an investigative magazine transitioning to web-only, and a media non-profit looking to increase its donor base. In both of those roles, I assisted the Heads of Audience redesign the website and implemented new social media strategies to grow their 16-24 audiences.

From 2010 until 2015, I was a freelance digital video production assistant in New York and London, working for global media clients including the BBC and Endemol. I continue to informally advise small businesses today on their social media strategies, via Bloomberg Philanthropies partnerships.

I have a BA in Journalism and Religious Studies from New York University, U.S.A.


Helier Cheung

Helier Cheung | BBC News

Helier Cheung

Helier Cheung is a senior journalist and news editor with a passion for digital storytelling, championing minority voices, and involving younger audiences.

She has covered several breaking news stories abroad, including the Thai cave rescue, the Trump Kim summit in Singapore, and political protests in Hong Kong. She has a track record of finding compelling stories that make an impact online, including the story of a Norwegian murder mystery cold case that had over 1.7 million hits and inspired one of the BBC’s most popular podcasts: “Death in Ice Valley”.

Within the BBC, she has led initiatives to diversify the website and make its hard news coverage relevant to young and underserved readers. She helped set up a buddy network for trainee journalists at the BBC, mentors new journalists, and regularly attends careers talks at schools as part of the Inspiring the Future Network. She also volunteers as a school governor.


Alice Pelton

Alice Pelton | News UK / The Lowdown

Alice Pelton

Alice currently works as the Head of Strategic Programmes at News UK, where she coordinates strategic programmes central to the future growth of the organisation and supports and advises News UK's Chief Operating Officer and his Executive leadership team.

Alice started her career in marketing and business development, launching a new e-commerce pet food business www.bobandlush.com in 2011. A year later she was selected from over 500 candidates to join News UK on the Marketing & Sales graduate scheme. She has quickly risen through the ranks at News, working in a variety of digital product and programme delivery roles, in which she has built and monetised multi-million pound news and gaming products for some of the UK’s biggest media brands including The Sun, Dream Team, The Times & The Sunday Times.

Recently Alice has founded The Lowdown www.theldown.com - the world’s first peer to peer review platform for contraception. It enables men and women to submit and compare reviews forcontraceptives that they have tried or are using. The Lowdown platform analyses this data, and produces trends and statistics on every type, showing what the most common side effects are,  and how it impacted reviewers' weight, sex drive, periods and mental health.

Alice created The Lowdown because she is passionate about empowering women with better information on contraception. She hopes the platform will help to force society take these side effects seriously, and shortcut the trial and error approach many women have to finding the right contraception for them.


Anna Somaiya

Anna Somaiya | KPMG

Anna Somaiya

Anna joined KPMG from Honda where she was head of technology; her previous roles within Honda included many senior tech roles in manufacturing and a stint running the technology for the Honda F1 team.

Since joining KPMG as a senior manager, she has made a huge impact on every client project she has worked and consistently thinks about different approaches and solutions to client challenges. Anna was promoted to Director in 2017 and has been an important member of Solutions and Digital leadership team, leading on our firms technology and data strategy.

At KPMG:

  • Worked across multiple industries and sectors within KPMG, leading clients’ IT Strategies and Business Transformation.
  • Leading KPMG’s Digital Technology & Data Strategy (development and implementation)
  • Expanded and leads the IT's Her Future programme she founded 3 years ago. The programme has gone from strength to strength, impacting technology teams across KPMG UK and globally, partnering with external organisations to deliver the best results for women in technology, and speaking with FTSE 100 clients to assist with their transformations. Anna has obtained buy-in from senior leaders by boasting real results, e.g. reducing the attrition of KPMG women in Technology Consulting by 10%, increasing female technology headcount from 26% to 36%, female experienced hire applications from 15% to 25%, and joiners from 26% to 33%.
  • Nominated internally for "Advocate of the Year" - Women in IT Awards 2018.
  • Shortlisted externally - WIBF awards and Women in IT Awards 2017.

Previously:

  • 17 year career in the automotive industry, culminating as CIO in a male-dominated environment.
  • Founded and championed Honda’s D&I agenda.

Tara Annison

Tara Annison | PR9 Network

Tara Annison

After completing her BSc in Mathematics and Philosophy from the University of York, Tara started her career in banking.

She joined the HSBC Commercial Graduate program and completed two placements, one in Manchester and one in London before joining the newly formed Corporate and Institutional Digital team as a Product Owner.

In this role she led the ideation, creation and deployment of a new internal website for the bank, teaching staff about digital trends and new technology. The website launched to all 230,000 staff members globally and was the recipient of 3 external awards.

Tara was also a vocal advocate of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies within the bank, and left to pursue a full-time career in the industry, joining Lendingblock as the Product Manager.

In 2019 she was named as the ‘Young Leader of the Year’ by the Women in IT Awards.


Anahita Mahmoudi

Anahita Mahmoudi | Capgemini

Anahita Mahmoudi

Anahita is a digital consultant and activist with the energy and drive for helping individuals and organisations become more educated, ethical, and aware of their potential for change in the workplace and in life.

Born and raised in Iran, Anahita called England home in 2009.

