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Rachel Higham

Rachel designed, delivered and now sponsors BT TechWomen, which in its 4th year has delivered a year-long development journey for 970 women across BT and has created an alumni network of 1,595 women. 67% of the participants have moved into bigger roles and local cultural barriers to women’s progression in the UK and India are being addressed. A core element of BT TechWomen is their 2-way pact, with more experienced members mentoring more junior women, engaging in STEM outreach initiatives in schools and university, and supporting the recruitment of female apprentices and graduates. Rachel also launched the Reignite programme with TechWomen India, focussed on building confidence and helping women return to work after a career break. Beyond BT, Rachel is Chair of the board of FACT, the Foundation of Arts & Creative Technology that has a strong diversity policy and social engagement programme. 45% of the board are now women and FACT have recently appointed their first female CEO. FACT runs a number of learning and engagement programmes providing access to digital art, media and tech skills for over 2,800 women for 1,600 young girls each year.

Rachel Higham

Rachel designed, delivered and now sponsors BT TechWomen, which in its 3rd year is delivering a year-long development programme for 385 women across BT. This is different to similar gender focussed initiatives, in that is both a network and a development programme for talented women in under-represented roles across our business. Development topics include personal brand, courageous speaking and purposeful teams, leading change in self and others, building confidence and impact, and politics and networking. By vocalising the issues facing women in technology and demonstrating the impact that targeted investment can have, it has influenced BT’s broader Diversity and Inclusion agenda and transformed the careers of 635 women in our business. Externally, Rachel actively shares the design and learnings from TechWomen with partners and corporate customers through our NextGen CIO events in order to spark and generate momentum to address the technology gender gap. She has recently supported events at the BBC, CMI and Imperial College London celebrating women in business and promoting her approach. She has also visited schools to promote STEM careers and recently launched the 2018 Step into STEM programme mentoring young girls in Sixth Form colleges across London.