Yolanda Simpson: what D&I means to me

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At Sparta Global, we believe that inclusion in the workplace starts with leveraging individual experiences and stories. As we continue to celebrate Black History Month, we are thrilled to receive Spartan Yolanda Simpson’s testimonial on what Diversity and Inclusion in business means to her. In her blog, Yolanda explains how she built her career in an inclusive company environment, how she is looking to inspire others to do the same and what true equality looks like for her.  

What did you study at University and what inspired you to start a career in tech?

I studied BEng Computing (Computer Systems Engineering) at the University of Northampton. I was inspired to get into tech by my IT teacher when I was in school - I enjoyed the lessons so much that I knew I wanted a career in the field. 

What do you look for in an employer in terms diversity and inclusion?

I look for an employer that makes sure diversity and inclusion are key parts of their culture and included in their values. This allows people to feel more comfortable and welcomed within the work place – not left out.

Tell us about your career journey at Sparta Global and your current role.

I joined Sparta Global at the start of 2019 as I was struggling to get a job in the tech industry after graduating from University. Joining Sparta Global was the greatest decision I made as I gained new knowledge in a programming language and spent some time volunteering as a teaching assistant for the Code First:Girls course that was running at the same time. I enjoyed this a lot and soon after landed a role working for Bluebay Asset Management as a QA analyst.

My role includes manual and automation testing - which is pretty new to me - but I’m enjoying learning how to test effectively and developing my knowledge in the area. One of the things I like about working for the company is its diversity and inclusion forum, which holds different events such as mindfulness and yoga and always encourages people to get involved. This month they also held a Black History Month lunch and learn session with a guest speaker that currently works in the tech industry - highlighting her achievements in the industry. 

What is your top tip for women looking to connect with role models and mentors in industry?

Linked in is one of the best sites to use to find and connect with people! Asking around in the work place is a good idea too.

You are often looked at as a role model for others. What is the one thing you can do to encourage more equal representation in the tech sector? 

One thing I want to do is share my story and really try and get the word out there. I’ve learnt that there’s nothing to be afraid of when applying for or working in the tech industry!

What does true inclusion look like for you?

For me, true inclusion means everyone is able to work in a place that embraces them - no matter what background they come from. It is about people being able to feel comfortable in the work place, so they can talk to anyone and feel like a valued member of the company.