In 2012 she started her career as an application consultant in Sogeti UK – Part of Capgemini, with a drive for design and innovation in the technology sector.  Here Anahita showed exceptional performance in delivering Sogeti’s client engagements, as well as proving to be a strong asset to their internal company operations.  Her approach to technology, customers and services were perceived as a compelling combination, which lead to her being the fastest promoted graduate to the role of Managing Consultant in the company.

She is now a digital consultant in Capgemini UK, where she used her innovation skills to create important changes in the workplace. In this new role Anahita mediates between client teams and people who have conflicting information and opinions, gaining successful and positive outcomes for both.  Here at Capgemini she also created a training roadmap for junior talents within the Digital Customer Experience, providing a viable route for advancement, especially for women. She also promotes cultural transformation using modern training and coaching methods.

Anahita discovered leadership at an early stage in her career when she was involved in a youth leadership programme at St.Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace which later on inspired her to start her coaching career as a young professional. In 2014 she was elected the rising young talent of Sogeti Group UK and led a youth leadership initiative entitled “Meet the Future’ calling for young employees from all backgrounds and roles to get involved in the Sogeti’s Group mission to initiate a new kind of leadership. In 2016 she was involved in The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme, helping exceptional young people transform their lives.  (Her ethos and approach always considering the potential and energy of the younger generations.) And by 2017 she had published and presented a revolutionary youth leadership theory in the International Leadership Association’s 19th Annual Global Conference in Brussels, Belgium.

Anahita supports Capgemini’s recent partnership with Code Your Future, a not-for-profit developer course to create a Digital Academy, providing digital skills training and employment opportunities for refugees and others from disadvantaged backgrounds.  This comes after her success on a project called Change the Future which she co-founded, a volunteer campaign to enable technology to educate displaced children in refugee camps. As an associate fellow of St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace, Anahita is working on a project that aims to bring together peace ethos and social change.

Anahita has a BSc (First Class Hons) in computer science, MSc in advanced methods in computer science and a coaching certificate from the University of Cambridge.


Jem Collins

Jem Collins | Journo Resources

Jem Collins

Jem Collins is the founder of Journo Resources, a digital start-up which helps and supports those both breaking into and progressing within the journalism industry with a range unique tools and resources.

Founded in 2016, it is now viewed more than 30,000 times every month, with a newsletter going to more than 2,500 people, and a robust business plan to support growth and sustainability. Current industry partners and clients involve major industry players such as Cision Jobs, The Telegraph and The Daily Mail.

Initially from a small village in rural Devon, Jem graduated from a journalism degree at the University of Kent in 2014. She went straight into work as a full-time digital journalist, initially producing online video for local TV station KMTV, before progressing to politics.co.uk and then becoming a full-time freelancer in 2016. Her bylines include the i Paper, Metro.co.uk, the Sun, PinkNews, Debut Careers and others. This was also the year she founded Journo Resources, frustrated by the lack of transparency and accessibility in the profession, while at the same time feeling a lack of support as a freelancer new to the game. Additionally, as a long term trustee for the Student Publication Association, the UK’s biggest non-profit body to support student journalists, she found the same questions coming up over and over.

Jem decided to rethink careers education and support for those in journalism, producing unique, practical tools which could not be found elsewhere online. For example, the website is the only place you can find details on salary levels for hundreds of journalism jobs, has the only full list of graduate schemes, awards and mentoring within the media industry, and is the only journalism advice publisher to distill our insight onto Instagram as native content.

In 2018 Jem was awarded the Georgina Henry Award for Digital Innovation at the Press Awards for her work on Journo Resources, complete with a £3,000 prize. This allowed her to leave the full-time job she had accepted in 2017 as news editor of RightsInfo, a small digital charity which aims to inspire people to think again about human rights.

She now works on Journo Resources for three days a week, as well as freelancing for a range of national and specialist outlets. As well as developing Journo Resources’ innovative digital output, she also manages business, impact, and strategy, with income now supporting her time and a number of freelancers. She is a frequent face at events across the country, having been commissioned to deliver workshops on digital journalism skills at universities including Oxford, Bristol, Leeds, Cardiff, London Met and Cork and is a regular commentator on industry issues, appearing on platforms such as the BBC and LBC.


Laura Chung

Laura Chung | PayPal

Laura Chung

Laura Chung is an International Marketing Manager at PayPal leading the merchant lifecycle engagement & retention campaigns for the Small & Medium Business across 20+ markets.

With experience working across global corporate organisations to small start ups, Laura has worked on leading product marketing functions and scaling global marketing programmes across tech companies including Microsoft, comScore and Testbirds.

Laura is also a Co-founder and board member of DevelopHer, a non-for-profit women's network community in the UK, actively encouraging women in tech, digital and entrepreneurship to develop their confidence and careers via community based learning opportunities. As part of her involvement, Laura has helped grow the online community and membership base significantly, whilst also been integral in developing coaching programmes and mentoring workshops. A highlight includes bringing together 100 of the DevelopHer members to 10 Downing Street. Since joining PayPal, Laura also leads the women's UK affinity group PayPal Unity, building a team that works towards creating equal opportunities at the UK workforce as well as actively trying to make strides to the existing company benefits and policies.

During her career, Laura has also been recognised and nominated as The Drum's 50 under 30 Women in digital in 2017, spoken at various events on work/life balance and helped mentored a number of entry level women in their early careers.